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Creative Buyer Opportunities

A good deal in a flat market is a creative deal. Maree Tassell shares some of her most out-of-thebox strategies..

By: Maree Tassell

1 October 2018

I’m intrigued by what investors call a “good deal” and nine times out of 10 the stock standard description from investors is that it means a property must be purchased “below value”.

While I agree that we make our money when we buy well, a good purchase need not be limited exclusively to an immediate financial win. Let me explain…

As we move into a flat market, also known as a “buyer’s market”, it’s an opportune time as investors to be creative in our negotiations. In a hot market you have to move fast, compete against more people and often be left out of pocket if you are not successful at auction, even after you have invested in due diligence.

I love a flat market as we have a lot more options as buyers. Vendors are now competing for YOUR attention so this is an opportunity for you to ask for what you want.

Delayed Settlement

This is one of my favourite flat market strategies. Two of my best deals ever were when I paid “market value” for a property (i.e. I did not get an immediate discount) but I got two and a half years and 18 months’ delayed settlements. This gave me an opportunity to add significant value to these properties, even in a flat market. The amazing thing is it wasn’t just me who was happy, the vendors were very happy too.

I’ve also done a number of deals with delayed settlements of six to 12 weeks where I have been able to get in and renovate the property before settling on it. This has meant that on settlement day I have had a tenant ready to move in so there has been no loss for me in terms of holding costs.

‘While I agree that we make our money when we buy well, a good purchase need not be limited exclusively to an immediate financial win’

Delayed settlements can also work well when trading property and be combined with a back-to-back settlement (please note that trading in a flat market is more difficult so I wouldn’t recommend this strategy if you are new to this game).

If a vendor is under financial stress and is, for example, behind on their rates or owes money, you can find a win/ win way to both benefit. For example, a deposit may help the vendor to meet some urgent financial obligations and you can offer to pay rents and insurance during the delayed settlement period. If the pressure is taken away from the vendor and you help solve their problem, you may be surprised how much they are prepared to do for you.

Vendors Who Want To Rent

You will strike this more in a flat market as well. If circumstances dictate that a property owner has to sell their house, they may want to stay living in their “home” and these people can make great tenants.

In a flat market we also see the lease option strategy become a good option for both investors and purchasers, however I don’t have room to expand on that here.

Price Proud Vendors

There are vendors out there whom I describe as “price proud”. These sellers will hold firmly to their asking price which for some reason for them is important to achieve. The secret is that many of these sellers will happily negotiate terms and this can work in your favour. All you have to do is ask. Learn to ask the selling agent or, if you are dealing directly with the seller, why they are selling and what they want to achieve.

It’s important to always conduct yourself professionally and with courtesy towards the seller and agent. A seller is likely to divulge much more information about their situation if they sense a respectful and empathetic listener. Great negotiation isn’t about “ripping someone off”, rather, think of it as a creative process where you are endeavouring to solve problems and genuinely assist people.

iFindProperty is a licensed Investment Property Agency and our clients tell us we are great at helping investors find, analyze and buy great properties to build an awesome portfolio. Our team of Property Finders operate all over New Zealand and each are successful investors in their own markets. Successful investing starts with you and your property goals, so contact us today to talk about what you want to achieve and we will put a team in place to make it happen. Contact:[email protected] or 0274 866 146.

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