Helpful Hints To Getting The Right Agent For Your Property

When you are looking for an agent to sell your property, or to find you a suitable place to buy or rent, choosing the right agent for your needs can be a bit like buying a lottery ticket. There is usually more than one real estate agency with an office in the local area, as well as multiple agencies dipping their toes in the market via the internet. How can you possibly sort through all the possibilities and choose the right one for you?

 

Professional Industry Body Generates Confidence

 

Fortunately, there is a solution. The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) is the peak body for all real estate professionals in the state. This member-owned organisation was established in 1918 and today it represents over 90% of the agencies operating in Western Australia. When you choose a member agency, there are protections and benefits that come with that choice.

 

As a member organisation of REIWA, we offer our clients a superlative level of service, specialist employees who work together as a team and in-depth knowledge of the local market. When you choose Bunbury Real Estate, you get the benefit of our membership and all that it entails.

 

Member Benefits – Access to Latest Market Information

 

Firstly, we have access to the latest market information and sales statistics. You can be confident that when we do an appraisal of your property and suggest a pricing structure, we are using up-to-date figures. This allows you to get the best possible price for your property relative to its style, condition and location.

 

Standardised Contract and Settlement Documentation

 

Secondly, the contracts and other documentation we use when we act for a client are all owned and controlled by the REIWA. This means your transaction is being conducted using industry-standard documents that have been thoroughly checked by legal experts, so there should be no complications during the sales process.

 

Ongoing Staff Training Keeps Agents Up-to-Date

 

Further benefits to clients are that our staff members are required to update their education continually through various training programs, so that we can provide you with better advice and service. For example, our agents would be expected to ask questions about things such as easements, access to private lanes, the existence of resumption notices and other issues. They are also up-to-date with legislative changes.

 

Maximum Exposure on the Web

 

We also list properties on the REIWA website as well as our own, giving our clients maximum exposure to interested buyers. To get the best possible result for your property, choose an agent that is an REIWA member and also who also has a presence in your area of interest. The combination of professional knowledge and ethics, as well as local detail, gives you the best chance for a top result.

Real Estate Stories – Fact or Fiction

Whether you are a buyer, seller or renter, it seems that everyone has an opinion about real estate. As a result, there are more myths attached to the real estate industry than Stonehenge or the Great Pyramid of Giza. Are they doorways to an alternative universe or evidence of alien visitations? We can’t answer those questions, but we do know that many real estate myths are easily busted with some reliable information.

I Don’t Need an Agent – I Have the Internet

One myth created by the internet is that you don’t need an agent to sell your home. Listing your property on the internet is easy, but the agent’s role is more complex than uploading a photo of your house. The agent is the property market expert for your location. Agents know which properties have changed hands for what price, how long each property was on the market before it sold, and what buyers are looking for in the area.

This information is critical for the seller, especially one who has an inflated price expectation. At Bunbury Real Estate, our agents advise clients on realistic prices that will attract buyers so their properties will sell in the average time for that location. We also supervise inspections, keep contact details of who attended and they negotiate the best price and settlement terms for our client, the seller.

Why Pay for Print Advertising? It’s all Online These Days

Online advertising costs little and reaches a huge audience, but in real estate, this is not as effective as it first seems. Firstly, online searches are very specific, so if buyers don’t filter searches correctly, your property will be competing against thousands of irrelevant searches. Secondly, in most housing markets, the majority of buyers are locals. Advertising in the local newspaper is worth the cost. In fact, only 27% of buyers look exclusively online, while 59% of buyers use both print and online to find their perfect property.

Before-sale Renovations Will Make our Property More Valuable

This is a very common misconception. Renovations may increase the value, but only if the seller does some research first. Get a realistic value of the property as it is, then work out what renovations will cost. Add the two together and then ask your agent if the new price is within market expectations.

Things like tidying, rubbish removal and maintenance will not usually get you any more money but they improve the presentation. Electrical, plumbing and structural changes must be done by experts and many buyers will expect to see the paperwork, so do-it-yourself could cost you a sale.

These are just a few of the common myths we regularly face as selling agents. There are many more, so if you are unsure about anything you have heard, just ask us.

How Sellers Can Botch the Outcome of Their Own Auction

You have spent several weeks getting your property ready for auction. Every inch of it has been washed, cleaned, polished and renovated where needed. The fences are straight and true, paths and driveways swept, there are no weeds hiding in the garden beds and the lawn is immaculate.

Is Everything Really Under Control?

After putting in this effort, what could go wrong? Quite a lot, especially if you, the owner, interfere in the auction process itself. Most people don’t do this deliberately, but they can easily upset the process and make the job of the agent much harder than it needs to be.

As selling agents ourselves, we have seen otherwise promising auctions undermined by owners with just a few careless words or actions. Our agency, Bunbury Real Estate, works with sellers to get the best price for their property in the current market. We give our sellers accurate appraisals of the value of their properties, using the most up-to-date information.

A Well-Prepared Property with a Realistic Reserve Should Sell

This brings us to the first issue that can cause problems. While sellers should approach auction day with positive expectations, they must also be realistic. A well-prepared property backed by a professional marketing campaign and reasonable buyer interest could be expected to sell at an auction.

The pre-auction buying market will already have indicated a price point, and it is this figure that the seller should be considering when setting a reserve. Agents generally ask for feedback from inspections, including asking people what they think is a fair price for the property. We certainly do, and we take this information back to the sellers so they can consider the comments before deciding on their reserve price.

Keep Your Cards Close to Your Chest

We all like a chat between friends and family, but in this instance, the one piece of information sellers should not be disclosing is the price they want. Nothing spreads faster than a rumour, and the last thing we want is genuine buyers deciding not to attend the auction because they heard the price was too high.

No Sale at Auction? Stay Cool

What if the seller has done everything right and the auction was a dud? Maybe it was a football grand final day or the weather was terrible and kept the buyers away. We tell our clients to remain calm as often; the properties sell a couple of weeks later for a good price. It is just the next phase of the sales campaign.

It All Comes Down to Money

The top reason for a property not to sell is the price. Whether you choose an auction or sale by private treaty, the wise old saying still rings true for every commodity. An item is only worth what the market will pay for it, so follow your agent’s advice and spare yourself the anxiety.

Serious Buyers Are Like Gold – Make Their Decision An Easy One

Deciding to sell your property is always difficult, but if you are serious about attracting buyers, you must do several things to keep them interested in what you are offering. A serious seller must view everything from a buyer’s point of view and identify what is most likely to put them off a property and go elsewhere. This requires sellers to treat the event as a business transaction and keep their emotions in check.

We Know What Will Turn Buyers off an Inspection

Fortunately, we can help with this. After years of experience in handling property transactions, our staff members at Bunbury Real Estate have seen and heard almost everything to do with buying and selling real estate. We can spot what buyers will not like almost immediately, so we offer a few suggestions for sellers who are having trouble with the process.

Exterior Appearance Must be Attractive

The first thing that will keep buyers away is the overall appearance of the property. Everything must be clean and tidy, so make sure the lawns and gardens are well maintained. Wash the outside of the dwelling and paint anything that looks shabby. Remove any rubbish and clean out garages and sheds.

Clean and Tidy Inside with Everything Working

The inside must also be clean and tidy, and everything should be in working order. That means that air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, heaters, kitchen fixtures such as cooktops, ovens, range hoods, dishwashers, et cetera, must work if a curious buyer turns them on. There must be no leaking taps, toilets that don’t flush properly or other annoyances a seller may ignore that a buyer will not accept.

Get Rid of Those Awful Smells

Are there any unpleasant smells inside the dwelling? A seller who is also the occupant may not notice pet smells in the carpets or cigarette smoke in the curtains, but buyers will. Get them professionally cleaned, and make sure your pets are not present during an inspection.

Buyers Dislike Clutter – Clean it Out

It’s alright to be untidy and clutter up a dwelling when you are living there, but buyers want to see how much space is available and this is impossible to show if rooms are filled with your stuff. De-clutter down to the essentials, and if you don’t know how to do this, find someone to help you. It will be worth the effort.

Buyers Have a Budget – Don’t Annoy Them by Keeping the Price a Secret

Finally, listen to the advice of your agent about pricing the property. It is our job to know the market in the area, and we will recommend either a fixed price or a range to attract the right buyer. Properties that are listed on line without a price will be quickly scrolled through to get to the next desirable property.

Our role is to get you the best possible price for your property in the current market. Help us to help you by following these few simple instructions.

A Quick Sale Needs a Logical Strategy

Every property owner listing a home for sale wants to get the best price possible in the shortest time frame. Having made the decision to sell, most vendors just want to finalise everything and move on. Often however, the price they want is way above market value for the location and type of property, and it languishes on the market for months.

Overpricing a Property is Just Wasting Time and Money

Buyers looking in the area see this property regularly advertised and assume there is something wrong with it, otherwise it would have been sold. Once a seller is trapped into this cycle, it is difficult to change it. Usually, the only way is to take the property off the market, wait for a few weeks and relaunch it. This wastes time and money, and most vendors realise they should have listened to their agent’s advice.
We have experienced this scenario many times. Our agency, Bunbury Real Estate, has assisted many owners to sell their properties and those who hold out for an unachievable price usually end up regretting it. If you are a vendor who needs to sell quickly in any market you need to take decisive action.

A Quick Sale Needs Kerb Appeal

To get buyers out of the car and into your house, it must have kerb appeal. Tidy up the lawns and gardens, trim overhanging trees, paint and clean where needed. Repair anything broken so it looks inviting. Make sure the inside is as tidy and clean as the outside. Clear out clutter and personal items so buyers can see themselves living here.
Simple Upgrades Makes Tired Areas Look Like New

Upgrade taps, sinks or shower screens and put modern handles on the kitchen cupboards to make these tired areas look like new. Make repairs and paint entire rooms if necessary. Get rid of faded or torn curtains and blinds; put up new ones. Arrange a building and pest inspection, and fix anything in the report needing attention. Buyers love having official confirmation that the property is in good order.

List with a Local Agent

List with an agent like us who knows the area and who has an effective marketing strategy. Their advice about pricing in the current market is based on comparable properties in the area that have sold recently. You are not expected to give it away, but if it is overpriced, it will sit on the market, costing you money in advertising and holding costs.
If your goal is to sell quickly, these strategies will set the agenda and our sales staff members are there to help you find a buyer and get a reasonable price for the property.

What Would Make You Sell Your House?

For previous generations, buying a home was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and selling it a reluctant response to something that left no other choice. As the workforce became more mobile, and social changes redefined the family unit, the notion of a “forever” home was challenged. Home owners are now willing to sell their properties for a range of reasons as diverse as they are practical.

Moving up to Something Bigger

Up-sizing and downsizing are the opposite sides of the same coin, that is, the desire to have just the right amount of space for current needs. The typical home owner who sells a property to move to a bigger one will usually have a growing family who need their own bedrooms, or be caring for elderly parents or perhaps running an expanding home-based business.

Free up Cash by Downsizing

Downsizing is usually a lifestyle decision by older people whose families have grown up and left the family home. They no longer need the extra space or the work involved in keeping a large property clean and well-maintained. Selling up and buying something smaller also frees up much needed cash, which is useful in later life.

We have helped clients to both up-size and downsize, but these are not the only reasons people decide to sell their homes. Real estate is very much a people-centred industry, and here at Bunbury Real Estate experience has shown us that almost every decision to sell is driven by some change in personal circumstances.

Changes in Work Circumstances Trigger Sales

Work, for example, is a major part of our lives and very important to our financial and personal wellbeing. Many sales are a result of changes in work circumstances. We have worked with clients who needed to sell because they were moving interstate to a new job, which is always exciting. Sadly, we have also helped clients who needed to sell because they had lost their job and could not manage the mortgage repayments.

Relationships and Family

A change in relationship status that triggers a property settlement is another personal circumstance that will cause homeowners to sell. A separation or divorce is a common reason for contacting our agency to list a property. So, too, is the need to be closer to family during such a difficult time.

Not the Old Neighbourhood?

Sometimes the change is just one of personal preference. This typically happens when a neighbourhood that has been home for many years, changes to a completely different demographic. For some long-term residents, it just doesn’t feel like home anymore, and they sell their property and move to somewhere that better suits them.

Whatever the reasons, we are always available to help people find their perfect place, whether it is an apartment, a duplex, a free-standing house or semi-rural property.

Does The Ability To Read The Market Guarantee Success?

To be successful in real estate requires the patience to research the market and the available properties, the financial knowledge to raise the necessary capital to purchase property and the ability to make an informed decision at the right time. If this all sounds like a big task, it probably is, but ordinary people have been buying and selling real estate for decades and many of them have become very wealthy in the process.

Is Real Estate a Cyclical Risk?

Some have, unfortunately, had the opposite result. They may have just missed the bottom of the market, waited too long to buy, and paid a premium price, then cashed in when the market was still climbing, leaving thousands of dollars on the table. They may have lost their nerve at a crucial time in the real estate cycle or have been unable to raise the capital when the market was at rock bottom.

Whatever the reason for success or failure, those who love dealing in real estate continue to take calculated risks to have a place in the market and a piece of the action. The professional sales staff members at Bunbury Real Estate have a range of properties for sale now in the local area that would suit first home buyers, investors, large families or small lot buyers.

Is a Cautious Decision Always the Best One?

We would also recommend caution before making any decisions. Dabbling in real estate to make quick returns and looking for a long-term home are two entirely different scenarios. The first one has no attachment to what is purely a business decision, while the other has invested emotions, hopes, dreams and some fears, along with their money.

Buying and Selling for Different Reasons Makes Comparisons Difficult

The home buyers are looking to put down roots, and if, when they decide to sell, there is a nice profit involved, that is a bonus. The Dabbler is looking for excitement, the thrill of the chase and the possibility of a quick and lucrative turnover. They are both in the market but for completely different purposes, and for this reason, cannot be compared with each other.

Technology Provides Ready Access to Data

What the Dabblers have in their favour in this age of technology is ready access to mountains of data that shows how the market is performing. Does this make it easier to predict the market highs and lows? Possibly, but events that happen far from our shores now influence our financial markets and, therefore, our real estate markets in ways that are sometimes surprising, even for experts.

What we can all agree on is that real estate is still an exciting industry to be involved in, but whether buying or selling, think before you act is still good advice.

Clean Up Your Property For The Best Sale Price

Every property owner wants the best price possible when they list their home for sale. The properties that sell the quickest for the best price usually have something about them that makes them stand out. A great position, extra space, special features, proximity to transport and employment, and a property that is immediately liveable are the attributes most sought after by buyers.

It is the last attribute that seems to escape the notice of some sellers. As property agents ourselves, we are constantly amazed at the state of some properties we are asked to list for sale. While we understand that everyone has the right to live in their home the way they want to, there are some things that should be done before they ask our staff at Bunbury Real Estate to present it for inspection.

Easy Changes Have the Most Impact

Often the changes needed to get the best price are the easiest to do, so we offer some suggestions for sellers who need a bit of guidance. The first thing to do is increase the street appeal. Mow the yard, weed the gardens, clean the paths and driveways with a pressure hose, trim trees and shrubs that overhang or obstruct the front of the house.

A Clean Exterior and Some Minor Repairs Work Wonders

Now that the house can be seen clearly from the road, does it need cleaning? Wash the walls and windows, clear out the gutters, do minor repairs such as replacing damaged insect screens, broken steps or unstable hand rails. If it still looks shabby, a coat of paint in a modern colour scheme will have buyers stopping at the front gate to look further instead of just driving by.

The “Wow” Factor for the Interior

Now to create a “wow” factor once they get through the front door. This means starting with clean floors, walls and windows. Again, paint is the cheapest way to improve the interior of a dwelling. It covers the stains that won’t wash off, and by using the latest light reflecting colours, any rooms that need extra light will immediately get a lift.

Replace Anything Worn, Torn or Shabby

If the floor coverings are stained or ripped, replace them. Dirty, shabby or faded curtains should be taken down and disposed of. Replace them with the latest blinds. There are so many different styles now available that even the humble roller blind will be an improvement on old curtains.

Kitchen and Bathroom – A Quick Respray

Kitchens and bathrooms are more expensive to rework, but replacing old kitchen appliances with new stainless steel ones has an immediate impact. If money is an issue, respraying the cabinets, bench tops, tiles and bathroom fixtures, and installing new tap wear may be enough to finish off the upgrade.

Neat, clean, tidy, no pests or unpleasant smells, no rubbish in the yard – that is all it takes to get the best price.

Balance The Risk And Returns Of Property Investment

It has been repeated time after time.

  • Investing in the property market is a safe bet.
  • Investing in property is guaranteed returns.
  • You’re investing in something you can see, touch and smell.
  • Investing in property equals big tax incentives.

There are more but you get the idea.

As responsible Real Estate Agents and Property Managers Bunbury Real Estate feels it prudent to assist our customers in making an informed decision.

The Risk and Pitfalls

The risk on an investment usually refers to the amount of money being injected into the deal. The more cash you have of your own the less the risk. Therefore, it makes sense that it follows that the more you borrow the greater the risk.

The pitfalls of the investment can be many and varied depending on each individual case. The more common pitfalls are:

  1. Large entry costs by way of stamp duty, pest and building reports, conveyancing and transfer costs, and legal costs including searches.
  2. Ongoing repairs and maintenance
  3. Council rates
  4. Water rates
  5. Insurance
  6. Body corporate fees
  7. Land tax
  8. Management Fees

The Returns

Alright now! We’ve done the main course, let’s get down to the cake!

In the same way you would calculate the many facets of risk, you must also study the level of investment returns. It is only when these two things are in balance in YOUR world, should it be right to move forward with ANY investment.

So what aspects should you consider when calculating the real and forecast rewards we speak of?

The three main aspects to consider are:

  • Rental Income
  • Tax Benefits
  • Property Growth

For some investors, taking a hit on income for high growth could be a winner. For others, it may be having that long-term investment that actually contributes to your income.

As the owner of an investment property you are able to claim against the expenses on all the items listed above in Risk and Pitfalls against any income received, over the term of ownership.

The other great advantage is being able to depreciate all the items held within the property such as hot water systems, floor coverings, air conditioners and many more.

On a Final Note

Whilst we may be a little biased in believing property is the best kind of investment, we also believe and recommend diversifying your portfolio as another method to assist in balancing your risk and return.

Buying? Selling? Or Both?

There are many reasons for making the decision to move home.

Growing families, empty nesters, different job or a transfer, fresh start, desiring a sea or bush change, or wanting a challenge are all good reasons for making a move like this.

Whatever your reasons, you may be in a position where you need to sell your old home first before you can buy elsewhere. But if you sell your home before you find somewhere else, what do you do in the interim? So many questions and not any hard and fast answers.

Bunbury Real Estate know exactly how you might feel in this situation. We have put together some thoughts and tips that may help you decide what is best for you.

Do Your Homework

When you get serious about making the move it is important to scope out what is happening in the area where you currently live and the area you want to live in.

What are homes selling for in these areas? What can you get for your home? How much can you afford to spend on your new home? Should you consider renting your home for a while or will the bank loan you money for two mortgages if it comes to that? Can you arrange a simultaneous settlement? What are the markets like in these areas?

Buyer’s Market

If the area you are living in now is experiencing what they call a buyer’s market then it is important to have your home market ready. This will mean catching up on all those maintenance jobs you have, cleaning up the yard and maybe adding that coat of paint you have been planning.

This is an ideal time to pack away your collection of AFL memorabilia, to tidy up your crafting area and to get rid of all those toys the children don’t play with anymore. In fact, sell or give away anything you don’t want and pack away all your worldly possessions as prospective buyers prefer to see a home free of clutter.

Seller’s Market

A seller’s market usually means that as soon as your property is on the market it will be snapped up straight away.

This does not mean you should not do what you would do in a buyer’s market though, as you really want to get top dollar for your property as you may have to buy in a seller’s market yourself.