News & Advice

  • What Is This Room For?

    This is the question someone asked me as I showed them through an empty house I had for sale!   It might sound reasonable, innocence, sensible, stupid or quirky but what it really shows is that without furniture a house can be anything and demonstrates graphically that most people find it difficult to visualise the potential of an empty canvas.   What it means for Vendors and Real Estate Agents is that marketing a house has to accept this quirk as reality and he who fails to do so could be throwing money way. Empty houses will sell but probably for many thousands of...
  • Apartment VS House – Which is a better investment?

    Windows In The Air Or Bricks On The Ground by Cheryl Lee A typical question I hear whenever I attend property seminars or when I met up with ready buyers from Asian countries is, “Which is better, apartments or houses?”   They are wrestling with the niggling question of which type of property will deliver a bigger return in the long term. I came from a country where eighty percent of the population buy apartments to live in or for investment therefore I can completely understand the struggle they are having between buying the type of relatively maintenance free apartment they are familiar with...
  • What Turns Off Buyers

    Anyone selling a property should think hard about presentation but don’t overlook what turns a buyer off even in a well presented home.   There are many lessons to be learnt with some more obvious than others. To know what turns off buyers who better to ask than someone who presents homes for a living ... a Real Estate agent, of course.   Here is a quick list;   A No Brainer Most people would realise that a modern kitchen with a reasonable amount of cupboards and a good bathroom are a must to attract the better buyers but there is a lot more than...
  • Choosing Landlord Insurance – The Mine Field You Need To Enter

    There are no shortage of insurance policies that cover losses caused by tenants but the level of cover offered can vary drastically.   Choosing the right policy is more than just comparing price and amount of excess. We are not an insurance agent so we are not permitted to make direct recommendations on types of cover or policies.   In our opinion some of the worst policies are offered by banks.   You should always enquire with companies that specialise in this type of cover or consult insurance brokers whose business it is to weigh up all the variables for you. Here are some of...
  • Land can take a long time to sell but not if you do it right

    Outside of the larger subdivisions or new suburbs it seems that blocks of land can take a long time to sell and it may just be due to a real failure in the marketing of many agents. Big carve ups of land by big developers bring big budget advertising, government controlled pricing and an inevitable rush to snap up a block.   But individual allotments in established suburbs often experience long delays in selling that are not all due to over pricing. If you have ever searched for a house to buy it soon becomes apparent that certain properties are difficult to assess...
  • Answering the next question correctly could make you $1,000’s

    Should you market a home to sell when empty or furnished? Without thinking too hard most people would quickly answer, FURNISHED,  but rarely are things that simple especially when it comes to the crunch of having to make this decision in real life with real dollars at stake. After you have spent all your money and done all the hard work of renovating and after you have made all the even harder decisions of what NOT TO DO so as to keep your renovation viable often the last thing anyone then wants is to toss away even more money on getting furniture...
  • The missing 12 months – when rental applications don’t add up

    A very important task of any Property Manager is assessing the quality of an application for a rental property.   Beginning with a 2 page application form sometimes we have very little to go on.   It’s all about reading between the lines and smelling a rat. Recently we received our first, long awaited, application for a very unwanted property.   The rent was not unreasonable but very few people even wanted to come to an open inspection so when we got our first application we were keen to accept it until things didn’t seem to add up. No one else liked the property but...
  • How Easy Is It For Foreigners To Buy Properties In Australia?

    Many locals think rich foreigners come here with money to burn and not too much sense when it comes to working out what is a good property or a good price to buy.   But what they lack in knowledge of the local market they make up in mega bucks to smooth over all the problems that you or I would flounder on – or at least that is what lots of us think. Foreigners can be the victims of uncaring or unscrupulous real estate agents often from their own country of origin.   They come to a country, like Australia, of which...
  • Just ‘Cos You Like It Doesn’t Mean It’s Good

    Today spelt the end of a long saga for a questionable property that we have managed.   It was sad for us but also very instructive.   A Property Manager’s opinion of a property should never affect the way the agency deals with that property; they should always do their very best for it.   In the case of this property in question we agreed with the owner and liked the property but in the end the market said, NO!   In property management we naturally set out to get quality tenants and to mazimise the return on a property for a landlord but for...
  • It’s My Way Or The Feng Shui

    If you note that ‘Shui’ is pronounced ‘Sh way’ then the title of this article may start to make sense as you so read on. Feng Shui is the 3,500 year old Chinese philosophy of harmonising the forces of wind and water with the environment which can include buildings, in fact Feng Shui literally means Wind-Water.   It is said the often tortuous path followed by the Great Wall of China was determined by the old Feng Shui masters. As a builder or architect or if you are just thinking about selling your home it’s not important whether or not you believe the...
  • Bad insurance policies – the last thing we think of

    When any of us weigh up the merits of buying an investment property how many of us seriously look at the fine print in an insurance policy. There is so much to consider when thinking about becoming a landlord that things like the intricacies of clauses in insurance policies become too much to deal with.   Most of us only find out what is covered when the unthinkable happens and then it’s too late.    I started my working life in the insurance industry but to this day I still find those PDS’s, Policy Disclosure Statements, to be dry and boring diatribes that...
  • Two Melbourne real estate agencies face legal challenge over underquoting allegations

    Although we don’t normally comment much on interstate trends the article with this same heading above that appeared in the 5/1/17 issue of ABC News online was worth special attention because it affects real estate agents and vendors everywhere. It said, “Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) has launched legal action in the Federal Court against two real estate agencies over allegations of underquoting in Melbourne. They were not minor charges nor were they just an odd one or two offenses.   One agency was charged with offences relating to 25 properties it marketed in 2015, and another had 9 breaches involving nine properties in...
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