We knew there had to be a better way
Between us, we have close to a century’s experience in real estate. In our past incarnation, we have been described as among Australia’s most successful top-end real estate agents and auctioneers.
Why, then, did we create another side and then cross over to it? Why become Australia’s first buyers’ advocates?
We had been helping a number of people with purchases, and they’d tell their friends and it began to snowball. People were begging us to do it.
It became plain that buyers’ advocacy was a service which took a lot of the uncertainty out of buying and was saving some people a great deal of money. After some hard thinking and a trip to the US (where buyers’ agents are the norm), we decided that if we were to properly represent buyers, that’s all we should do.Overnight, we had changed sides. It was now us vs. the agents – the poacher
had invented the gamekeeper.
How could that work? Wouldn’t the agents refuse to deal with us?
Well … no. The lesser agents might think of us as their worst nightmare, but even they know we’re representing real buyers and not competing with them for listings or threatening their commissions. They can’t afford not to deal with us.
That gives us, among other advantages, access to agents’ “hidden” listings; while our greater knowledge of vendors and markets allows us to take control of auctions and negotiations.
We know all the games and we put a stop to them.
It was time someone did.
“Buyers advocate David Morrell said deliberate bait advertising was common. He said Consumer Affairs Victoria has failed to rein in agents who flouted laws…”
“I was a mess. It seemed impossible.”
Emeritus Director Christopher Koren is a licensed real estate agent who in 25 years in the industry has been the director of a number of successful agencies, a renowned auctioneer and, with David Morrell, the pioneer of buyers’ advocacy in Australia. His knowledge of the auction process is encyclopedic. Chris is frequently sought for comment in print, radio and television. Chris has secured hundreds of properties, often for the most exacting purchasers, and has been a major catalyst for the ethical reform of the real estate industry in Australia.
1. Impossible-to-find properties can be found.
2. ‘Live’ where you’re thinking of buying.
Is this the right house for the way you live? Is the floor plan workable? Is the garden? Is the district? If not, moving day will be a terrible awakening. Use your imagination. ‘Live’ in the house, in your mind, from morning ’til night. How well is the kitchen laid out? Will there be a crush in the bathroom? How will you get to work, shops, schools? Is the garden pleasure or pain?
3. When the “Wow!” fades.
4. Price. How much is too much?
5. Avoid fumbled catches.
You can go through everything it takes to find exactly what you are looking for only to lose it to another buyer at the last moment. Fair enough if that’s someone with deeper pockets at an auction. But if it’s a private sale or post-auction negotiation and a price you would have paid, you may just be left wondering. You could blame the agent, but chances are that if you had known more, you would have succeeded.
6. Stress. You don’t need it.
7. Finding value at the top end
(Another plug; but if you are spending the money needed to play at these heights, you need to know this.) You have no doubt heard that the market decides how much a house is worth. You may not have heard that, at the top end, Morrell & Koren is the major force in that market. We are involved in a huge proportion of upper-end sales. We know precisely what’s available and how much will secure it.
8. Investment. Get rich deliberately.
9. Shock! Horror! Real estate agents are not always reliable sources of information!
10. Impulse is not your friend.
11. The perils of exhaustion.
The people who have been looking for so long they have become desperate. Their expectations have slipped along with their judgement. They have been on the treadmill of too, too, too many open-for-inspections and too, too, too much disappointment. That’s you? Take a break. Or get help.
12. “I saw it. I bought it. Trouble.”
“I was driving past the auction. I just stopped and bought it.”Please, don’t (see 10.) There are the lifestyle considerations (see 2.). There’s the inspection you need to find the rising damp, the rotten stumps, the dangerous wiring … All the terrors that add up to a lemon. Don’t. Just don’t.