Common Buyer Profiles

Happy young couple unpacking or packing boxes and moving into a new home

Below we’ve detailed our most common buyer profiles, when selling it’s important to know who your likely buyer is to ensure your marketing reaches them and attracts them to further enquire.



Highly emotive and often nervous buyers, first home buyers generally need assistance with arranging finance and conveyancing along with some all round general hand holding, which of course we are happy to oblige in. They have increased in numbers recently with the introduction of the first home buyers incentives. First home buyers are often bombarded with advice from would-be experts (well intentioned family & friends) and we find the confusion created by the bombardment of conflicting information can cause a great deal of stress for the first home buyer who doesn’t want to be left with someone giving them the old fashioned ‘I told you so’. Unfortunately it also means we see a lot of first home buyers miss out on some great opportunities due to poor advice. A good tip for those of you who are first home buyers, get your property advice from property experts and do your own homework, you’ll be surprised what you learn and how quick and easy it can be.


Often, people looking to upgrade may not be regularly looking at or registered on the internet sites as interested in looking but if they stumble across the right property they are ready and willing to buy. We find this may come in the form of a particular building they’ve kept a lazy eye on, or a general area they’ve been interested in. We keep tabs on a large number of possible up-graders. We have them flagged in our database to ensure they are contacted when “just that right property” pops up. We also cater to capturing this buyer group when planning our marketing schedules. Up-graders are usually cashed up and tend to purchase with emotion being the driving force, hence we want to make sure they know about opportunities as they arise.


Couples with children who’ve all grown up and now have their own homes, often sell larger family homes in the suburbs and move into lower maintenance homes & apartments. They usually like a larger apartment as they are often still housing a lot of furniture and also like room for their kids and possibly grandchildren to be able to comfortably visit. Popular criteria for Empty Nesters are security and low maintenance, meaning they can lock and leave at their leisure if they wish to travel and they don’t have to spend endless hours maintaining the home so can spend more quality time with family, friends, each other, enjoying their hobbies or one of the many treats of the inner city.


A French phrase for ‘a chic inner city pad’. It’s common for people to have a lock & leave, a second residence, a ‘Pied-a-Terre’ in the inner city. They may have a larger family home outside of the city or may be from regional areas or interstate and are regularly in Melbourne for the football, theatre or even work and it’s convenient to have a property to leave belongings & come and go with minimal fuss. This purchase is carefully considered and often purchased via equity unlocked from a principle place of residence. It’s purchase driven by emotion and lifestyle. Key criteria will vary depending on the individual but often includes location, car parking, aspect, low maintenance, good security, views and of course they will have specific accommodation requirements i.e. numbers of bedrooms, bathrooms and overall living space.


Emotional investors are often first-time or mum & dad style investors. They talk about wanting an investment property but their criteria will often reflect something more like their own criteria i.e. if they can’t imagine themselves living in it then they won’t buy. Emotional investors are less driven by the numbers but they will still form part of their criteria. Emotional investors may also have adolescent children whom they may wish to involve as tenants or co-owners within the upcoming years.


Astute investors are all about the numbers, they’ll generally have a set investment criteria and will not allow their emotions to drive them off course. If the numbers don’t stack up or if it deviates from their plan they will simply wait for the next opportunity to come along. When marketing a property where the likely buyer is an astute investor it’s best to advertise an accurate price and hold firm on it rather than building in room for negotiation otherwise the numbers won’t work and your likely purchaser will not look further at the property.


Some buyers specifically want to buy off the plan to maximise stamp duty savings and to maximise tax advantages by way of the full depreciation benefits. Often deposits are paid by way of a bank guarantee which allows continued growth of the purchasers deposit whilst still being able to secure the property. People purchasing off the plan have often been advised by their accountant or investment advisor and each person will have varying criteria. Some people are very particular about location, others about development size, number of bedrooms, or even completion times. One thing I do caution Off the Plan Buyers on is rental guarantees, whilst they seem appealing at the time the guarantee is usually built into the price, you also have no say on the quality of tenants placed into the property for the duration of the guarantee. We’ve seen many apartments in need of a lot of work and cleaning due to poor tenant choice which ends up costing more than the difference between a guaranteed amount and current market rent. We are also finding that with the current rental shortage, we are often able to secure above the guaranteed amount anyway.


When getting ready to sell, discuss with your Harcourts Melbourne City sales consultant the likely buyer profiles for your property and ask your consultant how the marketing schedule they’ve designed for your property will attract those likely buyers. Click here to find out more

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