Friday, January 29, 2010

Who's Not A Naughty Boy?
Real Estate agents could be forgiven for feeling that
they are unfairly picked on by Fair Trading. If you
didn’t know any better, you would think that Real
Estate Agents were the naughtiest boys on the
block, and cause Fair Trading the greatest amount
of grief. Fair Trading figures themselves do not
reflect this assumption.
In January 2010, Fair Trading published a press
release setting out the top ten offenders for 2009.
In 2009, Fair Trading received 39,970 complaints
(including real estate). 4,000 of these complaints
were referred to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy
Tribunal and 3,000 were referred for investigation.
No details are provided regarding how many of
those referrals resulted in disciplinary action.
The press release states that the top ten consumer
complaints for 2009 could be listed as follows:
1. Household electrical and white goods
2. Residential building work
3. Used cars and motorcycles
4. Goods including furniture, furnishings and
Manchester
5. Automotive repairs and servicing
6. Computer technology and hardware
7. Building trades, which includes household repairs
8. Clothing, foot wares and accessories
9. Travel and tourism
10. Residential tenancy
Where are the naughty boys?! I did not see any
mention of Real Estate Agents! Maybe the
reference to residential tenancy does include some
Real Estate Agents. Nevertheless, this also brings
into account all of the landlords who may have
received complaints.
Hence, Real Estate Agents are not in the top ten
consumer complaints for 2009. The Australian
Bureau of Statistics survey completed in 2002, sets
out that Real Estate Agents and the Real Estate
Industry amounts to 0.6% of Gross Domestic
Products. If they were so bad then, they would
have been more highly ranked than being outside
the top ten.
Fair Trading’s focus on Real Estate Agents has
always been based on the price paid for housing in
New South Wales. It has never been based on the
“naughtiness factor”. Quite frankly, Real Estate
Agents on the whole have never been as bad as the
press have attempted to infer. Based on the
statistics, Real Estate Agents are definitely behind
builders, renovators and travel agents.
Real Estate Agents have good reason to believe
that they are hard done by. Furthermore, they have
a right to advertise themselves as having integrity
and honesty in an industry that does everything it
can to comply with an onerous set of regulations.
Where are the peak industry bodies such as the
National Real Estate Institutes and the National
Real Estate Franchise Associations? It is a great
industry and should be promoted as being such.
Real Estate Agents have a reason today to tell the
world that they are an honest bunch and should go
forward in force to state this fact.

Monday, January 25, 2010

CHOOSING A REAL ESTATE AGENT

Question: It is hard to find the right agent for my property, do you have any suggestions?

Sometimes the hardest thing to do with selling anything you love, is finding someone to sell your pride and joy who loves your property as much as you do. Remember this is not the agents role. The agents role is to maximise the return for you – and by doing so they maximise the return for them.

The best way to gauge an agents care is to look at their own websites and see how they present other vendors properties. Look at how much effort is placed into photography, descriptions and other property information.

Ask your agent where they advertise their vendors listings, you will find that in Australia realestate.com.au is number one, followed by domain.com.au. Agents in Tasmania also can list with Propertypoint for FREE, so their is really is no excuse for them to not advertise on a site like this that attracts so many visitors. You will find a range of excuses why they do not, but it usually comes down to the 10 or so minutes it takes them to actually place the listing on this site.

As for being patient, the average time it takes to sell a listing is between 45 and 65 days, so you must be patient. There is no magic recipe. I would suggest holding off on any expensive marketing to begin with. Remember advertising in a newspaper is very expensive and lasts for only one day. It still has some bang, but the bills can rise very quickly. So my suggestion is to concentrate on the Internet and critique your listing and always ask for a phone call at least once a week to gauge your listings success.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Buying versus renting

Choosing to buy your own home or rent and put your extra money into investments involves both financial and emotional considerations, according to Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers.

The company's managing director Chris Acret says many people still want to own their own castle.

"While some may suggest that the great Australian dream of owning your own home is not as relevant as it used to be, it is still a goal for the majority of people," he says.

"When considering which approach has the most merit – buying or renting and investing – I don't think the two concepts should be mutually exclusive."

Having a solid level of equity in your own home can allow you to invest in more property, or create a diversified share portfolio, according to Acret.

In addition, he says the family home is a valuable asset exempt from capital gains tax.

Acret says renting also provides many benefits, such as avoiding the costs of maintaining a property, or having the flexibility to move without having the hassle or cost of selling a property.

"Renting may also be a good option for people who want to live in a suburb close to the city or the beach but can't afford to buy a property in that area," he says.

"You could buy a property in an adjoining suburb which isn't as expensive – but still has good scope for capital growth – and rent that out while you rent a property in your preferred suburb."

The key to that strategy, says Acret, is to make sure the money saved on mortgage repayments and maintenance costs is channelled into some other form of investment.

He says the most important thing is to be doing something proactive about creating wealth, whether that's paying off your own home to leverage into investments, or renting and putting all your spare money into investment property or shares.

Editor of Australian Property Investor magazine Eynas Brodie agrees.

"As the old saying goes, 'if nothing changes, nothing changes'," she says.