Feature agent: 5 minutes with Ian Fox

Larissa Gardner
4 min read

This week we spoke with Ian Fox from McGrath Estate Agents Seaforth to get his point of view on the Sydney property bubble, some masterful tips on how to negotiate the best sales price for vendors and an understanding of what’s most important in creating longevity in a career in real estate.

What’s your take on the Sydney housing bubble and what do you think will happen over the next 12 months?

Sydney has experienced one of its most spectacular real estate booms having been in a strong growth cycle since around May 2012. The market has changed and we’re now at or very near the peak of the recent boom. It’s a simple case of prices getting so high coupled with a flood of pre-Christmas stock that is causing home buyers to become hesitant to participate. Vendor’s must now re-set their price expectations before the market will begin to turn over again. Investors have fuelled very strong price rises and now that bank lending criteria has been tightened and rental yields are falling, the prospects for further capital growth is limited. It is important to remember that boom periods are only part of the normal growth cycle. While I have called this boom over, I do believe Sydney prices will continue to grow throughout 2016 albeit at a slower pace.

What do you find most enjoyable and rewarding about your career in real estate? 

I’ve been in various aspects of real estate for all of my 40 year career. I enjoy the personal connection with vendors and purchasers alike and I’m deeply committed to maintaining long lasting relationships through my efforts as an agent. I would like to be known for my solid depth of understanding brought through life experience and my detailed market knowledge that I believe is essential to exceeding my clients’ expectations.

Do you have any tips on how to negotiate the best sales price for your vendors with buyers?

In my experience buyers spend between 10 to 20 per cent more than they first planned, they’re aspirational and they purchase the best lifestyle they can afford. Buyers shop logically but also emotionally. An outstanding agent uses questions to identify a buyer’s timeline intentions, lifestyle aspirations and financial capability. He then builds competitive tension between buyers to extract the highest available price for the property whether it be by way of auction, private treaty or expressions of interest.

I also believe in using a price guide that indicates a range of values in order to encourage the ‘right buyer’ interest from the outset. I believe buyers become frustrated very quickly when there is a lack of transparency around a property campaign. Negotiate ethically, with honesty and complete transparency at all times working between buyer and vendor to maximise the sale price and exceed vendors’ expectations.

What about Homely.com.au caught your eye?

It is a fresh new look for property marketing and better still it is free to list. The online forums and community interaction on Homely’s Q&A and Suburb Reviews provides an open platform for residents to establish a connection with their local area. I have mentioned lifestyle as a major aspirational buying factor for most real estate purchasers these days and endorsement by residents living in an area they love can attract out of area buyers who might not have considered buying in there in the past. The McGrath network produces statistics on out of area buyers and we know that up to 30 per cent of sales regularly are made to buyers from outside the area of the listing.  

Do you have a favourite spot in Seaforth?

Yes it’s where I live. We came from Mosman 15 years ago with some trepidation about what the Spit Bridge might mean for our daily commute. I stopped driving to the city and discovered express buses that exclusively use the transit lanes. The Bridge has never been an issue. Fifteen years ago we acquired half an acre of land with an almost unliveable house for the same price as a 3 bedroom semi-detached house in Mosman. We have since rebuilt our home, subdivided and retired our mortgage. Seaforth has been good to me. I now work a five-minute walk from home at McGrath Seaforth. My wife Elizabeth and I work as a selling team and our family now have their own careers.  We have found both a lifestyle and working environment that suits us perfectly.

What would you say is most important in creating longevity in a career in real estate?

An optimistic disposition, absolute persistence and tenacity even in the face of disappointment and rejection. Real estate sales success will give you highs that are worth every disappointment. When you do get down, and there will be times, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the phone. Continue to believe in your ability and your clients will become believers; you will eventually build a following of raving fans. The referrals of your raving fans will be your greatest listing tool and success will follow. 

Take a look at one of Ian’s listings on Homely here.


Agent bio:

Born and raised on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and residing in Seaforth for the past 15 years, Ian Fox is a licensed real estate agent with unparalleled local market knowledge and a true passion for the area. Having recently joined the team at McGrath’s Seaforth office, Ian brings a wealth of experience towards his specialist suburbs of North Seaforth, Balgowlah, North Balgowlah and Manly Vale. Having raised a family himself in Seaforth, Ian has a strong connection to the suburb and has extensively renovated his own home as well as subdivided land in the area. Ian is transitioning into Residential Real Estate following a 40 year career in Property Valuation, Agency, Property Banking and Funds Management. Connect with Ian on LinkedIn.



Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home.

Find the
latest properties
to hit the market

Over 300,000 properties to choose from in the Homely app for iPhone and Android.
“The best way to find homes!”
-Homely app reviewer
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Homely is an internationally acclaimed real estate portal helping millions of Australians each year to find their next home for sale or for rent. Check out our suburb reviews and local Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed.

Leave a reply