Tips for Finding a Real Estate Agent that Fits You

Real estate transactions should be trouble-free and stress-free with the right real estate agent or broker working for you. The adage “20 per cent of agents do 80 per cent of the business” is true. So, how do you find the right real estate agent? The right agent for you does not have to be employed at the biggest real estate agency, closing the highest number of transactions or earning the most money. Look for an experienced professional who knows how to listen to her clients, handle herself properly and has knowledge of the market.

1.   Ask for referrals
 Referrals from satisfied clients are what keep most real estate agents in business. Ask friends, relatives or neighbours what agent they have hired and ask them to relate their experience with that agent. The best agents strive for high customer satisfaction and put their clients’ interests before their own. You would want an agent who goes above and beyond the call of duty and praised highly by the people who asked for referrals.  

2.  Look for agent sold listings online
You can visit plenty of websites that will refer agents to you, but quality is not a guarantee. The referrals you will get are those who have paid the website owners to be listed in their directory. You’d get better results by looking up top real estate agents in your area on Google, visit those websites and look at the profiles of individual agents. Agents who have been in business for years will tell you in their profiles, but agents who are just starting out may have more time for you. Read customer testimonials.

3.  Go to open houses
You can meet real estate agents at open houses. Get their business cards and make notes of what you observed about them. If you are planning to sell your home, observe the way an agent shows a home. Note if she is polite and knowledgeable; if she hands out professional-looking brochures on the home; if she is working to sell the features of the home.
4.  Look for listing signs in your neighbourhood
Track signs for homes that are being sold in your area. Note the ‘days on market’ – when the sign goes up and the date it is taken down. Waiting for a sold sign may do you no good because not all agents put up a sold sign. It might be better for you to choose the agent who sells listings fast rather than one with the highest number of “for sale” signs.  More doesn’t necessarily mean the best!

5.  Put up print ads

There are two reasons why agents run real estate ads. One is to sell a particular property. Second is a promotional ad to market the real estate agent. Search for house ads in your targeted local area in your local community newspaper. Then visit the websites of the agents that put up those ads. Those agents may be knowledgeable about your neighbourhood. Contact the agent and ask their experience.

6.  Ask professionals for recommendations
Seek recommendations from other real estate agents. Agents are willing to recommend buyers and sellers to fellow agents, particularly if the service you require is not the area of expertise of the agent who is referring you. Some agents are experts on residential real estate and others specialise in new home builds. There are those who focus only on commercial or investment property. You can also ask mortgage brokers, solicitors and conveyancers for agent referrals. Many of them know first-hand the names of the best agents. Professionals are likely to recommend other professionals like themselves.

​ONE agent to put on your list is Annette Pinkerton.  If you’re planning on getting more than ONE agent’s opinion on your property, make sure ONE of them is from Annette Pinkerton at ONE AGENCY Pinkerton Properties.  Call her today on 0418447856.

Inspired Designs for Decorating Walls using Memorable Photos

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A photograph can tell many stories. If you would like others to know the stories behind your memorable photos, present them in such a way to attract the eyes. How much interest a photo can garner will be determined by the composition, colour, angle of the picture, as well as the manner it is displayed.

Indeed, creativity is needed when displaying photographs. For example, framed photos in similar sizes can be laid out on the wall behind the sofa. Add a touch of bright colour to give it a cheerful look. Another example is placing a photo frame on the nook of the sofa. You can turn the light above it on to bring out a romantic feel.

You can place three photo frames to make the corner of a bar table look beautiful. Or you can use a glass cabinet to display adorable photos of your children. Make it nicer by adding a white vase or the kids’ photo album.

Here are some tips to arrange your frames of photograph inside your home:

  • Put photo frames in a place that is not exposed directly to sunlight.
  • Use a slightly damp cloth to clean the frame.
  • Don’t pile the photo frames to prevent damage.

Creative ways to lay out photo frames:
Gather all your photographs and assemble them based on themes, such as wedding photos, holidays or old family trips. Pick your most favourite photo from each group. From those favourite photos, you can make a fascinating arrangement of photos that tells a story.

More tips

  • You can display two of three photographs you have with your significant other with the same pose but in varying locations.
  • You can also display you and your partner’s childhood photo of the same size, and they will look attractive displayed side by side.
  • If you an extensive collection of photographs, you can combine one with the other groups, and create an interesting and lovely impression.

There are so many ideas for home decorations available to you. Aside from photos, there are many other things around your house that you can use, like cushions, mirrors, flowers, etc., to enhance your home decorations.


Is Auction the Right Method to Sell your Home?

Choosing the right sale method is often one of the major challenges some sellers face when it comes time to sell their property.

Which method would lead to a quick sale: a public auction or a private sale?  Personally I don’t believe that every property is an ideal candidate to sell via auction.

6 Signs That Your Home is Auction Material
1. Location: Are auctions heavily favoured in the suburb where your home is located? If yes, think twice before selling using any other method. Some suburbs strongly prefer auctions, particularly in the inner, Lakeside and beachside suburbs.  So if a property is sold through a private sale buyers may have a negative approach regarding the sale process.

2. Price point: A public auction is not the best method if you are considering selling a multi-million-dollar property. Auction work well when they are two or more buyers who would bid. A high price point is not likely to lure an adequate number of potential buyers to complete a sale through auction.

A private sale or expressions of interest instead of an auction is normally the way to go for high-end properties. This is because the pool of buyers is smaller and often buyers dislike being known.

Similarly, properties with a price range below $300,000 may benefit more from a private sale, as majority of the buyers are less experienced and feel uncomfortable in an auction format.

3. Presentation: The best way to sell a property that is presented poorly is through auction. Assuming it is in a good location, properties that need of a lot of repairs normally draws in strong bidding from buyers at auction because most bidders are either handy investors or owner-occupants who wish to reside in a good neighbourhood.

4. The cute “period” factor: Homes in good condition and featuring period elements are likely to lure in owner occupants and auction is the best way to go as buyers get competitive for features such as high ceilings, ornate cornices, fireplaces and art deco details.

5. Rare properties: A type of property that is one of a kind will likely be a hit at auction. Having uncommon features make a property hard to value because there is not many similar properties that have been sold to compare it with. The best way to reveal its market value is through public auction.

6. Difficult to sell: You may get fed up if you find your property languishing on the market for a long time. In this situation, you may finally achieve a sale through auction. Maybe you initially put your property for private sale, but factors such as location, type of property, incorrect pricing, limited or no marketing may have turned buyers off or simply not attracted them. An auction will neatly draw the sale process to a head.

Happy Selling, Annette Pinkerton
The Newcastle Real Estate Agent who enables you to turn the key to where you want to be.

Do you really know what is included in your building tender?






We all love looking at the display homes and being dazzled by all the shiny tiles, huge rooms with high ceilings and gorgeous outdoor BBQ areas.  But are all these inclusions and the display home plan exactly what you are getting when you sign on the dotted line?  More often than not the answer is NO.

With some of the big building companies the display home inclusions are anything but standard.  You want down lights? No you only receive the baton.  You want carpet and tile?  No they are not included in the standard price and a driveway?  Well who needs that??

Before you sign any building contract you need to ask your builder about their standard inclusions as well as these items:
*BASIX – The Building Sustainability Index.  This makes assessments on the energy efficiency of the home and is a requirement of NSW council.  It will assess items like the water tank and water saving taps.  Are they right and are they included?
*BUSHFIRE Requirements – Most blocks of land have a Bushfire Rating…a BAL rating. If the home does not have the correct Bal requirements, for example gutter guards, then the home will not be approved by council.
*CORRECT SLAB rating – All soil has a specific type and classification and the slab thickness depends on this classification.  Has the correct slab type been included?
*ROCK – Has rock removal been included in the price? This not only applies to when the builder is excavating but when the plumber is digging for the pipes.
*WATER/SEWER CONNECTION – Is there enough allowance for the water/sewer to be connected to your home?  Have they allowed enough linear metres?
*SOIL and SPOIL REMOVAL – If the builder has to dig out the block for the foundations, where does the extra dirt go?  Is this included if the soil needs to be taken away?
*TREE REMOVAL – Often a block needs a good tidy up before building can commence. Is the removal of trees and site clearing of overgrown grass and shrubs included? Are you expected to have the block completely cleared?
*EASEMENTS – Check if there are any sewer or water easements on your block.  This can affect how your house is positioned and if the house needs to be moved it will affect the cost.
*ALFRESCO – This area is a must nowadays but check if the roof and flooring are included in the price.
*LANDSCAPING – Although most people feel they can do this themselves, some estates require landscaping to be completed within 3 months of moving in. Does your builder provide turf and fencing?

All these items if not included can cost up to $50,000 extra and most of the time people do not find this out until they are half way through the build or at their colour selection appointment.

Having a fixed ‘priced turn-key builder’ and I mean a proper fixed priced builder not a builder who says ‘fixed priced with a huge asterix next to the price’.  All these worries are eliminated.  All these items are included and the home is completed inside and out.  So all you need to do is turn the key and move your furniture in!!

So when you are visiting that display home that is your dream and you ask for a quote make sure you ask for all these items to be included so you won’t receive any nasty surprises!

Today’s article has been written by Kerri-Ann Hooper, director of Carnelian Projects. You can call her directly to ask any questions regarding this article on 0402 107 194.