Where are the Buyers?

Disclaimer: This information is intended to be of a general nature. Please do not rely on any of the content
as being a professional tax or legal opinion and seek your own independent advice.

With the average time to sell a home at 73 days, buyers are in an unhurried mood and real estate agents need to work extra hard to entice an offer. Buyers have reasonable choice too with above 14,000 listings on offer. Certainly, those sellers “holding out for their price” or using phrases like, “I’m not going to give it away,” ought to consider whether they’re selling or just on the market.

Part of this effort is to first identify and categorise buyers into three distinct groups; the latent “would-be” buyer, the “known” active buyer and the “unknown” active buyer.

The latent would-be buyer is the most difficult buyer group to target as these buyers typically are not actively searching for property and are only galvanized into buying activity when enticed by an especially glossy advertisement or happen past a for sale sign on a property “they’ve always wanted”.  Marketing to attract such buyers is usually expensive too and it can be difficult to measure its effectiveness.

The “known” active buyer appears on an agent’s buyer data base and agents work hard to service these buyers and secure their loyalty. Agents will seek a “conjunctional” arrangement for properties listed for sale with other agencies, introduce their buyer and be paid a portion of the commission by the seller via the listing agent. Conjunctionals are welcomed by most agents, although they are less common nowadays due to the instant information about property on the internet. Buyers are therefore more inclined to deal with the listing agent rather than rely on a “conjuncting” agent, equipped with their own informed views on fair market value.


Therefore, sellers ought to not overly rely on an agent’s ability to deliver fistfuls of active “known” buyers to secure a sale. Very few buyers limit themselves to reliance on a single agent to find them a property and either “go it alone” or register their buying needs with several agents.

It follows then that by far the largest of the buyer groups is the active “unknown” buyer; those that scan reiwa.com and search through newspapers to seek out property within their price range and in their preferred locality. Most agents target these buyers by simply advertising their properties in places they know these buyers are looking.

To uncover the best price, sellers really ought to tap into this buyer group as that is where most of the buyers are hiding. Folk that sell to active “known” buyers before they can be seen by the “unknown” types are often left with the nagging feeling that they may have sold for more if they had exposed themselves to the largest of the buyer groups.

By Hayden Groves
REIWA President
REIA Deputy President


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