Don’t tell the agent much
Where the majority of real estate agents in Australia might use the philosophy of ‘Always be selling’, as an educated buyer you need to be using the philosophy of ‘Always be questioning’ when buying a property, and especially when buying at auction.
As harsh as this sounds, it’s good practice to always assume the real estate agents are lying to you. And more importantly, it’s critical for you to maintain your independence when it comes to getting reports and researching facts about the property.
Remember a good real estate agent will work hard for the seller to get the best price so they aren’t working for you as the buyer, and most agents are paid commission to sell the property. You need to put your best foot forward, and by asking the right questions you can quickly identify potential issues on the property, get a better idea on the value of the property and the seller’s motivations, and make an offer that will put you way ahead of your competition.
- Why are the vendors (sellers) selling the property?
- How long has the property been for sale?
- Are the sellers willing to take offers before the auction?
- Have any other offers been received?
- Have any of these offers been refused?
- Have the owners bought another property?
Regardless of whether you feel comfortable with the real estate agent, the important thing is to tell them almost nothing.
Just ask lots of questions, and don’t give them information that they can use to get more money from you—they may ask how much you have been pre-approved for, the amount you have for your deposit, or if you currently own a property.
Stay strong and answer any of their questions by saying you have finance approved and a good deposit in place.