Qualities of an Effective Real Estate Agent

If you have very little experience dealing with real estate agents, you may not be able to distinguish right away a good agent from a bad one. A real estate agent will act as a conductor who will guide a set of resources towards a goal, which is the sale of a house. Here are the important qualities of a real estate agent who will do a great job for you.

A good real estate agent has recent sales experience, knows how to market your property and can demonstrate success at selling homes. Someone without this quality is considered a beginner. If you’re selling, start things right by choosing the best agent with knowledge for the job but especially marketing.

Efficient with attention to detail
The agent with this characteristic is more likely to sell a home. You will need an agent who is organised with attention to detail especially if you’re in a hard-to-sell market.The best agents know the smallest change a seller can make to boost the chances of selling their home. They employ creative techniques in their listings and take the best photos of each property. They’re prompt in returning calls and always on time for appointments.

Network and representation
Top-tier agents possess methods in connecting with people in their network regularly.  They are also familiar with other agents in the area and will not hesitate to work with others if it means selling a home quicker.

You want an agent with a firm resolve. They immediately follow up each time the property is shown. They are hard workers and don’t give up easily.

Flair and good grooming
Sellers made an effort to show their property in good light, so they should also choose an agent who puts their best foot forward. Prospective buyers feel at ease when an agent displays confidence and professionalism.  

Knowledge of technology
An agent who is familiar with technology will be more updated with the market in the area. They are also more likely to have their act together, making them a great asset when you’re selling your home.

You’d want an agent who will tell it like it is even if it is something that you prefer not to hear. They will tell you exactly what to expect, from sale price to timing. Ultimately, an honest agent will save you a lot of stress and trouble.

A good agent appears diligent and determined and is working hard on selling each property.

The characteristics stated above are what make a successful real estate agent. Agents should emulate these qualities to become a success, regardless of how hard the current market condition is.

What are the Top Growing Suburbs in Australia?

Suburbs that are considered not likely to perform well are surprisingly doing so, this according to new data released by realestate.com.au. These suburbs are growing against all odds, with the Australian property markets either flat or sluggish.

Over the last year, seven of the top 10 capital growth markets (areas with the greatest change in median price), have reported significant growth in value while at the same time not reporting increase in sales or decrease in sales. In fact, some are reporting as much as 50% less sales. The decline in sales activity is one of the factors driving growth in these suburbs.

Melbourne and Sydney
Sydney is experiencing the most difficulty, with the falls in demand echoing those experienced in Perth following the collapse of the mining boom. The drops are projected to continue.

The Property Outlook Report released by realestate.com.au says that Sydney’s median house price had declined by 2.4% in the March 2018 quarter, compared to same year-ago period.

So, it’s probably a surprise then, that the country’s top growth suburb at present is the beachside suburb of Killcare Heights on the NSW Central Coast. In the same period in 2017, the median property value in the area was $859,500. At present, it’s $1,305,000, up 51%, with 23% fewer properties sold.

This came as no surprise as the Central Coast had been popular on realestate.com.au for years now. It became the alternative to Sydney, where property had become unaffordable. Killcare Heights is near the beach, which is what most people in Sydney prefer, it is much more affordable than Sydney and it is commuting distance from Sydney.

Also included in the top 10 highest growth suburbs are the NSW suburbs of Bilpin, in the Blue Mountain and Rossmore in the outer west. Being situated in Sydney’s growth corridor, Rossmore benefits from a shifting property market from low density to higher densities.

Meanwhile, the median prices in some suburbs had levelled in Melbourne, but surprisingly, suburbs like Research (No. 2 on the list) and Plenty (No 6 on the list) posted median price increases of 50.4% and 43.9%, respectively.

The two suburbs are in the city’s leafy outer northeastern ring, not far from Warrandyte, which is presently the country’s No. 1 in-demand suburb. Properties in the outer north east are affordable, even the large homes and large blocks.

South Australia and Tasmania
Meanwhile, some of the top growing suburbs are in Australia’s bullish markets. Tasmania was listed the No. 4 highest growing suburb, the beautiful town of Richmond, easily 20 minutes from the Hobart CBD. In 2017, the median price in the area was $380,000 but it is now at $552,000, up 45.3%.

In the bayside, blue-chip suburb of Glenelg South in Adelaide, the median price reached the million dollar mark. It also ranked the No. 5 highest growing suburb (a rise of 45.2%). In contrast with other suburbs, it reported a notable rise in sales action, with a 43.8% increase in properties sold.

Tasmania is currently popular, with so many buyers and people looking to rent. This is can largely be attributed to jobs growth and a changing economy. Adelaide looks to be drawing in many investors, especially those from Melbourne and Sydney, and this would also be a major driver for growth.

So what about Newcastle?
I’m seeing more property price reductions, more and more properties with no advertised price (which often suggests the seller is wanting more than the appraised price) and more properties lingering on the market for much longer than the average days on market last year.  Buyers are definitely more guarded on price and less reluctant to snap up property.  They are prepared to research longer, they are taking their time to buy ‘the right property’ and taking the time when negotiating, no longer entertaining the fear of loss.

Newcastle median house prices have dipped again in the last quarter, a “flattening out” that begun late 2017.  According to a report from the Domain Group,  Newcastle’s median house price fell 2.5 per cent.  Despite the fall in Newcastle, the median price still amounted to a 13.3 per cent rise year-on-year for the same quarter in 2016. Median prices have risen about 40 per cent over the past four years and it will be interesting to see what happens for the remainder of the year!



Tips for Staying on Top of Your Home Maintenance All-Year Round

Here is a checklist to help you keep your home maintained all year round, starting from the things you need to do now.

Autumn and Winter
Clean the gutters: During autumn when leaves fall, make sure to clear your gutters of debris and look over it for any damage. Ensure that you have all repairs done before winter starts.  If you hire someone to do the job, ask them to also take a look at your roof for any loose or broken tile.
Painting: A moody autumn or winter weekend is a good time to do fairly simple DIY projects like giving your walls a fresh coat of paint.
Do minor indoor jobs: You can take up that small project that you put off during summer during the cold months.  Here are examples of small indoor jobs that you can tackle during autumn or winter:

Fix any hole or scratches on your walls using joint compound and putty knife
Remedy squeaking hinges with oil or any appropriate lubricant
Remove rot from doors and windows using a knife and fill in any holes with a filling compound
Check your smoke alarms and replace the batteries, if they are at least a year old

Tackle your lawn: Aside from mowing your lawn two times a week, use spray for weeds and the right fertiliser to turn your yard from ordinary to a thing of beauty.
Get the water blaster out: Your outdoor area will be filled with moss and lichen that accumulated during the winter months. Use a reliable gurney to do the job of removing them. To make the job easier, soften the surfaces first using the appropriate spray.
Check the base of your house for weeds: Weeds can grow in abundance and cause problem with dampness. You should also clear your gutter and inspect your roof for damage, which could have happened from a storm during the winter.
Check your appliances: Appliances that have been in use all winter should be checked in mid to late October. These include gas fires, DVS systems, heat pumps and chimneys. Have them cleaned yearly and prevent any hassle when the next winter arrives.

Exterior repairs: Don’t take on major improvements to the exterior of your home. Invest in making small repairs to your deck or painting your fence.
Time your projects: A perfect time to arrange all home improvements you want to finish for the year is during summer. Hire your contractor for that interior job during winter and finalise your plans for that new outdoor entertainment area so you’re ready to break ground by spring.

Tips to Present Your Home During Open Inspections

The old saying ‘first impressions last’ is very true with regards presenting properties for sale. Your home has to be neat and be presentable inside and outside, as a lot of people will pass by it before making a decision to view it on open homes.

Your home will be just one of many that buyers will inspect, so it’s important that buyers see it in its best. You are more likely to get the best price for your property if it looks appealing.

Clean and orderly
Here are three important ways you can present your property in the best possible light:

  • Clean the property inside and out to make it look more habitable.
  • De-clutter the living areas to present the spaces better.
  • Similar to an old car, a property that looks well-maintained is more valuable than one that is neglected. It’s good to make minor repairs before putting a property up for sale.

Different decorating styles, different approaches
Each person’s decorating tastes is unique. So it’s better to adopt a more neutral decorating style for your open homes. This means not everybody will be impressed with your lava lamp or nude self portrait, so store them away in the meantime.

More things to consider when decorating your property for open homes:

  • Fill blank walls with mirrors or paintings
  • Create a homely feel with vases and plants
  • Maximise the space in smaller bedrooms with single beds
  • Show the potential of the outside spaces by putting outdoor furniture there

If you would like advice specifically for your home, then ask Annette.  Call to book your appointment today on 0418447856.

What Can Smart Home Technology Do For Property Buyers and Renters?

The invention of smart home automation technology has not only simplified our day-to-day lives but has also helped us cut our electricity bill as well as increase demand for property that is put up for sale or for rent.

A slew of new products have been introduced over the last couple of years, all professing to be the next hottest thing that you need for your home. However, there are only a small number that are genuinely useful and generally desirable.

Generally, there is only one of two reasons you’re shopping around for some type of smart home or home automation: you want to use it for your home, or you want it to help you sell your property.

So, what do you need to know about smart home automation products?

Uses of Home Automation and Smart Tech
Home automation is a name given to a broader class of devices that utilises technology to make homes smarter. Examples are smart lights that can be controlled using a mobile phone and security systems that let you monitor your house when you’re away.  Another example are the smart battery systems like Tesla’s Powerwall, which lets you choose where you want to direct their solar energy – straight to your house or back to the grid to earn yourself some money.  These devices aim to make your home safer to live, cut your overhead and generally make your life simpler.

Home automation is forecast to flourish, with the world’s largest companies like Vodafone planning to pump billions of dollars into smart technologies for the home.

Things That Home Buyers and Renters Are Looking For
There are three things that most people are looking for, according to agents interviewed in Sydney and Melbourne for the purpose of this article: fast internet, smart wiring, and energy efficient home automation.

Fast Internet
This is not something you can easily get unless you live in an apartment building. The decision of whether some properties get a super full fibre connection and others get the traditional copper and cable TV lines rests on NBN Co. But if you live in an apartment block and your strata agree to buy in, you can have your building’s connection upgraded at a reasonable cost through the various private fibre companies throughout the country. A faster internet is quite the leverage if you decide to list your property for sale or for rent.

Smart wiring
This is also one of the important things that buyers look for and it a big deciding factor when they are choosing between two properties.  Both standard electricity passage and communication between devices are made possible through smart wiring. This covers everything from Ethernet for internet, cable access for Foxtel, and ports for smart home devices such as security systems, washing machines and thermostats.  While you consider these as luxuries for now, future buyers may not. In terms of cost, it is obviously cheaper to install while your property is being constructed, but it’s also not too expensive if you want to have it later on.

Energy efficient home automation
Deloitte says that what most people are targeting to buy is smart thermostat. This is one of important items if you want an energy efficient home, as it lets you to remotely control temperatures throughout your home using your phone regardless of where you’re at. Also another item to consider is smart solar systems similar to Tesla’s, mentioned above. Controllable shades are also worth considering, as this is especially useful during summer when you want to limit the heat coming in your home and the use of air conditioning.

Separate from the general smart devices discussed above, you also need to take into account other devices depending on type of buyers. According to a study by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, there reasons for wanting to buy smart home devices are different depending on age group. Millenials want to simplify their life, Gen-Xers want more comfort, and Baby Boomers just want to reduce the cost of their utilities and increase the value of their property.