'Your Patch' – Find the perfect rental, investment property, or home of your dreams
Understanding the Settlement Process after Buying a Property
7 Things to know before buying your first home
5 misconceptions about selling property
The Essentials for Marketing your Home – A Guide for Sellers
Preparing Your House for Sale
Searching for an affordable rental property, the ideal suburb to call home, or the best place in Australia to invest in can be a daunting task. With countless options available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about where to start.
However, with First National Real Estate's interactive dashboard, Your Patch, your search for the perfect suburb becomes effortless. Your Patch is designed to assist homebuyers, investors, and renters in finding their ideal neighbourhood based on their unique preferences and financial capabilities.
Here's what you'll find in Your Patch:
1. Personalised Suburb Recommendations:
Your Patch understands that everyone has different priorities when it comes to choosing a suburb. Our interactive dashboard allows you to input your preferences, such as proximity to schools, transport links, amenities, safety, and lifestyle options. By analysing these inputs, Your Patch generates personalised recommendations tailored to your needs, saving you time and effort in your search for the perfect suburb.
2. Financial Considerations:
Finding a suburb that fits within your financial capabilities is crucial. Your Patch takes this into account by providing you with real-time information on property prices, rental rates, and market trends. This data empowers you to make informed decisions based on your budget, ensuring you find a suburb that aligns with your financial goals.
3. Comprehensive Suburb Insights:
Your Patch goes beyond basic information by providing detailed insights about each suburb. You can access data on demographics, crime rates, school rankings, transportation options, and local amenities. These comprehensive insights enable you to assess the suitability of a suburb and make an informed decision about your future neighbourhood.
4. User-Friendly Interface:
The Your Patch dashboard is designed with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind. The intuitive interface allows you to navigate effortlessly through the various features and access the information you need. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or a renter, Your Patch ensures a seamless user experience.
5. Investors' capital gains paradise
When you're trying to identify the right place to buy an investment property, knowing the trajectory of capital gains in recent years certainly helps. While past performance is no guarantee of future performance, Your Patch clearly shows levels of demand, how many people are moving to particular suburbs, and how much prices have changed over time.
Are you ready to find your perfect suburb?
Visit Your Patch today and unlock a world of possibilities! With its interactive dashboard and personalised recommendations, Your Patch will help you discover the ideal neighbourhood for you, your family, or your investment. Don't waste time sifting through endless options or settling for less than what you deserve. Embrace the power of data-driven decision-making and let Your Patch guide you to your dream location.
Remember, finding the right suburb is not just about bricks and mortar; it's about finding a place that feels like home. Your Patch is here to simplify your search and make the process enjoyable. Start your journey towards finding your perfect patch today!
Paying the Deposit
Unlike retail shopping where you can stroll through the store, pick what you like and hand a credit card over at the counter, buying a property is a little more complex. Some houses will be sold at auction, some will be sold by Private Treaty (For Sale), and others will be sold privately by the owner. Either way, you will have to pay a deposit and the balance of the purchase price including stamp duty and other costs upon settlement.
If you buy at auction, you'll need to pay the deposit immediately. Most serious bidders will bring their cheque book to an auction as the real estate agent selling the property may ask for a deposit of 10% of the property price it sold for. A private sale will require you to pay the deposit once the contracts have been exchanged so again – make sure you have it to avoid complications.
Choose An Experienced Solicitor
Once an offer or a bid for a property has been accepted, a contract of sale will be reviewed by your appointed solicitor. If you do not have a solicitor, ask your parents, friend or work colleague for a personal referral to a solicitor who is located in the suburb where you have purchased the property. An experienced local solicitor will most probably have dealt with the property vendor solicitor as well and understand any local land or council issues from previous property conveyancing. Be sure to ask for a fee proposal from the solicitor upfront before engaging them formally. As solicitors typically take their fee on the day of the property settlement, it is important to understand what their average fee range and hourly rate for extra work is in advance.
Understanding the Contract of Sale
The contract of sale is a long document that your solicitor will review on your behalf as most buyers are not trained to understand the legal implications. Your solicitor will ensure the details are accurate, review the property tile to ensure all property boundaries and measurements are correctly notated in the contract. Your solicitor will ensure that all land taxes, council rates and property utility bills are paid to ensure you are not liable for these as part of the property settlement.
Understanding the 'Cooling Off Period'
Remember, if your bid is above the reserve price at auction, it is legally binding and there is no cooling off period, so be sure you understand the processes and your obligations at different stages before you commit to purchase. Private Treaty sales typically have the benefit of a cooling off period, which will be outlined by the Contract of Sale and which your solicitor can review prior to you making an offer on the property.
Although you are pre-approved for a home or property loan up to a certain amount, the bank or lending institution will carry out a property valuation. This typically involves a valuer physically inspecting the property (often from the outside) and looking at similar properties recently sold in the immediate area. Property buyers should be aware that banks can value the property at a lower price than what you purchased the property for. This means that you will have to put more money into the deposit than what you originally thought.
Your solicitor will ensure all the required documentation required by the government title bodies and mortgage financier is provided. They will ensure your name is on the property title certificate and make sure the tile transferring to you as the new owner is done according to the law. The solicitor will assist with preparing the list of disbursements required for property vendors and make payments from their trust account to related parties to the transaction on behalf of property buyers. Solicitors also attend the settlement meeting and exchange contracts and issue cheques to compete the settlement. This ensures you are not having to attend the meeting with solicitors representing the property vendor.
Time from Purchase to Settlement
The settlement process usually 60 days in most Australian states and territories. In New South Wales, settlement is usually 42 days. Buyers often propose a shorter settlement period to entice vendors to accept their offer over competing bids when buying property off-market and not at auction. There is often times where a property owner will request a longer settlement period of say 90 or 120 days from time of purchase. This maybe due to time another property transaction.
Once settlement has taken place, the balance of the purchase price will have been paid, and you are legally listed as the new owner on the property title. Your solicitor will typically ring you to advise property settlement has been successfully completed. Once the Agent has recieved notification from your solicitor and the Vendor's solicitor, you are able to pick up the keys from the vendors real estate agent or solicitors office and your home buying journey is completed.
Buying your first home is possibly the single most important purchasing decision you'll ever make. Despite this importance and the amount of information available, it's amazing how many people make fundamental mistakes. You really do need to do your homework, and consult experts. First National Real Estate put first home buyers first. That's because we know how daunting the experience can be, along with all the information to consider, and we have a personal interest in getting your buying experience right.
To get you started, we've put together this short, helpful guide to help you with your exciting first home buy.
Work on your budget
It sounds like common sense, but many still rush into purchases without fully understanding their true financial position. This can be catastrophic for singles, couples and families later on. Before you buy, it's vital you know what your actual living expenses are by checking bank and credit card statements so that your new home doesn't become a new financial hardship. You also need to factor in what the drain will be on your balance when the mortgage repayments kick in, and what you can service. There are many calculators online that can help you with this. Also, realise that when you buy, there are many other fees that can occur outside of just purchasing. These include stamp duty, conveyancing fees, building inspections and mortgage insurance.
Get to know the local market
If you don't know the local property market, it's easy to be bidding and negotiating completely unaware of the true value of what you're wanting to buy. Speaking to a First National representative is a great way to get grounded in what the market is doing as the situation can change week-by-week, and is not always reflected by what you can see online. It takes knowledge and expertise to price a property, and local agents are best equipped to let you know – so don't be shy about asking them the asking price during a home inspection or when looking at a home online.
Be prepared to make an offer
Knowing what you can spend comes down to knowing your financial position, as mentioned earlier. To be properly prepared to make an offer, knowing what you can borrow is critical, as it can impact your initial offer and negotiating power. Speaking to a range of lenders and getting loan pre-approval is highly advised. Having loan pre-approval means you can negotiate with confidence and be fully prepared, knowing clearly what you can spend and what you can't!
Prepare your list of home features (or must haves)
It's easy to make a wish-list of home features, and often much harder to find exactly what you need. If that happens to you, consider what you want vs what you really need from your new home. Will that extra car space matter or can you park out front? Do you really need an en-suite, or are there more valuable elements related to position in a less well-equipped home? Is a home office essential, or just a second bedroom? Try to remain flexible if it's a non-essential item. You may soon discover that when you revise your expectations, you also have a lot more properties to choose from as a result. Also, bear in mind that a first home can be a 'stepping stone' to something better – stay focused on finding something that you can add value to over time, while riding capital growth.
Build your own
If you can't find a home you love, First National can assist you with a land purchase. Many first home buyers are opting for land to build in established or new suburbs, and you don't have to compromise on home features – including those listed directly above! If you're considering a range of locations, speak to First National prior to leaping into a decision. You'll gain insight about areas that are most likely to yield the best price growth. It's also important to stay informed of state and federal incentives for buying in regional areas. Incentives like this. Checking government websites, and staying up to date on property news can save you thousands.
Do your due diligence
If you buy a car, you'd probably get a mechanic to check it out, but surprisingly, many people don't get their homes professionally assessed pre-purchase. Getting a building and pest inspection is essential to know the condition of the building before you buy. You'll also need a conveyancer to review your contract, gather searches from local authorities, and handle your legal work all the way to settlement. It's another expense but it can save you a lot in the long run. Many first home buyers never factor these items into their house hunting budget, but they should, for peace of mind later.
Explore the full range of government incentives
Government grants vary in each state or territory. For the best picture of what's on offer near you, it's a good idea to check with your State Revenue Office to see what support and bonuses are available. Also, realise that government grants often extend to items you can get once you purchase too – including water tanks, solar power, energy efficient items and more depending on where you live, so do research thoroughly. For some good state-based information, go here. For information regarding how to access the HomeBuilder grant that is now available, go here.
Would you like some hands-on help and guidance with your exciting new home purchase? Speak to a one of our agents now for helpful advice on market conditions, properties and tips. We'll put you first. Call one of our agents today on 02 4961 6988.
There are a lot of things to consider when selling your property, but few of us realise as we go through our 'To Do' list, just how many of those action items are actually huge misconceptions. When researching dos and don'ts, the best strategy is to pay attention to advice that keeps being repeated and that you know has been around for a long time. Mostly the tried and the true are the things that really work after all! In the meantime however, here are some of the most common misconceptions vendors encounter when putting their property on the market.
1. You can drive up the value of your home by overpricing it – WRONG!
Getting the price you want is extremely important, however don't let this motivate you towards greed. There is only one thing worse than selling under your goal price and that is not selling at all! An overpriced property has a much greater chance of sitting on the market for longer, especially if it's unrealistically priced above other similar properties in the local area. You need to choose a price range that is compatible with the current market, leaves room for negotiation, but also encourages people's interest to come and see it. If the property is priced too high, it will deter inspections, stay on the market longer, and buyers will see it numerous times and start to think something must be wrong with it. They can also guess that it's overpriced and bide their time to pounce for a bargain down the track, when they sense desperation to sell may have set in. Get an appraisal, research the market and, with advice from your agent, set your price realistically.
2. Getting building and pest inspections is an extra expense that buyers should take care of – WRONG!
This may be something a potential buyer wants to do for their own peace of mind, but if you haven't done it first, it could be a disaster for your sale. Getting all the relevant building and pest inspections before you put your house on the market is essential if you want to get the best price possible for your property. A professional inspection will reveal any issues and give you the chance to take care of them swiftly and thoroughly, before a buyer gets even a hint of trouble. If it's not you that finds the issue, it may well be the buyer, giving them the opportunity to bargain down your asking price. Or worse, they could spread the word amongst other buyers that there's a problem, completely undermining the value of your property in the market in the process. The upside of course is when the tests are clear, giving you the chance to hand over inspections results to prospective buyers, validating the quality and integrity of the property and yourself as the vendor. A transparent approach and a property in top condition, brings fortitude to your position as well as your asking price.
3. The more open inspections you have the better your chance of selling – WRONG!
Not only does this make you look desperate and wastes time, it also decreases the perceived value of your property to the market. Organising open houses is almost a science and you should consult closely with your agent about the best days and times to schedule them. Strategic scheduling gives you a better chance of attracting more genuine buyers and it also minimises the number of 'tyre kickers' who turn up – those non-buyers who like to take a voyeuristic look into how their neighbours live. Aside from the impact numerous inspections can have on the perception of your property in the market, it's also a pain! All that shuffling of furniture and tidying things up. Less is more and a refined and focused schedule should be more than enough to attract serious committed buyers to see your property.
4. If the price isn't what you want, you should just hold out for a better offer – WRONG!
This is really one of the craziest. Your goal is to sell your house and if someone offers to buy it, at a price that works for you, then why would you say no? Sell it for goodness sake and get on with the next stage of your life. As long as the price is in line with market expectations and your future investment goals, there is no reason at all to hesitate. Never take it for granted that there will be other offers, or better offers, or offers from people you like better. The reality is that this may be the best (or only) offer you get and if it ticks all your boxes, why one earth wouldn't you say yes and wrap things up? Greed should not be a motivator, and if it does, it will inevitably become your downfall – the property market is just not that reliable and the longer your house sits on the market, the more it devalues in people's perceptions until eventually you'll be begging others to take it off your hands.
5. The more you spend on fixing up the property before selling it, the better price you'll get – WRONG!
It is true that you should spend some time and money on making improvements to prepare your house for sale. Tidying is the first step, and then you can brighten things up with fresh coats of paint, repairs and just some general spit and polish. Attention to the overall appearance of your property will help to encourage buyer interest and also to hopefully achieve your desired sale price. However it's not necessary to spend a fortune to do so. Just because you've invested a lot on improving the property for sale, doesn't mean it will be reflected in the sale price. Your improvements may just bring your property up to the same standards as others on the market, then you are in the same boat as everyone else, but will have lost out on your return on investment. Any improvements made should be practical and improve aesthetics where necessary, but it's not a competition for best home. You'll be surprised how much difference a few simple improvements can make.
Your home has never looked so good – the windows are washed, hedges are trimmed, and you have got the interior looking like it just jumped out of the pages of a magazine. But how do you let the world know your beloved piece of paradise could be theirs? It all starts with a meticulously planned marketing and advertising strategy to create awareness and the all-important auction day demand. Here at First National Real Estate, we've got a firm handle on the essential elements for successfully marketing your home. Here are our 10 top tips.
1. Make sure you're selling the right benefits.
Selling the right benefits is all about knowing who your potential buyer is. By understanding what makes them tick and what they're looking for in a home, you can tailor your communication to pique their interest. For example, if your key audience is young families, you'll want to scream and shout about the fully fenced, level backyard, or that park that your home backs on to. If your potential buyer is a retiring down-sizer, communicating that it is a single level home with low maintenance gardens and brick exterior is more likely to hit the mark. Once you've identified who you are talking to and found the benefits to match, you're ready to start adapting these messages for different marketing and advertising environments.
2. A (property) picture speaks a thousand words.
Beautiful, professional imagery is worth its weight in gold. Real estate photographers know how to capture a property at its best – it's all about the angles, the wide lenses and getting the lighting just right. In fact, they'll often make your home look so good you'll wonder why you're selling at all! Amazing home photography aside, it's worth snapping local amenities like parks, dining precincts and more for buyers that are unfamiliar with the immediate area.
3. Boost your impact with a video tour.
As above, visual content is key to presenting your home for sale. Adding video content takes this to the next level. While the real estate sector has embraced video for a while now, the pandemic has seen a significant surge in digital adoption. Newer technologies like drone footage to showcase the surrounding area are enhancing the buyer experience and having a positive impact on enquiries.
4. Social media isn't just for socialising.
Regardless of whether you're personally a fan of social media or not, Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok are fantastic platforms for reaching large audiences. Platforms like Facebook enable advertisers to tightly target audience profiles (from geographic locations, to gender, age group and interests) so you can ensure your message gets in front of potential buyers. Aside from paid advertising, it always pays to share amongst your own network and our First National Real Estate networks too.
5. Maximise digital exposure.
When a property goes on the market, we always start with a listing on the our website. From there, key portals like Domain and Realestate.com.au follow to ensure maximum exposure. For buyers who may not be looking at neighbouring suburbs, First National Real Estate can serve advertisements in their search results featuring your home. This has proven to be an effective method to extend listings beyond a buyer's initial consideration set and drive increased enquiries.
6. Leverage our email database.
Our office has a wide range of contacts in our database allowing us to find the right owner for your property. Once your property has gone on the market, we match any potential purchasers in our database and notify them of your house being for sale. With over 300 offices nationwide, First National Real Estate has a vast database that can be leveraged to sell your home. From simply directing people to your home listing or directing them to a bespoke property website that includes a property video and stunning imagery to showcase your property, there are options to suit all sales.
7. Get in front of potential buyers as they roam the internet.
While the days of property print campaigns aren't dead, digital advertising provides unparalleled transparency and real-time feedback that print just can't compete with. Ads featuring your property can be served as potential buyers browse on major publishing platforms like Nine Entertainment, The Age, Brisbane Courier Mail, and even as they visit retail sites or perform Google searches. With some decent analytics behind a digital campaign, you'll be able to see how much it costs to draw people to your listing (known as cost per click) and gauge real-time results.
8. Embrace new technologies.
Property marketing is continually evolving, and as generations of digital natives begin to grab hold of the property ladder, things are set to become even more digitally led. While it can be tricky to keep up with emerging trends, at First National Real Estate, we have a team dedicated to marketing and digital – so you don't have to. We're confident in embracing new tools, resources and technology that help to achieve the best outcomes.
9. Don't underestimate a good old fashioned 'for sale' sign.
A well-designed sign will generate phone calls and can drum up interest from those passing by (who may not actively be home hunting or considering your neighbourhood). Signage can be particularly effective if you're located on a road with high traffic.
10. Engage the experts for a tailored approach.
Each property is unique and needs to be treated that way. With a wealth of experience, First National Real Estate is equipped to effectively market homes in a rapidly changing landscape. Whether it's utilising the latest technologies or sticking with a traditional approach, we expertly adapt our marketing strategy to capture the attention of your potential buyers. By staying abreast of trends and innovations in the real estate space, we are equipped to ensure the best return on investment for your marketing dollar. Our award-winning team has an approach centred around driving demand, creating healthy competition and ultimately, generating the best sales results for you.
This information is general in nature. For a bespoke property marketing campaign that is specific to your property features, benefits, location, and desired objectives, contact your local First National Real Estate Real Estate office.
So, you're finally ready to sell your home! The big decision has been made and now you can sit back, relax and wait for the buyers to roll on in, right? Ah, not quite – almost every single home going to market needs some attention, probably including yours. There are a number of things to consider once you've decided to sell, but initially there are three stages to preparing your home for sale:
The Clean Up
The key to preparing a house for sale is to make it look cosy and homely, but also as if nobody with an everyday life lives there! This process depersonalises the home so buyers can more easily imagine it as their own. Begin by moving through the house and putting away anything that's lying around – shoes, coats, cleaning products, towels etc. Then do it again, but this time with an eye on the less superficial layer. Simplicity is key, so really think hard about how many buyers will respond positively to your fridge magnet collection or your sewing room, heaving with quilts and fabric scraps. Tidy book shelves, ruthlessly deal with pets and their unruly habits, and make sure that everything on display is tidy and presentable.
Once your home has had a layer of everyday life removed from it, head outside and do the same in the garden, the shed and around the perimeter of your block. Empty buckets and disused tools should be disposed of or hidden away, as should children's bikes, toys and play equipment. Get a gardener in, if necessary, or just deal with the weeds, mow the lawn and sweep the paths yourself, so everything is tidy and in order.
You may also want to get professional cleaners in to thoroughly clean wet areas. It's worthwhile to get carpets, window dressings and soft furnishings professionally cleaned if you have been living there for some time. This will depend on your makeover plans of course, but an external cleaner will always see things you have lived with for years. Smells you've become accustomed to will vanish, leaving a fresh and inviting fragrance for newcomers.
Now that you have removed that unsightly layer of everyday life from your home, it's time to give it a shiny new makeover ready for its photo shoot. Give tired walls and window frames a fresh coat of paint and take a good look at your current furniture and room configurations. Can things be arranged to present your home in a more attractive way? The junk room needs to go and that space should be turned into a spare bedroom, a home office or an elegant reading room. Then make some decisions about your existing furniture and decide if it needs to be cleaned or replaced temporarily with rental furniture.
If you have some interior design skills you could do this yourself but a professional 'home stager' is well worth the investment too. They will advise you on what should stay and what should go, what colour schemes might be useful for repainting and even they may even coordinate rental of furniture, whitegoods, plants and other items for decoration. Home staging can be a costly exercise but, when done well, can add tens of thousands onto your sale price – so get some advice from your sales agent and see if they can recommend someone to give you a quote.
Don't neglect the exterior of your home and its street appeal either. Go across the road then approach your home with fresh eyes. Maybe the fence needs painting or replacing? Broken outdoor lighting needs to be dealt with and shabby gardens should be given some much needed attention. If in doubt, ask your agent or a trusted friend to give you an honest opinion and call in the experts for the stuff you can't manage yourself.
Now that your home is sparkling clean and dressed to its best, the marketing campaign will kick in. If you hired a home stager they can be involved in this and it is pure madness to not invest in professional photographer for your photo shoot. The first interaction the majority of buyers will have with your home will be your photographs, so they need to be impressive and alluring. They will be used online, in print media, on signs outside your property and for various other marketing materials. If you are going to restrict your budget anywhere, it should definitely not be here!
The photo shoot – the session, the photographer, the stylist and the post production of the images – is usually included in your marketing budget with your chosen real estate agency. Make sure you go through this with your agent and understand what's included, making sure you get approval on final choices where relevant. Be sure you're getting everything that was promised to you initially and that the budget is being used wisely to showcase your home at its very best.
In addition to the visual marketing, you need to impress the buyers further when they come to inspect the property. Fresh flowers, cookies baking in the oven and a spotlessly clean and tidy home are all great ways to keep them interested. Many buyers will be turned off at even a hint of a bad smell, dampness, mould, peeling paint, dirty pet bowls or litter trays, or last night's dishes in the sink.
The work required may seem overwhelming at first but, if you can mentally translate the hours spent preparing your home for sale to a dollar figure, your motivation will be boosted considerably. A well-prepared home can achieve a much greater sales result when it is clear the seller has put some tender loving care into the property and buyers will respond accordingly to the effort you made. For more information see our handy Home Sellers Guide.