Homesearch Solutions is proud to announce that we have reached a significant milestone in 2019 – we are celebrating 20 years as real estate Buyers Agents.
Since 1999 we have assisted people from all walks of life achieve their property goals, including : politicians, judges, business CEO’s, doctors, solicitors, accountants, bankers, movie directors, IT specialists, financial advisors, small business owners, travel agents, plumbers, electricians, teachers, nurses, farmers, miners, retirees, professional property investors, and many more.
Homesearch Solutions has facilitated the purchase of a wide variety of property and budgets, ranging from premium waterfront houses right through to tiny studio units.
The Changing Landscape
The landscape for Buyers Agents has changed dramatically over the last 20 years.
As one of Sydney’s first Buyers Agents, in 1999 there was very little awareness of what it was that we actually did. In fact when we started we were even unsure what to actually call ourselves. In the very early days we used the terms Real Estate Assistants, and Home Search Services, and then settled on the term Buyers Agents.
20 years ago the general public had absolutely little idea what it was we did of how we could help them. And while some Real Estate Agents had heard of Buyers Agents, they were unfamiliar working with us and initially we were viewed as an interference. Some even incorrectly thought we were after a share of their commission, such as is commonplace in the United States.
How times have changed. Now the vast majority of Sales Agents have dealt with or at least understand the role of the Buyers Agent. We endeavour to have good professional relationships with Sales Agents, although always strongly representing our client’s interests. Sales agents understand the importance of our role, and value the qualified clients we bring to the table who are ready and financially approved to buy.
With an abundance of buyers agents now operating in Sydney, in the future we expect firms to specialise in particular areas of Sydney (eg North Shore or Eastern Suburbs) rather than cover multiple areas. Some sales agents have recently opened up buyers agent divisions in their companies, however in our view this blurrs the lines and can create a potential for a conflict of interest.
And how the times have changed with technology too! Days were spent trawling through the Wentworth Courier, Mosman Daily & North Shore Times, plus the trusty Sydney Morning Herald Property Section. Before the internet and email, there was no such thing as sending a quick email update of our search progress. Our work revolved around telephone conversations, and in the early days from a fixed line.
We had to fax through property brochures in black and white to our clients. There was no uploading property photos to the cloud for almost instant access for our clients to view either. We sometimes even had to use the international post to send clients photos! Thank goodness for the positive changes modern technology has made to our industry.
Anecdotes of a Buyers Agent? ?
We’ve had many laughs, some nerve-wracking moments and great stories to tell over the last 20 years (with no names mentioned of course).
Here’s a few of our favourites:
- During the private sale of his Eastern Suburbs apartment, the vendor asked my client out on a romantic date which definitely complicated the negotiations
- Dealing with a high end sales agent who gave us formal ‘offer and acceptance” on a house without checking with the vendor first, which nearly created World War 3
- Providing a signed contract as an offer to a sales agent on his first day on the job – he had absolutely no idea what to do with it !
- Working with an overseas client who did not think twice about calling for a general chat at midnight
- A vendor unscrewing & removing all the bathroom mirrors before settlement as they were not listed as contract inclusions (it is not normally necessary) – he was unhappy we squeezed him too far down on price !
- Secretly trying to buy a house next door for a client for an investment. He simply wanted to be able to lop the trees from that property to improve his harbour view
- Having a client engage our services with no intention of buying a home. He was planning to start up as a rival Buyers Agent and was secretly after some career & service tips
- Being physically accosted by the owners of the “hoarder’s house” in Bondi, even though I was only doing a drive past
- Not having calls returned by a Northern Beaches sales agent after submitting an offer – I had to by-pass him and complete the deal with the vendor’s solicitor instead
- Having to stop an auction because my mobile service went blank to an overseas client I was bidding for – I had to use the owners fixed phone line in the house to continue bidding
- Winning an auction after the other bidder got really confused and retracted her bid before the fall of the hammer to me
- Our rather unusual search for a house in the Inner West with a block of land with no trees due to our client’s arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- The inspection of a waterfront house owned by a well known criminal awaiting a murder trial – he was present and followed us around the entire time giving everyone the creeps
- Our search clients often take weeks or months, however for one client we were able to exchange contracts on a purchase on the very first day of the search in the Eastern Suburbs
- Turning up to an inspection in the Inner West where the sales agent had just finished a very long liquid lunch and was slurring her words and bumping into the furniture
- Bidding at auction under the flight path in the Inner West with the auctioneer and bidders unable to hear the bids due to plane noise
- More than once needing to act as an amateur marriage counsellor for spouses with different ideas on their maximum spend amount
- Having to insist that the sales agent turned their mobile off while exchanging contracts due to an afternoon dutch auction and continuing gazumping risk
- Before the internet and email made everything easier, we usually had to fax through property brochures in black and white, and even had to use the international post to send clients photos
- Being mistakenly emailed the sales agent’s buyers summary list on a property with comments, after we had made an offer – he gave the whole game away !
- Buying a client her North Shore childhood home back, in strictly confidential negotiations
- Unable to inspect a house that had 2 Doberman dogs making it impossible to get access – the tenant didn’t want the owner to sell
- Missing out at auction to another buyer who arrived at the last minute and got the winning bid. He hadn’t done any due diligence and asked the sales agent if he could pay the deposit by gold American Express card
- Having a client turn up to a premium North Shore house inspection in an old torn t-shirt, thongs and stubby shorts, while the rest of us were in suits – the client can dress as he pleases !
Homesearch Solutions Services
Since commencing operations in 1999, we have assisted local, interstate and overseas buyers with purchases totalling over $1.5 Billion. We’ve purchased residential, commercial and industrial property for both home owners and investors.
Our services include property search, auction bidding, negotiation and property appraisals. We also offer other sales advisory services and general property consultancy.