What a down and up year! Volatile!

The only interest today at 48 Goldsmith Street, Elwood. Passed in $3,350,000, 0 bidders (well maybe 1).

Welcome to our final Marketnews in 2019. We have really enjoyed the year, hope you have. This is our Bumper Summer Edition.

One half of the world-famous Tomlinson Brothers – is that James or Hugh? – both have undercover beards. Beards are in, in 2020. 56 Nirvana, Malvern East – under the hammer $2,390,000, 2 Bidders.

Big Stat: Today only 1 in 10 auctions were tearaways!

ARMADALE, 17 Seymour Avenue. John Manton (Marshall White) Under the Hammer $3,570,000, 6 Bidders

GLEN IRIS, 3 Malvern Avenue. Daniel Wheeler (Marshall White) Under the Hammer $3,020,000, 5 Bidders

HAWTHORN EAST, 28 Invermay Grove. Charlie Darlow (Buxton) Under the Hammer $1,955,000, 5 Bidders

Read all 31 Reports here

Big Tom – a hard-earned thirst needs a big cold result and the best cold result was under the hammer. 12 Mcilwrick Prahran – 3 bidders – $2,260,000. $400,000 over the quote – matter of fact, I’ve got it now!

Big Stat: Today 2 in 3 auctions were bought before, ducks or lone rangers (1 bidder) – meaning an inconsistent Bidderman, meaning a volatile market finish to 2019, as street auctions (overall) are beginning to struggle again.

ALBERT PARK, 26 Young Street. Passed in $2,100,000, 1 Bidder

ALBERT PARK, 50 St Vincent Street. Passed in $2,850,000, 0 Bidders

BALWYN, 27 Kireep Road. Hamish Tostevin (Marshall White) After Auction, price undisclosed, 1 Bidder

BALWYN, 16 Hardwicke Street. Scott Patterson (Kay & Burton) Under the Hammer $3,145,500, 3 Bidders

BRIGHTON, 106 Cole Street. Passed in $2,900,000, 0 Bidders

BRIGHTON, 27 Chelsea Street. Alex Schiavo (Kay & Burton) Bought Before, price undisclosed

BRIGHTON, 378 St Kilda Street. Passed in $4,450,000, 1 Bidder

BRIGHTON, 41 Drake Street. David Hart (Buxton) Under the Hammer $3,850,000, 2 Bidders

CAMBERWELL, 31 Prospect Hill Road. Passed in $4,350,000, 0 Bidders

CANTERBURY, 53 Wentworth Avenue. Hamish Tostevin (Marshall White) Before Auction, price undisclosed

ELWOOD, 48 Goldsmith Street. Passed in $3,350,000, 0 Bidders

ELWOOD, 8 Normandy Road. Kaine Layon (Marshall White) Before Auction, price undisclosed

HAMPTON, 154 Ludstone Street. Passed in $2,400,000, 0 Bidders

HAWTHORN EAST, 35 Constance Street. Hamish Tostevin (Marshall White) Under the Hammer $3,500,000, 2 Bidders

Mal, you say things are Volatile – what do you mean?

With a bit of license, here are the 31 auction results above and below, that we randomly covered today on a graph.

Have a listen to our strategy videos further down – this is why you need strategies.

This weekend if you wished to buy and wished for a normal auction (2 or 3 bidders) then you had an 8 in 31 or 1 in 4 or 25% chance of your wish coming true. What was your strategy for the other volatile 75%! And selling is no different – are you feeling lucky Mr Eastwood, 25%? Or are you feeling the 75% … punk?

For buyers or sellers; wishing and hoping are not real auction strategies to deal with volatile markets.

KEW, 22 Dean Street. Sam Wilkinson (Kay & Burton) Before Auction, price undisclosed

KEW, 3 Edward Street. Patrick Dennis (Jellis Craig) Sold After, price undisclosed, 0 Bidders

KEW, 4 Elphinstone Court. Sam Wilkinson (Kay & Burton) Before Auction, price undisclosed

KEW, 42 Derby Street. Passed in $2,850,000, 0 Bidders

KEW, 6 Studley Avenue. Passed in $4,200,000, 1 Bidder

MALVERN EAST, 56 Nirvana Avenue. James Tomlinson (Marshall White) Under the Hammer $2,390,000, 2 Bidders

MALVERN, 2C Woodmason Street. Passed in $1,800,000, 0 Bidders

MIDDLE PARK, 39 Park Road. Passed in $3,500,000, 0 Bidders

PRAHRAN, 12 McIlwrick Street. Tom McCarthy (Biggin & Scott) Under the Hammer $2,260,000, 3 Bidders

PRAHRAN, 22 Gertrude Street. Passed in $3,620,000, 2 Bidders

SANDRINGHAM, 8 Victoria Street. Paul Bond (Hodges) After Auction $2,450,000, 1 Bidder

SOUTH YARRA, 35a Osborne Street. Nick Gatacre (Hocking Stuart) Under the Hammer $1,415,000, 3 Bidders

SOUTH YARRA, 19 Hope Street. Andrew Hayne (Marshall White) Under the Hammer $3,100,000, 2 Bidders

TOORAK, 7 Stonnington Place. Passed in $3,200,000, 0 Bidders

Read all 31 Reports here

Awkward at 39 Park, Middle Park. Everybody waited for everybody else and last call they were all still waiting. Passed in 3,500,000, 0 bidders.

October was our best buy sell month in 3 years

A highlight was four off-markets in the last month (Daniel Ashton, Michael Derham, Daniel Joyce and Chris Barrett with 31 Johnson Street, Hawthorn below). Two were neighbouring homes missed by us at auction previously and two were for investors. The off-market is particularly buoyant between now and Christmas, as long as you remember the 4 Duck rule.

Want a James Stat? 36% of the homes we bought in 2019 were fully off-market! Gina, the off-market queen?

Today we finished our final 3-week 100 Auction Test for 2019 and you can see by the above results, it’s been a consistently improving year with a bit of ease back in the Pre-Christmas market. This is par for the course – each year more stock comes on late spring, normally meaning fewer bidders per auction, resulting in marginally lower clearance rates and in turn, marginally lower prices than say in early spring.

The 2019 Markets Summary

Opening, May, Spring and Pre Xmas

Opened – poorly

May – improved substantially for the first time in 18 months

Spring – really began to see some markets on the rise

Pre Xmas – levelled and volatile

2019 was a Volatile Year but a sort of happy one nonetheless

2020 prediction – Surely the mainstream papers will stop giving oxygen to property pundits on short term property predictions! Who predicted this year’s market turnaround?
I will give you a clue  N_ BODY!

Pre-Xmas Markets 2019 v 2018 v 2017 v 2016

Please note: all were not exactly the same sample sizes and 100 Auction Tests were different in 2017 and 2016 but it gives the correct flavour.

Probably the most difficult concept to explain – strategy and good v bad ones.
Many buyers and sellers have a simple view on strategy – get as much as you can and spend as little as you can.
And therein lies our first hurdle in our business as buy and sell agents – they are not even strategies, they are wishes.

What is a strategy?

1 minute 17 seconds

How does that apply to property?

1 minute 30 seconds

How do you develop a winning property strategy?

1 minute 54 seconds

In the last video (Strategy 3 of 3) we talked about what you needed to develop a strategy and we discussed a checklist.
Here are some of the additional checklist points we personally work through to develop and enhance and strategy, whether acting for buyers or sellers – in full it is a significant extension of our public ratings.

Clarity Stage Assessment

(part of our personal client checklists)

Buy Sell Strategy Checklist

(part of our personal client checklists)

Q&A’s on Buy Sells

Question: How does James Buy Sell Selling Management Work?

Answer: In a nutshell – Agent selection from the Top 3 agents for your area and property type, interviews and submissions (you and us or just us); presentation improvement suggestions and costs, values, fees and marketing costs, negotiation strategies that work and the ones that don’t, methods of sale (Off-market, EOI or auction and others), reserves and much more. 39 sold from the last 40 (one still off-market) in this down and then up market, with all bar one having offers within or above the quoted range and all auction reserves within the quoted range immediately prior to the auction.  Ethics sells homes, ethics brings more buyers. Ethics works.

Question: How much extra does the James Buy Sell agent selection service cost?

Answer: Nothing, zero, zippo – we are paid by the agents from their commission. And if you choose to use the fair quoting guarantee on your advertising, then our share of the fee (if any) is donated to charity if offers to you don’t come in as discussed. We are serious and have been since 2002 about open and transparent communication.

Question: As a seller why don’t I just get the best agent myself?

Answer: Where do you start? The internet rating agencies? Well there are so many, and they all give you different answers – how can they all be right. Alternatively, you can just pick a local or friendly agent you are recommended or somebody who constantly rings you – how do you really know they are any good? What, because they say so? There is simply no one size fits all best agent. You need an independent assessment. With one agent you only get one opinion and what happens if that opinion is wrong? With our agent selection management, you hear from ALL the best and you decide on the best.

Question: How does James Buy Sell manage an agent?

Answer: Great agents are a lot like thoroughbreds or super engines – they are brilliant at what they do. However, they work a lot better when they have a trusted driver or jockey (sometimes I don’t make the weight) helping them navigate to your best result. We talk the lingo, we understand the foibles, we motivate and encourage the brilliance – all to achieve your best result and it costs no more and really they also get more, because we recommended them to a job they probably were not getting. Win-Win-Win-Win.

Question: Do you support the state government’s attempt to stamp out overquoting to sellers and underquoting to buyers?

Answer: Absolutely Yes, and with one tweak to seller reserve immediately prior to auction, it would be near perfect?

Question: Do you support the right of the seller to change his or her reserve after the campaign has started?

Answer: Absolutely Yes, we change quotes often and we think that achieves better deals for both buyers and sellers through open and transparent communication.

Question: What happens when the final sale price is well above the agent quote?

Answer: Yippeee for the seller!! As long as the quote was based on real comparables, no offers were received during the campaign higher than the quote and the seller’s reserve is within the quote; then that is a great auction. That is market forces. If as a buyer you are constantly missing out at auction, then we suggest you engage a buyer agent to guide you on strategy to deal with other buyers.

Please note, if a sales agent is systemically well above the quote by a considerable factor then we question the agent’s ability to and communicate that to a seller AND that has big downsides on low bidder auctions and pass-ins – see stats above.

Question: But Mal, you and Gina act predominantly for buyers?

Answer: Yes, but since 2002 we have also acted for sellers, just never both buyer and seller on the one transaction without full disclosure and in that case, we are only paid by the buyer.

The main part of our business is acting for buyers – true, AND the knowledge and we gain from acting for a large number of sellers, greatly assists those buying clients and vice-versa – but we repeat, we never act for both the buyer and the seller on the same transaction.

Question: Mal, you’ve run 100’s of confidential selling campaigns over the years with nobody knowing of your involvement. If I’m selling do I have to use the James Fair Quoting Icon?

Answer: No, we will still run the same selling campaign with the best agents and our involvement will remain confidential if you prefer.

Question: Why again?

Answer: Over the years many of our buying clients have wanted to sell – we know the agents who are good, who are truthful, who work for their seller as we have bought off the best and the worst. if they’re lying to buyers on a price, they’re probably lying to you the seller on a price as well.

Underquoting is so old school, so uncool and you’re involved in an illegal act as a seller.

My are 18, 20 and 24. In 2019 with consultation, we modified the ’s property plan from gifting to more emphasis on self-sufficiency and skill-building. 1 of the 3 has been to a financial planner. All now have dollar for dollar (we match) home deposit accounts – two in excess of $20,000 and one has their home deposit account in a growth fund with a financial planner.

The 3Gs for the 3P’s

In their 20’s – Guide
In their 30’s – Guarantee
In their 40’s – Gifting begins

This guy is real – pay your children $100 to read his book

We at James Buy Sell have always received a fair go from agency directors and I would like to thank the following: Ross Savas, James Connell, Andrew McCann, Steven Abbott, John Bongiorno, Michael Gibson, Scott Patterson, Nick Johnstone, David Hart, Warwick Anderson, Rob Curtain, Paul Richards, Arch Staver, Phillip Kingston, Bill Stavrakis, Rob Fletcher and many, many more.

Agent of special mention in 2019: We had to stop the agent and young agent of the year a few years back, as we got too many complaints from those we didn’t give a gong too. We were told it was significantly affecting businesses. So we’ve changed things.

Our 2019 agent of special mention is Duane Wolowiec. Why? In an industry of egos, complaints, emotion and a few other negatives, he is a shining light among buyers, sellers and agents alike. In all our dealings with him over many years, we have never heard a client of ours, another buyer, a fellow agent or a seller speak ill of him and he speaks ill of nobody to us. We have had the occasional quoting disagreement, however, we have always found him a man of his word on the big picture – consequently, we have done a number of win-win deals together. He is universally seen as a nice guy, and yet he would be right up there in the number of homes sold. Nice guys do finish first. Duane is a quiet, hard-working and above all smart agent – young agents could do worse than to follow his lead on rapport building, hard work and agent decency to buyers and sellers.

Female Agents: With my two daughters (Phoebe and Maddie) starting in the business this year (who knows for how long) – I reviewed the female agents we were involved with in buying or selling in 2019. Things are really changing for the better in the last few years.

These agents below were generally very professional and lead or equal lead agents on a buy or sell we were involved in. You should consider a strong female component if you are looking to sell. You’re really missing a significant market if you are not. We will not consider a selling agent to sell if there is not a significant female – it’s not some affirmative action gender bias – it’s just plain common sense! 

Kellie O’Neill, Geordie Dixon, Sonja Sendin, Kate Strickland, Maddie Kennedy, Helen Yan, Zali Reynolds, Jen Dwyer, Desiree Wakim, Sarah Case, Rebecca Edwards, Emily Whitehead, Nicole French, Nicole Gleeson, Fiona Ansell-Jones, Tamara Penno, Elizabeth Lopez, Carla Fetter, Dahli Woosnam, Anne Mackie Kinder and Rae Tomlinson – apologies if I’ve missed anybody, remind me and I’ll add you in. Bold names are Directors.

To the 2019 James Reporters (Randall, Kathy, Bridget, Catherine, George, Phoebe, Nat, Maddie, Emily, Jo, Ellen and Kieran throughout the year)  – thank you and see you at our Christmas Lunch.

To Simone and Phoebe, thank you very much for coordinating the auction reporters and reports and all the other things you do, like fixing up my many mistakes – backed up by Nat and the newbie Maddie James.

To Chris Farrell, thank you for the legals and keeping us and our clients off other solicitors’ Christmas card lists.

Thank you also to town planning expert, Rebecca West.

George you are brilliant bidder and thank you.

To architects Mike Chadwick, Geoff Challis. Kathryn Robson and the many others who have helped from time to time – thank you.

Thank you to Luke and others for flexibility in our pest and building requests.

To Randall, thank you for the endless proofreading – it is very reassuring to know you are in slips, picking up what we drop.

To Kathy, well done on your Q-rates and design sketches – brilliant.

To Wanyi and Soushi at AWD, our IT people, we really appreciate all your efforts.

To our accountant Stephen, Paula and Carol from Hillyer Riches – thank you for your care and advice.

To Gina, you’re a brilliant partner, keep making me look good please.

And finally, to our James Buy and Sell clients and many referrers – thank you again for your significant support. We really do appreciate our clients and referrers and we are going to do something about that again next year  – we promise. Basically, all our business is now past clients, referrers or long term Marketnews readers who are mainly doctors, financial people, company owners and/or Mums and Dads. Sincerely thank you for your support in 2019.

Its been a mixed year for our charity giving, down to around $90,000 (including taxes paid) after last year being around $160,000.

The market downturn has hit hard. Hopefully, we will be back up and more in 2020 and beyond.

Over recent times we seem to be averaging around 5% of our turnover (not profit, turnover) given back to the community.

We now have in place a 3-year funding agreement with The Plaster House Tanzania, run by an East Malvern lady, Sarah Rejman. They always welcome donations which are tax-deductible in Australia. The surgeries that are done really change little children’s lives – forever. We see the results and have done so since 2015.

In 2019 there have been a few highlights. One was our 4th trip to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the need to support child surgeries in Africa (we paid all our own expenses) AND to see again where our money goes.

This picture below is of one of our James Buy Sell clients, Phuong Quach in Tanzania with us over the Grand Final weekend. We have bought two and managed the sale of one family home(s) for Phuong over the journey. Phuong is with children that monies from your Buy Sell commissions are directly helping.

Four co-workers from the James Buy Sell office are going to Tanzania in January 2020. Actually, if you are a James Buy Sell client and can pay your way (around $6000 + airfares) – then we may have one spare spot if you want to see what life is really like in Africa for two weeks in 2020. You will need to get a working with children, medical check and visa pretty quick though and it’s very full-on – no luxury hotels! But you are welcome if you want to help.

Our latest project is The New Selian Childrens Hospital in Arusha Tanzania –

click here or picture for full details on how we are building a business plan together

Mid-year report on our donations to reduce Melbourne evictions and in turn, reduce Melbourne Homelessness. Our joint support has been since 2006.

We at James are working right up until Christmas

With some exciting December auctions and the usual influx of off-markets in the lead up to Christmas – Call Gina or Mal on 9804 3133 – it’s totally confidential.

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