In Australia’s hot property market, more people than ever are using a buyer’s agent. Tina Clark from Rose and Jones is one such agent, helping people find and purchase their dream home at the best price.
“I have always been pretty property obsessed and have bought, renovated and sold quite a few properties over the years,” she says. “I moved back to Australia from Hong Kong in 2012 and quite a few offshore friends were asking me to check out properties for them and bid at auctions. I did that on the side for quite a few years but over time, I just became more and more interested in the industry and finally I moved to working in it full-time in 2019.
Rose and Jones offered Tina a role, she got her real estate licence and she hasn’t looked back.
“Buying a home or an investment property is usually the biggest purchase people make. There are many nuances to the process and today, more than ever, I believe people need a seasoned negotiator to help them with the process. I put a huge amount of time into sourcing the properties for my clients, however I believe the execution is very often the major reason to entrust your search to a professional. In this crazy market, we try to avoid auctions at all costs, but if we do go to auction, it’s amazing to see the difference a confident, experienced bidder can make to the overall result.”
Tina says buyers’ agents save people time and very often, a great deal of money. “We also put a lot of effort into assessing recent sales in the area and working out where the price should sit for any given property.”
As well as founding the stylish storage brand Sagitine, Tina also worked as an institutional equity trader for over 20 years, mainly in New York and Hong Kong. “I traded for many large hedge and mutual funds globally and negotiated every single day at work. It gave me extensive experience in the art of negotiation and even better, a very sharp bullshit radar! I feel extremely confident in assessing situations and making quick decisions if necessary.”
Relationships are also key to her role and she makes a big effort to know the sales agents in the area. “We are privy to properties coming to market, often months before the public knows about them, ensuring our clients always get the first look.”
So, is the property bubble slowing down or at risk of bursting any time soon? “We are still seeing very robust prices and in some cases, just crazy prices,” Tina says. “However it is becoming slightly harder to get mortgages approved as APRA recently tightened up their requirements. While the Reserve Bank has publicly stated they won’t increase interest rates until 2024, I think we would need to watch that carefully. As Australia reopens to the world post Covid, we could see the rest of the economy running as strongly as the property market and see a rate rise sooner rather than later.
“In general, I feel like we are seeing prices find a level and behave in a more steady fashion at the moment. Stock is still incredibly tight, making our role even more necessary for home buyers.”
One of Tina’s recent favourite searches was in Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. “Driving there each week and viewing such beautiful homes was a real pleasure. I did buy an apartment in Freshwater this year that was particularly satisfying. My client was an expat living in Europe and he wanted to be able to walk to the beach with his son when he eventually moved home. I found him an apartment that was three minutes to Queenscliff beach on one side and six minutes walk to Freshwater beach on the other side. The building is being upgraded over the next few years and I feel like I have made his property dreams come true and also found him a very solid asset in a quality location.”
Buyers’ agents offer a range of services. “We can do a full search for clients where we take care of every single step from the initial sourcing of the property, to the final negotiations or auction, then all of the relevant steps from exchange through to settlement,” Tina explains. “If a client has already chosen a property and would like some help with the evaluation and negotiation, we can do that too. Sometimes people just pay me to bid at auction for them, taking away the pressure on the day.”
Tina has bought properties for her clients ranging in price from $800,000 to $12 million and everything in between. She covers most of metropolitan Sydney and traditional weekender areas like the Central Coast and the Southern Highlands.