Testimonial: Gratification with the ease of the buying process

Fear of going outside a budget and countless hours spent pouring over listings in search for the perfect home all contribute to the constant stress associated with buying a property. Missed opportunities due to a lack of understanding and connections in the real estate industry are pushing potential buyers to enlist the help of a buyer’s agents at Cohen Handler. This client testimonial outlines the struggle faced when buying a property and the smooth transaction Steven Langman facilitated with an elevated level of service.w800-h600-w3960-h2640-2012039130_9_pi_150610_073151

Property purchase: Rose Bay, June / July 2015

Buyer’s agent: Steven Langman


“Prior to engaging Steven Langman from Cohen Handler I had a perception that buyers’ agents were primarily a resource for the super rich or incredibly time poor. We are certainly not the former, and, even though I was not really enjoying the property search, I did have the time to continue with it. We were prompted to interview buyers agents after missing out on a number of properties, not because we couldn’t afford them, but because we didn’t know how to play the real estate game and negotiate in the same way real estate selling agents negotiated. We interviewed a couple of buyers’ agents and my husband and I knew immediately that Steven would be a good fit. 

Steven asked the right questions to get to know exactly what we were looking for in a property, how long we intended on staying in that property, our motivations for moving and, importantly, our maximum budget. Steven also took time to truly understand what situational leverage we had over other potential purchasers of similar properties so that he could use those to our advantage when negotiating with selling agents {for example we could agree to a short settlement, had financing approved and lawyers who could turn around a contract review in a number of hours}. He also offered up his views on other factors we may not have fully considered – which ended up turning out to be very important to us. 

Following our initial meeting and after viewing a few properties with Steven we tweaked our brief slightly, however our budget remained exactly the same. I was very appreciative that not once did Steven ask us to increase our overall budget. If we asked about a property that he knew was beyond our reach financially he quickly moved on, which not only saved us time, but also potential heartache as we were not given the chance to fall in love with a property beyond our reach.

There are obvious benefits to hiring a buyers’ agent – time saved as you do not view properties that don’t meet your search criteria, or are priced beyond your budget. However, we found the less obvious benefits fundamental to our decision to engage a buyers’ agent, and specifically to engage Steven Langman. Steven, and his colleagues at Cohen Handler, have a network of contacts across the real estate sector. The ability to tap into off-market, pre-market and other properties “hidden” from public view was enormously important, as was Steven’s proven record of dealing with many, if not all, of the major selling agents in our area of interest. Steven knew the tactics, preferences and unique attributes of the various selling agents and, therefore, how best to negotiate with that particular person. Once we had engaged Steven I felt completely relaxed that we would hear about all properties that met our criteria, so much so that I completely stopped searching myself.

In the end we purchased a property that was on the open market. I am very confident that without Steven acting for us we would have either had to increase our offer price {importantly, the increase in price that would have been needed was more than the total buyer’s agent fee charged by Steven} to secure the property or, if we were stuck on the price we paid, we would not have secured that particular property. Steven knows the real estate ‘game’ and can negotiate with the selling agents in their language – a language that even to an experienced negotiator {I practiced as a corporate solicitor for a number of years negotiating many large transactions} – was not a language I spoke. In addition, Steven also speaks “non-real estate” and was able to translate the information told to us by the selling agent into what that actually meant, thereby keeping our expectations in check at all stages of the process.

Steven remained in constant contact with us during the period between engagement and exchange and was available on every day I contacted him. Since exchange Steven continues to be extremely helpful: arranging for us to have access to the property to meet architects and other trades on-site during the exchange to settlement period, keeping track of settlement proceedings and he will attend the pre-settlement inspection with us.

I highly recommend Steven and our only regret is not hiring him from the outset of our search. When we decide to sell our newly acquired property, in 8-10 years, my first call will actually be to Steven, as opposed to our selling agent, to get an honest lay of the real estate market and an idea of what we would then be able to afford.

Following our recent exchange on a Rose Bay property, secured by Steven, I strongly believe a buyer’s agent is not only an extremely good investment, from a financial point of view, it is perhaps almost essential in the current market if you wish to avoid overpaying or purchasing property ‘just-because’. I felt at all times Steven was working for us, and solely for us, which is of great comfort during these volatile conditions.”

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