CategoriesBuying & Selling

Home Buyers Must-Haves

New patterns are beginning to emerge when it comes to house hunting ?

New keyword search data from realestate.com.au highlights that home buyers’ tastes are evolving as they consider finding a home that will be suitable and well equipped for a life inside, post-COVID.

Across Australia, COVID related keyword searches that have increased include:
? Balcony (+36%)
? Study (+31%)
? Gym (37%)
? Outdoor (+41%)

Whereas the following keyword searches have decreased:
? Studio (-22%)
? Granny Flat (-2%)

It’s clear there’s a strong preference for outdoor and larger spaces. Now, home buyers are wanting to secure a house that can successfully help balance work and life.

CategoriesBuying & Selling

8 Signs That Suggest 2021 is the Year to Invest in Property


Consumer confidence is continuing to improve as has business confidence. 

  1. COVID-19 numbers are very low with the prospect of a vaccine around the corner. 
  2. Auction clearance rates have been strong in Melbourne and Sydney; Brisbane is experiencing more robust clearance rates compared to past years.
  3. First time home buyers are back in the market taking advantage of government incentives.
  4. Our economy is improving faster than many expected, we are in for a quick and sustained recovery, although there are always those media commentators that are spouting doom and gloom come March when Jobseeker and Job keeper are no longer.
  5. Buyers and sellers are active in the market, although most Brisbane markets are still behind on a number of transactions, due to limited stock, prices are on the rise with 3% growth over the last 12 months.
  6. Money is cheap now; interest rates are at an all-time low and banks are lending to investors again. Mortgage deferrals have been falling and there is no chance of an avalanche of mortgagee sales.  The latest rate cut and a guarantee of rates remaining low over the next 3 years will give home buyers and investors’ confidence.
  7. Property investment is a game of finance with real estate thrown in the middle, when finance flows freely and people take out loans before they commit to purchasing a property, then the next logical step is rising property prices.
  8. Moving forward further job creation, consumer confidence and business spending will underpin our housing markets. (Yardney, 2021 – What’s ahead for our property markets for 2021). 
CategoriesBuying & Selling Property Tips

7 Secrets to Buying Off the Plan

7 Secrets to Buying Off the Plan  

There are a million horror stories out there about buying off the plan, we’ve heard them all plus the media loves a bad off the plan story! Is it really a bad idea? We have all heard the reports about shoddy workmanship, developers delivering a sub-par product. 

Real Estate Agents over-selling the project and what is built is nothing like the renders. The million-dollar view that can never be built out, but then low and behold a new building is going up right in front. 

The Luxury apartments that turn out to be sold to overseas investors. 

The secret to buying off the plan comes down to asking the right questions, knowing what to look for and what to avoid. The warning signs of a bad development as opposed to good development, get those key ingredients right and you are more than halfway there.  

Understanding Pricing  

Schedule A – lower prices available for VIP Clients, however, you need to be on the list, only about 5% of units are sold at this level.  Ask us about getting on the list! 

Schedule B – generally higher than Schedule A about 50% – 60% of the project is sold at this level and the rest are at schedule C.  So, it does pay to get in early.  If the project is selling quickly, they may even increase to schedule D pricing.   

So, as you can see the early bird does get the worm.  

Pay the Deposit and pay nothing more until settlement. 

You will initially be asked to pay a holding deposit of approximately $5,000 when you sign an Expression of Interest, this is usually fully refundable if you change your mind. In the next step, the contract is prepared and sent to your solicitor to review and once the terms and conditions meet the solicitor’s satisfaction and you are happy to proceed you will then be asked to pay the 10% balance of deposit of the purchase price. 

There are no progress payments, you just pay the balance of the purchase price on settlement along with your legal fees and transfer duty.  

Secret 1. – Location 

Preferred suburbs, lifestyle amenities, city or beach, commute times to the office or can I work from home 3 days a week and commute just 2? 

Other things to consider when looking at the location are the aspect, views, neighbours.  Chances are if you are reading this article you are considering an apartment.  Factors that you need to consider when purchasing that dream apartment are the floor, proximity to the lift, how many lifts are there?  The last thing you want is to be in a high rise with just two lifts where you spend half your time waiting…Luxury apartment buildings will have a high lift/apartment ratio.  

Corner apartments v’s middle apartments, corner apartments are generally lighter with more windows and a much better aspect.  

Secret 2. – Check the plan 

A floorplan illustrated with furniture can be very deceiving, knowing what the scale is on the floorplan allows you to determine how accurate the plans are.  A good agent will be able to source the information for you if it is not provided. 

Know the dimensions of furniture, working with an interior designer will help you to decide which furniture to take with you and what to purchase new. 

Secret 3. – check the marketing 

One of the first questions to ask is how accurate is the computer-generated imagery (renders) that appear on the website and in the marketing material. Great developers invest heavily in CGI so that the buyer can see what they are getting, and builders understand what to build.  Look at past developments that are already complete and compare the computer-generated imagery to the finished product.  This will give an indication as to the quality of the development. 

Secret 4 – Check the other buyers. 

Neighbours play an important part in our daily lives you want to make sure you are buying in a building where you will be around like-minded people.  Ask for the percentage of owner-occupiers/investor ratio’s or better yet look for a smaller boutique building that caters to the owner-occupier market. 

Secret 5 – Do your homework on the developer and builder. 

The Developer’s past projects will in most cases provide the information you need and more importantly to know who you are buying from and should you trust them.  More and more investment developers are getting into the luxury owner-occupier apartment market and sometimes won’t necessarily get the finishes quite right.  The same due diligence goes for the builder, check the builder’s background thoroughly and how long they have been in business. 

Some developer’s use a “Sunrise Clause” in the contract, that is the date by which the developer deems the project viable or not. 

In the contract there will be a “Sunset” Date, this is the date that the developer must settle the contract and it can be up to 5 years.  Always consult with your solicitor and ask how these dates work.  Hiring a solicitor, the specialises in “Off the Plan” contracts is a smart move.  

Secret 6 – Check the schedule of Finishes. 

Ensure the schedule includes the brand name, manufacturer’s description and a photo of all kitchen and laundry appliances, tapware, sink ware, basins, toilet, suites, light fittings, switches etc and if there is an alternate available if the developer decides to make a change. 

Ensure that there is an options list to choose from, the longer and more detailed the better. 

Always check with your solicitor that the contract contains the same schedule you were shown prior to signing the contract.  

Secret 7 – What happens at Completion. 

When construction has completed and the scheme has been registered and title issued you will be provided with a notice to settle,  this can be as short as 14 days.  Prior to settlement, you will want to conduct a thorough defects inspection.  Have a copy of your floorplan and schedule of finishes with you as per your contract. A good procedure to follow is marked each defect with a numbered sticker and note the defect, that way when the trades come back to rectify, they are clear on the defect. This may not happen right away; however, they are obligated to fix the defect as the building is covered under builders’ warranty. 

Make sure that all warranties are supplied for the various appliances installed.  

If you are thinking about buying off the plan and want to know more please get in touch, this service is complimentary, and we will be happy to help you shop for your new home free of charge.

Get your free copy of our
Buying Off The Plan Guide

    CategoriesBuying & Selling

    Property Trends to Watch in 2021

    It has been made clear that Queensland’s property market has been performing strongly and even catching interstate buyers’ attention. As we enter 2021, it’s essential to navigate previous trends and factors to see what this year is likely to have in store.

    1. Working from Home
    Working from home became the norm for many people in 2020, causing a newfound desire to have more space at home for an office / working space and space that allows for relaxation, such as more garden or outdoor space. More natural environments in and around the house are also great for when those working from home take breaks, and they won’t have to be stuck in small offices and bright lighting.

    2. Unique Coastal Lifestyle
    The Queensland Market Monitor highlighted that Queensland’s coastal regions have strengthened post-pandemic. The Sunshine Coast had a median sale price increase of 1.8 per cent for the September quarter. With the stress, challenge and uncertainty of the pandemic, people were starting to desire a slower pace of life with more natural scenery.

    3. Interstate Demand
    Interest in the Queensland market from the Southern states was already experiencing steady growth over the last few years, but due to its amazing response to the pandemic, interest has skyrocketed. With its relative affordability and lifestyle advantages, it makes it the perfect location for those who wish to relocate.

    4. Local Living
    When lockdowns came into place, and people were urged to stay within their local area, it became clear just how important nearby essential services are. Therefore, when it comes to house shopping in 2021, people will consider, now more than ever, the proximity of essential services, such as, shopping, education, health, fitness, business services, employment and community facilities.

    CategoriesBuying & Selling

    This year’s Christmas market won’t be slowing down anytime soon

    With only 8 weeks to go until Christmas and an active Brisbane property market that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. What does that mean for buyers and sellers?

    With a slower stream of A-grade property coming to market and a higher demand for quality homes that tick all the boxes, is enticing some sellers that have been sitting on the fence to consider coming to market over the Christmas period. In particular, those looking to upsize their home. One thing COVID has taught us is that there is a need for more room on the home front. Larger yards, home offices and outdoor living are on every buyer’s wish list.

    The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast appear to be the destination of choice for our southern compatriots with sales at an all-time high in the resort markets.

    With overseas travel still limited and the vast majority of people staying home for the holidays this year, there is a  “perfect storm” brewing for those with the property itch.

    Economists are predicting a 20% increase in the Brisbane property market over the next 5 years and with the hint in the federal budget of money becoming cheaper and first-time buyer government incentives at an all-time high we predict a busy Christmas period is on the horizon.

    We will be on deck this Christmas so if you are in the mood to make a move this holiday season give us a call and Iconic Concierge can make your next property journey seamless.

    CategoriesBuying & Selling

    How to keep your emotions in check when selling

    Home is where the heart is, so it is no surprise that people experience strong feelings when it comes time to pack up and sell the family home.

    The emotional connection between you and your home is completely normal, however, as a seller, you cannot afford to let feelings get in the way.

    Regardless of whether you are a baby boomer downsizing, an owner-occupier upgrading or an investor looking to make a profit, your personal feelings must be kept in check in order to sell your property quickly and for the best possible price.

    Why people become emotionally attached to their property

    For most people, a house is not just an asset. It is a place you associate family, security, happiness, and comfort. There is a growing body of research that says selling a home can be one of the most stressful events of your lifetime.

    here are the most common reasons why this process is so emotional:

    It is where you created childhood memories

    Homes are the backdrop for our lives. You spend many happy hours growing up, spending time with family and friends. These moments are an important piece of your identity and leave you feeling connected to where they happened.

    It connects you to family history

    In some cases, a property has been handed down through generations or has played a major role in family connections. Therefore, some people struggle to let go and can feel like they are losing a family member.

    It is where you celebrated milestones

    Celebrations at home are a big part of life including birthdays, barbecues, engagement parties and even the occasional backyard wedding. We regularly reminisce about these special occasions with the house or apartment playing a prominent role in the memory.

    You made it your own

    Very few people move into a house and do not make changes. Whether it is a new patio, buying special furniture for the space or a complete renovation, you may have poured a lot of time and effort into your property. This creates a sense of pride and a strong bond that can be hard to let go of when it is time to move on.

    Should you use your emotions or keep them to the side?

    It may seem counterintuitive, but in some cases, sellers can harness their love for their home to help find a new owner by thinking like a buyer.

    Pride in your property means you are more likely to give it the attention it deserves and make it perfect before putting it on the market.

    People who are very attached are also more likely to pick an agent that cares and who will take the time to point out all the major features and special highlights when showing potential buyers through the house.

    Get the low down

    While these are positive ways to harness your feelings to achieve a better result, for many people, emotions will cloud judgment. This could result in hasty decisions that may end up costing thousands of dollars. Having an impartial third party such as an agent to give you advice and a clear perspective could save you from some costly mistakes.

    Emotional reasons to sell your home

    Certain life events like a death, divorce or serious injury in the family are common reasons a sale is triggered, often making the process more overwhelming for the sellers.

    In other cases, family members have become too old to care for themselves and the home. This can mean it is being sold against their wishes.

    By far, divorce is one of the most difficult situations that cause intense emotions to arise. Selling can be especially tricky when one or both parties do not want to leave and refuse to see eye-to-eye on the price.

    Owner-occupiers are not the only sellers impacted. Investors can also experience a rollercoaster of emotions when offloading an investment property. Especially, if they face short deadlines, a tight budget or need to sell in a falling market.

    How to prepare emotionally

    Undoubtedly, most sellers have a strong bond with their home. So according to specialists, detachment is the best way to move forward. Sometimes this is easier said than done.

    Their advice is to say goodbye to the house and begin to look at it as a ‘product’ early in the journey. Doing market research and keeping an open mind is also crucial.

    Keep it factual, look at comparable sales. Try and focus on the presentation of the house or apartment, and of course, where you are going to look for another home.

    Here are 8 tips on how to keep emotions in check when selling:

    1. Do your research to ensure you price the property correctly and understand the market trends and say goodbye as you prepare your house for sale.
    2. Bringing in the agent early in the process to have the right guidance.
    3. Stage and Style your home for sale, this will feel less like home.
    4. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, imagine how happy the next family will be in a home you helped create.
    5. Know what the market is doing and be realistic about your selling time frame and price.
    6. When possible get all interested parties on board before the selling process begins.
    7. Avoid being in the house when prospective buyers visit and ask your agent to keep details to a minimum.
    8. Focus on your next home and engage in some well-deserved self-care.