What are the Real Estate Agent Skills and Qualities that Clients Value?

Well, I guess to answer this question I could give two vastly different answers dependant on who’s perspective you are asking from.  Essentially clients who are buyers want something completely different than those clients who are sellers.  So let’s look at them individually and then find the one common thing that is paramount to both.

What Buyers Want 
Not all buyers are the same and therefore should not be lumped together and treated alike.  Some buyers want and need lot of more ‘hand holding’ especially if they are first-time buyers.  Investors on the other hand want lots of data but most buyers want assistance in the transaction process, interpretation of documents and help to make the decision-making process easier.

Below is a list of skills and qualities of agents that home buyers typically value:

  • Honesty, integrity and transparency 
  • Knowledge of purchase process
  • Responsiveness & availability
  • Knowledge of real estate market place
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills

What Sellers Want 
Sellers simply want to sell their home as fast as possible and for the highest purchase price possible.  

Sellers are also more inclined to focus mainly on the costs of the commission to the agent and on the ‘costs of the advertising campaign’ rather than the ‘results of a marketing campaign’ and how the agent will make it happen.  

These days, I find sellers believe that the internet will bring their best buyer are more inclined to choose the cheaper agent with the smallest advertising package that often includes free marketing options.  But the game has changed and this will be the first and biggest mistake they will make. One that will end up costing them much more than they could ever expect.

Like buyers, sellers also value the following skills and qualities:

  • Honesty, integrity and transparency
  • Knowledge of sale process
  • Availability and response time
  • Knowledge of real estate market
  • Feedback skills
  • Negotiation skills

Most sellers will consider these attributes when selecting their agent but what they fail to consider is, in fact, the most import.  The agent’s experience and knowledge in MARKETING!

You see, no matter how good the agent is at everything else, including others not mentioned above, it will all be lost if the marketing is inferior and doesn’t attract enough buyers to compete for their property!  Their property must stand out amongst all the others on the market in order to sell as fast as possible and for the highest purchase price possible.

Their agent must be a marketeer, a specialist in marketing and ironically MARKETING is also fundamentally what buyers want too!  I’m yet to met a buyer who doesn’t want the following five elements to help them find their new home.

  • The full address of the property
  • The price
  • Good quality photos (and more than 4-5)
  • Floor plan with dimensions
  • An infomercial or video (not still photos put to music)

So when it comes down to it, the ONE most important skill or quality that buyers look for  in a real estate agent is a marketeer because it helps them sift through all the homes on the market in a short period of time to find the one they really want.  And if the seller is smart they will choose an agent who knows how to give buyers what they want because the result for the seller will be selling their home as fast as possible for the highest purchase price possible with the most money in the bank account at the end of the day.

To see more examples of infomercials click here :-

First-Home Buyers are Getting Older

Did You Know:-
 One in seven first-home buyers in Sydney is in their 40’s and even 50’s due to the unabated rise in house prices according to the latest figures from Mortgage Choice’s The Saturday Telegraph and it seems it’s a similar situation in Newcastle. Previously, the majority of people wanted their homes fully paid by the time they are 40. Now, an increasing number of buyers are getting ready to spend their golden years still paying their mortgages.

Real Estate Institute of NSW president and Cunningham Real Estate managing director, John Cunningham, believes that this is partly due to lifestyle trend, with people now living longer and taking longer to settle down. Another reason is affordability – buyers need to save up to $130,000 in deposit to purchase a median-priced home in Sydney and here in Newcastle it is approximately $68,000.

The age of first-home buyers keep rising in recent years, with one in three now more than 35 years of age, said Finder.com consumer advocate Bessie Hassan.

The thought of people still paying off their mortgages in their 60’s or older is rather scary. For young people it is no longer a rite of passage to enter university, get married, and purchase their first home. They now need to realise that if they consider getting into the market early the Australian dream of owning a house with a white picket fence is really just that – a dream.

I’m also personally seeing more and more singles, siblings and even single parents teaming up with other’s in the same or similar situation with the purpose of getting into the market and buying a  property together.  Once they have the first property, they then help buy a second one so they both have their own home in the end.

I really believe that we are going to see yet another incline in the age of first home buyers this year as we struggle to find new stock and the number of available properties become even more elusive.

Tips to Maximise an Open for Inspection

Feeling the pressure is part of buying a house. After saving for many years, the actual decisions could sometimes just take 30 minutes – the time it normally takes to complete an open for inspection. So how can you maximise this limited time without getting caught up in the heat of the moment?

The best way to start things off is by going in prepared.
Before you leave to see the property, research it and the surrounding area using Google Street View. You’re not just buying a house; you’re also buying into the neighbourhood. So before going inside the property, switch on all your senses and take a good look around.

Pay attention to noises and smells; find out if the property is under a flight path or close to a main road. Is the home near a sewage treatment plant or rubbish tip?

The kitchen and the bathroom are the most important rooms in any property or at least the most expensive to update. If you smell mould or dampness in the bathroom look in the corners of ceilings for mould. While mould is easily removed, salt dampness or rising damp can be quite costly to fix. Look inside and out.

Outside, look for major cracks on the walls. If you see a crack inside, go to the corresponding wall outside as well. There could be structural issues if the crack goes all the way through. If it is a simple plaster crack, this is easier and cheaper to repair.

Buyers should not obsess over the colour of the house or type of carpet, as these can be updated easily. Similarly, the installation of an air conditioning unit can be set up later if you really want it.

What is very expensive to change is the size of the house. For example, if there are not enough bedrooms or you want two living areas, it’ll cost a lot to build later on. Request for as many document as possible. Get a brochure of the property with a floor plan, which you can look at more closely later and save the video so you can watch again.

It is important to know about the surrounding buildings. You have to know what structure is next door – is a house going to be built there?

Know what the parking situation is – this is more important than getting ensnared by stylist’s furniture.

Common buyer mistakes are committed when buyers don’t look enough and when they  fail to notice the extra features that are naked to the eye or simply overlooked like insulation; solar power; under floor heating; alarm system; ducted air conditioning, vaccuming and even ducted music.  Just to name a few.

Bottom line, an open inspection is done in a short period of time with many other people looking around besides you and the agent may not be able to point out all the features of the home. You can solve this by arranging for a private inspection.

Additional Tips

  • Go early on inspection day and be the last to leave, and go more than once.
  • Make a list of five non-negotiable things.
  • If you are a first-time buyer, go with someone who is more experienced than you.

The Growth in Sydney Extends to Newcastle

Image Source: https://scontent.fmnl4-6.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15203334_10153984979825846_5848795189188137265_n.jpg?oh=e9137d02a31d859759ff6619695f542b&oe=58D7AE96

Our beloved city of Newcastle is seeing a multitude of infrastructure changes, including a university campus and a new light rail system, thanks to a massive state government investment amounting to $6.55 billion.

This new development coupled with the rising Sydney prices is making Newcastle a hot target for investors who are flocking to Australia’s seventh largest city.

Our city’s price growth has surpassed Sydney’s, with annual growth presently at 11.5% compared to Sydney’s 10.2%.

The Attraction
Newcastle offers great value compared to Sydney and I’m sure you’ll agree that the excellent lifestyle that comes with it is also very attractive.

At long last the wait is over and change is already happening in Newcastle.  Plans for the connectivity to the harbour via the rail corridor with the proposed light rail is already underway and the city is experiencing a “coming of age.”   You can find a host of housing options here, both for permanent residences and investment. Newcastle’s identify revolution is being driven by the advent of more cosmopolitan landscapes within the city as a result of the gentrification of these areas.  The light rail and urban renewal will bring a $2.5 billion revitalisation to the local economy according to research commissioned by the Newcastle Renewal Taskforce.

Newcastle’s population is projected to increase from 2016 to 2036 by around 33.4% to 207,450, with growth at an annual rate of 0.62%.

Visit my Pinterest page to see some old photos of Newcastle, some of our favourite spots and even an old video!  

Enjoy…….  https://au.pinterest.com/APPinkerton/newcastle/


HUNTER STREET NEWCASTLE 1968 Photo from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Newcastle_1968.jpg

Important Questions to Ask Your Accountant Before Buying an Investment Property

Business image created by Katemangostar – Freepik.com

It is believed that if your accountant is at ease with the thought of your purchasing an investment property, and if all things have been prepared, then you should feel comfortable to some extent. However, for some people, seeking help from an accountant is not one of the main priorities before buying property.

Some people treat owning an investment property like a hobby when in fact it should be treated like you are running a business. Having a realistic budget and a business plan are crucial.

Purchasing an investment property is exciting. But before embarking on this experience, it’s important to seek your account’s advice.

It is important for would-be investors to know that the tax implications of buying a property and the cash flow outcomes are two separate issues. People should ask their accountant what they need to do to maximise the tax outcome. Another issue to clarify is who is buying the property: a single individual, a couple or an entity?

You and your accountant need to work through a budget in relation to what the scenario is after purchase. The budget should allow for the costs and should also include the cash flow of borrowing on an interest-only basis. Doing this with your accountant would allow you to see things that you probably have not considered.

There are several ways to buy property and each has different tax outcomes. Your current financial situation must dictate whether you purchase in your own name, a company name, as part of a superannuation or family trust.

Important Tips:
Gearing: What’s the amount you need to loan? Negative gearing is presently a controversial political issue, so you should find out how it can benefit you. Are the tax breaks of negative gearing ideal for your financial situation or should you stay away from any risk?

Depreciation: Which can work to your advantage: purchasing a brand new property with high depreciation allowances or an older property you can renovate? You are entitled to a depreciation of the renovation expenses over a set period of time. Learn how a depreciation schedule can benefit you and how it makes negative gearing tax positive.

Renovations: Understand the difference between repairs and renovations. Any renovation or repair you do immediately following settlement is regarded as capital works. Learn the difference between capital works and expenses.

Budgeting: Ask your accountant for help in creating a simple budget and plan. A number of items in a property will have to be continuously replaced. It can be expensive when you re-paint and install new carpeting, and you have to do this every five or 10 years. Don’t allow your property to become shabby due to your failure to take costs into account.

For more information contact your accountant or ask Annette for help.