Understanding risks of solo property investing

Why you're better off ringside - the perils of going it alone in property

One of the first trips I made overseas was to Thailand. I was travelling with a good friend of mine and for one of the first trips out of the country we had a blast.

One of our funniest memories was going to a kickboxing tournament in Bangkok where some of the young kids would go through their paces in front of a jeering tourist crowd. As the night wore on they would invite daring participants up on the stage to see if they had the metal. Without doubt some drunken lad who’s enthusiasm failed to match his talent would proceed to have himself upended by a young Thai boxer who had been reserving himself for the final round with the tourist.

That’s when I learnt to respect the professionals.

Michael Jordan. Henry Ford. Harry Seidler. All great professionals in their own field. They worked hard. They studied and practised in their field of expertise every day. They were coached on the nuances that made them stand out from the crowd.

But they were the Greats. Let’s take a look at something a little closer to home.

My accountant. A consummate professional. Last year my accountant charged me $10,000 to do my tax, God love him. He ended up saving me $70,000 in that financial year. Worth every penny.

Could I have done that tax return myself? Yes. Would I have achieved the same result. Not nearly. And why? Because I don’t know tax like he does and I can’t “read between the numbers” like he can.

Of course, we don’t need a professional for every occasion. Driving a car, doing the shopping, picking up the kids from school (although that would help) do not require professionals. Professionals emerge only when there’s a lot at stake or there’s a large reward. It’s quite acceptable to be an amateur at the mundane.

Which is why it pains me to see people who risk so much, work so hard and then front up to the real estate market to make one of the largest financial purchases they will ever make in their life and then decide to go it alone. To add insult to injury, the parties then enter into a ‘negotiation’ where the mediator works for the seller. Hardly an impartial influence!

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tyring to show you the benefit of using a Buyers Agent in the market. But I do believe in what I do. The relationships we have in this industry, the market knowledge, the financial know-how - it truly is an unfair advantage against those buyers looking to pit themselves against the professionals in the ring every day.

So the next time you decide to make a move in the market, ask yourself whether you have what it takes. Purchasing property will most likely be one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life and you would be wise to have someone in your corner, who knew the game and were an expert in their field.

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