• September 24, 2020

We’re always happier to let our results speak for themselves and a number of noteworthy sales last weekend really highlight the inherent strength and resilience in our local market. We’re seeing the most competitive environments for blue-chip properties positioned at a price point that the market believes represents an astute buying decision.

The market is definitely still price driven, with buyers seeking value rather than just diving in headfirst, so correct pricing from the outset is vital. Our team has been working overtime on negotiating sales and carefully managing buyers. We’ve achieved some great results thanks to a strategic approach to presentation, utilising off-market methods to gauge interest, navigating the COVID landscape and helping out vendors living elsewhere.

Despite being more than three weeks into the traditionally busy Spring period, we’re still seeing a shortage of supply, which has been instrumental in keeping prices buoyant by driving competition.

32 Rose Street, Birchgrove

Mark Bowis sold 32 Rose Street, Birchgrove, a three-bedroom Victorian terrace overlooking Birchgrove Oval and Snails Bay. Mark comments, “The vendor was living in the U.S. so we had to do everything to prepare the property and make some highly considered recommendations for worthwhile works to the home. This included external paintwork, redoing the floorboards, enhancing the garden and professional styling to provide purpose to all spaces. While this made it immediately appealing and liveable, there was still plenty of further potential for the new owner.

The response to the marketing campaign was impressive, with 107 groups through and 22 contracts issued. Four of the six registered bidders, including the successful purchaser, were from our database and introduced during an off-market push conducted the week before the auction campaign went live. We had immediate interest from multiple buyers in the first week, with a number wanting to make offers.

To provide the most transparent process for all interested parties, we brought the auction forward a week which created a highly competitive environment. By the second bid, the reserve of $2.5m, which was in line with buyer feedback, had already been exceeded, with the property ultimately selling for $2.78m under the hammer. Comparatively, the house next door, offering the same layout but needing more immediate work and with no garage, sold in May for $2.36m.

In my experience, it’s always the clients who put their faith in agents’ recommendations who get the best outcomes. This strong result also highlights the demand for quality property in a great location, with buyers recognising the long-term benefits and prepared to compete bullishly.”

112 Louisa Road, Birchgrove

Mark Bowis also sold 112 Louisa Road, Birchgrove, a beautifully appointed three-bedroom terrace enjoying an absolute waterfront position complete with a jetty and deep-water boat berth. Mark comments, “The vendors were particularly house proud and the home was already immaculate. However, having good insight into what waterfront buyers are looking for and what they would expect when it comes to the presentation of a home in this price range, we introduced a professional stylist. They undertook a partial style just to add a few extra layers along with some key accessories which complemented the vendor’s existing pieces and really lifted the overall impact.

This was an off-market campaign that ran for 18 days and saw us introduce 23 buyers, issue nine contracts and saw two buyers actively making offers, both of which were introduced from our database. As we had met them previously at other opens, we had a good understanding of what they were looking for and knew they were in a position to purchase immediately if they found the right home. Both buyers negotiated changes to the contract which allowed them to bid with confidence knowing that their favourable terms had been agreed to.

Despite being an off-market sale, we still had to work at creating some urgency for buyers and generate competition. We did this by setting a timeframe and being very transparent about how the process was going to run. Consequently, the result was well above the vendor’s expectations and set a record price for a Birchgrove waterfront without parking.

There’s no doubt that COVID has impacted everyone this year and made changes to our way of life, however the property market has held up very well and has proven resilient. Even though we have seen softening over the last six months of around 5%, we’ve still had about 9% growth since July last year.

I think it’s going to be a great Spring selling season. Our auction clearance rate is sitting around 83% compared to the Sydney average of around 50%. Stock levels remain fairly tight and recent results prove there’s high demand for Inner West property that’s well presented and positioned with a reasonable selling guide.”

16/8-10 Lookes Avenue, Balmain East

Anthony Ross and Matt Hayson sold 16/8-10 Lookes Avenue, Balmain East, a two-bedroom waterfront reserve apartment with uninterrupted north-easterly harbour and city views. Anthony comments, “Marketed for the first time since the block was built in 1971, this was a rare offering and a vital sale for the owner who had some health challenges, so every additional dollar helped his care.

We presented premium marketing and set a realistic yet engaging price guide. There are upcoming works to the building meaning increased levies and we made sure to present this information to buyers to assist with their due diligence. Given its undeniably spectacular location, we had interest from buyers right across Sydney, with double the average views online, 21 contracts issued and 11 registered bidders on the day, five of whom bid. The ultimate buyer was from out of the area, however the majority of interested parties were from within our network, including two bidders who already resided in the building.

With solid competition in the $1.8m – $2m price range, we established that an auction would be the ideal strategy to not only achieve the best price but to allow it to happen in an open, transparent forum. The ultimate purchaser paid $2.4m under the hammer and set a building record by $650,000. He commented “how do you put a price on this view?”  

Multiple auction results across the area over the past few weeks have demonstrated that good property is still highly sought after and buyers will pursue the right property aggressively.”

15a Flood Street, Leichhardt

After selling 15a Flood Street, Leichhardt when it was newly built in 2018 for $2.64m, Santos Sulfaro and Frank Sulfaro resold the luxurious five-bedroom residence last weekend for $2.8m. “This represents an increase of 6% which is encouraging given everything the market has been through this year,” says Santos.

“We began the campaign off-market to test the waters as the vendors wanted to keep a low profile and only wanted genuine buyers inspecting – they didn’t want a signboard or professional styling. We presented the property as close as possible to how it was previously marketed when brand new, using existing photos and videos. At this point some past clients expressed interest but were not quite ready to buy.

We then advertised on to increase exposure and strategically used social media to target the right buyers, including Instagram, FaceBook and YouTube. We also contacted buyers within our network database who had previously inspected similar properties.

In the end we issued three contracts and negotiated a great price thanks to constant communication with buyers, including keeping them up to date with weekly comparable results in the immediate area.”

4 Gordon Street, Rozelle

Matt Hayson and Rosemary Chen sold 4 Gordon Street, Rozelle, securing a buyer prior to the scheduled auction. The pair marketed the transformed four-bedroom terrace for clients based in the Hunter region. Matt says, “We put a great deal of effort into preparing the property perfectly. We were so fastidious that we swapped the furniture staging to make sure everything looked just right. With a property of this calibre it’s about refining the small things that add up to make a big impact. We’re delighted that our vendors can now move on with their life plans.”  

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