Home Buyer Case Study

The Brief

At a glance:  To find and secure a large family home with a swimming pool and parking in the Eastern suburbs.


Budget: $4m-$5m


Shortlisted properties identified: 7 (3 off-market, 3 pre-market and 1 on-market)


Bought: A four-bedroom house in Bronte. Three bathrooms, two parking spaces, on 694sqm, with sea views. Identified pre-market and bought under market value within 24 hours of the formal marketing campaign launching.


Time taken: Four weeks (from engagement to exchanging contract).



The Full Story:


Weekend after weekend they slogged away, trawling through listings and attending open-homes, but Scott and Lauren refused to give up.

They dreamed of buying a family home near the beach, close to friends and relatives, a place where their children could grow up and where they could all enjoy creating happy memories.

But after 18 months of searching, their dream seemed no nearer.

They’d set their hearts on Sydney’s eastern suburbs – Bronte, in particular. They wanted a large house, in good condition, with at least three bedrooms, a swimming pool and parking. And they were prepared to pay up to $5m.

Finding the right place and securing it, however, had defeated them.

The first problem was that the market in Bronte appeared to be reaching its peak. Houses were regularly selling for more than their guide price. Scott and Lauren had missed out numerous times, and weren’t willing to risk more money with uncertainty over the market’s future.

The second problem was that, in addition to their busy jobs as an investment banker and a neonatal nurse, the time they spent searching was wearing them out.

So after doing it on their own for so long, they turned to eastern suburbs buyers’ agents Hunter James, engaging them on their full service.

Hunter James knew it was vital for Scott and Lauren to find houses that weren’t yet on the market, to minimise the competition they would face. To do this, they worked with local selling agents and targeted suitable off-market properties through letter-box drops and door-knocking.

Within a few weeks, Hunter James had identified seven properties that matched Scott and Lauren’s requirements, and arranged private inspections.

“Once the shortlisted options were viewed, they chose their favourite. We then proceeded to provide a detailed evaluation of the property, and put in place a strategy to buy it,” Hunter James managing director Sebastian James said.

Scott and Lauren chose a four-bedroom house in Bronte. In excellent condition, the house was on 694sqm and had views to the sea. With a guide price of $4m-$4.5m, it was well within their budget. But the house was due to go to auction, and the campaign was about to launch. Buying it would not be straightforward.

Hunter James, with their expert knowledge as eastern suburbs buyers’ agents, recognised the guide price was very low. This was verified by an independent bank valuation, which put the market price at $5.4m. With the bank’s valuation, though, came the certainty that competition for the house would be fierce, and would probably drive the price beyond Scott and Lauren’s reach.

They had to move fast.

Hunter James’ thorough analysis of the property put their clients in a good starting position. They also used their contacts to get the due-diligence checks – a full building report and a pest report – completed immediately. This meant Scott and Lauren could table a formal offer within 24 hours of the campaign launch, putting them in pole position.

Their offer of $4.505m was above the guide price. However, the owners were overseas and were relying on an agent who lacked experience of the Bronte area. As a result, they initially wanted the auction campaign to go the full distance.

To overcome this, Hunter James provided comparable eastern suburbs sales figures to support the offer. This data, coupled with a same-day offer deadline, was enough to clinch the deal.

Scott and Lauren’s 18-month quest had come to an end in only four weeks.

Within two days, they learned that the agent had received eight more offers from the only open home, all well in excess of the exchanged price.

“Ultimately, we bought them a beautiful home at a very favourable price, which gave them a buffer and protected them from potential short-term market fluctuations,” Mr James said.



Our Comments

The opportunity to purchase this property was created through proactively leveraging our professional network to identify suitable homes whilst either off-market or in this instance Pre-market. Fortunately on this occassion we were able to sight the preferred property just before the general public, which allowed us to control the situation from the outset by carefully managing both agent and vendors expectations, whilst at the same time executing an acquisition strategy to secure the property before other buyers even had a chance.

A great result for a lovely and well deserving family.




Price Guide

Independent Bank Valuation $5.4M

Sale Method

Purchased Pre Auction


Auction Reserve


Purchased for


Discount on Guide

$895K Below Bank Valuation

Gross Yield


Full Testimonial

“I just wanted to say thank you, not only for securing us a great home in a competitive market but for the level of service you provided.

All aspects of what you did for us in the lead-up to and during the securing of our house were exceptional and I cannot think of one thing that I would suggest to improve your service.

The level of detail in your responses during the search answered all possible questions. Your knowledge, research and confidence in a very competitive market puts you streets ahead of the competition.

Finally, something I noticed and worthy of mention: your business still has the caring family feel, which is such an important value when you are basically working on a whole lot of trust with clients.

We will be highly recommending you to our friends/family and business associates whenever we get the opportunity.

- Scott & Lauren

Buyers Agents

Sebastian James
Founder & Managing Director / BSc, CNE & LREA
Emma James
Director / Research & Administration

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