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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.

    CategoriesProperty Tips

    What marketing should my agent be using to sell my home?

    Sellers are always cynical of the proposed marketing budget that their agent suggests– especially in this day in age where the seller pays for it all! After being involved in the sale of hundreds of homes one thing has become very clear, those sellers that follow their agent’s guidance and roll out a quality campaign suitable to the home, sell quicker and for a higher price.

    When selling a home, one of the most important factors other than a well thought out pricing strategy, that will lead to a successful sale is the marketing an agent uses.  A common question we get asked on a regular basis from home sellers is “How should I market my home and what is the minimum amount I need to spend?”

    When Apple develops a new iPhone they don’t say “let’s just put it on the shelf and see how it goes” do they?  No – they put together an amazing marketing strategy heavily researched and marketed to a targeted audience using a multi- media platform approach. we need to take the same idea when selling a home, after all, you are on the market in competitionnot in isolation.

    As a team we have worked alongside some of Australia’s top performing real estate agents and we are all award-winning agents in our own right; with exceptional experience in corporate sales and marketing both nationally and internationally. We do know a thing or two about business and about marketing. We believe it is extremely important that our sellers understand where their home will be marketed, how it will be marketed, how much it will cost  and why we should use the prescribed strategy. More importantly, they also need to understand the importance of each aspect, who it reaches and why they need it.

    We are often asked how we consistently sell homes quickly and for top dollar. Well, the answer isn’t a simple one, but a big part of it is that we are very focussed on making sure every seller is given the right campaign and each campaign is bespoke and designed for their property and their unique set of circumstances.  It is important for all home sellers to understand that there are many real estate marketing techniques that top real estate marketers are using to improve their overall marketing exposure behind the scenes.

    If you are selling a home or thinking about it and you’re wondering what real estate marketing strategies a top real estate agent should be using, below are some of the more creative and unique real estate marketing strategies!

    Print Advertising & Traditional Real Estate Marketing Techniques

    There are many real estate agents who believe that print advertising and traditional real estate marketing techniques do not work.  While the impact that print advertising and traditional real estate marketing strategies have decreased over the years, they still can be a good marketing avenue for sellers.

    Newspaper Advertising

    Depending on your location, the newspaper still has a large readership, especially since Australian’s are obsessed with property and everything real estate.  Many newspapers have their own real estate section where you can find homes for sale, the upcoming open for inspection times and other pertinent information.

    One of the biggest spikes in newspaper readership has been online readership. The digital audience for the newspaper has been consistently growing year on year.  Newspaper companies have realized the impact that the internet makes and have shifted their focus to digital editions of their papers allowing readers to read the news on their computers, iPads, Tablets, and any other mobile device you can think of.  Convenience is the key!

    Newspaper advertising is still an effective real estate marketing strategy. Case studies demonstrate that when a home is advertised for sale, the web traffic increases for a few days after the advertisement is run.  This is due to potential buyers seeing the home for sale in the newspaper, then researching online to learn more.

    The big takeaway with this strategy is that newspaper marketing helps capture the passive buyer and the passive buyer although not really looking may come across the perfect home and will potentially pay more for the property.

    A study was conducted by the courier mail on perceived value of a property depending on the size of an advertisement.  As it turns out a full-page advertisement offers the best value for money with the greatest perceived value of the home, potentially increasing your net return by thousands.

     Postcard & Direct Mail Marketing

    Another popular print advertising strategy that top real estate agents will use to sell a home are postcards or DL’s as they are referred to in the industry.  Postcards sent to a local neighbourhood are a great opportunity to inform the neighbours that a home in their neighbourhood is for sale with pertinent details relating to the property.

    This can be an effective real estate marketing tool, mainly because neighbours who receive the card may know of a family member or friend who is looking for a home in their neighbourhood.  An informative postcard can easily be passed on to someone who potentially is looking for a new place to call home.

    Online Strategies

    Did you know that over 90% of home buyers are beginning their home search online?  If that staggering statistic does not catch your eye, it should!  It is extremely important when selling a home that your property is being exposed everywhere online.

    Below are some of the most important real estate marketing strategies that lead to maximum online exposure that many top real estate agents use.

    Website

    Going out on a limb, I would bet that all real estate agencies and brokerages have websites in 2020.  Just because a real estate agency has a website does not mean all their agents have their own websites.  To receive maximum online exposure when selling a home, it is very important that real estate agents have their own website.

    An agent not only needs to have their own website, but it also needs to be user-friendly and high ranking.  Some of the top signs of a user-friendly and high-ranking website include detailed property pages, resources, E-books, events, and mobile capabilities. This enables the agent to diversify and create bespoke social marketing campaigns to attract more buyers and importantly more passive buyers to your property, as those are the buyers who ultimately end up paying more… 

    Informative & Updated Blog

    An obvious sign of a real estate agent with a strong online presence is whether or not they have an informative and a regularly updated blog. Just like the one you are reading now that reaches over 10,000 families every issue.

    A real estate blog can be beneficial for a seller as it gives an agent the opportunity to discuss their home in detail.

    Another reason top real estate agents will have an informative blog is because it gives them the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with potential buyers (and sellers).

    For example, if a seller has a home that is likely to attract first time home buyers, it can be extremely beneficial if an agent has an article or an E-Book that is tailored to the first time home buyer market,  Not only does providing the first-time home buyer tips benefit a buyer but also benefits a seller as the educational information provided helps make a transaction seem-less because the buyer is informed and educated about the home buying process.

    Nothing is more frustrating to a seller than a buyer who ends up with cold feet and backs out of a deal because they did not know what to expect during the home buying process.

    High Quality Photography

    Since the internet is where most buyers are beginning their home search, it is vital that a real estate agent is using high-quality photography.  When selling a home a seller should expect the photos a real estate agent uses to market their property are nothing short of spectacular, after all the photographs are the first point of contact that most buyers will have with the home, studies show that you have just 30 seconds to make a great first impression. So, make that 30 seconds count with amazing photography. 

    it is very important that the agent attends the photography session and looks down the lens of every shot, ensuring nothing is left to chance, even a great photographer needs to defer to the agent from time to time.  A high-quality photo/video shoot for a luxury property is an all-day event.

    Most top real estate agents will hire a professional photographer to take photos of their listings.  While this is an expense, it makes a huge difference, as perception of a home’s worth is equated to value in a dollar amount.  This is especially the case when selling luxury homes.  We have numerous case studies we can share with you, where we have taken over a listing from a competitor, used our success formula and have achieved a price significantly higher than the highest offer in the previous campaign.

    If a real estate agent is marketing their listings with poor quality images it can make a huge difference in whether a home sells or not and ultimately the final selling price.

    Video, 3D and 360 Home tours

    People love video, period!  The impact that video has had on real estate marketing has been monumental.  In 2020, buyers can now sit in the comfort of their home and virtually walk through a home, how awesome is that.

    When selling a home, you should expect that the real estate agent you hire is utilizing some type of video, 3D walk-through or 360 Home tour.  Whether it is a video they produce by themselves by stitching together photos or a video they have professionally designed, it is a crucial element for any campaign.

    Floor plans

    Our biggest pet peeve, a home for sale without a floorplan! Something as simple and inexpensive as a quality floorplan can make or break a campaign.  For less than $250 you can have a quality floor and site plan drawn up and added to your marketing arsenal.  Buyers absolutely love floorplans, and we see so many homes marketed without one. As marketers it is our job to make the home buying process as simple as possible which in turn gives our client (the seller) a higher net return which means for our owner occupier clients more tax free money in their back pocket.

    Social Media

    Real estate and social media are like peanut butter and jelly.  Sellers should expect that their real estate agent is utilizing social media in their real estate marketing strategy.  There are several social media websites that top real estate agents are utilizing to help give their sellers homes additional exposure.

    Below are some of the most popular social media websites that sellers should expect their real estate agent to use while selling their home and some reasons why.

    Facebook

    There are not too many people left who do not know what Facebook is or better yet, do not have a Facebook profile.  Facebook allows real estate professionals the opportunity to reach large numbers of residents as well as potential buyers living interstate and internationally.

    As a seller, it is important to realize the power of Facebook marketing for real estate.  Not all Facebook marketing needs to be focused on the newest listing in XYZ neighbourhood, but certainly is incorporated into many real estate marketing plans.  Top real estate agents will have their own business page that is frequently updated with not only listings but also with quality real estate advice, Style trends and engaging informative information.

    Providing quality real estate advice is a great way for a real estate agent to interact with their followers, many of which may be potential buyers.  Facebook also allows real estate agents to utilize targeted ads that can be demographically targeted to residents in a specific neighbourhood who are looking to purchase a home, how awesome is that!

    If you are selling a home, you can tell quickly tell if an agent is utilizing Facebook effectively.  If you go to their business page and there is a sea of Just listed and Just sold without anything of value and little interaction in the form of comments, likes, or shares, it’s likely they are not.  At Iconic Estate Agents we leave nothing to chance and hire the best in the business to take care of all social media marketing, that way we are assured we always have an engaged audience.  It is not always about the number of likes but how much traffic you can funnel to your website or the specific advertisement for a property or service.

    Instagram

    A relative newcomer to the real estate space, Instagram has been a big hit with promoting property and agents have used Instagram to build their online profiles. Everyone loves pretty pictures and who doesn’t like looking at pictures of beautiful homes. A number of high-profile agents have become social media influencers, we believe marketing is about the property not the agent.  This has become a great listing tool for agents.

     Final Thoughts

    Real estate marketing is vital to home selling success.  There are certain real estate marketing techniques that you should expect your real estate agent to employ.

    If a real estate agent utilises print advertising, has a strong online presence, utilises social media, and knows how to curate great real estate content, the chances they sell a home increase significantly.  A real estate agent who does not believe in or utilises these forms of marketing can potentially cost a seller thousands of dollars and months of aggravation.  If your agent employs all these methods you will sleep well at night, knowing that you have reached every potential buyer and therefore maximised your sale price.

    Contact us to discuss your property needs today!

    CategoriesProperty Tips

    Is your off-market strategy selling your property short?

    The “off-market” sales trend in Brisbane is on the rise, and indications are it is being fuelled in part by fear. Traditionally, a seller may prefer an off- market sale for reasons of privacy, avoidance of marketing fees or the open home process. If an agent can match an existing buyer to a seller’s property then this should  result in a quick sale and at a premium price, as the buyer is motivated to secure the property un-contested. If this is not the case, can a seller be assured that every dollar has been extracted from the market if every potential buyer has not been introduced to the property? The short answer is no!

    No agent has every potential buyer on their database, and with year on year rise in buyer activity on Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au, the importance of multi-tiered digital marketing campaigns has never been greater. Competition triggered at auction or a private treaty sale through a comprehensive multi-tiered campaign that engages the most buyers in the marketplace, will more than cover marketing costs multiple times over.

    An off- market strategy, by definition, limits competition, and without buyer competition, sellers cannot be confident of maximising sales results. If the aim is to sell, and to sell at the best available price, then engage an agent with an arsenal of premium property marketing strategies that will showcase your property to the open market and attract the interest of as many potential buyers as possible.

    To achieve a premium sales price in today’s economic environment, requires savvy  and engaging marketing, the property needs to shout and not whisper to the market!

    As a boutique agency unbound by franchise or company-wide policy Iconic Estate Agents can be nimble in today’s marketplace. Our cutting edge digital and social media marketing team will design a bespoke program for your property that will engage buyers on a national and international level offering you peace of mind that we have interacted with every aspect of the real estate market and achieved an absolute premium for your home.   

    Contact us to discuss your property needs today!