Finding a Home in Amazing Armadale

By Cate Bakos on 15 Oct 2013
1 Comment

A wonderful client of mine spent five weeks searching for her home before she inspected 43 Llaneast Street in Armadale ten days ago.

I knew she’d found a house that could become her home when I got an excited phone call after her inspection.

I didn’t waste any time; in this buyer-fuelled environment I can’t afford to let one minute pass by when a client gives me a positive report on a property. I contacted the agent and inspected it at the first available opportunity.

The Property

I could see exactly what it was that had captured my buyer’s heart.

This beautiful Edwardian single fronted cottage was both polished to perfection and loved and lived in.

From the period detailing, stunning fireplaces, stained glass windows and beautiful north facing bay window, to the ceasarstone kitchen benches, French doors, private rear paved garden oasis and modern stone bathroom, this home had it all – and suited my buyer down to the ground. I could envisage her grandchildren playing safely in the rear yard and so could she.

The Location

The house itself was only half of the assignment.

Location, proximity to family and finding a quiet, appealing street were factors not to be overlooked.

43 Llaneast didn’t disappoint – it is a quiet cul de sac off bustling Glenferrie Road in Malvern. Cafes, restaurants and a vibrant high street with a true soul were moments away on foot. I had to concede that my buyer had nailed the brief when she found this property.

In fact, its only detractor was that it didn’t feature a garage, but it was a shortcoming that she was prepared to forgive on balance.

Securing the Property at a Good Price

The challenging part was ensuring that I could secure it at a good price. In this auction environment, good properties in good locations are snapped up like hotcakes and as such, they fare really well when they go to auction.

Diminishing interest rates, combined with stronger buyer sentiment and investors re-entering the market with gusto have given Melbourne’s glossy inner suburbs a reinvigorated supply/demand equation.

“I had to concede that my buyer had nailed the brief when she found this property.”

Prices have grown considerably since this time last year and with auction clearance rates above 85 per cent in some of these well-loved blue-chip suburbs, there is every chance a vendor’s reserve will not only be surpassed, but obliterated.

I witnessed a recent situation where the reserve was exceeded by $325,000 for a property in Melbourne’s leafy east; and at a final sale price of $1.2 million, that magnitude of excess was notable.

Our Strategy

On this occasion, I made a decision to try to mitigate that risk by taking the house off the market prior to auction.  I knew that another buyer’s agent had expressed interest in the property, and several Section 32s had been requested.

I discussed the opportunity to pounce prior to auction with the listing agent. She confirmed that the vendor would be open to offers before the auction, but obviously at an appropriate price.

Now this is when the onus is on the buyer to do the right due diligence. They need to understand not only the value of the property, but the value they’ll need to put forward to entice the vendor, without paying over and above market value.

I carefully prepared a recent comparable sales report for my buyer and I found an anomaly that was skewing the data.

A very similar but unrenovated property had recently sold in what was arguably the less attractive end of the street for some 15 per cent more than I believed its value to be, based on other similar properties in the area.

I called the property’s selling agent to discuss this sale anomaly in order to validate my research. It was confirmed that it was a particularly competitive auction and the sale price had exceeded the vendor’s reserve by a wide margin.

With that feedback I was able to compile the data and offer my buyer a tightly appraised price band to consider.

Our Offer

We offered a price we felt reasonable and representative of value, yet not so strong that it would be a case of overpaying. The vendors considered our offer overnight. On Friday, they decided to place the property on the market. 

We’d already conducted a building inspection report, obtained full finance pre-approval and had a solicitor review the contract. There were nine days until the auction. In light of the fact that the competing buyers had only six hours from Friday morning to decide whether or not they wanted to bid, we were able to successfully purchase the home with our first offer.

The Final Result

Unfortunately I can’t disclose what the contract price is until 5pm today because the property is still subject to a cooling off period, and is hence still under contract. On request I’ll be happy to add the purchase details in the comments section below. [update: The purchase price was $1.225 million].

But the special thing about this particular assignment was that my buyer found her home – or more accurately, her home found her, and she didn’t have to risk losing it at auction to a buyer with a bolder budget.

She secured it swiftly and decisively and at a very fair price, not a premium.

I’ll miss working with this buyer – she became very special and I’m delighted we could nail this stunning home before auction in such a competitive market.

For more information about Armadale, read our suburb profile here

Points of Interest in Armadale, Postcode 3143

Armadale Primary School
The King David School – Southwick Campus
Armadale Railway Station
City of Stonnington

About the Author

Cate Bakos is an independent buyers advocate and qualified property investment advisor and has proudly been a property investor for 17 years. Cate has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry (Hons), Certificate 4 in Property Services (Real Estate), a Certificate 4 in Financial Services (Mortgage Broking). She is also a licensed real estate and a Qualified Property Investment Advisor accredited by Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

  1. Cameron said...

    Hi Cate – insightful article, as always. Could you let us know the contract price?

    October 16, 2013 @ 10:29 am


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