How To Get More Accurate Price Guides From Agents

If you’re like most frustrated Australian property buyers right now, you are struggling to determine property values. Agent guide prices are either grossly misleading or non existent. How do you avoid chasing the wrong properties that don’t fit your budget?

Due to the sheer volume of negotiations I’m often working on at the same time, over my career I’ve developed an easy way to determine if the property is in the right price range or if we are wasting time focusing on this home. You can apply this technique to reduce your search time significantly.

It’s an ongoing issue that keeps arising from my clients due to the lack of transparency with real estate agent price guides, obviously in some states (QLD), it’s illegal to even offer a guide at all. So how do you work out what the seller is chasing and where you may need to position yourself quickly?

My Tip

Example - Let’s say you're researching a 3 bedroom house for circa $1m budget on 15 Smith St …

First Steps

  • Do your own homework so you have some idea of what the property may be worth
  • Use or to search for the comparable properties, ensuring you put them in ascending price order
  • Often other listings around it may have a displayed price to give you a clearer indication of value
  • You should be able to gauge >20% range from this to begin with, let’s assume that range was $900-1.1m in this instance

Second Step

  • Call the agent (email will not have the same impact), make it a quick conversation, don’t allow the agent to “sell you” on the property or it’s charms

'Hi …. I’m doing my research on local 3 bed houses and like the look of 15 Smith St, my budget is up to $1m, am I wasting my time on this one ?'

It doesn’t matter what your “budget” is, I’ve chosen that number as it’s the middle ground in your research and I want to know if that has a chance of competing for this home or if it’s too low, with buyer interest beyond this already.

Notice how I don’t ask for a price guide. I’m not interested in that BS number they give buyers, I want to know where the real buyer activity is at.

Not all agents will give you a clear or honest answer, so you need to be conscious of this each time you ask, however, most agents I deal with don’t want to waste their own time with the wrong buyers that have no chance of competing. More often than not, they will say, “Yes, definitely come and see it” or "No, don’t bother - we have interest above that range already”.

Don’t be afraid to ask agents - it really works. The typically response from my clients when they ask me “What I think this is worth?” is then “How the hell did you find that information out so fast?”.

Well, now you know - so add that to your repertoire for faster house hunting next time.