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The Mercury Real Estate Guide : March 20th 2009
MERCURY Friday, March 20, 2009—61 FINANCE AND CONVEYANCING Difficult times demand hard sell Wouldyour real estate agent chaseabuyerdownthe street to getasale? If not, choose another, says one real estate agency boss. SOMEONE who will go the extra mile, chase a buyer down the street is the person you want working for you, says Barry Plant of Barry Plant Group. It may sound like sales spin, but mother-of-two Sharon Breeze, who has sold homes three times using traditional agents and a vendor advocate, agrees. ‘‘Absolutely. They have got to be prepared to run,’’ Ms Breeze said. Last year, Ms Breeze asked Brad Teal Real Es- tate to sell her three- bedroom house in Ascot Vale. Three weeks ago it sold for $795,000 — $35,000 more than its reserve price when passed in at auction in December, and a result she described as ‘‘very satisfying’’. How did she do it? How did she pick an agent who sold for a price beyond expectations? Here are the experts’ tips: Cast wide net The best way to start your search is to cast your net wide. Check local newspa- pers for at least three agencies: ring them and make clear you want to sell and would like to meet to hear their pro- posals; pay attention to how the receptionist han- dles your call—does he/ she happily offer to pass your inquiry to the boss? In today’s market, many agents are reporting big dives in listing numbers, so they should be eager to earn the right to sell your biggest asset. JPP Buyer Advocates’ Ian James suggests: ‘‘Go to at least three agents— major leading brand names — then pick a small one, too.’’ Ms Breeze did exactly that, approaching four lo- cal agencies before ruling out one candidate be- cause she did not like their billboards. ‘‘Some people contact 10 agents . . . always ring at least three agents, so you can make a compari- son,‘‘ Mr Plant said. Localknowledge Nobody knows your market better than the real estate agent based in yourmarket.Theyshould have sold similar proper- ties and should have a list of potential buyers on file. Mr Plant said: ‘‘You EXTRA MILE: Look for the agent who will try harder. want an agent who is always literally 10 min- utes away.’’ Theinterview You have lined up at least three face-to-face in- terviews with prospective agents. Watch the agent’s body language. Do they look over-confident, under-confident? Do you feel rushed? Are they well-presented? Morrell & Koren buyer’s advocate Chris- topher Koren described the experience of a real estate agent interview as ‘‘like lettingawolf inyour front door’’. ‘‘You need to be well- prepared; know what to expect before you invite a selling agent into your house, what to ask, what to avoid to stay safe,’’ Mr Koren said. Commission An agent’s sales com- Ask why should we choose your company and who will be looking after me personally? ‘ mission depends on the property’s price. It is ne- gotiable. Do not let it be the chief deciding factor when picking an agent, experts warn. Expect to pay between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent of the sale price if your home is valued at more than $400,000. It is common to pay 3 per cent of the sale price for properties under $400,000. Be wary of agents pre- pared to list your home for commission of 1 per cent or less. Mr James said some agents were ‘‘desperate’’ for listings this year and were ‘‘basically buying them’’ by agreeing to low- er payment. He suggested sellers of- fer agents ‘‘a kicker’’, whereby an agent gets an extra payment if they can secure a sale above a set price: ‘‘But make it a possible bonus if you want it to prove motivat- ing.’’ Whatto ask Right, grab a pen and paper. Frank Valentic, of Ad- vantage Property Con- sulting, suggested direct Opie said. questions about agent marketing strategies and negotiation skills. ‘‘Ask: why should we choose your company and who will be looking after me personally?’’ Mr Valentic said. ‘‘Do they have much property expertise and how many other clients will my agent be manag- ing?’’ Home sellers must press agents for evidence of ‘‘runs on the board’’, Keyhole Property Invest- ments director Melissa ’ WORKING EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE BUYER We’ll hunt you down the right property at the right price saving you time and MONEY. CALL NOW TO SEE HOW YOU CAN SAVE AND DISCOVER A STRESS FREE WAY TO BUY. 1625344 0400 201 556 CONVEYANCING‘it’s all we do’ • Fixed Price Conveyancing • Personalised Service • Enquiries Welcome Phone 6223 3888 100A Collins Street at home finance Fresh Housing Loans is a fresh approach to financing your new residence or even refi nancing your existing home. 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We’ll answer all your questions We’ll come to you at a time to suit you At Pure Financial Solutions, we can provide you with information about and access to a range of home loan products including; Re-financing • Investment property loans • Construction loans Debt consolidation • Lo doc loans We provide pure financial solutions Call Michael Sherman on 6228 0206 or 0409 091 344 Suite 1, 83 Main Road, Moonah, Tas, 7009 10286113 ‘‘Ask what similar properties the selling agent has sold recently and what was the result,‘‘ Ms Opie said. ‘‘I bet if Cathy Freeman was to compete now for gold, she wouldn’t be on the podium at the end of the race.’’ Ms Breeze’s chief ques- tion was: ‘‘What are you going to do to sell my house in this quieter eco- nomic climate?’’ ‘‘The agent I ended up with was very clear from the start about their plan and could back it up with a list of prospective buyers and a solid mar- keting plan,’’ she said. 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November 7th 2008
March 27th 2009