Thursday, July 4, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Property Point

Real estate agents are manipulative, greedy, parasitic sneaks who exploit desperate Mackay home-buyers and create angst and trauma in the community by forcing up property prices beyond what people can afford.
Harsh. But is it fair?
The sentence seems to accurately paraphrase the current view of a fair portion of the real estate-buying community in this town.
Call me a sensitive little princess who can’t take fair criticism but, personally,  I don’t agree with that view … although I do feel there are some valid criticisms that could be made. And I want to talk about how auctions put those criticisms to bed.
Firstly, people need to understand that a listing agent like me is legally and ethically required to get the best price possible for their clients, the sellers of a property.
The code of conduct is very clear in stating that a real estate agent must “act in the best interests” of their client. Among other things, it means getting the client the best price you can achieve.
There is nothing in the code that says: “Make sure you consider housing affordability and try to keep the prices down so people are not priced out of the market.”
A listing agent’s job is to create competition that will ensure the best price is achieved. It is about finding fair market value and, in this town, market value is going up.
Having said that, there are some criticisms that I can understand. One is that people are not getting the chance to put an offer on a property before it is sold.
Sometimes that is because the property sells after the first open house and the buyers have simply not been fast enough to move. Other times a property is sold before the scheduled first open house and buyers feel they haven’t been given a chance.
It usually means that the seller feels the price offered prior to the open house is at or above expectations and they accept the offer because they don’t want to lose the buyer who has made that offer.
But there has also been a trend this year for properties to be sold “off-market” to southern buyers, often through buyers’ agents. While the agents are doing nothing wrong in that situation because they are simply acting on the sellers’ instructions, local buyers do miss out on the opportunity.
One of the big criticisms of agents is the lack of transparency and the denial of an opportunity to buy a property. And often when people do get the chance, it is a multiple offer situation where it is illegal to tell anyone what another buyer’s offer is. Buyers are told to submit their best and final offer and, when they miss out, don’t even know whether they got close.
That’s where auctions come into it. Auctions are transparent; you know what the other buyers are offering for the property. You get to respond to another buyer’s offer and compete openly for the property.
An auction is also scheduled. You know when it is going to be so you can plan for it.
The problem is that some Mackay buyers in the past have said they “don’t like auctions”. Now I’m going to be a bit brutal here; you can’t have it both ways people. You can’t complain about properties being sold quickly/missing out in multiple offer situations/ a lack of transparency and then say, “But I don’t want to bid at an auction”.
At Gardian we love auctions for all the reasons I have mentioned and we have had very successful ones recently where buyers realise they need to get organised and be ready to bid at auction.
They put on their big boys’ or girls’ pants, get pre-approved for finance, look at the building and pest report that we have provided and register to bid at auction.
In auctions, buyers and sellers are happy with an open, competitive process that allows a property to achieve fair market value. The good news for sellers is that if their price is not achieved they can pass the property in. And, for buyers, they are able to bid up to their budget and pull out if the bidding goes beyond that.
Buyers need to get pre-approved through their bank or a broker like Gardian’s experienced Mortgage Choice experts so that they can confidently bid at auction.
Usually, the building and pest report will be done and available so, as long as you are pre-approved by a broker, you are ready to go.
One of my favourite quotes about our democracy refers to our open court system, where “justice is not only done, it is seen to be done”.
Auctions offer a similar important transparency, where a fair sale is not only done but it is seen to be done.

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