spring Make a fresh start with
National Property Market Wrap
Closing the deal on your house
Feng shui & Real estate Know your market
10 tips to put some spring into your home first impressions really do count when selling A home
before you sell, do your homework
Welcome to Spring Spring is typically the busiest time on the real estate calendar. We understand that selling or buying a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. As Australia’s number one property site we believe that knowing your market can give you a competitive edge. If you are selling, take advantage of the millions of house hunters that search on realestate.com.au each month. Selecting the right agent is also critical to a successful sale, so ensure you visit the Find an Agent section of our site.
Keep up-to-date on the latest real estate news with realestate.com.au’s fortnightly e-newsletter. Go to the myrealestate section on realestate.com.au to sign up today.
If you are buying, keep track of new properties as they come onto the market by signing up to realestate.com.au’s email alerts. Know your market – get the latest suburb profile in your area featuring recent sales, median house prices and supply and demand data. On behalf of the team at realestate.com.au, I hope you enjoy this Spring magazine to give you a taste of what our site has to offer. Greg Ellis CEO, realestate.com.au
CONTENTs 03 W e’ll help you know your market 04 F irst impressions really do count when selling a home 05 Feng shui & real estate 06 National property market roundup 08 B efore you sell, do your homework 09 Closing the deal on your house 10 10 tips to put some spring into your home
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We’ll Help you Know your Market Buying or selling a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. According to the latest realestate.com.au Consumer Insights Report (Buy)1 43 per cent of Australians thoroughly researched the market before buying a property, up by 10 per cent from April last year. This indicates that first time home buyers and investors are significantly more likely to research the property market compared to other home buyer groups. realestate.com.au has effective research tools to help you know your market so you are best informed to make the right property decision. Together with the editorial team at Your Investment Property magazine, we have highlighted key property data that will help you gain a competitive edge. Median House Price is the middle price in a list of relevant prices from the lowest to highest. The median provides a more accurate picture of property values in a given area. To find out the median pricing details for your suburb, search realestate.com.au’s ‘Suburb Profiles’ located in the Experts section. Demand vs Supply Data. Property prices tend to stagnate or fall if there is more supply compared to demand. If there is heavy demand but tight supply, prices tend to rise as a result of the imbalance. To see the number of people looking for property in your suburb versus the number of properties for sale visit realestate.com.au’s ‘Suburb Profiles’ located in the Experts section.
Recent Sales indicate demand for properties in a given suburb. A high number of sales transactions may also point to desirability of the suburb and the availability of stock for sale. Search realestate.com.au’s ‘Suburb Profiles’ located in the Experts section to see recent sales data for your suburb. Auction results show general buyers’ sentiment. A high auction clearance rate means buyers are bullish about the market and competition for properties is high. It generally indicates a rising or hot market. When auction clearance rates fall, it may point to lower demand from buyers as a result of rising interest rates or a slowing economy. To see the latest auction results in your suburb, check out ‘Auction Results’ in the Experts section of realestate.com.au The Economy. When the economy is running hot, interest rates tend to be higher as prices increase. Confidence tends to run high and more people buy property when they feel the economy is doing well. However, in a less buoyant economy, rates are cut and property prices tend to slow or stagnate. This can be a good time to buy as there is less competition in the market. Content from realestate.com.au and Your Investment Property magazine (August 2010) – www.yipmag.com.au
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Target cash rate (percentage)
RBA Target cash rate since 1990
Source: Reserve Bank of Australia, August 2010. www.rba.gov.au
realestate.com.au Consumer Insights Report (Buy) was conducted between May – June 2010 with 4,082 respondents taking part in the online survey. 1
First impressions really do count when selling a home Angela Esnouf, President of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers A recent survey by realestate.com.au of users of our “buy” section revealed that over half (56%) of these potential property buyers were turned off by a house filled with clutter. So if you are gearing up for the spring selling season, here are some handy tips… How to de-clutter your home: Ask for advice. Friends can’t be brutally honest, but your agent can. • Clutter likes to hide in corners, on shelves and under beds. Hunt it down. • Decide what is moving with you: recycle, throw out, or donate the rest. The Salvation Army has many donation depots around the country and your unwanted goods will help someone in need. • Get a jump-start on packing. Anything personal such as trinkets and photos should be packed first. • Whittle down your book collection. An overflowing bookshelf is a turn-off. •
Create space in the kitchen by clearing surfaces. Let the buyer see your counter tops, walls and even the fridge door. • Create space in cupboards too. Keep only what you need for now. Buyers want to know their stuff will fit. • Get the whole family on board. Children’s toys and teenage posters have no place in your selling plan. Cull ruthlessly. • Store the boxes you’ve packed somewhere else until that ‘Sold’ sign goes up. • Hire a professional organiser to help get the job done. •
Visit www.aapo.org.au to find a professional organiser in your city.
Got items too good to throw away? Donate them today at your local Salvos Stores! Visit salvosstores.com.au or call 13 SALVOS to find your nearest store.
Feng Shui and Real Estate Feng Shui means ‘Wind and Water’. It is the Chinese art focusing on the flow of Qi (life’s energy) and a way of understanding how it moves in our surroundings and how our buildings, their interiors and our environment affect us.
Elizabeth Wiggins, Real Estate Sales Agent and Feng Shui Expert Qi (chee) is in everything. It connects people with their surroundings and is in a constant state of change. When we use Feng Shui we work to enhance the Sheng (good) Qi and deflect or neutralise the Sha (negative) Qi. Applying Feng Shui principles when selling your home could result in great financial gain. Often a home fails to reach the seller’s desired price because of small repairs unattended to or unattractive presentation. Feng Shui remedies, such as these outlined below, can bring a house alive and make it more inviting to prospective buyers. The entrance is arguably the most important area to consider when selling a home, so ensure it is as attractive as possible by following some of these simple guidelines:
Place a fresh, clean welcome mat at the front door.
Plants can lift the energy of a space and are great placed on either side of the front door.
Ensure the path to the main entry is clean and well lit. Cut back any overhead branches. Opening up the space really helps to get the energy flowing from outside into the home.
Clean your windows – this signifies a clear vision.
Place a vase of fresh flowers in the entry to greet prospective buyers. They bring Sheng Qi (positive energy) into the space.
A metal wind chime in the front garden will help harmonise any challenging energy.
Ensure all water features are clean and flow well; stagnant water is not good Feng Shui.
Clean your stove and oven thoroughly. You’d be amazed at how many people open the stove when inspecting a house.
Getting the energy right in a home can have a subtle yet powerful impact on the overall impression and ultimately on the final sale price.
National property Cameron Kusher, Senior Research Analyst at rpdata.com
The residential property market is starting to show clear signs of a slowdown following the release of the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index for June 2010. Nationally, capital city home values increased 10.5% over the past 12 months to June 2010, though value growth over the June quarter was relatively flat at -0.2%. When looking at each individual capital city around Australia, performance is certainly varied. Below we take a look at the property market in each city. Adelaide In recent times Adelaide could best be described as Australiaâ€™s steady performer. Since the end of December 2008, Adelaide home values have increased by a total of 10.4% and over 12 months to June 2010 values have increased 9.1% (below the national level of growth). Over the June 2010 quarter, Adelaide home values have been the most resilient, recording value growth of 1.1%. Sydney The Sydney median dwelling price is currently recorded at $512,000. Sydney has performed well since the end of 2008 with an increase of 17.4%, but has slowed down in the June 2010 quarter to growth of just 0.5%.
Melbourne The residential property market in Melbourne has been the best performer since the market bottomed out, with values increasing by an incredible 26.0% between December 2008 and June 2010. However, like most markets, a slowdown has been evident in Melbourne over the June 2010 quarter, with home values increasing by just 0.2% for the quarter.
Despite the superior performance of Adelaide over the quarter, the slowdown may have an impact over the coming months with values falling -0.7% in June 2010.
Brisbane Brisbaneâ€™s residential property market has well and truly underperformed the rest of the nation since the end of the 2008 lull. Given that during the last two strong growth periods Brisbane has dramatically outperformed the nation, this lower level of growth should have been expected. Since December 2008, Brisbane home values have increased by 8.6% and over the 12 months to June 2010 values have increased by 4.5%, well below the long-term average annual level of growth. During the June 2010 quarter, home values in Brisbane fell by -1.3%.
market roundup Captial City
Median Property Price (June 2010)
Growth since Dec 2008
Growth since June 2009
June 2010 Quarter growth
Perth Following Perth’s substantial boom in values between 2005 and 2007, the residential market has underperformed. Since the end of December 2008, Perth home values have risen by a total of 10.3% (only Brisbane has been lower). During the 12 months to June 2010, home values in Perth have increased by just 5.1%, which is less than half that of the national average (10.5%). The June 2010 quarter has seen a noticeable softening in the market with values falling by -2.5%.
Darwin Darwin has been one of the country’s strongest performing markets in recent times and was probably the one region in the world seemingly unaffected by the GFC. Since the end of December 2008, Darwin home values have increased by 23.0% (second only to Melbourne). Over the last year home values have increased by 14.3%, well above the national growth rate. The market now appears to be slowing, with values falling by -0.1% over the June 2010 quarter and by -1.0% for the month of June 2010.
All claims referred to on pages 6 and 7 are sourced from RP Data June 2010, unless expressed otherwise. * All Hobart data is current as of May 2010.
Our ‘Suburb Profiles’ provide median sales prices by suburb. Visit realestate.com.au today to research your suburb.
Hobart The Hobart residential property market has been the weakest performer over the 12 months to May 2010, with property values increasing by just 3.9%, despite the fact it is the country’s most affordable capital city market (median price of $320,000). During the three months to May 2010, Hobart property values have fallen by -0.5%, however the decline is likely to be the result of a recent slowdown with values falling by -3.1% in May 2010. Canberra Residential property in Canberra has been performing well, with property values increasing by 16.2% between December 2008 and June 2010. During the 12 months to June 2010, property values have risen 10.6% and the median price is currently recorded at $495,000, making Canberra the nation’s second most expensive capital city market. Like the rest of the country, value growth now appears to be slowing, with values falling by -0.8% over the June 2010 quarter. For the remainder of 2010 RP Data is anticipating softer residential market value growth as the market transitions from a period of strong growth to a period of relatively flat growth in values.
before you sell, do your homework When selling your property some of the key decisions you need to address are: •
Marketing Campaign tips The more buyers who see your property, the better your chances of selling at the right price in the least amount of time. So it’s important to take an active role in the development of the marketing campaign for your property. 1. Understand your online advertising options Advertising your property online is crucial with: •
(Nielsen Australian Property Search Report 2008)
Finding the right agent
Determining the value of your property
Selecting the right marketing campaign.
Finding an agent •
Talk to family and friends. It‘s worth asking family, friends and neighbours who’ve sold property recently about their experiences and recommendations.
Look out for properties with ‘Sold’ stickers. Taking note of the agent sign boards out the front of sold properties is a good indication of which agents are doing well in your local area.
Property valuation Getting the right valuation for your property will set the overall tone for your marketing campaign. •
Local real estate agents will be able to give you the most accurate property valuations.
Do your own homework as well; research property prices in your area before you engage an agent.
Check out the ‘Suburb Profiles’ on realestate.com.au that give you some useful property information such as Recent Sales, Median House/Unit price and Supply and Demand by suburb.
out of 10 people using the internet to search 9 for properties to buy
It’s estimated that 55% of enquiries for property are generated via advertising on the internet. What advertising generated the most property enquiries last year?
Source: Macquarie Relationship Banking, Real Estate Benchmarking Survey, Nov 2009
2. Visit agents to check their professionalism Ask to see examples of flyers and advertising they have produced for properties like yours. 3. Discuss advertising options When you meet with your shortlist of agents, ask them how they recommend advertising your property – this will impact on the number of potential buyers that see your property. 4. Track your campaign Ensure your agent keeps you updated throughout the sales process. If your property is on realestate.com.au ask your agent to register you to receive a weekly vendor’s report by email so that you can see how many times your property has been viewed.
realestate.com.au’s ‘Find an Agent’ section will help you find the right real estate agent to sell your home. Search by agency name or suburb, see a list of local agents, and view the properties each agent has for sale, rent or has recently sold.
Closing the deal on your house There is a lot more to closing the deal on the sale of your home than just accepting an offer. We take a look at what else needs to be done. Geoffrey Lush is a freelance writer who specialises in the business and property sectors. He has contributed articles to numerous property investment magazines, online real estate portals and newspapers in Australia and New Zealand. Exchange contracts. If you are selling privately (i.e. not at an auction), your solicitor or conveyancer will prepare the contractual details. Your contract should specify the: •
Settlement date (the date on which the full purchase price is paid and the purchaser takes possession of the property)
Provided all parties agree, there’s no reason why changes cannot be made. Acknowledge the ‘cooling-off’ period. The ‘cooling-off period’ refers to a period of time during which the purchaser may cancel the contract. The cooling-off period is not available for properties purchased at auction. This period commences immediately after the exchange of contracts and lasts for a defined amount of time that varies from state to state. In Western Australia there is no cooling-off period. Complete the conveyancing process.
hattels (movable possessions which may be C included in the sale)
Special conditions (you may have agreed with the purchaser to complete some work on the property prior to settlement date).
Even after you and the purchaser have exchanged contracts, the conveyancing process continues. The purchaser’s legal advisor will undoubtedly make thorough enquiries to the relevant authorities, for example, the local council and water authorities.
Your legal advisor is responsible for the contract and should ensure it contains nothing detrimental to the sale of your property. It is a good idea to confirm which chattels remain in the property.
In all states, paperwork for the Transfer of Land, Notice of Sale and Requisitions must also be prepared. At settlement date, all rates and taxes must be paid up to the point when your property is transferred to the purchaser.
The purchaser is entitled to a final inspection of the property prior to settlement date. If you’ve altered or made any adjustments to the property after the acceptance of the offer, the purchaser is entitled to request that the property be returned to its original condition.
Once the final contract is completed, it is sent to you for your signature. You should return this document to the purchaser when they take possession of the property.
Each party signs a copy of the contract of sale. The purchaser keeps the copy you have signed and you retain the copy they have signed. This process is referred to as the ‘exchange of contracts’.
Generally, settlement takes place some four to six weeks following the exchange of contracts.
Once all parties have signed a contract, it cannot be altered or changed. However, there may be unforeseen circumstances that require changes.
Settle the property.
On settlement day the balance of the purchase price is paid and the title deeds (legal documents stating property ownership) are handed over. When payment is confirmed, the keys are handed over to the purchaser.
This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature, and is not to be relied upon as professional advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.
TV celebrity and interior designer Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan shares her top tips to get your house looking fabulous for the spring selling season. Paint This is the easiest and cheapest way to get a fresh and clean change to a room. Spring brings a whole new light into the home, and walls can look dirty very quickly. Adding a fresh coat of paint is cheap if you provide the labour, but don’t go bold or too dramatic as it will limit your market potential.
Fabric Patterns, texture and colour can add a breath of fresh air. Stunning fabrics can be made into cushions, throws, divider screens and wall hangings to give life to a dull colour scheme.
tips to put some spring into your home
Shaynna is also a presenter on Selling Houses Australia. Visit her website www.shaynnablaze.com or www.shaynnablaze/blogspot.com for more tips & ideas.
Flowers Fresh flowers not only add a visual feast but can bring a hint of fragrance as you walk by. Lighting Subtle and indirect lighting can give a whole new atmosphere to an interior scheme and it doesn’t just have to be for evenings. Dark corners of rooms can be brought to life with a simple lamp. You don’t have to always highlight large areas – look at subtle ways to introduce light, such as back lighting a statue or plant. An interesting lamp can double as a feature as well as lighting.
10 blankcanvas interiors
Clutter Spring cleaning always comes to mind this time of year, but never so more than when you are selling. Buyers have no emotional attachment to your collections – so if it is gathering dust or doesn’t add to your interior, pack it away or move it on permanently. Spring is the perfect time to make decisions on what is necessary and what is taking up valuable space.
Maintenance We all have jobs we put off till tomorrow. Make a list of what needs to be done to get your home into perfect condition as it is the little details that sometimes get forgotten. Remember, buyers turn on all taps and open all doors, so make sure something this simple doesn’t turn into a major reason for a buyer not to purchase. Spend where needed The big budget areas, such as the bathroom or kitchen, need some careful planning. If the major appliances and structure are in good condition maybe all the area needs is a basic ‘freshen up’, such as re-tiling and new taps and accessories. Sometimes simple changes such as these might be enough to give a new lease of life and give added value rather than doing a full renovation.
Artwork Move around your artwork – it is easy to get used to a certain look but just by moving around your artwork and pictures you can create a whole new feel, costing you nothing at all. Furniture If you aren’t inclined to move your artwork, look at how you can reposition your room layout. Take out most of the pieces in the room and start again, bringing back a major piece (like a sofa) and then some accessories like a rug or lamp and then slowly bring back the rest of the furniture. You might like the new feeling of space and put some pieces in another room.
Flooring Thread-bare carpets and ‘traffic patterns’ wearing into your flooring is a major red-alert to buyers and can seem more costly to fix than it really is. An update to your flooring might not be needed to the whole house; perhaps just the ‘high traffic’ areas. A dramatic rug can also add instant appeal and lift a room by adding colour and texture.
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Keep your finger on the pulse with weekly auction results for your suburb.
Provides you with property data and trends including: •Median house/unit sales price • Supply (no. of advertised properties) and Demand (no. of people looking) data • Recent sales.
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