Buyer fatigue – yes, it’s real but it’s not forever

There’s no doubt about it – the Brisbane property market is scorching and supply is tighter than I’ve ever seen. Every week I hear stories from burnt-out buyers (before they’ve worked with me of course) who’ve been disappointed one too many times.

They’ve done all the right things that usually work in a seller’s market (offered 5 per cent above the asking, etc) and they’re still missing out. “What can you do when someone from Melbourne is prepared to pay $100k+ above the reserve?” despaired one friend recently.

I understand their frustration because this is an unusual set of circumstances we’re dealing with. It’s not normal to be knocked back again and again like this, and it can’t last. If this sounds familiar, I hope the following tips can help you heal your fatigue and come out fighting.

Adjust the brief (but don’t ditch it altogether)
Sometimes people become fixated on a particular pocket of a suburb where they once lived and won’t budge… The reality is that you can still enjoy a fantastic lifestyle five or 10 minutes down the road. Staying open-minded usually leads to better results.

I usually advise clients to stick to the plan and maintain focus when it comes to their criteria. In these unusual times, however, it may be necessary to reset your expectations. Would you consider buying slightly further out? What about on the other side of the highway? Have you thought about this neighbouring area where the schools are highly rated but the blocks are bigger?

Keep on going
Of course it’s super-disappointing when you miss out on a great house you could see yourself living in. When this happens, I find it helps to remind yourself of all the down sides of that property (all houses have them) and move on quickly. Was it on a main road? Did it need a lot of work? Did the person who bought it overpay massively? Keep these negatives in mind when you start to romanticise a particular property. Perseverance is key in times like these. You’ll end up in the right house eventually, I promise.

Don’t compromise on due diligence and NEVER SETTLE
An acquaintance (not one of my clients) told me just last week that she and her husband had to go in with a “clean contract” (no conditions) to secure their 1970s brick property in a prestigious Brisbane suburb. No finance. No building and pest inspections. Flexible settlement date. They agreed to take the house as is, and this was not at auction. I was shocked, but I understood.

If you’ve been disappointed a hundred times and eaten into your deposit with B&P inspections, it’s very tempting. But I would never ever recommend it. Too risky and not necessary. Even with off-market buys, I will always insist the appropriate steps are taken with inspections and approvals. If you have panic-bought a dud, come see me or another buyer’s advocate for advice.

Stop listening to naysayers
Honestly, every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion about the property market these days – especially those comfortably settled in appreciating assets they bought years ago. Trust me when I say that not many of them know what they’re talking about. Listening to your uncle, neighbour or workmate about house prices will only drain you further when you’re in the throes of buyer’s fatigue. Change the subject.

Seek help! Engage a buyer’s advocate
When you’ve had it up to here, a buyer’s advocate can come in fresh and completely re-invigorate your property search. We see things from angles you probably haven’t considered, and are privy to industry gossip that can change the game. Let’s just say things aren’t always as they seem. Plus, we can shoulder the more frustrating aspects of buying a house: the phone calls, the market monitoring, the paperwork.

If you’re about ready to throw in the towel, give me a call and tell me about your experience.