Category Archive

Real Estate

How much should I sell my home for?

Real Estate June 27, 2022

The property market is constantly moving and what the final sale price of a property ends at varies depending on a multitude of factors, however, will largely be at the whim of supply and demand of properties in the market.

When looking at pricing your home, you first might consider basing the sale price off the current mortgage that you owe and how much you need to purchase your next property. While these are important considerations, at the end of the day these factors do not determine what the listing price should be or where the eventual sale price will land.

An agent will have local knowledge and an understanding of where your property may sit in the current market. They will also research several factors when it comes to pricing your home.

Comparable listings in the area

If you would like to get an indicator on where your property may price in the market, you could research current or recent sales in your area of properties that may be similar to yours. 

You might consider the listed price for comparable properties and the final sale price to determine a range of where your property may be listed.

Choose properties that are comparable to yours, taking into account the size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces and parking as well as additions to the property and inclusions. The age of the property and any potential improvements or renovations should also be included in the price estimate. 

Look at withdrawn listings

While comparing to current or recent sales, some extra digging can also find properties that have been withdrawn from the sale that may be comparable property. Looking at these withdrawn sales will give you an indication of prices that a property didn’t sell for, whether they were priced incorrectly or if there were other challenges that prevented the property from being sold. These factors can give you a bigger range to consider when working out the price.

Calculating the price

When you have all the comparable sale data from other properties in your area, you can then pool the information together to work out the average listing and final sale price for those properties and compare them to find the approximate value of your home. 

If you would like a more accurate price that your property may sell for, a local agent can help with a sales appraisal, or you could choose to invest in a property valuation to provide you with the value of the property.

When is the right time to sell?

Real Estate June 23, 2022

The decision to sell your home can be life-changing and when you are considering when the right time might be, you can sometimes get caught up in the hype of when it might be a good time to test the market. 

Largely, the real estate market can be seasonal in the demand for property. Spring has traditionally been a prime time to sell property as potential buyers come out of winter hibernation and decide to make a move. 

This of course, is not the only factor in the equation as other elements such as interest rate rises, world events and fluctuations in market activity also playing a role in considering how the market is trending. 

Ultimately, the best time to sell your property is when you are ready to make a move. It may be that your family is expanding, or you are working from home more and you need to move to a bigger space. You may have decided on a change of scenery and location, or you have concluded that now is the time to downsize.

There are some things you may like to consider before you make the next move. 

Do you have a financial plan?

The costs to move home are not always light and it is easier if you have a plan in place of how you are going to fund your move. There may be equity in your current home that can contribute toward the next property or you may need to save more to move to the next property. Knowing these details can also make help make the decision around budgetary questions. 

Do you need more to upsize, or have you made considerable gains in the current value? Are you downsizing and will there be a surplus of funds after settlement that will work toward your next property goal?

You will also need to consider costs for agents and solicitor fees, statutory fees, and the costs to relocate. 

Speak with an agent

Do you have an agent of choice? It might be someone who you’ve worked with before or someone that has been recommended to you. A skilled agent will be able to provide you with an appraisal to give you an indication of price and provide a fee structure that you can plan into your budget. 

The advice that they provide can give you the information that you may need to make an informed decision as to whether it is the right time to sell. 

Is it time for a sea or tree change?

Making the decision to move may come down to lifestyle and changes that occur depending on the life stage that you are at. If may be that you are relocating for work, you may need to upsize or downsize, or you’ve decided to make a tree or sea change.

Consider the life stage you are at, what the next steps are, and where you may like to see yourself living during your next stage. This will then help with research into prices in your chosen area and set a budget so that you will know how much you need to sell for.

Should I consider selling off-market

Real Estate June 21, 2022

While there are the traditional methods of sale including auction, private treaty, and expressions of interest or tender, with more recent market demands, selling off-market has become a viable option for sellers and buyers. 

To sell off-market, a sales agent will usually have a database of interested buyers that have been generated due to an interest in similar properties in the area. This will provide an avenue to market the property to these prospective buyers without public advertising. 

If this form of sale is your preferred method, it is important to partner with a sales agent who has a proven track record of recent sales in the local area and is likely to have a list of qualified buyers. They will be able to leverage off this list to contact prospective buyers that are finance approved and bring those buyers to you. 

This style of selling will mean that there potentially isn’t a need for many weeks of open homes and there is a simpler marketing strategy than is required for traditional methods of sale. The agent will also facilitate the process through to settlement and give you the opportunity to sell the property faster.

Selling off-market can be a good move to reduce the associated marketing costs that can come with a traditional property sale. You may find that there isn’t a need for investment in professional styling as purchasers may not be expecting the property to be styled. 

Positioning an off-market sale in the market may also be a strategic move to assist both vendors and purchasers who are looking for anonymity in the sale and purchase of a property. This form of sale offers a level of privacy that isn’t available in other sales and as a vendor, if you would like to maintain a closed-door option to your sale, then this may be the best preference. 

As with all forms of property sales, talk to your advisors and your sales agents to determine the best method of sale that will suit both you and the style of property that you are selling.

5 reasons to hire a property manager

Real Estate June 20, 2022

If you own one or even more investment properties, there are benefits to employing a qualified property manager to take care of your assets and who will ensure that the essential areas are taken care of. 

A good property manager will take the potential stress away from you when it comes to management of the property on a day-to-day basis with thorough knowledge of legislative requirements and advise you of your responsibilities as a landlord. 

Lease the Property

A property manager will market and show the property to prospective tenants. They will also put any applications through rigorous checks to verify factors such as identity, income and previous rental or ownership history and provide you with the details to decide on a tenant of choice. 

The property manager will prepare all lease documentation and an ingoing condition report detailing the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy and prepare the property for move-in day.

Manage the property through the tenancy

Throughout the tenancy, there will be regular repairs and maintenance items that will occur due to use and fair wear and tear. These repairs may range from leaking taps to appliance repairs, hot water systems or more major maintenance. They can arrange relevant trades to carry out the repairs and pay the invoices as they arrive, keeping track of the essential paperwork that you will require for tax time. 

A property manager will also conduct routine inspections of the property to check the condition that it is being maintained as well as repairs and maintenance that may need to occur. They will also recommend potential work that may need to be done in the future to maximise your investment which will allow you to plan for future refurbishment or improvement costs.

Handle Disputes

From time-to-time disputes can happen, whether it be due to factors such as rent arrears, breaches during a tenancy, managing repairs and vacating challenges. A property manager will assist with negotiating through these challenges, talking with the tenant and you as a landlord to resolve the dispute.

Should any matters require referral to the tribunal to resolve, they will also appear as a representative on your behalf to resolve the matter.

Manage accounts

While rent is paid each month, a property manager can also pay bills such as council and water rates, strata levies and maintenance invoices on your behalf from the rental funds. You will then be provided with a statement and a copy of the bills so that you can take them to your accountant at tax time. 

Provide Professional Recommendations

As a trusted advisor in managing your investment, your property manager will provide professional recommendations on work that may need to be carried out to the property to maximise your investment. 

They will also keep an eye on current market conditions and advise you on potential rent increases, and the best time to implement increases while maintaining good tenants. If they are working with a sales team, they can also provide a market appraisal for sale so that you can keep your finger on the pulse of your property value.

5 things to disclose when selling your home

Real Estate June 16, 2022

When it comes to putting your home on the market for sale, there are several areas that are important to disclose to your agent and potential buyers before and during the sale of the property. Failure to disclose many of these areas can result in harsh penalties, depending on the state that you are in as well as the loss of buyers without penalty during the transaction.

Material Fact

There are requirements to disclose items called material facts, which include things like mould, illegal drug manufacturing if the property has been subject to floods in the past and serious or violent crimes that have occurred at the property.

Failure to disclose these areas could result in the buyer walking away without penalty.

Asbestos

In many states, there are requirements around loose-fill asbestos that may be contained in the home. It is also important to disclose if you are knowingly aware of asbestos in the home. If this is not disclosed, it may be picked up by building inspectors during the sale process which could mean penalties to you as a seller.

Building Defects

In more recent times, we have seen reports of building defects in some newer apartment buildings that have involved larger final ramifications. It is important that any known potential defects are disclosed as these are likely to be noticed during building inspections which may mean that the buyer will want to negotiate on the final sale price, or they may walk away from the sale. 

Property Titles and Consents

If the property is subject to covenants, zoning, renovations, or easements, these should all be disclosed during the sale.

Disclosures under these categories could include shared driveways, water easements for authorities if developments have covenants around landscaping, streetscaping or fencing designs and requirements or zoning in areas of flood, fires, or specific developments.

You should also disclose if there are disputes in relation to any boundaries or fence lines that may cause a challenge to the sale.  

Tenancies

If you have current tenants at the property, it will be important to disclose the sale to the tenant as well as any fixed-term leases and their terms that are in place to the potential buyer.

If there are longer-term tenancies in place that are 20 years or more, many states have specific requirements around occupancy and termination that should be disclosed, especially in cases where the buyer may be looking at owner-occupation rather than investment.

Should I sell by auction?

Real Estate June 14, 2022

There are many advantages to selling your home by auction. This form of selling a property can contribute to achieving a higher final sale price by increasing the competition of the potential purchasers who are bidding on auction day. 

When setting your price prior to an auction you have the choice not to sell under the reserve, which is a price limit that you set based on the ideal price that you would like to achieve. If the bids on auction day do not meet the reserve figure set, your agent can negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf after the conclusion of the auction.

An auction contract is also unconditional and the terms and conditions that you set at auction will be bound in the sale and contract.

In advance of the auction, your agent will likely recommend an auctioneer and work with you on appointing this auctioneer. While your agent will be working to market your property in the lead-up to auction day, on an actual day, it will be up to the auctioneer to get the crowd moving and, on the road, to achieve your ideal sale price.

Your agent will work with the registered bidders who can register prior to or on the day of the auction and bid either face to face, over the phone or online. While your agent can’t provide you with the list of names of those registered, they can give you the level of interest in the property.

It is important to discuss the minimum price that you would be willing to sell the property for with your agent in advanced of the auction. They will then use this figure to set your reserve price. Once the bids reach the reserve price on the day of the auction, then the auctioneer will announce the property as ‘on the market’, meaning that the property will sell for the highest bid above this figure. 

If the property does not meet to reserve price that you have set, then you are free to not sell the property on the day of auction and the agent will work with potential buyers to negotiate a possible sale after the auction. 

Auctions can heighten stress levels in the lead up to and on the day. It is important that you are informed and have a support network no matter the outcome. They also have the potential to gain a final figure that is higher than your ideal sale price. 

Discussing all your options with your agent during the initial campaign will help you make a decision that is right for you.

4 ways to maximise your investment property

Real Estate June 13, 2022

As we head toward the end of the financial year, you may find that you are having conversations with your accountant or your property manager around areas that you can look at to maximise your investment property value and in turn, the returns that come with it. 

One of the areas that you can look at our renovations around the property. Many of these may have to wait until you have a short window between tenancies, however, if you budget and prepare in advance, it can help in minimising downtime between tenancies and the potential for rent loss.


Paint and flooring

Painting and floorcoverings are considered to have an average lifespan of around 10 years. Once they reach the end of that lifespan, it can also reduce the amount that you may recoup from tenants, should they damage paint and floor coverings during the tenancy.

Over time they also start to look tired and worn with everyday wear and tear which can impact the rental return. Budgeting for new paint and carpet or touching up floorboards and tiles can help to give the property a quick freshen up between tenancies and increase the potential return.

Kitchens

While they are a larger ticket item when it comes to renovations, there can be affordable ways to replace or upgrade a kitchen between tenancies. Trades and your property manager can work with you within your budget to achieve a result that can improve the value of the property.

In looking at ways to reduce the costs, if the cupboard interiors and layout are still in good condition, you may choose to replace doors, update the benchtop or appliances, or look at new handles for the doors. 

Bathrooms

In many states, there are increasing requirements around water efficiency and water-saving devices. Many tenants will also be willing to pay a little extra in rent to gain a bathroom that is clean and tidy with all fixtures and fittings that are in good order.

For more affordable renovations, replacing tapware, towel rails, shower heads and vanities may be a consideration. There are also some great options for tile paint if the full tiling of the bathroom is not within the budget initially. 

Replacing cracked or older shower screens may also be required, especially if they become an ongoing safety concern.

Landscaping

In recent years, with longer tenancies and people spending more time at home, there is increased focus around outdoor areas and gardens. Installing low-maintenance trees and shrubs can reduce the time that is needed to maintain gardens and ensure that they are less likely to get out of control for those that don’t have a green thumb. 

If there are specific requirements that you have around gardens and lawns, it can often pay to employ a gardener of your choice to regularly maintain the areas and keep them up to the standard that you would prefer. 

5 maintenance items to tackle during winter

Real Estate June 9, 2022

The return of the cooler months can be a time where it is tempting to hibernate and let those maintenance items go around your home until the spring warmth is back. Keeping on top of home maintenance in the winter months will ensure that it doesn’t get too far behind.

  1. Check walls and ceilings for damp and mould

Damper and colder weather can create havoc in our homes and with a mixture of reduced ventilation, potential ingress of water from the elements and reduced sunlight, mould can creep its way onto walls, ceilings and even furnishings.

A quick check regularly of walls behind furniture and ceilings as well as around windows, blinds and curtains can help you to stay on top of the mould and clean it away quickly if it appears. 

  1. Inspect smoke detectors and fire alarms

The cooler months signal a return to dragging out heaters and using other heating devices. It is advisable to check that these are working effectively and serviced if required, ensuring that you have a working smoke alarm and fire alarms at the property.

Smoke and fire alarms are required to be checked annually and it is important to take steps to have these serviced, especially heading into the months when the potential for home fires rises.

  1. Service fireplaces and heaters

If you have an older fireplace or even those running on gas or electricity, now is the time to safeguard your home by servicing these items and ensuring that they are in good working order.

Cleaning chimneys and around fireplaces can reduce the risk of fire while servicing gas heaters can reduce the potential for gas leaks and checking electrical heaters can lessen the chance of electrical fires.

  1. Carry out a pest inspection

While we like to huddle up for the warmer months, so do the pests that can find refuge in your home looking for warmth. Checking cupboards, vents, garages, roof spaces and under stairs will find all sorts of places that cockroaches and mice like to hide.

If you do happen to find that you have pests in your home, contacting a pest control company can assist in finding solutions to keep them under control.

  1. Ventilate where possible

Where you can catch warmer days during the winter months, it is ideal to ventilate your property as much as possible. Opening doors and windows to let fresh air flow and sunlight through can help to dry out dampness and keep things like mould at bay.

Where you can’t ventilate, using dehumidifiers and fans on low can help to increase air circulation and reduce the stuffiness that can build during winter.

What to expect from a property appraisal

Real Estate June 7, 2022

A property appraisal will usually be carried out on your home by a qualified real estate sales agent where you would like to gain an estimate of the potential value in the current market conditions or in the case where you have decided to sell the property.

Choosing to get a market appraisal on your home may not always coincide with wanting to sell the property. Some will choose to gain an appraisal where they are looking to refinance, they may have made improvements around the property and are gaining an updated price comparison, or they might also be choosing to purchase an investment property. Gaining a market appraisal might also be due to market fluctuations where an owner would like to see where their property sits in relation to the current local market. 

To obtain a property appraisal, contact a local real estate sales agent. You may also be referred to an agent or you might like to choose a few agents to look through the property who will give you a range of estimates on the property and provide you with more options on who you might like to sell your home. 

A sales agent will walk through the property and assess the condition, size and inclusions of the home. They will note key factors like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and parking spaces as well as additional features that may be included and any improvements that have been completed which have the potential to add to the value of the property. 

Once they have completed their inspection and discussed options for the property with you, they will research the property and look at current and recent sales of similar properties in your location and the price for which they sold. A sales agent will also consider the location of the property and its proximity to local amenities, shopping and lifestyle facilities and school precincts and factor this into their appraisal price.

When the agent has gathered the information on your property and other comparable property sales in your area, they will put together a report including an opinion of what they believe the property could be valued at, usually known as a price guide and this would be a guide that would go to market, should you choose to sell or use it for the purposes of refinancing or your own knowledge.

4 tips for selling your home

Real Estate June 6, 2022

Selling your home doesn’t need to be stressful and with the right combination of industry knowledge and guidance through the process, it can be an exciting journey on the path to your next property purchase. 

Have the property appraised

When you make the decision to sell your property, one of the first steps that you will need to look at is contacting sales agents to appraise the property and provide you with an estimate on the selling price. You may be referred to someone by friends, family or acquaintances or you could choose to contact the local agents in your area. 

A local agent can make an appointment with you to view your home and provide a free market appraisal of the property. They will advise you of the trends that they are seeing in the local market, comparable properties that may have sold in the area recently and provide you with a report on your home and the recommended price to put it to market.

Prepare the property for sale

Once you have decided which sales agent to sell your property through, they will talk with you about signing a management agency agreement to manage the sale of the property. The agent will also talk with you about the best method for sale and will recommend options like an auction, a private treaty/private sale, or a tender or expression of interest.

Your sales agent will also usually recommend any improvements or touch up’s that may need to happen at the property to attract more potential purchasers and increase the potential final sale price. The agent will also discuss the marketing of the home and the recommended advertising.

The sales process and offers

The method of sale that you have chosen will determine the way in which potential offers on the property are presented. During an auction, prospective purchasers will view the property and then a date is set for a public auction in which registered bidders will bid until the property is sold to the highest bidder at a price on or over the reserve that has been set. 

In the case of a private sale or private treaty, prospective purchasers will view the property and then make an offer to the agent who will present them to you as an option. The agent may then negotiate the price between yourself and the potential purchaser until an agreement is met. During a tender process or expression of interest, prospective buyers will present their offer by a deadline to the agent who will then negotiate the offers to achieve the final sale.

Contract and Settlement 

When an agreement on price has been met, irrespective of the method of sale, the next step is to sign the contract for sale and exchange and for the purchaser to pay a deposit. The agent can assist with this step, or it may be facilitated by a conveyancer or solicitor that you and the purchaser have employed. 

A date for settlement will then be set out by the conveyancer or solicitors employed by both yourself and the purchaser and they will manage all final payments, registrations and settlement figures that are required by the statutory bodies and the banks. Keys and possession of the property will then be handed over on settlement date.

What to expect when listing your home for sale

Real Estate June 2, 2022

Listing your property for sale was once as simple as a few steps of meeting with the local agent, popping up a ‘for sale sign in the front yard and writing a modest ad for print in the local newspaper. While the outcome itself in the current real estate market isn’t too dissimilar, the process of listing your home has added some extra steps along the way.

The Marketing Strategy

Your sales agent will advise you of the best marketing strategy for your property. Depending on factors such as your demographic or location, the best strategy may be the traditional “for sale” sign and newspaper ad as the leading features in the campaign. The agent may also plan for a full marketing schedule that covers all aspects of online advertising on the real estate websites and includes professional photography and videography and potentially styling and virtual furnishings. 

Your agent may also discuss a social media campaign with you that suits the property, to highlight the home online and improve its reach to a new pool of potential purchasers.

Be prepared for the sale

Before you are ready to list your property for sale, it is important to prepare it for the best street appeal to prospective purchasers. Great presentation of the property is key to assisting with maximising the final sale price. 

View the property from the eyes of a potential purchaser and look around the property to identify areas that may need improvements or touch-ups. Your listing agent will usually also talk with you about areas that may require repair or improvement to assist with getting the best price for your home. 

Be adaptable to change

A good real estate agent will keep you updated with feedback from prospective purchasers who have viewed the property either online or from the open for inspections that they will hold. They will also provide advice on areas of the property or of the marketing strategy that may need attention, including adjustments to price and how the property is being advertised. 

In a changing market, it is important to be aware that the market may move and be informed can assist with adjusting expectations to fit with the final outcome of the sale.

4 things to consider as a property investor

Real Estate May 31, 2022

Employ the experts 

Regulations around the property including tenancy legislation and taxation are areas that change over time. This is where qualified and experienced experts in property management and accounting can assist in making life easier during your investment journey.

Employing a qualified and experienced property manager can remove the stress that can come with managing your own investment property. They will understand the relevant legislation and processes required to maximise your investment. 

A great accountant can also assist with removing the stress of tax time and ensure that you are receiving the best possible returns on your investment while working with you to improve your investment strategy and achieve the financial goals that you are aiming for. 

Insure your investment 

One mistake the property investors often make is failing to take out adequate insurance cover over their investment property. Even the best-laid plans cannot control everything that happens, and a good insurance policy can help in covering for cases where the unexpected happens. 

It’s important to consider not only building and contents but also landlord insurance which will cover your income in the event should a tenant fall into arrears or damage occur to the property during the lifetime of tenancies.

Maintain the property

Properties will age over time and with tenancies, even in your own home items will wear or break. Setting aside funds to account for the inevitable will ensure that you are reducing your stress levels when it comes time to need to fix an item at your investment property and guarantee that not only the tenant has functional items in the property, but you are also keeping the property up to date with the latest market. 

Allowing fixtures and fittings in the property to fall into disrepair over time can end up being a costly expense in the long run and preparing for maintenance can keep your investment in good order.

Keep up to date with the current market

A good property manager can assist you with ensuring that your property is priced at the right rate in line with current market conditions. Be aware of what the trends are in the area for your investment and talk with your property manager to ensure that you are achieving the best rent for your investment. 

You may need to also consider recent market conditions and any current tenancies that may be impacted if you increase rents. Weigh up the options of the impacts of increasing the rent, vacancy periods and excellent tenants.