Tips for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

One of the important steps towards achieving a successful property sale is choosing the right real estate agent. All the hard work, from listing and marketing to negotiating on your behalf, will be performed by your agent. All these are imperative to a successful sale.

Choosing a real estate agent should be considered as forging a business partnership, as it should be a partnership in which both parties should benefit from a positive outcome.

When choosing a real estate agent, make a shortlist of agents in your area who have sound knowledge of the area and your home.

What attributes should your agent possess?

  • Can meet your requirement (not force their own on you)
  • Committed to serving your needs
  • Licensed in the same state as your property
  • Excellent word of mouth and references from past clients
  • Familiarity with the area where you are selling
  • Know-how of the price range your property is likely to sell for
  • Committed to be honest and realistic with you regarding the market and circumstances

Having a good rapport with your agent is important, so choose one that you feel comfortable with and you feel you can work with easily.

You’re choosing a person who you don’t know for a very important job – one in which trust, expertise, and adaptability are requirements. Your expectations should be demanding, as you’re selling one of your major assets.

Choose Annette Pinkerton, she’s one wise choice when it comes to selling your property.

The Newcastle Skyline is Filled with Cranes

According to RLB Crane Index, Newcastle has broken its own record for the highest number of cranes running throughout the city at one time. The Index keeps track of the health of the building sector by tallying the number of cranes operating in 11 cities in Australia.

In its April report, there were 10 cranes dotting Newcastle’s skyline, the highest number of cranes seen since the launch of the index, and anecdotally the record number seen in Newcastle.

Out of all the cranes observed in Newcastle, 60% were working on residential constructions.  The amount of private and government investment pouring into Newcastle has been unprecedented, driven by a combination of factors.  Undermining has caused Newcastle to be a challenging area to develop. But now there is certainty and less risk to developers because of grouting fund.

The $17M Newcastle Mines Grouting Fund was established to grant developers funds for projects to plug voids and address mine subsidence.

Other major drivers are the hard infrastructure from all three levels of government and the city’s ‘desirability.’  It is projected that 300 apartments will be made available on the market in 2018, and 400 in 2019, and the same amount in 2020.  In comparison, just 200 apartments had been built through the decade through 2017.  But 1000 apartments would have to be built annually to be able to meet demand.

Here are the new crane installations in the city: Westfield Kotara, Westend, Verve Apartments, Stockland, Parque Apartments and Herald Apartments.

Increases in crane activity were not only seen in Newcastle but Hobart, Melbourne and Perth as well.





Design Tips to Make Small Kitchens Appear Bigger

Design Tips to Make Small Kitchens Appear Bigger

Design Tips to Make Small Kitchens Appear Bigger

The kitchen is one of the most important parts of the home as it is the space where meals are cooked, where family gathers to share meals, where guests are hosted and even where kids do their homework under Mom’s or Dad’s supervision. But is there something you can do if you have a small kitchen and you want it to look and feel bigger?

Here are a few tips on how to make a small kitchen appear bigger?

An effective way to maximise kitchen space is to have everything streamlined, meaning not having any item protruding into the space needlessly.

Consider neat lines and an understated look or a modest Hampton’s style of cabinetry. If you can, don’t use standard handles on doors and drawers. Go for hidden handles or no handles at all. You can also opt for shark nose handles, which function as natural finger pull out because the top of the cabinet or drawer slants downwards.

Use light colours as these helps make a space look bigger. You can also add glossy doors/drawers, but this finish suits a specific time and place – and it may go with your house or the style of your kitchen.

Make sure the colour of your kick strip is similar to those of your doors and drawers. Take it easy on using stainless steel or darker colour on the kick strip because it makes the space look smaller rather than larger.

Use the same colour for your benchtop and cabinetry to improve the illusion of space. I advise my clients to use stone, though it is more expensive than laminate, it is more durable and timeless.

Keep away from chunky-style benchtops because they take up space and diminish the perception of spaciousness. Aim for a finer, more streamline look by opting for a thinner, slimline benchtop.

It’s good to do something different with splashbacks, but if you want your space to appear bigger, your splashback should be the same colour or a shade lighter than your cabinetry and benches.

You can create contrast through the texture and shape of tiles. You can choose from many different styles including penny round, mosaic, herringbone or subway tiles. Use grout that is either of similar shade as the cabinets or the tiles.

Lighting creates warmth and makes a room look more exciting and beautiful. Connect your lighting to an item on the house to keep the flow. An example would be connecting the architectural style of the home, timber floors or tile shades.

Pendant lights normally look beautiful in a kitchen as they create a little bit of style and will help counterbalance all the neutral shades. Another way to add to the perception of space is adding lighting beneath the overhead cupboards, which helps “thrust” the wall out.

For more ideas and inspiration visit our Pinterest page or invite me to take a look and give you my personal opinion.




Real Estate Advertising Schedule: What is it and Why Sellers Need it?

A comprehensive online advertising schedule must be included in a seller’s marketing campaign and with 88% of buyers turning to the internet to search property it’s important to get it right the first time. 

Your buyers want as much information as possible and if you want to reach the highest possible number of prospective buyers then you need to give it to them.  Failing to do so could have your best buyer skipping your property altogether. 

Also worth noting, advertising online via popular real estate sites offer overwhelming advantages, but still agents frequently offer a marketing schedule that fail to capitalise on most of these opportunities.  This is why it’s crucial to get as much information as you can from your agent about the marketing process, so you know exactly where your home will be advertised and what media platforms will be used.  It’s imperative that your agent understands how to identify and target the best buyers and design a marketing campaign that attracts them.

Ask and be informed about what happens next when your listing has been running for a few weeks.  Find out the buyers statistics regarding your home, so you can make changes or upgrade if necessary to boost your listing to the top of the results.  A agent who is also a marketeer will know what changes to make and when to make them.

Happy Selling!

First Home Buyers Warned Against ‘Honeymoon Rate’ Offered by Banks

Banks are offering ‘honeymoon rate’ deals on loans in an effort to grab a share of the growing number of first home buyers. This deal could cost buyers tens of thousands of dollars more over the life of a home loan.

One in 10 loans now offers a low initial variable rate, according to comparison site Mozo. This can seem appealing to first home buyers until the honeymoon period terminates and the high revert rates takes effect for the remaining life of the mortgage.

First home buyers should be wary of these deceptive offers as they are used by banks to grab a share in the property market. It appeals to buyers because paying your mortgage is affordable for the first two years. In reality, those loans basically will just make banks richer over the long term.

For example, an ordinary borrower with a $300,000 home loan would have to pay extra interest charges of $3423 annually.

One of the worst cases Mozo uncovered was an offer with an introductory variable rate of 3.69%, which went up to 5.43%, up 47%, after the honeymoon period ended.

Borrowers are advised to do research and earnestly search for the best deal because it is the responsibility of the borrower to bargain for a better rate when the honeymoon period terminates.

New laws aiding banks
According to a senior manager at BIS Oxford Economic, banks were capitalising on the new policy changes in stamp duty and lending crackdown.  Banks are trying to attract first home buyers as part of efforts to capture first home buyer demand with newly introduced stamp duty exemptions and concessions in NSW and Victoria.

First home buyer tips
Mortgage experts advise first home buyers to study their options before getting into a disadvantageous deal. The offers, at first, look tempting when you look at the terms. But if you are depleting your savings to buy a property you have to focus on shoring up your cash buffer in case of emergency.

When the rate changes borrowers may fail to refinance if the banks continue to implement stricter lending policies.  It is recommended that borrowers turn to a mortgage broker that compares all options to help clients choose what’s best for them.

Let us know if you’d like help finding a mortgage broker in Newcastle.