This does not happen with OH Property Group simply because we never take on two clients who have requirements which are too similar. Even if we could assign the clients to different agents within our company, we have a policy of not doing this to prevent any potential conflict of interest – period. So if you choose OH Property Group, you can be assured that we will be 100% dedicated to getting you, and only you, to the front of the buying line.
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The simple answer is ‘yes’. However, depending on your visa status, there may be limitations in terms of what you can buy. Please see our Australian Foreign Investment Policy page for a summary of rules applicable to overseas buyers.
The Foreign Investment Review Board is the agency responsible for approving foreign investments, including real estate.
Since we are not in the financing business we cannot arrange or broker your financing. However, we can refer you to a variety of banks and brokers and suggest those that might be able to provide the most appropriate (and cost effective) financing for your property. We can accompany you through the process. As we do not take any referral fees or commissions, we can and will always make such recommendations in your best interest.
As the only buyers’ agency in NSW able to serve our clients in multiple languages, we are well equipped to work with clients who don’t live in Sydney or Australia and for whom English may not be a first language. Depending on your preference, we communicate by phone, email and fax. We do not only maintain a standard 9-5 office hours because we understand that our clients are in many different time zones. We are happy to contact you at a time that is convenient. If you have shortlisted certain properties but are unable to inspect them yourself, we will be happy to show them to someone you nominate or can also take detailed room-by-room photos to send to you.
While your skills will take you part of the way, getting a property at a good price only represents a fraction of the property investment equation. With a medium or long term investment horizon, it is more important to pick the right property in the right location than to get a great deal on the purchase. The benefits of acquiring a property at 5% below fair value are quickly eroded if you hold such property in a suburb which grows at 3% per annum as opposed to 10% per annum or if you hold a property that has defects associated with it. Our search process will help you pick the winners over the losers to maximise your potential capital gains.
The cost of using a buyers’ agent can be tax deductible or may be capitalised into the acquisition cost. However, as the outcome varies depending on your own circumstances, we recommend that you to speak to your own accountant regarding this matter.
At the most basic level of example, in the USA, the number of days that a property has been on the market is publicly available. As we know, the longer that a property has been on the market, the more desperate the sellers and their agents are likely to be. This translates to a stronger bargaining position from the buyers’ point of view. In Australia however, this information is not openly disclosed. When buyers’ inquire about this from the selling agents, they usually get the standard response of “recently” or “a couple of weeks”.
Another example is when buyers attend Open for Inspections and the selling agents present “helpful” listings of recent comparable sales in the neighbourhood. What many buyers are not aware of however, is the common practice by selling agents to only list the sales records which are favourable to their sales pitch. Hence they will almost always exclude sales numbers which are not high enough in their opinion.
However, we have access to the same databases and other sources of information used by selling agents Australia-wide. This means that we are able to see how long a property has been on the market, prior sales attempts which may have been un-successful, pricing modifications (for non-auctions) and other information which agents may not wish to disclose openly. We are also able to pull un-biased comparables of all recent sales which selling agents usually filter before showing to prospective buyers.
In other words, by having the same level of access to information as selling agents, we are able to level the playing field for buyers who have traditionally been at a disadvantage against sellers and their agents.
Since we do it professionally and full-time, our reach and focus will far exceed the average buyer. When we search for a property, we do not only search through websites, in community advertisements, foreign language papers and local papers, but also extensively by directly contacting the local agents as well as our industry networks. Although websites are increasingly popular, not all properties available for sale are listed online. This occurs especially in cases where owners would like to maintain privacy or for prestige properties where mainstream marketing is not appropriate. Also, properties may be available for sale even if the owner has not yet put them on the market. In such cases, where a very specific location is sought, we will even canvas owners to find unlisted properties. We will update our search records every day of the week and view new listings prior to the weekend when ordinary buyers visit.
It is important to keep in mind that only one part of our service involves the search itself. We also arm you with focused research and comparables on prospective properties and neighbourhoods and then represent you in the private treaty negotiations.
Of course you can do it on your own, but your information and choices will be more limited. Your counterpart is the seller backed by the selling agent who has detailed market information. For too long now, buyers are entering into one-sided real estate transactions. Why not make sure you are as equipped as the seller when it comes to the negotiation? With better information, you will usually acquire better properties at better prices!
Our fee is very small compared to the gains you can and should make from smart investing. You generally enlist the services of a selling agent to sell your house at the best possible price rather than sell yourself. They do the work for you and provide you with valuable market information. Conversely, you will be equally well served by enlisting a buyers’ agent to make sure you buy the right property at the right price. In fact, since holding periods tend to exceed five years, you are better rewarded from buying the right property than selling at the best price. Your property’s growth and capital gains will depend more on the property characteristics and neighbourhood you choose than the selling agent’s skills when you put your property on the market.
This is a common question related to a misconception. In Australia, by law, a real estate agent can only represent ONE party in a transaction: either the seller or the buyer. A property for sale is usually marketed exclusively by one agent (the selling real estate agent). This very same agent can claim to ‘help’ buyers find a property. But in reality, he/she is only obligated to secure the highest price for his/her client – the seller, and will only show properties that his/her agency is selling. You do not need to resent them for this. You just need to realise that this is what they were hired to do. If you want someone to work solely on your behalf, then you need to hire a buyers’ agent who can level the playing field.
Buyers’ agents are licensed real estate agents just like selling agents. The difference is that most real estate agents work for the seller whereas a buyers’ agent works solely in the best interest of the buyer. Buyers’ agents do not list properties like most other (selling) agents.
Recently the Office of Fair Trading introduced an abridged licensing requirement for those only intending to act as buyers’ agents (with no property management or selling agency business). OH Property Group has the full real estate license and can therefore provide you with property management services (as required) as well. Licensed buyers’ agents in New South Wales are bound by the Rules of Conduct for Buyers’ Agents from the Office of Fair Trading.