• October 22, 2020

Given its location, rich history and stature, 1 Campbell Lane, Balmain was always going to generate plenty of interest and intrigue. As Balmain’s largest private waterfront landholding, the 1,752sqm property had been held in the same family for more than 60 years, making it all the more sought-after.

Encompassing a grand, near-original sandstone Georgian Victorian home, the north-east facing block has a rare 22m deep water frontage. It offered up vast scope for restoration as a single estate, potential for sub-division or possible alternative uses subject to the necessary approvals.

The vendors engaged Danny Cobden and Samantha Elvy to market the property. The pair has long been the go-to team for top-tier sales, having sold more prestige waterfront properties over the years than any other local agents, transacting multiple properties over the $10m mark.

Of the carefully executed sales strategy, Danny comments, “Our appointment for this unique sale came down to our experience, reputation and credibility in this sector, having a long history selling in the premium waterfront market for about two decades.

Correct pricing is crucial with a sale such as this. You only get one opportunity to get it right and if you get it wrong you can find the property languishing on the market for a long time and ultimately achieving less than what the property is truly worth.

Danny said, “one of the most frustrating aspects of my role can be to see a premium property listed with another agent at an unrealistic price as a result of poor advice or a lack of understanding of this sector of the market”. “In some instances, there are examples of properties that are 10-30 percent overpriced which are invariably dismissed by those knowledgeable and savvy buyers who are simply too busy to engage with unrealistic vendors.” “Invariably, the best sales always happen in the first 3-4 weeks when those best buyers in the market recognise the rare nature of an offering and react decisively and promptly which was the case in rlation to this new record sale.

While correct pricing is imperative, of equal importance is the ability of agents to impart their knowledge to buyers. With these special properties buyers know they’re not going to get a bargain – they simply don’t exist – but neither do they want to overpay. After 25+ years in this sector of the market I can instil confidence in buyers’ minds that they’re paying the right money.

Because this property was so special the response to the marketing campaign was phenomenal, however we have to be realistic and recognise that the pool of buyers at this price point in our area is relatively small. We don’t have the volume of $10m+ sales that the Lower North Shore and Eastern Suburbs have. And not only was this a multimillion dollar home but it needed several million spent in renovations, so you’re going up another level in terms of price, making the buyer pool even smaller.

You also need to be conscious that your buyer isn’t necessarily someone who’s actively engaged with the market, out there looking on a daily basis and registering their interest with agents or major portals – quite the contrary. In this instance, the interest that we had was from people already known to us, so our network proved invaluable here.

With a property of this nature, it stands to reason that the buyer is someone who’s achieved some significant level of success and they’ve usually established their roots in their area of choice. As such, we generally see these properties sell to such families who are upgrading locally as they’re already entrenched in the community. Alternatively, there’s a smaller pool of out-of-area buyers who’ve specifically identified that Balmain is where they’d like to move to as their desired destination.

Given our presence in the market, we can justifiably command the reputation as being the agency that has the best handle on who is looking in the $5m+ sector of the market.

The property was earmarked for an Expressions of Interest campaign closing several weeks later however we made it known that it was available for sale then and there, encouraging people to make offers. The deal was struck 10 days after launching the property online, achieving Balmain’s highest-priced house sale.

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