When Jane Briscoe began the process of finding a new family home in Sydney’s North in early 2022, never could she have imagined just how much of her time would be devoted to the search.
“I seriously thought it would only take three to six months,” she said.
“In May last year, the interest rates had just started to rise, and people were getting nervous.
“I inspected over 80 houses in 14 months before we eventually secured our new home.
“I’m proud to say that I now consider many of the local agents to be very close friends – one agent who didn’t even get the sale was so relieved on our behalf that he gave us a bottle of champagne to celebrate!”
Throughout her search, Ms Briscoe had downloaded Before You Bid reports for six properties, when an offer on their eventual new home was finally accepted.
Three keen buyers had also downloaded the report but Ms Briscoe and her family won the day.
Ms Briscoe is not alone in investing money to download reports for more than one property.
According to recent analysis of BYB data, in the six months to June, 45 per cent of buyers who bought a home during that period had downloaded multiple BYB reports before making a successful purchase.
For thousands of potential buyers across Australia, this can prove to be a very expensive exercise if they are forced to organise their own inspection.
“We didn’t want to pay $600 for a report for any ‘maybe’ property”, Ms Briscoe said.
“There are enough expenses in selling and buying.
“However, the Before You Bid option was realistically priced.
“We needed a report to ensure we knew the repair costs of what we were venturing into, and we didn’t mind spending $50 on effectively the same report we would have received had we sourced it ourselves.”
Ordering reports prior to the commencement of the campaign is hugely beneficial to agents and vendors as well.
Gartland Partner and Director of Residential Sales, Will Ainsworth, a leading Australian real estate agent based in Geelong, earned a vendor an extra $36,000 just by having a report ready for download on auction day.
“A buyer who had not stepped foot in the home at all during the campaign reached out two hours before the auction”, Mr Ainsworth recalled.
“Simply because we could provide them with access to both the sales contract and a link to download the building and pest report within a minute, they had enough confidence to bid.
“Whilst they weren’t the successful buyer, they raised the paddle for the first time when bidding had stalled, and the reserve had been reached.
“They pushed the eventual buyer to pay more, which wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t prepared for the unexpected.”
There are two main reasons given by some agents for not getting a report prior to the start of the campaign.
The first is that they don’t know how to justify the cost of a report to vendors as part of the marketing discussion, and the second is they fear there might be issues with the property that might jeopardise the sale.
Mr Ainsworth has no problem justifying the inclusion of a BYB report in a every marketing campaign, he simply references examples like the one above. But when it comes to addressing issues that might be revealed in the report?
“I never review the BYB report pre-campaign, as I am not the authority on defects or building issues,” he said.
“However, it’s critical that I retain control of the negotiation by having access to the report if the buyer raises any concerns.”
As someone who could now be considered an absolute expert in the buying process, what advice would Ms Briscoe give to agents who don’t remove a simple barrier to purchase such as providing a discounted condition report for download?
“Searching for a home is all-consuming and incredibly stressful for a buyer,” she said.
“Please do everything you can to avoid it being an inefficient use of our time, and a costly exercise at that.”
If you are an agent and want to join thousands of other agents across the country who are creating a more seamless transaction process, contact Before You Bid here.