Marketing Your Home Dos and Don'ts

Marketing Your Home: Dos and Don’ts

When putting your home on the market, a big part of reaching or exceeding your desired sale price is decided by the way you market it.

If people don’t know you’re selling your home, and if they aren’t aware of all its unique features and advantages, they aren’t going to offer you the amount you want (if they even make an offer in the first place).

Here’s our list of what to do, and what not to, when putting your property up for sale.

Read more

The 7 mistakes most sellers make

The 7 mistakes most sellers make

Selling your home? Don’t fall into these common traps!

In this post, we take a look at some of the mistakes we come across most often. If you’re guilty of one or more, don’t feel bad – most of them come down to human nature. Just remember to keep an eye on yourself (or your other half!) before signing away your home.

Read more

Who should you trust to sell your home

Who should you trust to sell your home?

Selecting a real estate agent to help sell your home is a tough decision. It’s equal parts business and personal – you want someone who knows the industry and will work hard for you, but you also want someone who ‘gets’ you and is easy to deal with.

We’ve put together a quick guide on the common factors that usually affect this decision. Have a read!

Read more

Head or heart Five questions to ask when hiring an agent

Head or heart: Five questions to ask when hiring an agent

You’ve decided to sell. Even before you put in the hard-yards to get your property to a standard you think might fetch you the price you want, a wise person hones in on a selling agent first.

Appointing the right – or wrong – real estate agent to sell your property can greatly influence the outcome. Or put another way, can result in more money in your pocket. Or not. And, really getting the best price possible is everyone’s goal.

You could choose the first agent you like – and often initial impressions are true – but it makes more sense to choose someone you like AND someone who you know will get you the best outcome.

Cut through the fluff (otherwise known as talk, talk, talk) and put the following five simple questions to work for you when hiring an agent:

  1. How much?

This one’s obviously a no-brainer, but it’s the answer you should focus in on with your best possible listening ears. You see, many agents will tell you what they think you want to hear just to get your business. You are looking for an agent that deals in the currency of facts when it comes to setting the listing price for your home; too high and people will dismiss even viewing your property and too low, well … same. Property must be priced to attract those most likely to buy it.

 Head or heart: Five questions to ask when hiring an agent

  1. How long?

We all know that with experience comes wisdom: or sometimes weariness. Don’t choose the longest serving agency in your local area because of that fact alone. Choose an agency based on how long it takes them to sell homes, not years in business. Choose an agent who has life-experience and is enthusiastic, motivated and has good local-area knowledge.

  1. How many?

An indicator of the right agent for you is how many properties similar to yours they’ve sold recently. When backing up what they think your property may sell for, a good agent will provide you with recent, comparable sales data for your area. This is also a good indicator of how well they understand your area, your particular type of property and those most likely to buy it.

  1. Who?

A good agent will happily supply you with a list of previous clients. Don’t be afraid to call these people. Many will find it flattering that you seek their opinion. Some good questions to ask are: What did you like about the agent? How long did the property take to sell? Was there anything you thought they could have done better? Did the agent get the sale price you wanted?

  1. What makes you different to other agents?

Asking this question provides you a window into the agent’s selling style. It also allows them to demonstrate what stands them apart from their competition, both as an individual agent and as an agency.

Real estate agents are a critical part of the selling process. You’re choosing someone for a task that requires experience, skill and wisdom, not to mention, entrusting them with the sale of your biggest asset.

In the end, many would be loath to admit that it is the gut that rules the head in decisions great and small. But at least if you engage the head first and ask and listen, your gut decision about which agent to hire will serve in your best interest.

We shouldn’t be telling you this, but …

We shouldn’t be telling you this, but …

It’s hurtling towards Christmas. What’s normally the domain of department stores – to ram Christmas prematurely down your throat – should remain so, but since Spring is almost here, and for those of you who like to be organised, now is a great time to buy or sell. If that’s in your game plan..

For example … If you list in September. You sell in October. You settle in November. Pray your new home move-in date coincides. And that’s a good case-scenario.

Virtually everyone who is even remotely thinking about buying or selling wants to settle before Christmas. It’s like the world stops on this date.

So, we don’t wish to come across as alarmist, but seriously, if you’re thinking of selling, you should be hard-at-it getting your property presented in its best light to list it soon.

Typically, Spring is boom-time for this sector with much buying and selling activity ramping up around now. Gardens start to come back to life. The winds die-down. The mornings are delightful. And who doesn’t feel more motivated with the commencement of this glorious season.

And by the way, with this week’s ‘most liveable cities in the world’ report listing Brisbane at a lowly number 20 (it ranked Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth in the top 10) we’ve got something to say about that.

We shouldn’t be telling you this, but

We officially poo-poo you, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking for listing Brisbane as the 20th most liveable city in the world. Well, just a bit. But not completely, because it allows us to continue to tell our southern friends: “You could never get a house like this in Sydney or Melbourne for this price.”

Too true.

Although The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking places Brisbane at number 20 – for misdemeanours in infrastructure and education – it’s still pretty good, considering the report covered 140 counties.

So, if you’re thinking of buying or selling and looking for more bang-for-your buck than Sydney or Melbourne could ever deliver, then think … the Brisbane property market. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Property vs Shares - where should you invest

Property vs Shares – where should you invest?

Property vs Shares

If you’ve got some money stowed away that you’re hoping to invest – particularly if you happen to be the proud owner of a self-managed super fund (SMSF) – you’ve got a conflict on your hands. There are legions of different avenues to invest your money. But when it comes down to it, you’re probably going to be tossing up between investing in property and shares.

The most recent Russell Investments Long-term Investing report painted a complicated picture regarding this question. According to the report, while shares outperformed property during the decade to 2013, over the last 20 years, residential property investment brought a higher return to investors.

With either choice seeming like it has great potential, what will you decide to do with your SMSF? There are more factors to consider than simply the potential return.


Read more

The Multiple Offer Ride

The Multiple Offer Ride

We all know the housing market is moving fast right now and when you find the right property, chances are, you’re not the only one who thinks so. So how do you go about securing ‘the one’ amongst what is sometimes fierce competition?

Firstly, and obviously, remember the golden rule of non-attachment when house hunting. Getting overly emotional about a property can be recipe for spending more than you planned.

Secondly, always have your finance pre-approved, your lawyer ready to go and your building and pest inspection company lined up. But you know that, right?

When making an offer in this market you must always consider that you may not be the only one doing so. In the biz this is called a multiple offer and when this happens, the reality is you shouldn’t hold out for a bargain.

Your first task is to talk to the agent and tell them you’d like to make an offer. Don’t be fearful about this step. You need to reveal your hand at some point. When more than one offer comes in for a property, the agent will have each buyer complete an acknowledgement of multiple offer form.

The Multiple Offer Ride

When it comes to multiple offers, you get to make your best offer once, and once only. There will be no counter-offer when multiple offers are placed on a property.

Don’t hope for negotiation. Offer your highest price.

But here’s where it gets a bit tricky landing your target. With the market moving as it is, many properties will be listed as, price by negotiation. This will tell you that the agent is uncertain of the property’s value and is gathering direct market feedback.

Don’t let a listing of price by negotiation put you off. Be as educated as you can be about prices in the area and put your best offer forward.

Also know that agents are obliged by law to submit all offers to vendors and sometimes vendors will choose an offer not solely based on price, they may choose a family over an investor, for example.

So if you find the perfect place, grit your teeth, make an offer and get on the multiple offer ride. You never know where it may take you.

The question is what are the right questions

The question is what are the right questions?

So you’ve decided the time is right to sell. What now? The most important decision you will make is in choosing the right agent to sell your property.

Choosing the right agent is about choosing the best one for your circumstances and obviously one who will deliver you the best outcome. Simple, huh?

So, if you’d like a simple prescription (not simplistic) then do two things: One, ask tough questions, and two, really listen to the answers. Questions to include in your arsenal include:

1. Tell me about your sales track record?
2. How would you best market this property?
3. Testimonials. Can I speak to any of your clients?
4. Tell me about your staff and how you manage the office?

The question is what are the right questions

What you’re trying to determine is: can this agent sell my property fast and for top-dollar? Are their clients happy with the result? And are they organised enough to have a systemised office and team that functions like a well-oiled machine? A great agent needs great back-up support. Perhaps a visit to their office will help solidify your choice?

Above all, what you’re looking for is someone who you feel will effectively work in partnership with you. A great agent will effectively be an extension of you.

You’re looking for someone who is transparent. A great marketer and negotiator. And you can only determine this by examining their track record of: prompt sales, consistent high returns for their clients and of course, happy clients. And sometimes it’s a ‘gut thing’ too. You have to go with who ‘feels’ right…

You don’t know, what you don’t know, right? But sometimes it helps to know what the right questions are to ask…

Styling for sale – on a budget

Styling for sale – on a budget

What does a photo tell you? A lot if you are hoping to sell your house.

With the widespread use of home stylists in property, the competition has never been stronger if you’re a vendor trying to catch buyers’ interest.

If you are styling your own property for sale, paying attention to the small details could make all the difference in how good your property looks in the marketing images – and how many people you manage to attract to your open homes.

Last week I helped a friend style her modest family home for sale. All the really hard work had been done – the repairs had been completed, the property had been de-cluttered, and everything was sparkling after a really good clean. But there were still some small touches that would really show in the photographs.

Read more

Can the auction highs continue

Can the auction highs continue?

Will the Queen’s Birthday weekend signal a turnaround in auction fortunes?

Last weekend auction clearance rates were strong around much of the country.

Sydney finished up at 78 per cent, Melbourne 71.8 per cent (against 56 per cent on the equivalent weekend last year) and even sleepy old Adelaide managed 70 per cent. Brisbane didn’t fare so well with 45 per cent, although it is generally higher than the sunshine state’s capital has managed in recent months.

Andrew Wilson, senior economist for the Fairfax Media-owned Australian Property Monitors, doesn’t think this coming weekend – traditionally a turning point in the market as buyers head indoors for winter – will bring the cooling effect it normally does.

Read more