Buyers have a number of options to create their own estimate of the likely sales price of a property, which don’t involve asking the agent.
· Do your own research. Looking at comparable recent sales is probably the best way to estimate what a property might sell for. Weekly sales reports in newspapers and on the internet, as well as street or suburb reports produced by property research agencies are excellent sources of comparable sales.
· If you’re serious about a property, make an offer – in writing. The selling agent is obliged to present all offers to the vendor. If your offer is refused, you have a benchmark lowest price and the opportunity to investigate what price might be acceptable. However, bear in mind that a vendor might refuse an offer prior to auction but still sell for a price lower than your offer at auction. If the offer is accepted and you exchange contracts, you’ve bought the house you want at the price you were willing to pay.
· Employ a buyers agent. If you don’t have the time to spend at Open for Inspections, a buyers agent will do the leg work for you, negotiate a sale price or bid for you at auction.
· Many buyers comment on how quickly bidding moves at auction. In order to get a feel for how the auction process works, attend a few auctions before you plan to start bidding. When you want to seriously bid on a property, work out your strategy and budget before you go to the auction.