Feng Shui, inauspicious house numbers and a concierge – the different methods of selling to the Chinese
Selling a mansion in Sydney? An article published in Domain, the Sydney Morning Herald’s property supplement, suggests you may consider making a few changes to attract the city’s newest cashed-up arrivals. In the past year record numbers of wealthy Chinese have bought property in Sydney and what they consider important when viewing houses may not be top of your list when marketing yours. Making sure your home’s feng shui is good, the house number is auspicious, and enlisting the services of a specialist property concierge could not only make the difference between a sale and total disinterest but could even start a bidding war which significantly raises the expected sale price.
“I haven’t seen the emergence of a major market like this in 30 years,” McGrath Estate Agents’ chief executive John McGrath says. “In the last 12 months in particular there’s an unprecedented surge of interest in our real estate from the Chinese.” And they are buying some of the city’s most exclusive and expensive properties. Examples include an Eastwood house which recently sold for $1 million over the $1.35 million reserve thanks to a bidding war between 16 registered bidders, all of whom were Asian, and a raft of luxury waterfront mansions in Point Piper – two sold for $54 million and $33.5 million.
Chinese property buyers are spending some serious money, especially since they were incentivised when the government launched the significant investor visa last November. As of August, there have been 305 applicants for the visa but, so far, only 10 have been approved. The first significant investor visa holder to buy a Sydney property was Minquin Wang, who found her Vancluse mansion (for which she paid $8.5 million) with the help of Monika Tu, who operates a property concierge service, Black Diamondz. Many Chinese buyers want to buy a slice of Australian life along with their property; they want an introduction into how to become a part of Australian society and this is where specialist ‘concierge‘ services can help. Tu established Black Diamondz to aid the growing number of wealthy buyers from overseas who are emigrating to Australia and want an introduction into our way of life and help with all facets of a big move, from selecting schools, to getting essential services connected, to buying local art for their new walls.
To ignore this growing market would be foolish. Every major estate agency in the city is investing time and money to target and attract wealthy Chinese buyers. Some now have offices in various Asian cities, others employ translators or assistants fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, and many advertise property on China’s property websites. Clued-up agents are even advising vendors on the best ways to attract Chinese buyers. House numbers are being changed from those which are deemed bad luck to those which are incredibly auspicious. Anything with a 4 is bad but 8 is very good. Feng shui experts are also being hired to ensure properties have a good flow. Gary Khor, a feng shui master, experienced his busiest spring in 30 years this year. “Most people don’t realise that Chinese people won’t touch a property if the feng shui is no good,” he explains.
It seems that to encourage interest in your property from wealthy Chinese buyers you must go that extra step, but the financial gains can be well worth the effort.
By Corey K (follow me on Google )