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There are many reasons why you might decide to sell your home, it could be the need to upsize or downsize, the need to relocate or even find something more modern. When you are on the path to your next move, sometimes it is worthwhile considering if you need to sell or if a renovation of your current home may be the best move.
You may need to consider your current circumstances, what the needs and stage of life that your family are in and how a potential move or a renovation will affect your family and work commitments.
Is there equity in your current home?
When was the last time that you had your property appraised to work out its value on the current market? Our sales team can help you with working out if there is potential equity in your home and if it is worthwhile selling, renovating or even keeping for investment.
Having information about your home’s current value can assist when discussing options with your financial institution or advisor and considering what the best solution will be based on the property’s value.
Work out your budget
Renovations can be a costly affair depending on the scope of work that needs to be carried out and the quality of finishes that you would like at the end of the improvement.
Before making the decision to renovate, work out what improvements you would like or need to make to the home and then cost out the investment that is required to complete the work. As with any renovation, it is important to build a buffer for the unexpected, as you never know what extra costs may come when you start to pull up floors, remove kitchens or knock down walls.
Are there requirements and regulations
Prior to locking in a renovation, depending on the size and scope of the work it is important to check with the council about any requirements or regulations that must be met or approved to begin.
There may be development applications required, especially if you are making larger extensions to the home, removing potentially harmful materials like asbestos, or affecting neighbouring boundaries.
If you are in a strata complex, check with the body corporate and strata manager first as they may have special by-laws that are required, and provisions needed to be put in place before any renovation can begin. There may also be certain materials that need to be used to ensure that future noise is not increased which would impact neighbouring properties.
What are current market trends?
Properties will always sell as there are always people looking to buy, no matter what kind of market it is. The factor that may be impacted during a slower market is what someone is willing to spend on the property.
Finding out what your property is worth may help make the decision and you may decide that renovating the property and staying for several more years may be a wiser investment if you are likely to make future gains.
Our sales team can help you with finding the best solution for you. Contact them to find out what your home is worth in the current market and how a potential renovation may impact your future sale.
When you are looking to buy your first home, the process can seem overwhelming between the finance, real estate jargon and the advice that you will receive from anyone that you talk to.
Buying your first home is an exciting step into the world of home ownership and it doesn’t need to be as stressful as you are sometimes advised. It takes preparation and knowing your limitations before you set on the path the buy.
Work out your finance
Before you begin to look for your home and risk falling in love with a property that may be well beyond your means, talk with your financial adviser or financial institution to work out how much you can borrow.
They will look at factors like how much you have in savings, if you are borrowing with someone else, your income and any assets and if there is enough for a deposit and stamp duty.
You may be pre-approved for a certain level of finance based on the information that you provide, and this will give you a limit to know how much you can potentially spend.
If you are pre-approved, it will also mean that you need to stick to a budget when you are looking as any changes in your income or expenses before you purchase may affect your final finance approval.
Look into first home buyer incentives
In many states, there are provisions for first home buyers to receive discounts on things like stamp duty or lump sums toward purchasing your first home. Usually, there are conditions around the purchase price to qualify, using the property as your principal place of residence and if you are buying a pre-existing home or building.
Stamp duty is a government tax that is required in each state and there are often incentives for discounts or sometimes no stamp duty to be paid, depending on qualifying factors. It is best to check your state and talk with your financial advisor about what you may be eligible for.
Searching for your new home
Once you have a figure and budget in mind, you can start looking for your new home. It is important to look for properties that are within your means, remembering that factors will affect your mortgage, like interest rate hikes and the general cost of living and you don’t want to be caught short in paying your mortgage.
Work out the suburb that you would like to live in and the size of the property and your list of inclusions as part of a needs, must and wants list. This can help to narrow down your selection and help with working out the home you would like to buy.
When you have a list of properties, the fun part of inspecting homes and preparing for negotiating with sales agents or preparing for an auction begins. Ask our agents as many questions as you need to make an informed decision.
Making an offer
When you are ready to make an offer, talk with our sales agents who will help guide you through the process and communicate your offer with the vendor. In the case of an auction, they will register you for auction day and be available to answer any questions you may have.
When you have made a successful offer and it has been accepted, you will need to pay a deposit of 5% or 10% and contracts will exchange between the vendor and yourself, as the purchaser and then solicitors will prepare contracts for settlement.
Throughout the process, our agents are always available to answer any questions that you may have and help you through your first home-buying journey.
One of the questions that will often be asked when you choose to sell your home, is how long will it take to sell? There are commentators who will claim to know the science behind how long a property will stay on the market before a qualified buyer snaps it up.
There are no fixed periods that can be predicted the length of time that a property will take to sell, however, there are several things that you can do as a seller to help ensure that the property appeals to the right buyer, at the highest price, in the shortest possible time.
Working with your agent and advice on pricing to get it right in the initial stages of the marketing campaign is essential in ensuring that your property appeals to the right buyer and gets the right attention earlier in the campaign.
If a property is not at the right price point, it can lead to further weeks on the market and reduce the number of interested buyers. Listening to advice and being realistic about the price based on comparable property sales will help to get the best possible sale price.
Be realistic about market changes
The property market is a constantly moving object and influenced by a number of factors, however, there are always buyers in any market, as long as you are realistic with market changes.
Our agents will work with you to advise of market changes that may impact the sale price and recommend price adjustments if they feel that it is necessary to achieve a sale for your property.
Maximise the property value
Prior to listing your property and the marketing campaign, our agents will recommend refurbishments or improvements to your property that may freshen the property and appeal to potential buyers.
While some improvements may be necessary, there are others that you may discuss that don’t proceed so that you don’t overcapitalise on your investment.
Researching the options and your budget will assist in making an informed decision on what improvements are necessary and what are more luxury items that won’t affect the sale.
Property styling is also any area that can help declutter your property and show the key features that buyers will look for when looking to purchase. Our agents can work with you to find the best options for styling and recommend the best vendors to help with the sale of your home.
In choosing to purchase a property, you are investing in one of the biggest purchases in your lifetime. It is important when outlaying considerable finance for an essential purchase that you look for a property that will suit your needs.
While some buyers will look for a house or townhouse, or house and land packages to build or purchase an apartment off the plan, the other option to consider is buying a property that is established.
Many styles of established apartments are in high demand in some areas such as heritage or art deco properties however in purchasing properties like these, you will need to consider potential repairs, renovations and improvements that may be needed.
Property features and conditions
In recent years there have been trends to renovate older apartments which may mean that you can walk into a home without needing to carry out any work. It is important to still check these improvements to identify issues that may have occurred with budget DIY work and may lead you to spend on repairs faster than you plan.
Check the features of the property and if they check all the boxes that you need and want when purchasing a property or if is there a possibility to modify some of the rooms or fixtures affordably to refurbish the home to your requirements.
Layout and space
Will the floorplan of the home lend to the interior design and space that you need? Many older apartments will have a more spacious layout with larger room sizes than more modern or new build apartments and the opportunity to adapt rooms to suit your design and living requirements.
Appeal and character
An older apartment may have more character and appeal for buyers, especially if it has been restored and maintained over the years.
One consideration when purchasing an older apartment is the strata levies and potential capital works and it is important to investigate any restorative work that may need to be carried out on the property due to the age and possibility of challenges such as rising damp.
Additional features and amenities
Established apartments are less likely to have the amenities that newer builds will have and when looking to buy, check for additional inclusions like storage options, gardens and common areas, parking, internal laundries and the structural integrity of the building and balconies.
If items like storage or internal laundries are not on the property, can they be installed or added to rooms in the property and are gardens and commons areas maintained through a body corporate employed gardener and cleaner?
If you would like to know more about these options when purchasing a property, chat with one of our sales team and they can walk you through the property and talk about potential options that will help you make your decision.
A condition report is a document provided to you by the Landlord or Property Manager as the second part of the Residential Tenancy Agreement when signing a lease agreement for the rental of a property.
The condition report must be provided to you at the time of signing your lease and detail the property condition at the commencement of the tenancy. It will also note any material facts and photos of the property including its fixtures, fittings and potential damage or items to be repaired.
When you move into a property, all appliances, fixtures, fittings, and general condition should be in good working order and the property should be in a clean condition. The report will have a section to note the condition of all rooms with space for you to complete or add information as the tenant if required.
Once you have signed the lease paperwork and been handed the condition report either in electronic or paper format, in addition to the keys, it is important that you inspect the property prior to moving in any furniture and note the condition of the property.
Any discrepancies with the report should be noted and reported to the landlord or the property manager. If there are multiple areas of concern, the property manager will likely reattend to go over the report with you and arrange for repairs where required.
There is a time frame in which the report should be completed and any damage including marks, chips in walls, stains and other wear and tear or damaged items need to be noted on the report during this period.
Ensure that you are also noting down the condition of external areas and confirm meter readings if you are responsible for the care of lawns and gardens as well as payment of water usage on the property.
Check off the photos in the report and if you are completing this electronically, many reports require that if changes are to be made, you are to take a photo of the area of concern and include it with the return of the report as evidence.
Noting down areas of concern and submitting them back to the Property Manager or Landlord in the required time period is an important part of your tenancy. This report provides proof of the condition of the property at the start and will be used at the end to determine responsibility for cleaning or damage less fair wear and tear.
Selling your home can be a costly experience albeit one that can help free up the asset to move on to your next home.
When it comes to deciding to sell, you may think about selling privately, or through online options rather than through an agent. While this may work in your favour, there is merit in weighing up the options to work out which is right for you.
Outsource to an expert to gain back time
If you were to consider what your time is worth, what would it be? The time it takes to market and move through the motions when selling a property can be quite considerable and it pays to consider how much time it would take and if your time is best spent on other things.
This is where outsourcing to a real estate agent helps as it leaves all aspects of the sale from listing to marketing, to finding buyers, showing them through and working with solicitors until the final settlement to someone experienced in the process.
Outsourcing to an agent releases your time to spend on other essential things in life like family, work, and recreational pursuits.
A practitioner understands the market
An experienced agent will have a good understanding of the market conditions and the skills to find the best possible outcome for the sale of your property.
They will be able to tap into a database of prospective clients prior to marketing the property and gain interest before the property is listed. Should there be challenges with the buyer, they will also be able to refer to this pool of buyers for others who may be looking for a property that matches your home.
A great agent will know the value of the property based on the market changes and will be able to guide you in recommendations on price and any adjustments that may need to occur.
Consider fees and marketing
Should you choose to go down the route of selling on your own, you would save on fees like the agent’s commissions and marketing. Managing your own sale also allows you to be more hands-on in marketing the property.
Weigh up the benefits of your time versus the outlay of these fees and the potential of a property to be on the market for longer, especially in a tighter market should you choose to sell without an agent.
The hunt for your new home whether it be your first or your fifth home can be overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared. In a strong market, it may also mean that you look through several properties and make many offers before you finally purchase.
Determine the type of property
Everyone’s journey to homeownership is different and before starting out on the path to looking for your new home, make a list of the requirements that you want or need in a property.
Make note of the size of the property that you need including bedrooms and bathrooms, and if you would like a backyard or minimal gardening. Add in your wants, which may be items like pools, gas or electric cooking, storage areas and inclusions.
To renovate or not to renovate
Consider the type of property that you are looking for and your time. Would you like a property that is a renovator’s delight or something that you can walk into without needing to carry out any work?
If you do decide to purchase a property to renovate, you will need to account for additional costs that can come with the work and if you will need to relocate for a period while the renovations are being carried out.
Arrange your finance
Speak with your financial advisor prior to researching and heading out on your hunt for a property. Ensure that you have pre-approved finance so that you are ready to make an offer should you find a property that suits your needs and requirements.
Look for the location
Narrow down the location that you would like to be in. Do you need to be close to school catchment areas, work locations, and public transport or are there certain amenities that are on your must-have list?
Once you have decided on the location, you might like to drive around the area and check out the neighbourhood and look at surrounding areas that may be in your budget.
Don’t rush the decision
Purchasing a property is a significant purchase and a major life decision. It is wise to consider your decision before you make an offer for the property.
When you are inspecting the home, step back and see if you can see yourself living on the property. Does it meet all or most of the requirements that you need or is there more work that would need to be done to the property than you are willing?
Above all, trust your gut feeling when you walk into the home. Buying a home can be a very emotional experience and how the property feels when you walk through the front doors, to when you walk around is an important part of the buying journey.
There are often several lists of items to factor in when the time comes to sell your home and they could range from repairs to finding the right agent, to presentation and where to move to next.
While these are all important factors, five additional areas to consider prior to or during the sale would include, understanding the market, building trust in your agent, checking in on your tenants as well as the property history and access details for future owners.
Research the current market
If you are a keen property enthusiast, you may already have your finger on the pulse of the property market and have a fine knowledge of what recent properties have sold for and where your home could sit on the ladder.
Or, like many, you rely on the experts to advise you on the price and recent sales. To give you a head start, investigate through the real estate portals what properties in your suburb are listed or sold for so that you have an idea before engaging an agent to sell. This will assist you in coming to an agreement on the eventual list price.
Build a relationship with your agent
Your sales agent is going to talk you through one of the biggest transactions of your lifetime and it is important to build trust in that agent so that you feel comfortable with the process and are happy with the final sale.
If you don’t feel that they have the experience or you have questions, don’t be shy to ask as many as you need to understand the process and how they will assist you through the sale.
Check on the owner and tenant obligations
If you are selling a property with a tenant, ask your property manager to advise you of the obligations that you have as an owner throughout the sale. This may include access to the property for inspections and notice periods that may be required once the property sells.
You may choose to sell the property tenanted or provide the tenant with notice prior to selling, especially in cases where work may need to be done.
Your sales agent and solicitor will need to know of any details like lease terms and tenancy details prior to the sale as this may impact the type of buyer that is interested and the terms relating to the exchange of contract.
Find the keys and access details
Often if you have been living in the property for some time or there have been several tenancies, there may be an abundance of keys to the property, some that don’t fit locks or even missing.
Carry out a stocktake on keys and other access devices like remotes for garages and alarms prior to settlement so that these can all be handed over once the property has changed hands.
Check the property history and requirements
Are there requirements or caveats that are listed over the property that may impact the sale or attract a different kind of buyer? Older properties may be heritage listed or depending on neighbourhoods and councils, there may be restrictions over potential DA’s or work being carried out.
It is important to be transparent with this information prior to the sale so that it can be communicated with potential purchasers and not have a chance to impact the sale.
If you are considering investing in a rental property as part of your investment strategy, you may be interested in what the return will be on investment. While there are investors who will go into an investment property purchase with emotion attached, a smart investor will focus on the dollars and sense.
When looking for properties to purchase, before making the jump it is wise to calculate the yield on the property to ensure that there is a measure of potential income and measure if this will fit with your goals.
What is rental yield?
Rental yield is the difference between the rental income received on your investment property and the sum left after any associated property costs or expenses are deducted.
Some of the likely expenses that can come with an investment property are:
- Council and water rates
- Repairs and maintenance
- Property Management fees and charges
- Strata levies including body corporate fees and special levies
How is it calculated?
Understanding how yield is calculated will assist in working out the return that can be achieved on a potential investment before you purchase. While investigating yields in past years of the property can help to consider if it is an area of growth and good investment.
When looking at rental yield, you should consider both the gross and net yield figures. This will provide a clear picture to determine if the property is a sound fit to meet your investment goals.
To calculate the gross rental yield, analyse the rent return of the property prior to any expenses being deducted. This figure is based on the total annual rental income that is received.
As an example, calculate the estimated annual rent, $50,000 and divide this amount by the property value, $900,000. This amount is then multiplied by 100 to calculate the percentage.
($50,000 / $900,000) x 100 = 5.5%
To calculate the net rental yield, work out the total annual rental income and minus the total annual expenses to be deducted. This should then be divided by the value of the property and multiplied by 100 to achieve the yield estimate.
For example, the annual rent of $50,000 less total expenses of $10,000 per annum leaves a figure of $40,000. This is then divided by the property value of $900,000 and multiplied by 100.
($50,000 – $10,000) / $900,000 x 100 = 4.4%
Is there a healthy rental yield?
A healthy rental yield on an investment property may fall into the range of 3-5% depending on a number of factors including location and potential growth in the area. Before purchasing, investigate what growth has occurred either in metropolitan or regional areas and what infrastructure is planned that may impact potential growth. You can then make an informed decision on the purchase.