Buyers, Sellers, Rental Providers, Renters and those looking to take their first step into the market – our team has worked with clients in every stage of the process. We all have different experiences and backgrounds, and may be able to offer some insight and advice for those willing to listen. Our team is forever learning, and we don’t have all the answers, but these tips may help avoid some real estate headaches.
Lucas: One piece of wonderful advice that applies in all areas of life, but certainly in various Real Estate situations, and is great for alleviating stress around big decisions or stressful situations; is to ask yourself – “What is the worst that can happen?” If you can reconcile in your own mind that you can handle the worst case scenario, you can proceed with confidence and without worrying any more – and then go and do everything in your power to avoid this worst possible case scenario.
A couple of “real estate specific” pieces of advice:
For buyers – Buy within your means, buy what you need, not what you want. A home can be a stepping stone to something better later on when you can comfortably afford it. There is nothing more crippling, more stressful, than a mountain of debt that you can’t handle, when the outgoings are higher than the incomings. There will always be unexpected expenses, maintenance, medical bills, fines, nasty car mechanical surprises, blown hot water services, events, holidays, gifts you want to buy, children’s expenses, interest rate rises, the list goes on – expect them and don’t stretch yourself so far with your property purchase that you can’t comfortably afford these inevitable extra living expenses.
For sellers – The biggest gains you will have when selling will come from choosing a highly skilled agent who is working in a way that is designed to have your best interests in mind. A lot of flashy agents sound great and their glossy corporate marketing looks fantastic, but just check for the substance behind it. Ask yourself with every aspect of their sales spiel, “Who is benefiting here – the agent, or me the seller?” One example would be upfront advertising expenses paid for by the seller. Sure they can make it sound like you need to be paying for it and that it is ‘standard practice’, but why should you be paying to promote them if your home doesn’t sell – shouldn’t you only be paying if your home is sold? Vendor Paid Advertising (VPA) is great for agents, but can leave sellers out of pockets thousands of dollars, even if their homes aren’t sold. The market isn’t always booming, houses don’t always sell so readily; a booming market hides a lot of agent incompetency!
Rhianna: Keep within your limits. As exciting as it is, you still need to be able to afford to have a life while paying off your home. Don’t get caught up in the process and spend more than you should.
Anissa: Have a backup plan on moving day. Settlements can be delayed, if you need to be out of one house and moving into another on the same day – this can cause a headache. Especially if there’s distance and moving trucks involved!
Juanita: My biggest advice that I live by when buying a house is to always get a building inspection. Provides you with peace of mind as you just never know what may be uncovered and that just because a property may be newer, doesn’t mean there won’t be any defects or faults etc.
For rental providers, my advice would be that when they buy an investment property- in preparation live by the rule of always having a month of rent stored in back up just in case a renter falls behind in payments or additional unexpected maintenance is required. This provides the owners with some fall back for mortgage repayments and minimises the financial stress during these times. Also for rental providers to be pro-active and not reactive to maintenance, as a small repair left unaddressed may become a larger more costly repair later on.
Sophie: My favourite piece of advice I love to offer if you are looking for a rental is to include a cover letter with your application. Rental Providers love reading through a cover letter and learning more about you that they typically wouldn’t though your regular application. In my experience, Rental Providers often favour applications with a cover letter as they feel as though they know the applicant and have more of an insight into who they are. A cover letter does not have to be complicated, just introduce yourself, explain who you are and what you are about and let them know why you feel that their property would be perfect for you!
Russell: When looking for a home loan, ensure you explore all options. There are many websites to help you compare.
Ashley: “You can compare what an agent will charge you. You can’t compare what an agent will cost you.”
Emilee: Always put your best foot forward so you don’t miss out on the property you love! You know you gave it your all then.
Luke: For rental providers, please ensure your property meets new rental reforms and regulations. There are costs associated with owning an investment property and pre-planning can help avoid any nasty “surprises.” The safety and living conditions of renters is paramount.