A SAVVY couple tired of waiting for their dream home to come on the market has gone on the offensive, hand-delivering 1000 letters begging someone to sell them a house.
David and Louise Butler spent eight hours on the Monday of the long weekend doing a letter box drop in streets around Paddington, in Sydney's east.
The note, addressed to "Dear Potential Neighbours", describes a young family with a "bump on the way" looking for a three-bedroom house that is either livable or that needs renovation, but is "entry level" in price.
Mrs Butler, who works in marketing, said she came up with the idea after house hunting "on and off" for a year and getting frustrated by the competitive nature of open houses and advertisements with no prices.
"We just hate the competitive nature at open houses, it's a horrible feeling. Everyone's so keen and highly strung," she said.
"It's not like buying a car where you get told everything about the car, you know how much it costs. You're looking at houses that, in this competitive market, you don't know how much they're going to sell for."
The couple, who have a two-year old daughter, and are expecting their second child in February, said they have had a dozen responses, but none that fit the bill yet.
The idea has already succeeded in the UK and US, and is now gaining momentum here.
Mr Butler said: "We've had a few people tell us they've tried something similar and a couple of mates back in the UK bought their places this way. They targeted the house they wanted and went straight to them," he said.
Mrs Butler added: "It's like creating your own market really. Otherwise you're paying for solicitors, pest inspections, solicitors - and then getting blown out of the water on price at auction."
Buyers' agent and host of Your Money, Your Call on Sky Business, Chris Gray, said the trend is growing, especially with investors.
"I've heard of people targeting a building or a street as an investor, but a 1000-letter drop is a lot of effort," he said.
While the unique buying method could bare real estate fruit, he thought it could get agents off side.
"I wouldn't do it as a buyer's agent, but for individuals, why not," he said.
"There are pros and cons in this way of thinking, especially for a seller. Sure, they could sell directly to a buyer and cut out a few thousand dollars in agent fees, but then they also aren't really testing the market for a true price," he said.
"Then you've got the problem of emotions running high. If a buyer wants to talk the price down, then a vendor could get insulted and then no sale will happen."
Mr Gray said as the market heats up buyers are becoming more frustrated.
"In Sydney it seems that there's never enough property," he said. "But buyers really don't need to panic right now.
"Some people are worried that they've missed the boat, but there will always be another property around the corner.
"This isn't a boom market. I think this is a perfect market for both buyers and sellers," he said.