As a professional renovator I‘m always out there, keeping my eyes open for properties that can be potentially bought and sold for a profit. When I drive through my target suburbs and streets, I sometimes feel a bit like a search dog, sniffing around for the best value properties.
This week, I truly found a treasure box.
I really want to buy this property – it has my name written all over it! Imagine this grand, old, totally unrenovated house – a bit like an old fairy-tale castle hidden behind ivy and overgrown hedges. From the street, it’s not obvious straight away, but the house sits on an amazing block of land. OK value as is with fantastic opportunity!
I’m sure I won’t be the only interested party, though.
I can see other professional renovators and owner-occupiers crawling all over it. I have one advantage, though. I didn’t find the house online but by scouring the streets. In fact, this property is currently being advertised online but it’s not appearing in the search results. When I looked it up on Domain (www.domain.com.au), I noticed the agent had incorrectly listed the property as an apartment instead of a house in the PROPERTY TYPE search field. What a major stuff up on the agent’s part and one I’m certainly not going to highlighting to the agent. Less competition for me, right?
There is something to be learnt from the agent’s mistake, though. As useful as these internet portals are, they are limited by search functions. If buyers type in what kind of property they’re looking for (i.e. a house, a townhouse, an apartment, etc.), this particular listing won’t show up to those people who are searching for a house. And let’s face it; a house is still the main property type that most people search for. The error is simple – the agent has incorrectly tagged the wrong data field on Domain (probably in a rush), but the effect is major: it will reduce the number of interested parties considerably simply because buyers don’t know about the property.
The moral of this story? Real estate agents sometimes get it wrong.
So if you’re selling any property, always double-check your agent’s marketing to ensure all of the information is correct. Check all written marketing material (like newspaper and online ads) as well as the agent’s printed hand-outs like the property brochure. Even on another property I saw this week, the agent’s brochure stated 2 car off street parking when the property had no off street parking. Big difference in value there. Cross check to make sure the agent has correctly tagged the right data fields online and make sure they haven’t forgotten to place your property in their shop front window too. At the end of the day, you’re parting with a good chunk of cash to market your property to the widest pool of people possible. Don’t let one little slip-up stop you from reaching that goal. Keep an eye on the work of your real estate agent and don’t assume the people you’ve hired to sell your house always get it right.
After all, they’re only human too.