Property market turning for buyers, says expert

17 May 2022

A leading buyer’s agent believes that the cooling property market is forcing buyers to rethink their budgets and the amount they want to pay for property purchases.

Dan Sofo, of Unicorn Buyer’s Agents, says that buyers are now pushing down hard on sellers to get better deals and to have more value included in the deal.

“The property market is definitely changing, and we are seeing buyers step back into the driver’s seat of the market – taking on more control over what price they pay for a property. Sellers are now sitting in the back seat to a large degree,” Dan says.

Dan is an expert in the property market trends of Sydney, and a leading buyer’s agent who helps people to find and purchase the ideal property.  

“While the market is still buoyant in locations, it is cooling. We are returning to a market where there is more rigor in the process of buying a property,” he adds, point out that they are also seeing a new type of buyer – the FOOP buyer, which translates to ‘fearful of over-paying’.

“My advice to buyers is to get back to fundamentals. Buy properties that will always weather markets well and squeeze as much out of the deal as you possibly can within ethical reason, to make your dollar go further. Remember to be fair. This is important, we are all buyers and sellers at one point.”

Dan has outlined five ways that buyers can make their property purchase go further and sellers can encourage buyers to sign on the dotted line.  

Know your market

Dan says that doing your research and knowing your market is even more critical in a normalising or cooling market as prices can move south really quickly.

“When doing your research, last month’s local clearance rates and prices don’t matter – you need to know last week’s comparison scales, which look very different.”

He adds: “For busy people this can be hard which is why buyer’s agents like myself are so sought after. We are data geeks who love a good spreadsheet. We’re also across those off-market properties that nervous vendors are trying to shift quickly and quietly, and that local area agents are looking to sell without weighing down prices in their patch.

“Having current market knowledge helps you to negotiate with power. Knowing what’s selling both out in the open and behind the scenes on the quiet gives you more power.”

Deal sweeteners

“Many properties include kitchen and laundry designs that have integrated white goods or have been built around these goods including fridges, washing machines, coffee machines,” Dan adds.

“Now’s the time to have them included in the sale. We’ve negotiated purchases with thousands of dollars of deal sweeteners included - billiard tables, home theatre systems, pool equipment, garden tools and furniture, elaborate BBQ setups, even an engine hoist for a car enthusiast client.

Dan says that if these items fit your personal style and taste, and are in good condition, it’s worth trying to include these in a deal, even if you have to pay a little more. These items can add significant value to the purchase and reduce the need for you to spend lots of money on them later on.

Early property access

Getting early property access before a property has settled can be a huge positive for buyers, Dan points out, saying that if you plan to live in the property, it gives you time to visit and work out what you need to do to get it ready for that time. It also lets you meet tradespeople on-site to get quotes for any works desired or required.

Staging furniture

“If you are intending on renting out the property once you purchase it, negotiate with the seller to keep the staging furniture in place while you are seeking tenants,” Dan adds.

“Staging furniture always presents the property in the best light and will help you to not only attract potential tenants faster, it will also help you achieve the maximum rent possible.”

Professional clean

Sometimes, you can go through a home that isn’t completely clean and, in this situation, the likelihood is that it will be vacated in a pretty substandard condition.

“Don’t be afraid to insist on a professional deep clean, including carpet cleaning and a pressure clean of the driveway as a settlement condition. The pleasure of moving into a properly cleaned home is actually priceless,” Dan remarks.

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