Putting The Squeeze on Agents could leave your short in the end

*This article first appeared in the June Midland Express

We often hear about buyer beware but when did you last get warnings for the seller to beware?

Choosing between real estate agents can be a complex task. In any given area, there could be dozens of agents from a broad standard of real estate agencies. It is important to identify that not all agents are the same.

With that type of competition amongst real estate agents, prospective sellers have the clear advantage to sift through and find the right agent for their sale. Agents are put under increasing pressure (and rightly so!) to ensure that the vendor gets the absolute best deal possible.

With margins being pushed across the board, some agents will reduce their fees drastically to secure the sale. The allure of more money in the vendors pocket appears from the surface to be one to be enthusiastic about. However, like everything in life, when you cut one expense to save yourself a few dollars, something else will be in deficit along the way.

So how do people manage the sale of their homes with the best possible sale price and lowest commission, and ensure that their marriage or sanity are still intact at the end?

When deciding on a commission, it is important to weigh up what is a fair fee for the agent while garnering the best outcome at sale. It is also important to recognise the value in paying a fair percentage for the agent because you want the agent to work for you.

A responsive agent who picks up the phone after hours, manages offers in a professional way, one who is thorough, kind to your children and pets and manages every single stressful aspect of the sale on your behalf is worth the extra small margin you feel you might gain.

Crunching an agent too much might cost you so much more in the end.

Are you financially ready to buy a home?

We see it a lot. Enthusiastic families and individuals coming to open for inspections, sussing out the market and daydreaming about having their own little piece of the Great Australian Dream.

There’s just one thing: They aren’t quite sure if they can afford it.

So how do you know if you are ready to take the leap or not? This handy checklist is a great place to start.

  • Contact a Broker or financial Institution.

A good broker is a ‘go-between’ for you and the lenders (banks). A broker can act on your behalf to help determine how much you borrow. A financial institution can offer a similar type of service however they are unlikely to shop around for the best deal for you.

  • Get pre-approval first

A good thing to do before you start shopping for your dream home. In short, pre-approval gets your loan sorted so you know how much you can spend.

  • Savings history

‘Genuine savings’ is a term used by lenders to define funds that a home loan applicant has saved themselves over time. Australian lenders have required borrowers to save at least 5% of the purchase price of a property in a bank account in their name.

  • Loan repayments

Many people will tell you that covering your loan repayments is just the same as rent. But If you don’t factor changes to interest rates as well as your capacity to cover these expenses over time then you might be in trouble over time.

  • Mortgage Insurance

Lender’s Mortgage Insurance is a condition of home loan borrowing where your mortgage lender may require you to make a one-off payment to protect them (the lender) against the event where you (the borrower) might fail to make your home loan repayments. This insurance protects the lender and in many cases where the deposit is less than 20%, the borrower will need to pay it.

  • Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government on the sale of property. It is designed to cover the cost of the legal documents for the transaction. The main document is the ownership title of the property and a search to ensure you are buying the property from the right person. The percentage rates on stamp duty in Victoria vary based on dutiable value of the property.

  • 10% deposit on signing?

In a standard property sale, the home deposit has to be paid when you exchange the signed copies of the sale contract with the seller (“vendor”), after your offer has been accepted. If you buy at auction, you will sign the contract and pay a deposit (usually 10%) on the spot.

  • Other costs to be considered

It is important to factor in the following variable costs when you buy a home as often people come undone when they need to find another $1000 here or there.

  • Conveyancer/Solicitor fees.
  • Building and pest inspection
  • Disbursements at settlement
  • Home and contents insurance
  • Removalist costs
  • Waste disposal costs
  • Cross-over payments from last place of residence to new

The best way to keep costs in check is to plan in advance, be aware of what is ahead of you and get advice from a respected agent.

When was the last time your property was valued?

*This article first appeared in the May 2018 Midland Express

 

Things have changed in the Kyneton real estate market. A lot, actually.

 

You may have bought your home 30 years ago or even 18 months ago, and the chances are that the valuation on your home is quite different to what you paid for it.

 

So what exactly is an valuation? A valuation is a calculated figure that includes an assessment of the land value and the improvements, taking into account the depreciation of the property since construction. It also includes sales comparison, and a breakdown of living areas, outdoor areas and car areas.

 

In short, it a valuation can also impact on important decisions such as refinancing, future borrowing and your current insurance position.

 

Let’s look at insurance for a moment. If you have a valuation of your property that is relevant to the time that you purchased the property, it is unlikely that your insurance covers that estimated actual cost to rebuild the building.

 

If you are an owner of a residential property including strata developments, or an owner or landlord, it is important that you obtain a valuation of your property to ensure at that you are covered for its actual cost to replace. Many people also forget that the cost of demolition needs to be factored into this.

 

If you are looking at re-financing your home mortgage to borrow for renovations of consolidation of other expenses or debts, it is equally as important that you get an accurate and current evaluation of your home in the current market place. If the value of your property has increased, the chances are the bank (particularly in this current climate of financial scrutiny) will finance you where you need to be.

 

If you’d like your property valued so you can ensure your insurance and borrowing capacity is relevant, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

Kyneton: It’s a sellers market

*this article was previously published in the March 2018 Midland Express Newspaper

Continued growth in Melbourne has added to the attraction for home buyers to seek out more affordable accommodation in regional locations.

The allure of Kyneton as a viable destination for property investors is evident, not just due to the incredible array of resources and services on offer, but by the limited supply of properties currently available on market.

Ask any agent in the area and they will all tell you the same thing: the demand is high and the stock levels are low.

The latest CoreLogic Property Data price data, as of 19 February 2018, shows that the median house price in Kyneton has increased to $507,000, a more than solid home price growth for the region.

Data from realestate.com.au shows that Kyneton is a high demand market with around 686 unique visits per property listing per month on their website, compared to the Victorian average of 894 per property listing.

This interest in Kyneton has supported the increase in property prices and it doesn’t look to be cooling. Melbournians chasing value for money are driving property price growth in the state’s commuter towns, with the Macedon Ranges seeing an increase in growth of around 20% in the last decade.

Greater infrastructure and investment commitments for regional Victoria have enhanced the desirability of these areas for buyers, particularly the improved road and rail services.

Homeowners are thriving in this seller’s market. Properties are selling quickly and at record prices. Competition to buy in Kyneton means that listings are moving at record rates.

For sellers wanting to downsize, they are in a great position to sell their homes at a profit and free up funds for their retirement or boost their cash reserves.

Predictions for the property market are that it might cool in 2018 so it’s a great idea to take advantage of pent-up demand while you can.

For more property insights, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

 

 

So what exactly IS the Kyneton style?

When you think about Kyneton, what images spring to mind?

Is it the bluestone architecture or the home overlooking the rambling Campaspe River? Or perhaps it is the rich agricultural pastures or the cosy village vibe?

Whatever image you conjure, it is true that Kyneton has its own distinctive style.

Here is a little of what you might find in and around Kyneton.

The Definitive Weatherboard

      

A mainstay of classic Australian architecture, the weatherboard is particularly prominent within the Kyneton township. And grey is the colour of the moment. Exterior palates in grey tones across Kyneton bring forth an understated elegance.

1960-80s Brick Veneer

This era of homes is dotted throughout town with delightful gardens populating the brick veneer surrounds. Introduced shering in a conservative and plain brick veneer style suited to the working class roots of Kyneton and surrounds.

The Classic Victorian Style

Dotted throughout the region are classic Victorian homes that are still as stylish as ever. Once owned by prominent commercial and community leaders, a classic Victorian residence is possibly attainable if they appear on the market.

 

Architectural Designs

From the unique to the fabulous pre-fab, Kyneton is dotted with some award-winning and highly desired architectural designed residence. Contemporary meets country is a perfect abode for this thriving community.

Modern Australian Family Home      

Modern Australian families find themselves in modern Australian homes that are affordable and exemplify good design. Kyneton is a growing community so it is not uncommon to find pockets of houses ready for the modern Aussie family.

TIPS FOR DECIDING TO SELL OR RENT YOUR PROPERTY

* This article originally published in the February 2018 Midland Express

It’s fair to say the property market can feel like an obstacle course at times.

Everyone has their own bit of advice on real estate, but what is right for your situation may not suit the next person at all. Some key things to consider when tackling the decision of what to do with your existing property when the time comes to move on – should you sell it or rent it out.

Let’s not get emotional

Although difficult, it is critical to making smart and informed financial decisions. Be objective and try to understand why you are considering the options.

Downsizers whose family have left the home might want to keep the family home as it still hold great emotional attachments. Basing decisions about such a large asset can be dangerous territory and can lead to poor financial decisions.

Don’t rush it. Without prudent advice and a thorough understanding your individual financial situation, trying to sell quickly this may not be the right decision either.

Your Cash Flow

Holding on to an investment property could give your finances an injection in the future and present tax incentive, but consider your cashflow in meantime? If your investment is dependent on the projected rental income from the property, consider things like maintenance costs and upkeep, body corporate costs and council rates depending on the property or what if the property is vacant for a period of time for whatever reason. All these things could impact the viability and manageability of your investment.

Investment

Remind yourself why you purchased the home in the first place. Was it a home to live in long term or a financial decision based on market opportunities? If you have strong, reliable information to support the investment, the benefit of turning your home into a rental may outweigh the associated risks.

Are you more confused then ever? Here are our top considerations when deciding whether to rent or sell your existing property.

 

For more on real estate in Kyneton and surrounds, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

 

The Checklist for Evaluating a Home

When house hunting, it can be fun to look through homes that you could potentially call your own. But keep in mind that you are not doing this just for fun. Try not be distracted by decorative tricks that might otherwise hide a structural anomaly.

My recommendation for prospective buyers is to use an Evaluation Checklist to keep track of the most important aspects of the homes you see.

Use the Evaluation Checklist (Link here: The-Checklist-for-Evaluating-a-Home-Feb-2018-2.pdf) when you become seriously interested in a house. It will support you from seeing the property from a less emotional position and make a better and more informed decision.

Do not use this list as a substitute for hiring a Building and Pest Inspector to check out the house thoroughly.  Engaging your own building and pest inspector should be part of your own due diligence before committing to a sale.

Should you sell your home over the summer holidays?

With the New Year comes a new optimism from both buyers and sellers wanting to take a punt on a fresh start, eager to get their resolutions met earlier.

Traditionally, real estate lore said not put your home on the market over the holiday season. But with the 24/7 connected nature of the internet, busy jobs and modern lifestyles, homebuyers can now pick and choose when and where they see your home, at least online.

Here are three good reasons why you should consider selling your home in the new year.

  1. There are buyers out there

It’s a competitive house market out there for buyers and people don’t slow down anymore just because it’s the summer holidays. In our busy modern lives, mobile technology connects potential home buyers to their potential new home whenever they want. Prospective buyers have the ways and means to look for it and they’re not willing to miss that chance just because the rest of life seems hectic, even over Christmas. Make sure you’re out there for them.

  1. There are fewer homes on offer

There are fewer homes available for purchase over the Christmas season. Since traditional advice has always been to not try and sell over the holidays, many people stop listing. Here’s your chance to take advantage of the sudden absence of sellers and have your house stand out in a much smaller crowd. Be there when no one else is
!

  1. People are serious

Those looking over the summer period are usually serious buyers. Many want to seal the deal quickly and be able to move in soon, sometimes, even more, the New Year. You could be closer to your own new year dreams if you take the time to consider the buyers who are still out and about at this busy time of the year.

New Years is a time for people to start realizing their goals and the clever ones make that happen sooner rather than later.

For more on how you can get your home sold in January, head to Jenniferpearce.com.au