With ridiculously low stock levels and rising real estate prices, getting a steal in the Perth property market might seem like an elusive dream.

Don’t lose hope!

You can still snag a property at a bargain price with a keen eye and clever strategies. Here are three tips to help you in your quest for a great deal.

1. Look for Off-Market Properties

One way of buying at a discount is to look for off-market deals. Off-market properties are not listed on public platforms like real estate websites or are being sold ‘quietly’ by agencies.

Realestate.com.au statistics show that off-market properties sell at a discount to on-market homes. Why? Many are sold directly by sellers without the involvement of a professional real estate agent. Or, the seller has decided to sell quietly or quickly through an agent, and it’s only being marketed to the agent’s database or a small number of buyers, so there’s less competition for the property. By tapping into this market, you can avoid the competition (and higher prices) when a home is on the market.

How to find off-market properties:

  • Network! Let your friends, family, and colleagues know you’re in the market for a property. They might have insider information about someone willing to sell.
  • Online forums and social media: Join local community groups on social media in the areas you’re looking in. Sometimes, sellers post their properties here before listing them officially. Follow local real estate agents who might showcase their off-market listings on their socials.
  • Sign up for local agent property alerts and speak to agents at home opens.
  • Direct mail: Write letters to property owners of homes you’re interested in. Tell them a little about yourself so it’s personal, and drop it in their letterbox with an invitation to contact you if they’d consider selling.

2. Target homes that need work 

Why overpay for someone else’s bling? Homes requiring renovation or that are poorly presented typically sell for substantially less than fully renovated and/or staged properties. While homes that need work might scare away some buyers, they present a fantastic opportunity to purchase a property at a reduced price and build equity by adding value. The key is assessing the extent of repairs or improvements needed and accurately estimating the costs. A coat of white paint, a deep clean, and modern furniture might be all that’s required to turn something dated and drab into your dream pad!

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Things to keep in mind when considering a fixer-upper:

  • Inspect the home thoroughly to identify all necessary repairs and ensure there are no major structural issues.
  • Get quotes or estimates so you know what you’re potentially up for – head to IKEA to price kitchens and bathrooms and/or reach out to local reputable tradies to get an idea of what you need to allow.
  • There is a big difference between cosmetic updates and extensions or moving walls – once you start remodelling spaces or adding rooms, your costs will quickly escalate. Look for properties with great bones and spaces that can be worked with easily.

3. Search out stale or poorly promoted properties

Homes can undersell because they were initially overpriced and were passed over by the early hot buyers or because they’re being poorly promoted. Instead of starting on the first page of search returns, target homes at the bottom of the results that have been on the market for longer than the suburb average.

Also, look for properties with poor photos or that are newly launched but where the seller hasn’t paid to be on the first page of a real estate portal (realestate.com.au, for example, has four levels of advertising – very few buyers look past the first level which takes up the first few pages).

Word of caution – just because a home has had a big price reduction doesn’t mean it’s now a bargain. Sometimes, properties go stale because the seller has unrealistic price expectations and isn’t prepared to budge. You still need to do your research and get to know the local market to be able to assess if you’re getting a good deal or not.

Tips for finding stale or poorly promoted properties

  • Re-order your search results from the oldest to the newest listings
  • Ask the selling agent how long a home has been on the market and if there have been any price adjustments.
  • Target homes with poor quality photos or advertising
  • Understand the Seller’s motivation: Try to learn why the seller is selling and use that information to tailor your approach.

Remember, buying a property for a bargain price requires diligence, research, and a bit of luck. Don’t be disheartened if you fail on your first attempt. Keep exploring different avenues, and be prepared to wait for the right opportunity. With persistence and strategy, you’ll be well on your way to finding a property that suits your needs and comes at a great price!