The Difference Between Male and Female Real Estate Agents

The real estate industry is represented by 51% male and 49% female, showing that both sexes are fairly represented. However, numbers are skewing in relation to job roles, with females more likely to be property managers and assigned administrative positions, while males are mostly in sales and principal roles.

One of the most effective strategies that could make the industry better among buyers and sellers is to encourage more women to become sales agents and even principals. Research reveals that women agents are significantly more capable of empathy, communication and accountability. Human skills that sellers view as the symbols of an “excellent” real estate agent.

According to CoreLogic RP Data’s recent Consumer Perceptions of Real Estate Agents, there is considerable contrast in the degree of satisfaction experienced by vendors when dealing with female agents compared with male agents.

Women were regarded as more helpful by vendors compared to men, with respondents saying women excel in making sure they know all facets of the sales process.

At no point, were the more than 300 respondents asked to assess the behaviour of their agent based on sex. They were simply asked early in the survey what the gender of their agent was. The data was analysed according to sex to determine how those behaviours compared between men and women.

Here’s what property sellers experienced during the sales process.

Before the start of the sales process, 59% of female agents and 58% of male agents were able to assure their clients that they would perform well and obtain a good price for their property.

Once the sale began, the confidence levels in female agents went down to 55% and the levels for male agents dropped to 48%.  More than double that of female agents.

After the property was sold, 45% of respondents with female agents stated they were happy with the final result, versus 39% for those with male agents.

Female agents were also found to be regarded as more likely to be graded as “excellent” at major skills compared to male agents (such as handling open inspections – women 41% / men 33%, providing regular feedbacks – women 45% / men 31%, following up of possible buyers and leads – women 43% / men 29%, negotiation skills – women 38% / men 28%, etc.).  Female agents were also more than twice as likely identified as managing the sales process with expertise – 42% female compared with just 28% for male agents. 

An important finding from the survey was that getting the expected, or higher, price is a hygiene factor for sellers. Agents are expected to get the price they promise they will.

Gender was not a factor in the likelihood of a seller endorsing them to family and friends, with 68% of respondents with male agents and 69% with female agents stating they would willingly endorse.

I have to agree with CoreLogic RP Data’s findings in this survey and wholeheartedly believe that more women in Newcastle real estate will increase the level of consumer perception of real estate agents.

To experience the female difference contact our office and ask Annette to sell your property.

From the Garden to Alfresco Dining for Spring

Spring is approaching and now is the time to begin thinking about bringing the inside to the outside with well-placed tables and chairs under a shady tree, a large umbrella or even a pergola. For inspiration check out the latest restaurant trends and Pinterest for great ideas.
Shape up
Tie your garden in with the rest of your house by adding architecture, such as a pergola, which is ideal as climbing frames for beans, passionfruit and the like which will also provide shelter while eating. 
Shed restoration
Use battens to soften an unattractive shed or garage. Or, simply paint it a dark colour to hide it making the structure fade and the greenery pop. Get your dessert right off the tree to your table by espaliering a fruit tree against a wall or trailing strawberries over the perimeters of the bed.

Dining in the terrace
There are many ways you can add an eat-in garden to your deck or courtyard with various dwarf varieties of potted trees; stretch wires to grow climbing vegetables; or place a bed of year-round lettuces and herbs in a sunny spot. Use the back of the raised bed to support bench seating and add an umbrella to provide mid-day shade.
Rock that vegetable patch!
Create a relaxing palette by using only a few materials so that your best veggies are shown prominently. many vegetables can be eaten straight from the garden without having to be cooked.
At the base of the garden
There is no rule that says the barbeque must sit beside the house. Place it at the back of the garden, so you can have a lovely stroll between the veggie beds as you choose which ones you’d like to eat. If you got an ugly portable barbeque, decorate the area with the right outdoor bench, install a tile splashback and living roof to create an excellent focal point.
If there is a tap in your garden, it’s easy enough to install plumbing for a kitchen sink. Visit demolition yards for inexpensive vintage and use old brass taps that can survive the outdoors.
Sun screen
Create shade in your yard with architecture if there are no big trees to provide it. Balance the geometry of the raised beds with crisp posts and beams. Adopt different looks with shade materials, such as mesh gardening shed to create a dappled look, solid canvas shade sails for intense colour, or operable louvres that allow you to change the light or for weather protection.
If you are after a themed alfresco area like the south-of-France look, choose striped canvass in traditional black and white or blue and white.
Vertical garden
If you don’t have enough space for a horizontal garden, create a vertical one. You can grow enough veggies to feed many people and use it as your outdoor space’s focal point or privacy screen. Ready-made pockets that you can fill with excellent potting mix are easily available. Plant densely to avoid ugly gaps and drying out fast.
Plants in mass groups are eye-catching. For example, combine coloured lettuces and herbs, and mixed in swatches of vivid-coloured flowers like marigolds to ward off pests, blue followers to welcome bees.

Living Space
Your veggie garden is not just for outdoor dining, it can also be turned into a living space during spring. Deckchairs or basket chairs can be brought out so you can lounge on it after eating. When the dining table is not being used, dress it up with rows of classic plant pots, glass hurricane lanterns for candles, or pots of herbs that you can readily use for salads.
Side of the house
The side of your house can be much more than a dumping ground for trash bins or gardening tools. Even if there is little light, a small raised bed by the back door or side window can be planted with fruit or veggies that flourish under the warm sun. Compliment it with hard paving and resilient ground-cover herbs, plus a folding table and chairs where you can sip your morning coffee.

For more ideas and inspiration go to my Veggie Patch Pinterest Board.  Not only will you get to enjoy the the product of your hard work, both visually and by eating it, but creating your garden will also add value to your home!

Retirees are Entitled to $300,000 Incentive to Downsize

Under a federal budget plan, retirees still owning their family homes are encouraged to sell and downsize to smaller properties with a $300,000 incentive.

Homeowners who are 65 years old and over selling their house that they’ve resided in for at least 10 years can make a non-concessional contribution of as much as $300,000 into the superannuation with the money earned from the sale.

This incentive covers both members of a couple living in the same home.

The measure is designed to diminish the obstacle to downsizing for retirees, a significant number of whom are living in big homes with extra rooms and costly maintenance expenses.

If these baby boomers sell, there would be more homes that would be available to younger families who are looking to upgrade.

Pushing retirees to live in more suitable homes has long been a big point of contention the affordability issue.

However, the downsizers would have to find a new place to live – whether it’s a laidback rural town near the beach or bushland, or an inner-city bolthole.

Older homeowners are usually unwilling to sell due to sentimental and financial reasons. Selling a home is often expensive and the remaining money after the purchase of a smaller home could then be included in the means test.

This can be a hindrance especially to those whose homes have increased in value significantly over the last decade, in plenty of instances Sydney homes more than doubling in price.

If you are unsure of your circumstances or want to know what your family home is worth, then call me today on 0418 447 856.

Tips for Selling your Home in Winter

Most people believe the summer months tend to be the best season to buy and sell homes, but there are benefits for selling in the winter months.

It’s not a bad time to sell during the cooler months. Because there is a likelihood of lesser properties on the market during this period, you have less competition and more buyer exposure working for you.
Tips for Selling in Winter
1. Make your home appear and feel warm
The overall appeal of your home can get a big boost from small touches. Use new coverings, rugs and cushions in warm colours such as red, gold and brown to create a positive impression to prospective buyers. Create a cozy, welcoming feel with the use of coverings made from wool and fur.
2. Create a great outdoor space
People tend to overlook outdoor spaces during the cold season, but you can make it a great selling point with a great presentation. Show buyers that the gardens and outdoor areas can still be used even during winter by setting up an outdoor heater. Showcase a freshly mowed lawn and trimmed hedges and flower beds. If you have a pool, make sure it is clean and sparkling.
3. Add sufficient light
During winter, even when it’s morning, indoor spaces can be quite dark. Create the illusion of more space by turning on all the lights and eliminating clutter. Allow as much natural light as possible into the property by making sure the windows and blinds are clean. Open all windows, even just the slightest, so it won’t get to stuffy with so many people inspecting the property.

The Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker When Choosing a Home Loan

There is a vast array of home loan products available to homebuyers, making it an overwhelming task to choose which one is the right one. So, it’s not surprising that brokers now provide over 50% of mortgages in Australia.
Here are the reasons why it pays to have a mortgage broker help you choose a home loan:
1. It’s technically free
You don’t pay mortgage brokers directly. They are paid by commission by the lender you eventually choose. There are comparison tools available online to help you get in touch with potential brokers.
2. Lenders pay them to help you
Mainstream banks pay virtually the same commission, but non-traditional lenders might not. To find if your mortgage broker is not favouring lenders who pay the highest commissions, you can ask your broker for details of their commission. They are required by law to disclose such information under the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia’s National Consumer Credit Protection Act.
3. Niche or mainstream
It’s your decision whether to choose a niche or a mainstream broker. All brokers are affiliated with a good network of lenders, but they can only market and sell loans they are accredited to talk about. This means your broker may not be licensed to talk about every bank and lender out there. Mainstream brokers are affiliated with a larger network of banks and lenders, while niche brokers are partnered with two or three lenders that meet their specific customers’ requirements.
4. Inside knowledge
You can be sure that most brokers have a good depth of knowledge of the industry, always keeping their ears to the ground to keep up with competition.
5. More capable
Compared with young loan managers with limited knowledge and who would also try to sell you every kind of insurance from health to life, most brokers have been around for a long time.  It’s more difficult to be a broker these days with the bar set high these days. With big companies, brokers undergo comprehensive training upfront and year-long mentor program, as well as a diploma.
6. Transparency
Mortgage brokerages are small businesses, thus they are dependent on reputation and word of mouth. Bank loan officers will offer their own products and will only process mortgage loans offered by their bank.  Of course, you need to find out if a non-independent broker is giving preference to their own products. But the fact is brokers don’t benefit from favouring one product over the other. A professional broker will recommended the best product for you.
7. Financial backup
People who have unpaid debts that have damaged their credit rating will most likely get rejected by banks. However, there are lenders that deal specifically with bad credit loans and brokers can help people get in touch with these.
8. Credit rating help
You can expect a personal touch when working with mortgage brokers as they can work one-on-one with a client, review their specific requirements and match them with a suitable lender. You can use the services of that same broker for future loans, with the advantage of that background knowledge and past research.
9. Small, big details
Your mortgage broker can help with the forms you need to fill up and the documents you need for your home loan. Their skill set includes knowledge of the jargon and maths associated with home loans, so you can leave those up to them to tackle.
Homebuyers who do their own research and sign up for the cheapest loan usually end up derailed by the hassle of understanding the fine print later on.
Acquiring a home loan today is competitive and confusing that you the help of experts to navigate the process.

For more information contact Glen Hine at Mortgage Choice