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Jasper & Samantha’s Journey

Two weeks ago we were asked to help a wonderful couple who had decided to sell their home in Balwyn and embark on what’s recognised as a sea change.

A seachange can be a challenge for a metro city buyer’s agent because the travel can be lengthy and the time required to learn about the area could be extensive. But when our clients asked us if we would help find them a home in Sorrento, we couldn’t resist.

The southern peninsula is quirky when it comes to real estate. Firstly, many of the houses down there are holiday homes. They may be consistent weekenders, holiday-lets by winter, and houses by summer. Some are on the market because the owners have a better use for their money now and for others it’s because it’s time to cash in. Regardless of the way properties are used or the reasons for selling, the key differences in Victorian real estate are twofold. The days on market are generally longer, and the peak selling season is counter to that of metro Melbourne. Holidaying couples and families generally arrive for the summer season, which remains strong until Easter weekend and almost goes into hibernation after Anzac Day.

Our clients made contact with us one week before Easter. We told them that they must visit as many potentially viable houses in Sorrento as possible before the Easter crowd arrived, and that they had to be prepared to make a swift and decisive offer once we found one. They selected a gorgeous homely single storey property with lovely gardens and bright inviting living areas. And only a short walk from the property is a lovely beach known as Sullivan Bay, nestled between two points that the locals refer to as ‘the Sisters’. Not only is this little inlet historically important, but it is also one of the most serene and private little beaches in the area.

Lt Col. David Collins sailed into Sorrento and docked at this beach with free settlers on board back in 1803. It was the first attempt to settle in Victoria, and after a dismal failure and loss of lives due to a lack of fresh water, they headed down to Hobart and settlement in Victoria occurred some 30 years later in Melbourne. Knowing that this home ticked all of the boxes for our excited clients, we wasted no time contacting the agent to commence negotiations. Though he was very forthcoming with information, we discovered that not only had another party made an offer well under the asking price a week prior, but they were standing firm and felt the agent might have been bluffing them when he disclosed that we were another interested party.

We discussed our comparable sales analysis with our clients and formulated a fair offer. We coordinated a last minute building inspection and our clients had their solicitor review the contract promptly. The builder kindly booked a late afternoon inspection and by Anzac Day we had ourselves a deal. The owners knew that if negotiations didn’t take place by Sunday 27th, they could be facing a slow winter. Our fair offer, preparation, forwardness and good communication with the agent meant that we were taken seriously.

Not only did we merge settlement dates for our clients’ sale, but we negotiated some extra items to be attended to as a condition of settlement, which were aired after the building inspection. So they can look forward to finding out more about the local history, enjoying walks along the beach and breaking into the social scene.

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