Spoiler alert! The answer is YES.
Most of the time anyway.
Have you ever come across the perfect property online only to call the agent and be told it is already under contract? Like many other frustrated buyers, you’re probably asking yourself, why then is it still advertised as being available!!
I often have buyers complaining to me that all the properties they enquire about listed on realestate.com.au or some other real estate internet portal seem to be sold, or under contract.
Why is this?
I can see why this can be frustrating for buyers, especially after the second or third time they come across a property that ticks the boxes, but then realise it has been placed under contract.
Buyers often ask me why agents leave properties online available for sale when they know the property is sold.
More to the point, I'm going to share with you 3 reasons why the properties you see online are already sold and how you can avoid missing out.
There can be a number of reasons why an agent will continue to “market” a property for sale online when in fact it has already been sold, or put under contract.
IT'S THE SELLERS INSTRUCTIONS
Firstly, sellers often instruct their agents to continue to market the property until it goes unconditional, that is, there are no more conditions to be met on the contract, and the property is essentially sold and waiting to settle.
It’s kind of like a back up plan should the contract fall over (not proceed) for any reason and the seller feels he has not lost any time. Agents will encourage this even if the seller has not made clear instructions because the last thing they want to do is start all over again with the marketing. A pet hate of most agents is having to sell a property twice.
TO ATTRACT MORE BUYERS
Secondly, agents keep marketing the property to attract more buyer enquiry. In a hot market like the one we’re currently in, most salespeople aren’t really seeking more buyers but the pro-active ones will see this as a great opportunity to build their database for the future.
It might sound annoying to you as a buyer, but this is a tactic agents use to lure you in. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because if the agent happens to have a similar property to the one you enquired about in the pipeline, you could be first in line when this new property is listed for sale.
THE AGENT FORGETS
Finally, they simply forget. With all the running around signing contracts and showing properties, the agent or their assistant for that matter, get too busy and forget to update their listings online.
So how do you work around all of this and seek out the properties that are in fact still available to be purchased?
It’s disappointing to admit, but the truth of the matter is in a fast moving market, a great property never even gets to realestate.com.au.
Because there are so many buyers lining up in the pipeline to snap it up as soon as it’s listed.
The agent will probably only advertise it online for the reasons I’ve described above.
That is, to fish out more buyers or satisfy the seller’s instructions.
The best way to get the jump on properties is to get on as many agent databases as you can.
Even this won’t ensure you 100% success but it will help.
Working with a Buyer’s Agent like myself or someone who is connected to many agents will give you the best chance of securing the best property, but even so, timing plays a huge part in all of this.
So where to from here?
If you’re house hunting alone, my advice is to get in touch with the most prominent agents in the areas you wish to buy and get them to add you to their buyers database.
Tell them you’re reading to buy when the right property comes up and give them a full and specific description of what you’re looking for in a property.
From here, keep in touch with them. Don’t rely on the agent to contact you. Be the pro-active one and actively stay in touch with them until you can secure the right property.
Happy house hunting!