Perth Rentseeker - Disappointing Experience with Real Estate Agency, Seeking Advice

Hi All,

Relatively new to the real estate/tenancy game, as I've previously just been paying rent off the books to some uni friends.

Recently saw a property appear on RealEstate.com.au which seemed absolutely IDEAL, so promptly requested an inspection, as I'm aware of how extremely low the rental vacancy rate is in Perth at the moment during the Covid-era, and how ridiculously competitive the current market is for prospective tenants. The property had literally only been listed the day prior, so I figured I'd have a very good chance of being allowed to attend an inspection. Received an automated-looking email the next day from the agency saying;

"In response to your enquiry, we are finalising arrangements to show this property and we will contact you as soon as an inspection time becomes available. Once a time becomes available, we will invite you to register for an inspection. You must register to confirm your attendance at the inspection."

Thus I assumed that I'd be informed when an inspection became available, however I was conscious of the fact that many such agencies would be closed or operating on reduced business hours during the Christmas-New Year period, so was happy to be patient. After not hearing anything for 5 days, I messaged the mobile number listed on the rental listing, asking if I could request an inspection. I heard back from a co-worker of the property manager, who stated "If you can please register online, it will advise the first home open times. I believe Property Manager has it scheduled for later today. So again, I assumed I should just wait, and that I'd hear something a little closer to the date. At about midday yesterday, my patience had reached its limits, so I phoned the agency and asked what the situation was. I was finally able to speak to the property manager, who informed me that all 4 inspection timeslots were currently full. I stated how I'd requested an inspection on Christmas morning and how I'd be really surprised if all 4 timeslots had been filled so quickly during the christmas period, but the manager simply claimed that things were just "really crazy at the moment" and that everything was being snapped up so quickly. I expressed my genuinely high level of interest in being able to apply for this particular property, and asked if there were any way that I could be allowed to tag along at one of the inspections, but they simply said that I'd have to wait and hope that someone un-registered before the event, so that I might have a chance of securing their spot.

So, I guess my questions are aimed at any other Perth rentseekers or people in-the-know, and are as follows;

1) Do you really think it's possible/likely that in the less than 24hr period between the property being listed and my inspection request submission, that FOUR inspection timeslots (of, what, 5 or 10 people each?) could have been completely filled by other rentseekers? Or is the REA simply picking and choosing people somehow, and not conducting the process fairly?

2) Given that the REA's coworker informed me that there is going to be an inspection today, do you think I have absolutely any grounds whatsoever to even attempt to show up, in the hope that someone else doesn't show, so that I might be able to inspect the property and thus apply?

3) It would be a bad idea to attempt to apply for the rental without having attended the inspection (simply because they won't let me), wouldn't it?

4) Any other suggestions/advice/tips?

Thanks in advance for any assistance, and apologies for my naivety concerning some of this stuff. Really appreciate your time!

closed Comments

  • I'd Phone or SMS the Property Manager and indicate you are going to be in the Area where the Rental is this afternoon looking at another Property but that you are keen to inspect and secure their listing if it is suitable.

    If they have a slot open up they can call you back on a direct number or SMS you and you can swing by…

    Otherwise, you would be keen to view it at a mutually convenient time (if you are still looking).

  • +2

    1) You dont know how many people can attend each session. It could be only 1 or 2.

    2) If you do that, dont be surprised if your application goes straight in the bin.

    3) Most REA's wont allow an application without viewing the property first. Again, in the bin

    4) They obviously arent short of tenants interested, so move on.

  • +1

    1. Yes

    The property manager probably opened it to inspection for people that had missed out on previous houses.
    Now that you have registered through them you will probably get contacted about other houses they are listing.
    Noting how hot the market is they may have been advertising internally or seperate to Real estate.com to try and save some money on fees (~ $160 to list on real estate.com)

    2.

    Normally yes but unfortunately Covid through a huge spanner in the works of how opening happen. So unlikely

    3.

    They wont accept your application you have to view the property first.

    4.

    Contact several real estate agents in the area and tell them what you are looking for and get on there internal mailing lists (they will list here before Realestate.com)

    Its a little amusing as normally you cant get real estate agents to leave you alone…

  • +1

    1.

    People may have set up email alerts for new listing, and got in before you did? I mean, you already know how competitive the market is.

    https://help.realestate.com.au/hc/en-us/articles/11500532328...

    2.

    Calm down.

    3.

    Won't allow.

    4.

    Move on.

  • Cool, no worries guys. Kind of figured it was a lost cause, but thought I'd just see what people's thoughts were. Thanks for the advice!

  • https://www.perthnow.com.au/business/housing-market/perth-re...

    Perth rental crisis: Beckenham unit attracts 800 inquiries as vacancy rate plummets to below 1 per cent

  • +1

    You were probably supposed to apply for the inspection online, not wait for their phone call or message.

    • Oh, I did. I applied on Christmas morning, literally within 24 hours of the listing being posted.

      • +1

        Really? But weren't there no inspections scheduled when you registered?

        • Exactly. The wording of the generic email seemed to imply that they hadn't even organised any inspections yet, and that I'd be one of the first to hear when they did. And yet nothing ever came.

  • +1

    Why is there such a shortage in Perth? It's not like we have a lot of people moving around at the moment.

    • Well anyone that would have moved cities for a job or whatever is probably not moving now - too risky

  • I know multiple property managers in Perth.

    Speaking with them they have echoed the news that it is crazy out there.

    One told of an inspection with a queue longer than the inspection window to take them all through.

    24 hours is more than enough for people to get ahead of you. There are people who have already registered with multiple agencies to be the 'first' to get a look in before the property is on the market.