Your guide to common challenges and solutions for Sydney downsizers.
Downsizing offers the chance for buyers to liquidate cash and gain lifestyle benefits as they move into a smaller property. But there are also challenges, especially when buying in Sydney’s more competitive markets. Here’s your guide to the difference a buyer’s agent can make when downsizing.
The market challenges for downsizers
Many Sydney downsizers are looking for a property that offers the full range of lifestyle benefits. They’re focused on 2-3 bedroom apartments in sought-after locations such as the eastern suburbs or lower north shore, ideally with courtyards or generous balconies. Townhouses and terraces in these areas are also increasingly popular due to the fact that they offer a low-maintenance property with an added degree of privacy.
While properties that meet these criteria do exist, downsizers routinely face challenges in terms of:
Quality: Hasty new developments are common, along with apartments and townhouses that require extensive renovation.
Price: Those who own high quality properties know they have the upper hand and tend to price accordingly.
Supply: When reasonably priced, quality properties do enter the market, savvy buyers move in quickly – sometimes before a public campaign has begun.
Hidden costs: Even with the government’s new $300,000 super contribution incentive for older retirees selling their family home, there are plenty of other costs involved in downsizing including legal fees, stamp duty, moving costs and strata/body corporate charges.
Why off-market sales matter in Sydney
In this tightly held section of the Sydney real estate market, having access to off-market sales through a buyer’s agent opens up a much wider range of opportunities. Buyer’s agents have knowledge of properties that are about to be advertised (pre-market sales) along with access to multiple real estate agencies databases of sellers who are only willing to negotiate privately (off-market sales). As a downsizer, a buyer’s agent not only gives you direct access to these sellers, but also supports you in your negotiations for the best possible sale price.
How a buyer’s agent saves time and money
Experienced buyer’s agents understand that their role is to listen to the specific needs of their client, save them time by shortlisting only appropriate properties, and save them money through expert negotiations with the seller. They also know that downsizing can be advantageous for buyers across all areas of the market – it’s not just a strategy for high-end buyers.
Due to their knowledge of the downsizing process, buyer’s agents can also provide advice on common areas of concern, such as:
Is a unit or townhouse a good investment overall?
Which markets should I focus on for maximum capital growth?
What are the fees and levies I need to be aware of? E.g. How much should I expect to pay in body corporate fees?
How do I deal with practicalities like timing my sale/next purchase, negotiating settlement and storing my possessions in the interim?
Downsizing in Sydney can be daunting, but with the right agent in your corner it can also lead to increased financial freedom. For advice on your next move