Category Archives: Buying

Selling in winter: everything you need to know

Umbrella.

Year after year, we encounter home owners who are hesitant to put their property on the market during winter due to the common misconception that the market cools down just as much as the temperature. Whilst birds may flock South for the winter, buyers do not!

With the vast majority of home owners being under the impression that the warmer months are the best time to sell your property, what we tend to see is an oversupply of property during summer and spring which means one thing: increased competition. By taking advantage of the fact there are typically less properties for sale during winter, you are inevitably going to capture a larger pool of buyers.

If you are worried that the cold weather and rainy days will keep the buyers away, fear not. A wintery day is not enough to keep serious buyers away which leads us to our next point – quality over quantity. You can be fairly certain that the prospective buyers who do attend your open for inspection on a cold, grizzly day are genuinely motivated and more likely to be in the decision making phase of their property journey.

When selling in winter, it is important that you take presentation into consideration. Creating an atmosphere which is warm, cozy and inviting is highly beneficial during the cooler months and allows you to showcase the feel of your home. Our top tips for holding an open for inspection during winter:

  1. Make up for the lack of natural light – open all window coverings and switch your light globes over to a warm tone and ensure all lights and lamps are working
  2. Turn the heating on well ahead of your inspection
  3. Set the scene and make it cozy – throw rugs, cushions and candles are great tools to create ambiance
  4. Leave spare towels near the front and back doors for those wet shoes trapesing in and out unless buyers are required to remove their footwear
  5. Provide an umbrella stand next to the front door
  6. Keep the gardens as tidy as possible, especially in relation to loose leaves
  7. Be prepared – unless weather conditions are unsafe, we never recommend cancelling an inspection. Remember our earlier point about serious buyers!
  8. Tackle any maintenance issues before putting your property on the market or as they arise, cold weather and rain are more likely to draw attention to damp odors or water damage

 

Advertisements

6 tips to help you find the right real estate agent for you

banking-business-checklist-416322

Whether it’s your family home or an investment property, making the decision to sell your house – your  most valuable asset  – is an overwhelming decision.  What comes next is just as tough. Naturally, finding the right real estate agent to enlist can be daunting.

Stress less, we have a few simple tips to help you find the right real estate agent for you.

  1. Research at least 3 agents to appraise your property and make sure you stick with your decision to meet all 3 agents before signing any agreements.

2. Before you can decide whether a local agent is the best agent, understand that what you see isn’t always what you get, perception is everything! The agent who drops the most flyers, has plenty of “home open this way” signs out on the weekend or takes over your newsfeed isn’t necessarily the ‘best’ agent. Base your research around the history of the agents you are considering. You need to look at average days on market, sales prices and sales volume in addition to verified customer reviews. Realestate.com.au, reiwa.com.au and ratemyagent.com.au are great sources for accurate information and reviews.

3. As your list begins to get smaller, it’s time to head out and about on the weekend! Attend home opens being held by the agents you are considering meeting with and assess their interactions with you and other prospective buyers. How an agent treats you in someone else’s open home is exactly how they are going to treat the potential buyers in yours (don’t mention you are there to scope the agent out)! You are looking for an agent who is energetic, engaging and educated about the property in question. The agent playing candy crush in the kitchen who casually slips you a brochure or the agent who quite literally follows you around and makes you feel uncomfortable is definitely not the agent for you.

4. During the initial appraisal meeting, these are the things you want to assess or discuss:

-Did the agent spend more time talking about themselves or finding out about your needs and your plans for the future?

-Did the agent propose an actual selling strategy or simply tell you what they believe your home is worth? In order to get the best possible price in the shortest possible time frame, there needs to be a detailed plan. Putting the property on the internet and placing a signboard out the front is not a plan.

-Did the agent propose a marketing strategy designed to proactively target your buyer demographic and get your property in front of the right people? E.g targeted social media posts, advertising overseas (where necessary), targeting investors or young families within a school catchment.

-Ask for some marketing examples from previous property campaigns to see how it appeals to you and if you would be proud to see your home presented in a similar light.

-Even if the agent is not a local agent, did the agent demonstrate knowledge of the area, local attractions and market trends?

-Did the agent provide you with case studies of past scenarios similar to your own?

-Make sure you find out if the agent is part of a team (e.g do they have a PA, sales cadet or buyers agent) and if so, find out who it is you will be dealing with primarily and who will be conducting your home opens. There is nothing wrong with being part of a team however, the last thing you want is to find an agent you love only to realise you are constantly dealing with someone else over the most important issues.

5. After the appraisals, weigh up all of the above in conjunction with how the agent made you feel. It may sound silly but this person is about to become a large part of your life for at least 3 months and you need to feel comfortable and confident.

6. The money! We can’t stress this enough – the agent who appraised your house for the highest figure or quoted the lowest fee should not necessarily be the agent you enlist. Educate yourself on the local market, look at recent comparable sales (try not to focus on what houses are currently listed for, a “for sale” price can be very different to a “sold” price) and quite often, you get what you pay for! An agent with a higher fee who has demonstrated the ability to work in your best interests and get you the best possible sale price could actually see you walk away with more money in your back pocket than the cheapest agent.

By doing your research and weighing up all of the information presented to you, you’ll be in good stead to make the best possible decision.

BEST TIME TO BUY IN FIVE YEARS

2019

What is really going on in the market? When is the best time to buy? Should you wait a little longer? The burning questions every Perth buyer has can easily be answered.

Before we delve into those questions, we sat back and thought about the market and real estate and what it really all means. In Australia, most properties are seen purely as investments. Sure, we want our homes to suit our needs but money and return on investment always seems to be the driving factor in determining where “home” will really be. When we think of a home, we think of a private place to express ourselves, we think of a sacred space, a place to make memories with our families and a place where we can truly be ourselves. Irrespective of the market, it is important to differentiate between a home and a property.

Now, let’s get on to the market! Due to the decline in housing values over the past five years, Perth properties are now more affordable whether you’re a first home buyer, a growing family or a downsizer which means this is an excellent time to buy. A mistake many buyers are at risk of making is choosing to hold off a little longer to see if prices further decline as there are absolutely no indications that this is going to be the case. If anything, a steady rise is predicted and no one wants to get their proverbial foot into the door of their new home when prices are on the up.

The latest Buy-Rent Index compiled by Curtin University and the Real Estate Institute of WA is further evidence of this.

The Buy-Rent index attempts to measure when it is more financially advantageous to buy rather than rent.

REIWA president Damian Collins said the index showed median house prices in Perth would only need to rise 2.9 per cent annually over the next 10 years for house purchases to be considered more financially viable than renting.

“This bodes very well for Perth buyers, considering the 15-year annual average house price growth rate is 5.1 per cent,” Mr Collins said.

Getting back to the upsizers and downsizers, there is a valid strategy which should certainly be considered. Buy now and secure your dream home or location with the aim of renting the property out for a few years and then move in when you’re ready. It’s a great way to get what you want whilst pocketing some extra cash.

When it comes to the main driving force behind the reviving market, growing families are leading the way due to the affordability in popular suburbs which are seen as upgrades or dream final destinations. The stigma around subject sales is certainly one which needs to be broken. If you are in a position where upgrading means you would have to sell your current home and you’re letting the fear of your potential sale price hold you back, it’s important to assess the saving and investment potential of your desired new home and analyse the benefits versus losses.

With the differential between the low, middle and high areas of the market decreasing, now is the time.

Statistics sourced from thewest.com.au

MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY TO SELL

 

analysis-computer-device-1496192

It’s a cliché but it’s true, you can’t sell a secret. Or to put it more accurately, you can’t sell a secret for a premium price.

There is a big difference between simply marketing your property and marketing your property TO SELL. Gone are the days of hammering up a generic “For Sale” sign and placing a four line advert in the local paper. Don’t get us wrong, signage and print media are still relevant when it comes to advertising your property in today’s day and age, however, it takes a far more measured approach to achieve a great outcome.

Right about now you’re probably thinking one of two things, either “a good agent will have a database of buyers they can market our property to” or “we already have so many expenses, we really don’t want to pay for advertising”. It’s important to understand that whilst almost every agent will have a database of buyers at their disposal, you are far more likely to gain a better result when your property is placed in competition versus isolation – we’ll explore this a little more later on. When it comes to the expenses associated with advertising your home, it is crucial to understand that the marketing component is an investment in not only your eventual sale price, but also the terms and conditions of the sale.

Getting back to competition versus isolation, it is vital to create competition amongst buyers due to basic human behavioural traits and beliefs and the need to create urgency – especially in today’s market. An excellent example of this is walking down a popular café strip in search of a cup of coffee. One coffee shop has a line out the door and the other is virtually empty. Which coffee shop will the vast majority of people enter? The really busy one because the immediate perception is that the coffee must be better. That same perception needs to be created with your property, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough people through the door to create competition, whether it be perceived or real.

How do you ensure you get enough people through the door? Simple! By implementing a strategic marketing plan designed to put your property in front of the right audience. The aim is to drill down to the demographic of your likely purchaser and target that group of individuals via multiple advertising platforms with a high level of frequency which means that your particular property is being placed in front of that specific buyer group more than once.

Advertising campaign requirements and components will differ depending on the price range, location, main features and age of your property. Any agent who is worth their weight in gold will be able to construct the right advertising campaign for your property based on these factors together with market trends. When interviewing potential agents, make sure their proposed marketing campaign is on your list of questions and carefully review all proposals.

 

2019, the Year of Recovery

couple-home-house-1288482

As active players in the Perth property market, we have seen multiple signs of recovery in the latter half of 2018. We aren’t the only ones who have noticed with other credible sources including Premier Mark McGowan and Real Estate Institute of WA President Damian Collins both speaking out about the direction the Perth property market is headed.

Let’s start with some good news for Investors. Over 2018, Perth’s best quality was its rental market, said REIWA president Damian Collins. Perth’s successful rental market is expected to keep its momentum going through 2019 due to steady population growth and a slowdown in new building construction, according to REIWA data.

Mr Collins said that during 2018, the steady median rent of $350 per week, increased leasing activity, and decline in listings and vacancy rates all contributed to Perth’s rental success.

“With population growth in WA expected to remain stable and new dwelling commencements slowing, available rental stock should continue to decline. This should see competition amongst tenants increase, putting further downward pressure on the vacancy rate, which recently dropped below four per cent for the first time in four years,” Mr Collins said.

Mr Collins also noted that Perth’s median rent price has remained at $350 per week for 19 consecutive months, which is the longest period of consistent rents in Perth since REIWA began collecting rental data in 2001.

“If listings continue to decline and leasing volumes remain healthy, we should see the overall median rent price increase in 2019 for the first time since September 2014,” Mr Collins said.

Moving onto the sales market, Mr Collins said “While we expect sales activity in 2019 to largely reflect what we’ve seen this year, there is a possibility that rising consumer confidence levels, coupled with improved housing affordability, could translate into increased sales volumes in 2019. If weekly sales remain at current levels or better, Perth’s median house price could improve during the next 12 months.”

According to The Sunday Times, the State’s domestic economy expanded 1.1% in 2017-18, a considerable turnaround given the 7.1% drop during 2016-17 after four consecutive years of decline.

More good news? WA could be set to reclaim it’s AAA credit rating due to the $4.7 billion GST reform package. Premier Mark McGowan tipped a turnaround in the property market stating “It is actually a good time to buy a house, I would encourage people. Prices are low yet economic activity is picking up and so that will inevitably be followed by demand for housing.”

All signs point towards an improved Perth property market in 2019. The year is drawing to an end and Christmas is on the horizon however we are yet to see any signs of the market slowing down with an increase in available properties for sale and a significant decline in our rental vacancy rate which now sits at just 2.4%.

*All figures are accurate at the time of publication. Sources include The Sunday Times, The West Australian, REIWA and Smart Property Investment

SELLING YOUR HOME AT CHRISTMAS

christmas-christmas-tree-christmas-wallpaper-17795

Let’s be honest, Christmas can be a lot more stressful than merry for the average adult and that’s before you even contemplate trying to sell your home during the festive season!

Stress less, we have a few jolly good (pun intended) tips to make preparing your home for sale and surviving the festivities a little easier.

  1. Advertising photos

If possible, have your property photographed prior to putting up the tree and all the directions. Not only can decorations detract from the features of your home in photos, if your property is still on the market come next year, it will be painfully obvious to prospective purchasers how long your property has been on the market for.

  1. Timing

‘Tis the season to avoid time wasters! Traditionally, most sellers opt to launch their property campaign after Christmas and New Year celebrations are out of the way as popular opinion is that if buyers can’t be in their new home before Christmas, they would rather wait until the new year. Sure, the average buyer would love to be in prior to Christmas but if they haven’t found what they’re looking for, it doesn’t mean they are going to stop looking! Any buyer who is out and about during the holiday season searching for a home is likely to be a serious buyer. It’s also worth noting that your competition is significantly reduced during this period which can make your property stand out from the crowd. The lack of available properties can also be in your favour when it comes to negotiating sale price and contract terms.

  1. Online advertising

Don’t be afraid to upgrade your online advert on platforms such as realestate.com.au, reiwa.com.au and domain.com.au – if you are trying to sell during the holidays, take advantage of the fact you will have less competition and upgrade your advert to the top of the suburb search field.

  1. Presentation

Don’t go overboard with the Christmas decorations if you’re planning on having property inspections, the home itself should be the main feature – it’s great to get into the Christmas spirit, just try and keep things simple and tasteful. Similarly, we recommend that you avoid placing those wrapped gifts under the tree until you’ve completed your last inspection prior to Christmas day!

  1. Inspections

If you won’t be allowing property inspections to take place during the festive season, you may want to consider waiting until the landmark celebrations are out of the way before launching your campaign. If you are open to inspections, let your agent know your availability to avoid last minute stress with unplanned inspections and frantic cleaning. Keep in mind Christmas in Perth is HOT – make sure your cooling system is in good order before any inspections take place.