How local is real estate?
Do you need a local real estate agent to rent or sell your property? When you ask an agent the answer varies of course, depending on A.) where your property is located and B.) where the agent’s based! We thought it time we covered it here.
Let’s talk property management first as it’s simplest. In the 1980’s and 1990’s (the “olden days” as my kids like to call them) you needed a local property manager and by local we mean within 2-3 km of your property. Tenants would go to the agency to look in the window for a place to rent, to collect keys to inspect them, then to call in every week to pay their rent. And we’d go to the property to collect the cash for overdue rent. Lots of to and fro.
With the internet’s dominance in advertising, accompanied leasing inspections and online payment methods, location is no longer critical to your choice of Brisbane property manager. Except for this: Make sure your agent understands the market in your area. The best promotion, and therefore the greatest choice of tenants and best rents, are achieved when the agent ‘gets’ why someone would choose that neighbourhood. If your real estate agent’s at Kenmore they may not fully understand the appeal of East Brisbane. The subtle details of local shops, transport options, cafes and the like. A great property manager has the local experience or spends the time to get this right. We’d argue inner-Brisbane suburbs have a different lifestyle to the ‘burbs and residents respond to different drawcards.
Selling a property is inevitably more local, and where the ‘neighbourhood nuances’ become critical. Promotion needs to be spot-on, the real touch points of your home exploited, buyers’ desires heightened by burrowing into the detail to show why your place really is different and better. Every local area has those local issues that can be missed by an outsider. Some are easy to pick – in Highgate Hill the catchment for Brisbane State High School is a huge attraction that must be on your advert. Some harder – in parts of Milton for example there’s demand from investors for amalgamating sites for future development.
And, despite their claims, no real estate agent can be an expert in all geographic patches.
Pricing advice is trickier still and one reason we’d suggest a good, experienced local agent will always be more accurate than a licensed property valuer. It’s their hands-on experience in showing similar local property. Knowing that house on the market analysis looks like it sold cheaply, then being able to explain that it was because it was a family home but had kids bedrooms too far from the master. The intimate knowledge that helps predict market response in setting your price, then managing buyer negotiations to ensure they see value where it’s deserved.
It’s the subtle stuff. All agents can access those reports. Many can prepare and conduct a great campaign for your sale. The great agents dig into the meaningful detail to help you stand out of the crowd and earn that premium price. They don’t need to be local, but it’s harder for them if they’re not.
PS: Bees Nees City Realty specialises in Brisbane inner suburbs, within approx 5km of the CBD. If you’re after expert help with suburban housing we’re the wrong team for you – we’d get lost!