We deal with a lot of buyers. Hundreds per week. Thousands per year. There are over a million contacts in our database across the Jellis Craig network.

If you’ve ever enquired on or inspected a Jellis Craig property, you’re in there.

One of our fundamental roles as real estate agents is qualifying buyers.

For a typical sales campaign in Stonnington we see 30 – 60 groups inspect. If all goes well, this results in one purchaser, and up to a handful of other buyers who were interested and ready to buy but for one reason or another missed out.

This still means that 90 percent of those inspecting are not actually genuine buyers for the property. Usually because they aren’t interested, aren’t ready, aren’t motivated enough, don’t have the budget, or otherwise are not able to buy.

We try to help all buyers, at all stages of their search. Most buyers do eventually buy. And most buyers eventually become sellers. So it’s a win-win.

But for the sake of our vendors, our primary concern is to sift through the buyer list and work out who the genuine contenders are so that we can help educate, prepare and coach them to successfully secure the property, and thereby maximise the outcome for our clients.

For ease and efficiency, we agents tend to “stereotype” or “profile” buyers into one of many categories outlined below… Which one are you?

(Humour intended)

The Sticky Beak – Usually a neighbour from the street or an adjacent street who has no real estate plans but likes to see other people’s houses and has a vested interest in the vendors getting a strong price. If they are feeling self-conscious about being nosy, they will often say they are “looking for a friend”. We like sticky beaks. They make our opens appear busier and if we can get their address and keep in touch, we may get to sell their home in a decade or so. When we tell them the price range they reply, “surely it will get more than that!”

The Well-Intentioned Parent – Usually a Baby Boomer and often from out of area, these proactive parents come and inspect properties often without their child even knowing, let alone having any intention of buying anytime soon. They always take a brochure and often ask to borrow a pen to make notes. We are very surprised if the child ends up inspecting themselves.

The Browser – Usually on their first or second weekend of looking, these buyers try to pack in 10 – 12 opens on Saturday and, therefore, race through very quickly and seem to be fed up by 12pm. They are doing their very early research, don’t know exactly what they want and haven’t spoken to a broker or bank yet. They learn very quickly not to answer the phone on Monday mornings when 10 different agents try to follow them up.

The Serial Inspector – A buyer who has been stuck in the ‘browsing’ phase for several years and has inspected more than 50 properties but never seems to be interested in any of them. Agents learn to stop calling them after their twentieth encounter.

The Opportunist – These buyers pop up in a declining market after reading 107 doom and gloom articles on property prices “crashing”. They usually leave the inspection with a comment such as, “give me a call if it passes in”. They rarely, if ever, buy.

The Downsizer – These passive buyers have more non-negotiables than any other buyer profile and are “not in a rush”. They would like a garage, north-facing, brick, freestanding, very close to shops, downstairs master bedroom and excellent storage. They are concerned their furniture won’t fit in the living room. They have a very good budget but it’s difficult for them to take the plunge. They have been looking since 2016.

The Investor – Making up less than 20 percent of the buyer pool, these Gen X or Baby Boomers will have a really good crack if they find the right property, and unwittingly crush the dreams of many first home buyers at auction. They usually say they “are not emotional” about the purchase but are just as wooed by nice presentation and styling as the next buyer. They often only inspect once and will “see how it goes at auction”.

The Active Buyer – These are buyers in their second phase, having progressed through the ‘browsing’ phase last year. They have their finance pre-approval, have inspected more than 20 properties and are “ready to go if we find the right place”, but they haven’t actually bid or offered on anything yet. But they are close. They are not to be discounted.

The Hot Buyer – This is an active buyer who has actually bid or offered on one or more properties. If interested they will inspect twice, request the contract, engage with the agent and be comfortable discussing terms and interest. We can rely on these buyers to put their hand up at auction. Hot buyers are getting excellent service from numerous agents who are regularly referring them properties.

The Rebound Underbidder – This is a hot buyer who has just missed out on their dream home, and they still haven’t gotten over it. They have been the direct underbidder on two or more properties and are starting to feel disgruntled and desperate. They love an off-market opportunity and are happy to pay a price above the odds to save the hurt of missing out again. These buyers are pure gold for agents, and we have their number saved in our phone.

Do you fit into one of these stereotypes? Have I missed any? I look forward to hearing from you.

Feature Image: 17 McKinley Ave, Malvern

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