Thinking about selling in late 2019? Time to start planning now

*this article previously appeared in the January 2019 Midland express

 

So, you’re thinking about selling your home in 2019? That’s great but as a seller, it’s a good idea to think strategically about your sale and plan well in advance.

Why? The factors around the sale of your house are not always in your control.

Firstly, it is important to speak to a property professional to help you understand how to sell your house and understand some of the factors that might lead to a slower sale.

Some of the key factors to consider today are:

The average property price in your area.

If your home is comparable to other houses in your area in terms of size and amenity, you will have a good indication of what price point you might land at.

What is the national trend

House prices are cooling across the country and there are predictions for a house price drop over 2019. However in regional areas such as the Macedon Ranges and surrounds, there has been consistent growth in the market. Property prices vary within each market.

An upcoming Federal Election

Any changes to capital gains tax or negative gearing can have flow on effects across the market. Understanding these impacts and timing your sale around this may have benefits.

Changes to lending criteria

As a result of the ongoing Banking Royal Commission, the tightening of lending criteria has had a direct affect on property investors securing home loans or obtaining the loan amount they would like to secure. However, loosening of these initial changes is also a possibility in 2019, which would have a positive effect on buyers and sellers.

The Time of Year

If you’re unsure on the best time to sell in 2019, it’s a good idea to talk to a local real estate professional for advice.

 The most important aspect of considering a sale is also your own personal circumstances. Homes require attention and management, and without that space to work on your most important asset, an optimal sale price may not even be possible

 

Don’t wait until the New Year to sell your home.

*This article first appeared in the December 2018 Midland Express

With the race towards the end of the year and the squeezing of every second as we move closer and closer to Christmas, selling your house is probably the last thing on your mind.

One thing I have learned in my many years as a real estate agent is that some of the best sales and most clever sellers happen at Christmas time.

So why would anyone rush to the market while having to struggle with Christmas parties, gift shopping and preparation for when the relatives coming to stay?

There are two main reasons to consider:

  1. There are considerably less sellers in the market in December and January. Less sellers in the market means less competition for you in attracting and finding the right buyer for your property.
  2. Buyers looking to get the jump ahead of the new year will want to secure their new home before Christmas. It’s amazing the impact the unofficial calendar year makes on the human psyche.

Another factor that come into play is understanding who might be buying during this period. Consider the people who are relocating to where you live. Chances are they want to move in ASAP, settle in before the school year starts and the timing of a pre-Christmas purchase is the optimum time to do that

December really can be one of the top selling months of the year within the property industry. If a seller is ready and aware of this opportunity, they generally sell at a premium and in a much shorter time frame.

If selling your home is on your Christmas Wish List, then consider December the perfect time to list your home. Perhaps maybe the big man in the red suit will fill your Christmas stocking with a signed contract before the month is out!

 

Want to reduce your mortgage quicker? It might not be as hard as it seems

*this article first appeared in the October 2018 Midland Express

 

The uncertainty of interest rates, as well as job instability, means that many people are wondering if they can shrink their mortgage quicker and buy themselves some financial freedom.

 

There are some really simple ways to quickly cut down on how much you owe on your mortgage beyond just making extra repayments. Many home loans already have features that can assist you but if they don’t, refinancing might be something to consider if drilling down on the debt is a goal.

 

A common approach to speeding up the decrease of a home loan is to increase payment frequency. A fortnightly or ‘bi-monthly’ payment can save tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges and reduce your loan term. The standard monthly repayments not only assist in the reduction of interest charges but the fortnightly payments mean you are making 26 fortnightly payments as opposed to 12 monthly payments, meaning you are sneaking in a few payments per annum. Smart!

 

Also understanding how interest works is another benefit when reducing your mortgage quicker. The interest on your mortgage is calculated on the outstanding balance every day. This means you can reduce the amount of interest you pay overall by increasing how often you make a payment on your mortgage.

 

It is important to understand the features of your mortgage as well. An offset account is an incredible way to not only save some cash for home expenses or holidays, but that savings will also be working for you. For every dollar you leave in your offset account, it actively reduces the amount of interest you pay on your mortgage. For example, if your mortgage is $300,000 and you have $10,000 in your offset account you’ll only pay interest on $290,000.

 

The best way to do all of this is some simple number crunching and to understand what a few extra payments can do to give you the freedom you desire.

 

For more real estate insights, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

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

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

 

 

The benefits to selling your property over Christmas

* This article was first published in the December Midland Express

Are you trying to sell your home just as everyone else is putting their Christmas tree up? Don’t fret! There are some known advantages to selling through Christmas and New Year.

There are some challenges to selling your property through the Christmas holidays. Many agents shut shop and have a break, buyers are distracted with the silly season and many of us are just plain tired!

But if you are selling your property over the Christmas holidays, don’t stress! It actually might be a good thing.

With the spring selling season slowing down, there are buyers still on the lookout for their next property. Christmas time is less competitive and house hunters who missed out on a spring sale are still actively looking.

After Christmas, people’s schedules slow down which means more time for them to scout and view properties. The motivation to start the year off with a new home purchase is not something sellers should discount.

Consider also that there is less competition. Selling at the height of spring means you’ll house needs to stand out from the pack. With fewer properties listed during christmas and New Year, buyers have less prospects to choose from.

At the end of the year, people are reflective and inventive. Buying a house is often on people’s mind as one of their new years goals and doing that sooner sets the momentum for the year to come.

In a hot market like Kyneton, listing over Christmas might be a strategic move in securing a sale with just a special few houses on the market.

For more on how to you maximise a Christmas sale, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

 

Spring is coming. No really, it is!

*This article appeared in the Midland Express Newspaper on Tuesday 1st August 2017

 

Even though the sting of a Kyneton winter is still in full effect, keep in mind that in a few short weeks our daffodils will be blooming and the days will be mercifully longer.

Consider this your lead up time in preparation for a spring sale.

But before you do anything, get in touch with your agent. This is the perfect time to reach out to them so that they can give you advice on what needs to be done to secure the best price sale for your property. Talking with a trusted agent will also assist you in planning for the months ahead.

Your home needs to be in the best shape possible if it’s to compete with all the other properties in the springtime market. Manyt vendors make the mistake of waiting until spring has fully arrived before giving their agent a call, leaving them with limited time to prepare their home.

If you are committed to selling your property in spring, you need to start preparing your home for sale at least a month or two before you intend to start your marketing campaign. Most homes need a fresh coat of paint, new carpeting, ridding their garden of winter debris and so on. Other vendors may need to go the whole nine yards and have extensive repairs done in order to maximise the sale price.

No matter when you choose to sell your home, it’s important to be willing to adapt to the season and circumstances. Spring provides an abundance of advantages to sellers, helping you appeal to a buyer’s wish to make a fresh start.

For more on getting your home in shape for a spring sale and on the Kyneton property market, head to jenniferpearce.com.au

A swift spring sale and how to get it.

So you want a quick sale post winter but have not done anything to prepare for it?

 

Here are few things you can do within a month to get your property sold.

 

Week 1: Find a Great Agent.

Your choice of real estate agent can make tens of thousands dollars difference to your sale. When you’re trying to sell your home quickly, it’s important to consider these questions when finding the right agent:

  • Do they have strong local networks?
  • Do they have a strong buyer network?
  • Have they got a positive sales record?
  • Are they organised, remember appointments and follow up?
  • Are they an strong communicator?
  • Do they respond to your questions quickly and confidently?

Chat to some agents to gauge a response to these questions. You will gather a good sense of their authenticity and willingness to provide a great service very quickly.

 

Week 2: Do a faux “renovation.

Little tweaks and maintenance jobs can make a big difference in the overall feel of a home. Is the kitchen a little outdated? Replacing the fixtures, tap fittings and hinges can refresh a space in an instant. Is the family room furniture beaten up? Throw some slipcovers over it.

Whatever you choose, make sure that each room has a purpose.  That spare room you’ve been using as an office / guest room /dumping ground won’t help sell your home unless you show buyers how they can use it themselves. So pick a use (office, guest room, crafts room) and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.

 

Week 3: Hit the garden – hard!

 Post winter, your garden will no doubt look a little sad. It is time for you to freshen up the outside of your home as this will make a huge difference to your sale.

Mow the lawns, weed the garden and cut back any overgrown plants. Plant some mature plants in areas that need sprucing and ensure that any damage caused by pets is repaired.

 

Week 4: Prepare yourself for inspections

You’ll need to be very organised for your inspections. A good agent will help you choose the best time of day to host them, and provide guidance on staging your home to make a good first impression.

Consider these ideas for your inspection day:

  • Open up the house and let the fresh air in
  • Clean your house from top to bottom.
  • Clear all bench tops, removing any items that aren’t in use
  • Give every room a purpose – even odd shaped nooks
  • Place fresh flowers on the kitchen bench and coffee table
  • Put anything not in use that clogs the space in storage

While there is no guarantee on selling a house within a period, it is entirely possible to sell in a short period if you are organised and ready to work hard within that timeframe.

 

To kick start your sale, contact me and we can get your home ready for market.