* 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.


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


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.

Mistakes you need to avoid when putting your house on the market

*this article first appeared in the October edition of the Midland Express 

When selling, a few simple mistakes may leave your home flailing on the market. Fortunately these are easy to avoid and can be managed with some prudent changes.

Don’t ask for too much money. Your house is only worth what the market will pay for it so ensure that you are prepared to list your house at or just around that mark. Pricing your home too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer, and your property could sit for months, which isn’t your goal.

Pick the right agent. Sure, a big brand and nice logo might appeal to you as a seller but when it comes to selecting the right agent, looks might not translate into the best person for the job. Can the agent support you during the stress, help you focus on what matters most and be clear in meeting your needs? If not, find someone who can. Immediately.

Don’t skip the marketing. Everyone wants to cut costs and save some money for other things in life. However cutting costs on marketing is like stopping a clock to save time. You’ll always have to make up for the deficient somewhere else. Marketing is an investment on the bigger return of a house sale. So don’t get your nephew with the good camera to take the photos of your property, pay for the professional who can showcase your home in the best light possible.

Fix the broken. It’s common sense, really. If it’s broke – fix it. Prospective buyers want to envisage themselves moving in and settling immediately, not spending their time fixing damaged and broken fixtures and fittings.

For more on how to get the right sale for your house, head to

Should I Spend Money on My Property Before Selling

A common question I am asked when people are considering selling their property is whether investing in additional renovations will produce a more profitable sale. In short, should I spend some money on my home now to make more money when I sell.

The first thing to keep in mind is that every property is different. Some homeowners might need to spend money on their property to make a sale, and others won’t.

And the factors at play are variable. It not only depends on the property’s current condition, but on the state of the local real estate market as well. A high supply of quality stock in your local area might mean you need to spend a little on raising the standard of your home to meet buyer expectations.

There are many different ways that can be used to smarten up a property before putting it on the market. These could range from a basic clean-up job to a full renovation.

The critical factor should be the return on your investment. You must consider whether the cost to improving the look of your home before putting it on the market will result in a sale price that is higher than your renovation investment. There is no science to this and can be somewhat tricky to measure.

A good real estate agent who knows the local market intimately will be able to help you understand the value of the different levels of renovation investment and its effectiveness at sale time. Your agent should be able to answer questions about the state of the market in general as well intimate knowledge of the local competition and what features drive up a sale price. Whether you consider engaging a professional or conducting some DIY renovations, your agent will know what will work the best for you and whether these modifications are necessary in the first place.

It is not a bad idea for you to conduct your own due diligence by visiting comparable homes in your area that are on the market. This will assist you in gauging whether that pergola you are thinking of building will drive up the sale price or whether it will leave you out of pocket.

If you are going to spend money on your home, it’s vital to ensure that this money is going to be put to good use and result in a higher profit at the point of sale.

For details on what renovations in your home could help drive up the sale price, head to my website at