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Is Multi-list! Is Good!

by Gina Kantzas and Mal James

Sunday, December 6th, 2020

It's been a really good year in many ways

Do you think it’s weird to say that?


2020 has been a bottler, loved it, wish it wasn’t ending so quickly and going forward there is a lot of hope on so many fronts.


Personally I feel happy in myself, rock solid with the kids, contented and proud to be part of the wider Melbourne community – this is such a great city, great people, great vibe.


Things are starting to change and the Big V has accelerated so many good discussions on so many good things such as; family, community and humanity.


Even the business of real estate which was changing, albeit slower than the Queen Mary on full lock – has seen accelerated change in 2020. And mostly it’s really good change.


As an organisation we at James Buy Sell, have changed as well.

Why? Because our buying clients were clearly stating to us they wanted consistency, strategy and pricing through the whole transaction – the buy and the sell.


They didn’t want to just get it half right.


So in 2020 we pivoted, refocused from Buy Only to Buy and Sell.




  • We buy and then
  • We act for our buyers when they want to sell.


That is James Buy Sell – buying and acting for buyers who want to sell or selling clients who want to buy.


Some of our facts about the family homes we now buy and sell. High End. Inner Melbourne.


Buy: 50% of the homes we buy are not via traditional sales on the internet through the big portals. We think that will continue in 2021.


Sell management: Three “real estate habits” that discourage exploratory higher pricing and better timing for sellers.

  • Lock in exclusive selling contracts and some agent mentality that flows with that.
  • Consumer laws on SOI – forcing pricing in the first instance to a much publicized guess, rather than part of a process.
  • Some big chain real estate agencies encouraging formulaic responses.


Buy and Sell management: Some Buyers/Sellers who already own property are now beginning to really understand it’s the totality of the buy and sell deal, that determine their family’s outcome, not just one side of the buy or sell equation. Example: To make $500,000 on some fancy sell deal but drop $1,000,000 on a poor buy, begs the question: did you sell well?


Sounds like marketing fluff? Below are some more of our facts:


  • November we were involved in $40 million of transactions, mainly on the buy


  • On the sell management side we now have $100 million of homes we are managing and only 1 is currently on the internet. 2 have just sold and 11 remain in various stages of the price exploration, timing and presentation process. All are Inner Melbourne family homes – ready to move in. No off-the-plan project mumbo jumbo in this stat.


  • Off Markets are 50% of our buy business – this is where we actually make contact with who may want to deal and approach without pestering. We feel this trend will continue.


More of our facts with real examples.


Below are some of the great homes over a wide geographical and price spread that you could view right now and buy before Christmas, that are for sale with contracts.


None of these homes are internet advertised – all are exceptional homes and can be bought this week or next week. SOI’s. Contracts. Visit times. Christmas sorted.


This is part of the James Buy Sell Multi-list. If we made a mistake in 2020 it was calling it Multi-list – we should have called it Multi-option. We don’t follow any routines like a robot.


We will fit in with what the seller / the buyer wants. There is a no-rush time frame.


Who said it has to be done in a month – is there a law saying you have to rush or is it simply an agent’s business convenience?


Having said that – there is no rule that says you have to drag it out, if the right deal is there.


Another fact this weekend: We completed a buy and sell moving our clients from Kew to Canterbury. It was great to work with Judy Balloch and Scott Patterson again – real pro’s.




  • Our records show they were Marketnews readers, just like you and they first contacted us, via a phone call to Gina on the 22nd of October 2020.
  • That’s 6 weeks ago
  • Today we/they completed the buy and the sell management of their family homes – total $7.3 million.
  • And settlement is same day – NO BRIDGING FINANCE..
  • When we say it costs no more to Buy and Sell Manage well, we genuinely mean it.


2nd Case Multi-list: Brighton – $4,400,000.


A past client (she’s a ripper – we bought for her last time) approached us in the pandemic to check was her home worth more than the land value she was told – across the road similar period home – just sold for $3,400,000 and was bulldozed.


We said we felt her home was worth more if we could market it in a different manner and timeframe and gave her a price estimate of $4,200,000 to $4,500,000


  • We approached a number of agents.
  • We managed an off market Multi-list campaign.
  • The market turned. So we turned as well.
  • We selected one agent and changed to a public EOI.
  • The home attracted good interest
  • We turned again and it changed to an auction.
  • 4 Bidders – sold for $4,400,000.


  • So it took 6 months not 6 weeks, but our client got $4,400,000 not $3,400,000


We may be paddling our own canoe here – but it’s our client who was the real smartie. She didn’t panic, had some patience and took a non-conforming exploratory approach to pricing and in the end got a solid result.


However, we digress.


Some of the Inner Melbourne markets are changing how they do business.


So while these may be seminal times in your life, they may also be seminal moments in the business of real estate. The way Melbourne real estate has been done for 30 years feels like it has begun to move in 2020.


Big Tech is dropping and human contact is rising, both to a more balanced position in 2020 and we see that continuing in 2021.

These Christmas homes are being sale managed through Multi-list.

Elwood: SOI $5,500,000 620 sqm. Ready to move in family home of 4 bedrooms with a full opening indoor/outdoor living area, pool, huge parents retreat with study. 2 cars at the front and with rear access, you could transform the additional building at the rear from childrens mecca to trophy garage. On a summer’s day with flowers in full bloom and 250 metres to beach or 250 metres to coffee at Ormond Road. This home is one the best indoor entertaining homes going to market this year.



Fitzroy: This home has a very famous past owner and the current ones are not too shabby either. A terrace that has great parking and renovated within an inch of its life – it’s a beautiful reno – ready for move in – contracts underway – for sale before Christmas. In the jewel part of Fitzroy – Gore Street precinct.



Hawthorn: SOI $14,200,000 If the events of this year have interrupted a selling campaigns then this is a case in point home. It will now go to market next year. A publicly marketed one down the road is of a similar land size, but as you can see of vastly different building offerings. The provenance of this home is exceptional and full documentation of such has been prepared by Urbis. A family generational home in Grace Park on big land – two street frontages and north rear aspect. Available quietly now or via more fanfare next year.



Malvern: Did you see the home at 18 Cawkwell St Glen Iris marketed by Andrew James – sold at the top end of the quote. This is bigger land, more open ground floor area, beautiful gardens. Update some more, start again, do nothing. It’s for sale now.



Toorak: A record breaker returning? The greatest architectural home ever built in Toorak or for that matter Melbourne, Australia, possibly the world? Sound like a selling agent? An international home that will begin an international campaign as the vaccine situation allows.

Mal James 0408 107 988. Gina’s number is 0457 835 255. Managing the process we can put you in touch with somebody to take you through.

  • Clear pricing.
  • One on one.
  • A multi of options.


James Multi-list Buy and Sell Management. Both sides – the whole transaction, but never hidden conflicts, as we are only paid by one and both sides know in writing.


Footnotes on the business of buying (buyer advocacy), which is the majority of our work.

If you have a home to sell or even if you are thinking about it – why not give us a ring. 


We would (even during these holidays)

  • Talk discreetly on the phone and if you wanted to, arrange a private time to meet.
  • Give you a value/price opinion from a buyers point of view.
  • Bring a potential buyer or talk to you about your selling options/agents or say we have nobody and then not pester you, as there is no obligation on your part.


Here are 5 of a number of family homes we are looking for right now. You could take your time in deciding or like clients above, be in a new home by early next year. Buy and sell.

  • South Yarra. Family home. $5m
  • Brighton. Period family home. $7m
  • Toorak/Malvern/Armadale. Period family home on good land. $13m
  • Kew. Family home. Renovate. $4m
  • Hawthorn. Family home near Grace Park. $6m


This week – we also

  • Drove to Sorrento to say NO to the buying of a brand-new lifestyle home.
  • Encouraged a NO on another lifestyle home 2 hours from Melbourne
  • Said NO on a home – really poor in a great Brighton location for an OS buyer.


Good real estate is not all about YES and now – but it can be with James Buy Sell.

Do Banks and Economists Understand Melbourne Property?

May 2020

Headline Grabs?

April 2020

Balanced Opinion?

December 2020

Actual Result

Design and Architecture with Kathy



A quick media scan reveals countless tv shows, social media pages and Pinterest boards dedicated to home renovations.  Looking at these, it sometimes seems that updating a dilapidated house into a slick instagram-worthy home is a walk in the park.  However if you are not well prepared, it can be a time consuming, stressful money pit. If planning to buy and renovate, it is well worth doing your homework before making the property purchase.


1.Ask yourself why?

Firstly, think about why you want to renovate.  Is it so you can find your forever home at an entry level price in a good area? Or is it a short term investment with the aim to buy, renovate and then sell?  No matter your reasons for looking to buy to renovate, there are some simple principles that should influence your property choice.  Getting these right, may have significant implications on the final cost and time taken for the renovations. 


2. Location and Restrictions

As with any property purchase consider the location.  Obviously, we aim to buy in a good street close to amenities.  But if the property needs renovating, also look at how the local planning regulations will affect your dream plans and, potentially, the time taken to achieve them. For example, property zoning and heritage overlays will implicate what can be added or removed from an existing home. If your project is held up in the planning process, this may add months or even years onto the job.


3. Pay Attention to the Bones

Consider the layout, natural light, flow and the “bones” of the property.  Even though you plan to renovate, minimising structural change and significant alterations to the existing built form will help to keep costs down.  It will also likely facilitate the design process.  At this time it is also worth noting any significant trees on the property.  Some large trees may not be able to be removed due to Council regulations.  They may also have invasive root systems that interfere with the new planned pool or extension.


4. Get it checked by a professional

We highly recommended to have a professional pest and building inspection completed pre-purchase.  Often it’s the things you can’t see that will be costly to repair and may chew up your renovation budget. We have had discussions with clients who felt they could overlook this step to save a few hundred dollars pre-purchase, only to decide not to buy due to unseen termite or water damage. 


5. Consider extra costs

Whilst it may seem obvious to also mention budget, it needs to be discussed. The budget when purchasing to renovate is not always straight forward and there are many factors to add into the equation.  For example; Purchase Price + stamp duty + building costs + architect/design/engineer fees + council fees + rent (during renovation) + time taken – re-sale value (short term versus long term). This equation has not included landscaping and new furniture.  Is your head spinning yet?


If you don’t have the time, budget or inclination for a major renovation, look for a home that has all the right spaces, but only needs a cosmetic fix.  This involves looking beyond daggy fixtures and finishes and hopefully finding a diamond in the rough. And finally, we always recommend living in a property pre-renovation if possible. This way you get to truly know what needs to change.

To our friends in the Chinese Government:

You inspired us to make a big purchase. Normally it’s one bottle – today we bought a dozen.


It’s such a well named tipple. Cab Sav 2018 – Coonawarra.


The Advocate.   cheers   gānbēi

Thanks for the introduction to this one Stan. A beautiful Aussie drop!

Our community responsibilities





Barbara May Foundation


Susmita Magar*


Graeme Blair Memorial  Fund 




Marshall White Foundation – Launch Housing for the Homeless Appeal***


St Jude’s


St John’s Pantry Appeal




Since July 1, 2020 these are the amounts we have contributed back to our community.


*$24,200 was raised by Marketnews readers in October for Susmita to complete her MBA in Melbourne. Half the fund was immediately paid to pay for subjects Susmita is now completing and the balance will be paid early next year when her remaining subjects are finalised. We put in $1,596. Great effort everybody. https://www.gofundme.com/f/nursing-mba-for-nepal


** Selian Hospital is in Tanzania Africa – http://selianlh.or.tz/  We have been there 3 times. We are now making a monthly donation of $3000USD to cover a meal a week for staff, food for children, some incentives for staff and 6-10 Children’s operations per month.


*** Marshall White and Launch are involved in a very worthwhile project to fund the gaps for women experiencing domestic violence and homelessness. The framework has been set up this year and announcements will be made next year. Well done to all involved.






For more information on What We Stand For – please click on red bar at top of page.