Could you knock on the door of your dream home and ask to buy it?
Of all of the problems facing millennial buyers, the lack of available properties is definitely up there. You flick through the listings, shortlist some places within your budget, only to show up to an inspection with hundreds of other interested parties. What chance do you stand?
Recently we’ve spoken to a couple of savvy investors who’ve been door-knocking their way into property ownership. Yes indeed, simply finding a place they like, having a cuppa with the owner and politely asking if they’d like to hand it over.
According to Jim Leaf from Landchecker, a site that enables people to do their own site due diligence, people are getting better at understanding exactly what they’re snapping up. In some cases, they’re cutting out the auctions completely. Through sites like Landchecker, people can search planning zones and overlays as well as downloading property reports.
‘We have a product on the site called property matchmaker. The buyers' side is currently centred more towards developers and sophisticated buyers. You can search for property by suburb, land size, zoning and frontage which can't be done on other platforms, you can even exclude undesirable overlays,’ he explains.
‘There’s also a sell feature, so if there’s a buyer interested in your property, you can purchase their details and start talking to them,’ he adds. Pretty handy if you want to cut out commissions on a home you found yourself.
Whether you use a tool like this or do your own detective work, it’s simply worth knowing that you can take more control of your search for a home than ever before. ‘Sometimes people don’t understand that there might be a flooding or heritage overlay that restricts development or other things that perhaps the agents and vendors don’t want to come out and tell you,’ Jim says.
The team’s aim is to make all the information accessible whether you’re doing your initial research or considering making an offer. ‘Traditional sites such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au are classifieds. We’ll be that with more meaningful data.’
They're definitely onto something with this whole data caper. There’s little doubt our ability to spot a dodgy property will only improve as our data dissection skills get better. Data can only take you so far, though. It’s not going to open the door and let you in, but if you are in talks with an agent, understanding the stats can certainly put you in a stronger position.