oc | Thursday 23rd January

Is Help On the Way? We hope so, but don’t think it’s coming in a hurry!

Strange. Very strange. Yes Glen we can see you but check out the guy to the right. I'm not sure if he was there for marketing or to revive injured buyers. Maybe he will be mandatory at all auctions soon. Camberwell: 52 Athelstan Road: Glen Coutinho. Passed In.

Strange. Very strange. Yes Glen we can see you but check out the guy to the right. I'm not sure if he was there for marketing or to revive injured buyers. Maybe he will be mandatory at all auctions soon. Camberwell: 52 Athelstan Road: Glen Coutinho. Passed In.

It is 6pm Saturday and the James Million Dollar-Plus Clearance rate for the 38 Auctions we attended today was 74%; basically no change on the 77% ( pre Easter Super Saturday -March 27).

Bidderman was down from to 3 to 2.3 bidders per auction but that is still very strong all things considered (stock quality and Easter holidays).

Market Mood

Today was expected to dip to reflect this being a secondary weekend for $m+auctions; but it didn’t. Many of the really top homes wouldn’t have been launched with an Easter or School holiday start and May 1 and May 22/29 are shaping up to be the next $M+ Super Saturdays (stock quality and numbers wise).

The last 2 weeks confirm the March 27 strength. Hot! Hot! Hot! You know the market is very strong when you see that REIV agent members have reported 170 properties $m+ properties as sold since that pre Easter Super Saturday. That does not include today’s auctions. So basically the large majority were private sale at a rate of 8.5 a day.

This tells you the mood far more accurately than auctions today. Some expected and some unexpected suburbs below ($m+ sales in last fortnight).

(5); Brighton (7); (11); Docklands (3); , Elsternwick and (4 each); East (5); Malvern (5); McKinnon (3); Melbourne (5) and how about Mounts Eliza and Martha (6 between them); Surrey Hills (4) and Williamstown (4).

Interest Rates, Population Pressures, Volcanoes  – not sure what is going to stop this speeding train but it does need to and should slow down some time ……..

FIRB rule changes and major confirmed.

The REIV trend chart confirms the effect on prices the FIRB rule changes had in March of 2009 and the leveling off that occurred when the Aussie dollar started to strengthen strongly against the US dollar (relevant to the Chinese community) later in 2009. With the help of Canberra, the Chinese community single handedly (a bit of exaggeration) rescued our Inner East $M+ property market and whether you like what is happening now with prices this was the beginning, one of the catalysts for the incredible 2009 price improvements right across Top End Melbourne.


Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Hi I’m Mal James and some people think I’m a liar.Liar, Liar

It’s a bold statement. Is it grounded in truth? Initially, when representing a client, if I do not know the other side well, I instinctively hold information back. I offer information in a structured way, which helps me in assessing the objective and subjective connection to whatever information I perceive they control. If I am asked a direct question, but I believe that it is not in my client’s best interest to give up that information, then, at times, I will make a statement that may not disclose the whole picture or may allow confusion. Eg Privacy of a client’s identity or limits.

So, to some people, I am therefore a liar. That’s fair enough – you can call me what you like, some people do. I also assume that, at any time, I may be lied to – not always to deceive but I assume that some people are communicating to me in a way that, if I want to jump in over my head, then they will let me do that.

What is a liar?

Is it one who makes false statements? False is a most interesting word with a myriad of meanings and powerful consequences, depending on the interpretation applied in each and every specific instance.

On the definition of making false statements is Channel 7 weatherman David Brown a liar when he tells me tomorrow will be sunny and it’s not? Is Eddie McGuire a liar when he says will win and they don’t (it seems he could be an infrequent liar this year) or is your bank manager a liar when she promises something will happen by next week and it doesn’t?

In real estate, is Low Bidders Real Estate’s Artina Deco a liar when she says a property should go for $X and it sells well above reasonable expectations, meaning she is 12 per cent out? Is Top Drawer’s Eddy Wardian a liar if he says a house will be on the market at $Y, the vendor changes their mind and it’s not? Is Victor Rian of Home Sweet Home  a liar if he says Z will be sold by tomorrow and that doesn’t happen, because a previously trustworthy buyer recants?

Are any, or all, or none of the above liars?

You may say lying depends on intent. In the end, does that really make any difference to you?

Is it important?  It was rainy, Collingwood lost, the loan didn’t go through or you missed the property.

Is it the lie itself that is of importance or the rules you apply and your reaction to the lie?

The community views deliberate and accidental “lies” very differently in law, despite in many cases the consequences to the “victim” being the same.

Let’s forget the word semantics. Let’s say an agent told you the reserve on a property is $2.45 million when, in fact, he knew it would not be sold for under $2.7 million, or, conversely, it could be sold to you at $2 million. Is it the deliberate lie or what you do with it – and how you react to it – that is the issue? Or does the lie itself determine the end result?

A deeper question is how should a lie affect you?

That may lie (excuse the pun) in the rules you apply to the circumstance.

If you perceive buying a home as being like a relationship, then you will probably react very differently to a lie or liar than if you perceive buying a home as like a business transaction.

What is the right way to react to a lie?

For me, truth or lies are mostly varying shades of grey – even the ones that seem black and white have shades of grey. To be honest, in business, I prefer truth but I’m not fazed that much, if at all, by a lie. In my personal life I take a very different stance. You may have an alternative take and fair enough, but if that different take involves an emotional response that doesn’t maximise your outcomes then …..

Is lying right or is it wrong?

1.  Is wrong related to unacceptable behaviour or self-interest or the greater good?

2. Unacceptable behaviour usually revolves around

  • community self-interest (standards, laws etc) and/or
  • individual self-interest (your opinion).

3. If it’s right for you but wrong for other guy – is it right or wrong?

Your self-interest opinion may be different to mine, in turn different to the seller’s, the seller’s agent and different again from community expectations. A current real estate and lying conundrum is notional propriety and the disparate self-interests of underquoting.

So, is a lie always right or wrong? You know, truthfully, I’m not exactly sure. We are taught that, morally, a lie is always wrong. I think a lie that kills a soldier is wrong but, if it saves 100 others, maybe it is right to tell a lie in those circumstances. A less dramatic situation is whether a lie is wrong that gets two parties together on a $2.5 million deal, which would not have happened but for the lie and the fact that the deal is in the best interests of both the buyer and seller.

Does a lie really matter?

Let’s return again to the example of a house quoted at $2.45 million, when, in fact, it can be bought at either $2 million or $2.7 million. Is the real issue the lie of $2.45 million? Or is the real issue the fact that you might get it at a different price if you know how? Is the issue that the lie is a danger to you or is it that you don’t have a lie detector process that is the real danger to you.

If you have a tried and true process – in other words a certain set of self-interest rules (such as the CAN process that we use) then is a lie a big deal?

If you have a process such as the CAN process,  then no matter what is presented, you or your advisers will break it down and look into it in an organised and beneficial self-interest manner. You will save flair and risk for the last little leap of faith when the agreement gap is small and all other elements of the deal have been explored and confirmed. Your procedural disciplines will discourage reactions that can be dangerous for you in the event of a lie.

In real estate, when you have such a process, liars are just interesting people you meet along the way that present opportunities to you rather than dangers.

If, however, you do not have a solid set of rules such as the Clarity--Negotiate process, then liars are Melbourne Real Estate dangers to you.

Is the issue in home-buying the lie or the process required to obtain the truth?

Finally sometimes the liar is within

Yes, some liars are faceless agents representing their clients. However, for some buyers, a far more dangerous liar is part of the inner sanctum.

He says to his family. “It’s just bad luck” that he keeps missing out. He is constantly surprised by the actions of agents, the process of real estate purchasing, the sold prices compared to the quotes. He has missed numerous times on homes his family wanted to –and should have – bought.

Or it’s a she: one who expects history to not repeat itself, just for her, and reacts badly when it does. She ignores that her emotional world of buying a home has collided head-on with the unemotional world of selling agents. She has taken no action, and made no change to her modus-operandi to cope with the emotional/unemotional disparity.

These liars take a “she’ll be right” attitude and say to their family “Let’s move further away” and accept less than they have to, or they say “Let’s look again in five years time, when prices will be cheaper.” Furthermore they take the identity of a victim, a victim with a family and worthy of pity, but a victim without a family home.

In real estate, and in life, some lies are very wrong and can hurt deeply. We have all seen and experienced that. However, lies can allow beautiful things to happen. As truth does; lies save and destroy. Truth and lies are a part of life. Your level of understanding, management and reaction to lies will ultimately determine your short and longer term property outcomes.

Buy happy


Footnote: Clarity on my position: I personally think truth adds considerable value to the home buying process. The best agents, deal makers and negotiators know how to use both lies and truths to maximise their client’s position and most do so with little emotion. Most experienced negotiators realise truth often bridges gaps that lies cannot. Please, for all my talk of lies, most of the deals James Buyer Advocates are involved in with high-quality selling agents are often win-win and with a high degree of truth. Truth and lies are why again and again we outline the benefit of professional buyer and seller agent relationships.

Rocket Rodney Morley and Marvelous Mike Gibson; Real Estate’s dynamic duo usually playing on opposite sides - this time K&B and TBM were working together to extract a lazy $10,000,000 plus from the market. Toorak: 4 Trawalla and next door: Sold $10,450,000. 4 bidders.

Rocket Rodney Morley and Marvelous Mike Gibson; Real Estate’s dynamic duo usually playing on opposite sides - this time K&B and were working together to extract a lazy $10,000,000 plus from the market. : 4 Trawalla and next door: Sold $10,450,000. 4 bidders.

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