I didn't set out to sell existing residential real estate

Returning home to Australia after 12 years in finance in London, the plan was to obtain my real estate licence to be the sales arm of a small property-developing syndicate in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Teaming up with an architect-developer and a builder, we’ve purchased a cluster of adjacent sites to develop and then sell.  
However, while we’re waiting for our development application to be approved (the Waverley Council lead times are very long…) I’ve chatted with a lot of Bronte locals and heard a recurring theme of disappointment regarding the standard of real estate sales experiences. Which got me thinking.

We had a similarly bad experience when selling our home in London, and here in Sydney, I was utterly gobsmacked at the costs involved for vendors. So, putting my newly-attained real estate licence to use I offered to sell my busy Bronte neighbour’s property off-market for her. Selling off-market meant avoiding the considerable marketing costs and the property preparation hassles associated with a typical sale. As her property is the type that’s in high demand for investors, I shopped it around to buyers’ agents instead of doing a traditional marketing campaign. My neighbour rolled the dice and took a chance on me and my off-piste proposal, and five weeks later the property was sold for $40,000 (or 3.3%) above her expectations, in a challenging market. And then there was the extra $5-10k she was able to save on marketing spend and the hours saved on preparing the property for open home inspections. 

So with my first property development still several months away from approval, I have decided to branch out and sell more residential properties in my local area – Bronte, Clovelly, Tamarama. Most locals I speak to agree there is room for a different kind of real estate agent and a better selling experience.

An off-market sale will not be the best approach for every property. Some properties may be better suited to an on-market campaign, but not necessarily an auction. Some vendors may wish to sell their property discretely. Taking a bespoke view and asking what’s the best way to sell this particular property? is my approach. As an agent this tailored method isn’t the easiest way to sell a property – the easiest way is selling every property the same, traditional way, which allows for higher, quicker volumes of sales – or “churn”. But for the vendor, a bespoke approach is the most effective way – it results in the optimum price, the lowest costs and the least stress.