It was an expensive lesson, but I learned it early in my real estate career: look beyond the bright and shiny! The opposite is also true in terms of finding a diamond in the rough, but that’s for another blog. Instead, I want to focus on the importance of not letting that designer decor and fresh lick of paint distract you from expenses you’re not banking on. As a first home buyer in 2007, I was blinded by lust. Rather than scrutinise every room, I stood back and let myself be swooned by a quickie makeover and professional styling. I wanted it to be ‘the one’ so badly—mainly so I could get my Saturdays back after a year of searching—that I overlooked many details that could have helped me negotiate a much better price.
It wasn’t until settlement day that I realised some brutal truths. The floating floorboards were in fact floorboard-style vinyl, the water pipes made an awful clunking sound every time any tap was turned on, and the freshly painted walls were masking severe rising damp issues. Although I had been clever enough to pay for a building report, I managed to justify every negative point by saying “but they have to over-dramatise everything to cover themselves”. Luckily, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, I had foreseen a lot of creative potential as well. The floor plan could easily be reconfigured to create two apartments, and after 2.5 years I sold my Newtown semi for a very generous profit to an investor who also saw the value in the dual rental income I had envisioned. Nevertheless, had I not been so foolishly smitten, I would have had the ammo for more fierce negotiating so I’d have a little more leftover for renovating.
The reality is, when one is searching for their dream property, it’s hard not to over-romanticise or let emotions get in the way. And that’s why having a buyer’s agent brings so much value. I’ll ensure you’re not feeling desperate or exhausted by organising private inspections only for our shortlisted properties. My meticulous checklist safeguards against nasty surprises after the honeymoon stage is over. I can then use my inspection report as a tool to negotiate with the selling agent, and factor in additional expenses to ensure you stay within your budget.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for your forever home or a short-term investment, I believe in the power of capital growth and I buy properties for my clients accordingly. A quality property bought for the right price should outperform in ANY market. Let me help you find that property.
Gaby Ferreyra, Scout Property
Inner West Buyer’s Agent & Licensed Real Estate Agent
0424 618 117 | firstname.lastname@example.org