The affliction of buyers remorse can result from any transaction – “could I have bought it cheaper, if only I had checked out a few more stores?” or “if I had been firmer with the salesperson?”. Wikipedia defines this condition as
Buyer’s remorse is an emotional condition whereby a person feels remorse or regret after a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of higher value items which could be considered “bad” although it may also stem from a sense of not wishing to be “wrong”
Not surprising at this time in the real estate market we are seeing not only buyers remorse, but significant buyer hesitation. A recent article in the Australian newspaper on this subject triggered my attention “Market education to avoid an attack of buyer remorse” it speaks to the fact that around the world over the last few years many people purchased properties well beyond their means in the belief that real estate “always goes up in value” – well sadly for many the cost of this belief is weighing heavy right now. The key point of the article and the key message now is buying within your means – not rocket science as they say, but worth reinforcing.
The other point of the article is the power of information. Whereas the last time we experienced a similar property market downturn matched to a NZ recession (at that time triggered by the Asian crisis of the late 90′s) the available sources of property information were very limited. Contrast that with today’s situation – the web provides a wealth of information – some might say far too much and far too hard to make sense of ! – well that depends on your approach and knowledge. I thought it would be of value to highlight some insight into the range of information potentially at your finger tips to allow you to become better informed.
Gradually more and more of the property files for every one of the 1.6 million dwellings in NZ will be made available online. It is a fact that each local authority is approaching this matter in their own way (that seems daft – but i don’t want to get into a discussion on local government!) so there appears to be no unified date by when this will be complete, nor what details are accessible for free and what are charged.
I live in North Shore City and they are one council that has embraced online property files as well as rich imagery and data accessible for free. This sample screen shot provides an insight into properties on the shore, high resolution imaging is backed up with details of waste water as well as mains water and zoning details – all free of charge. Other councils around the country certainly also provide this rich information source.
Information on property on the market
There is no excuse for not being the smartest buyer when it comes to availability of property for sale. Clearly the web showcases every property actively being marketed. Real estate agents now fully realise this medium is the #1 place people go when searching for available property. You will find duplication when it comes to individual sites, however as with most things consumers want the most comprehensive information all in one place. At realestate.co.nz we constantly strive to deliver the most comprehensive portfolio of properties on the market – at this time over 78,000 homes listed from over 111,000 listings in total. Other portal websites and agency own sites have equally a portfolio – although the portals provide the easiest single site presentation to make life easy for buyers.
An interesting point worth bearing in mind when assessing the market is the fact that professional agents may well have properties which are not as yet being actively marketed on the web or in any media. It is always worth speaking to local agents to see if exactly what you are looking for is actually available, but not being marketed.
Historical property sales information
This vital information is becoming easier to access – your options are online (for which you have to pay) or through real estate office (for which you need to ask nicely!). QV is the current site that provides reports on prior sales as well as property information. Being in a position of seeing what has sold where, when and for how much empowers buyers and makes the negotiation for a specific property baa lot mosed on fact rather than emotion.
Property listing information
This is a bit of a double edged sword within the real estate industry and one that I personally meet opposition on fairly regularly. The fact is as the best advice to a seller – the more information you encourage your agent to provide on a listing the more likely it will be that you will find a buyer whose needs are met, rather than wasting everyone’s time with unnecessary questions.
When it comes to images – as many as you can and the bigger the better – simple, but so often overlooked. When it comes to description – a fact often forgotten is that the web does not operate on column inches (although by the very brief description some agents provide you would think it was restricted) – more words to describe every aspect of the property will help to fine tune genuine buyers.
So what of the double edged sword? – simply there is a section of the real estate community who want to provide very brief sketchy information in an enticement for people to call them. The fact is the more content provided on a listing, the more that agent will be held as credible – in this case “less is not more”!
Property viewing information
Become a property expert – on realestate.co.nz anyone can analyse the level of interest of any property – just click the link in the top right section of a listing page where it say the listing has been viewed xx number of times. This opens up a detail of how many viewing each listing has each day over the past month and from where in the world those visitors viewed the listing.
Local community information
Firstly because you are reading this blog post you are clearly in the best place to understand the opportunity presented by the web – you recognise the value of blogs!
Blogs are becoming and I think 2009 will be the year when for real estate, blogs become the defining medium for this industry to to demonstrate a new face – an open, honest, authentic face; one that is open to discuss and receive feedback.
We launched the Voices blogging platform in January of this year, since that time more than 70 agents have started blogs. Naturally not all are active or actively contributed to (the average for all blogs is that 60% fail within 3 months). However there are many that are active and more start each week. Their content is eclectic, that is only to be expected but each provides a window to the subject-matter-expertise of the writer – an agent who wants to engage in a conversation with like minded individuals on matters related to property and a majority of that is related to local communities – go on have a read of a few.
So information is ever more accessible and available to provide buyers (and sellers) with more facts and information – so become more informed and through that become empowered, greater information and transparency will improve the comprehension of the buying process – and will hopefully overcome some degree of buyer remorse!