Monthly Archives: July 2015

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Tips On How To Win At Auction

So you’ve found your dream home and it’s going to auction this weekend? Auctions can be very exciting and whilst you may be relying on your loan approval and good old fashioned luck, there are a few strategies that you can employ to help you win at auction.

To win at auction: Bid confidently

According to Harcourts New Zealand National Auction Manager, Chris Kennedy, one of the best ways to help you see success on auction day, is to bid quickly and confidently.

“Definitely bid confidently, as it shows other prospective buyers that you’re a serious bidder, and bid without hesitation”, says Chris. “As they say, hesitation will only cost you more”.

It’s about being bold, being loud and being seen.

Ask questions

Remember, you can ask questions of the auctioneer, both before the auction starts, and even during the bidding process. The auctioneer has worked closely with the seller and agent leading up to the auction, so they are well informed and equipped to answer your questions.

Dress sharply

Along with bidding confidently, it doesn’t hurt to dress smartly on the day either, as this is all about creating a certain perception. Dressing well at auction will give the impression to other buyers that you are a serious buyer with the means to purchase the property.

“Alternatively, dressing casually or in a non-descript way may give you the edge, if you’re not prepared to show the colour of your money, so to speak”, says Chris. “It really depends on your strategy on the day”.

Think about attendance

Some may say that bringing along the family to an auction could prove to be distracting, or give the impression that you have other pressing financial commitments, but this is not necessarily true says Chris.

Chris says that having the family there can sometimes prove to be an advantage. One auction he attended saw a young couple bidding next to a young family.

“At one stage, the couple actually stopped bidding and said to the young family that they could see they needed to home more”, says Chris.

Sort your finances

Ensuring your finances are in order is paramount at auction. You need to have a cash deposit, usually of about 10% ready to go on the day if you are the successful bidder. It’s also important to seek pre-approval on your finances so you know exactly how much you can confidently bid.

Do your due diligence

Make sure you have done your due diligence. This means organising the relevant building and pest inspections before auction day, doing the relevant title search or checking the LIM in New Zealand.

This is important for your peace of mind, so that you can confidently bid come auction day. Because sales at auctions are final, and contracts are often unconditional, you will not have the opportunity to organise building and pest inspections after the auction.

Know your limits

Understand how much you are willing to bid, but remember, sometimes the difference of $1000 could mean you miss out on the property.

An auction can be both an exciting and daunting experience, so prepare in advance, know your limits and bid confidently on the day. Best of luck!

 

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What is rateable value, capital value, government value and market value? A question frequently asked and confused by many..

 


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What to look for when inspecting property at an open home

Lighting candles, spritzing air fresheners, and baking cookies. They’re all common recommendations when thinking of scents to sell your home, with the long-held belief that potential buyers engage all five senses when inspecting a property.


social media blog dos and don'ts

Social Media For Real Estate Agents: 6 “Daily Dos”

Welcome to edition #1 of our Digital Marketing Course.

In this series we’ll share with you our tips and tricks to easily manage your online presence.  We’ll cover:

posts
profiles
promotion
choices

Many of you may well have a personal Facebook page that you use to interact with friends and family. In Fact 70% of the Australian and New Zealand population have a Facebook profile.Facebook also has business pages. These allow brands, organisations, real estate offices and individuals to create social media pages for business. These profiles have extra features that let you schedule your post and have more control over what updates people see. This means your messages won’t flood your followers with a mass of updates.

It’s important to maintain a good relationship with your audience. Just dedicating five to ten minutes a day to your social media pages will make a huge difference. Like your sales calls, it will become second nature. You’ll build strong relationships with your contacts that you can extend further when you meet again.

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ENGAGE WITH FOLLOWERS

Log in daily to your Harcourts office or Sales Consultant Facebook page and engage with your followers. Scroll through your newsfeed, wishing happy birthdays, congratulating events, or “liking” photos and important statuses. Look for opportunities where you can add value to a conversation.

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BE AWARE

Keep an eye out for key changes in your follower’s lifestyles. For example, if Bob has announced he has a new job in a new town, this could mean Bob will also be looking to relocate in the near future. Don’t be afraid to send Bob a direct message, or even post a card congratulating him on his new appointment. Offer to take him out for a coffee to catch up and to see if there’s any way you can be of help.

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USE IMAGES

Images are key on social media. Try posting photos of what you’re up to for the day. Photos of you running a charity auction, helping a seller mow their lawn, or mentioning a great local service they should try!

Remember it’s about putting People First! How will your post make your followers feel? Is it valuable or useful information for them?

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UTILISE THE HARCOURTS BLOG

If you’re stuck for Facebook posts, the Harcourts Blog can provide you with regular articles aimed at buyers and sellers. Our posts aim to help our customers navigate their real estate transactions and make the most out of their property. Follow us on Facebook so you can share them as they come available, or check out the blog site here.

instagram

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a great place to meet people in a more informal setting. Here you can really be yourself. Don’t be afraid to go crazy with hashtags and emoticons, but keep them on topic with your posts! Instagram makes it easy to follow people who have similar interests, which can be a great way for you to find your niche market. Follow us on Instagram to see what we’re up to at Harcourts HQ.

linkedin

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch with our extensive real estate network.

Use it to find out about real estate industry news, track new appointments. Post updates and share links that show your expert knowledge of our industry. Join our Harcourts Real Estate LinkedIn page and make sure it is as your current employer in you profile. This will connect your with thousands of other Harcourts employees (think referrals).

In today’s digital era you can’t exclude social media from your agent or office marketing. It’s a missed opportunity to develop stronger relationships with your clients and community.

However, it’s important to do it right and add value to your audience! Have a crack at these six simple daily tasks, you will be well underway to a buzzing social media presence!


 

Email Chris Booth  if you’re interested in exploring franchise opportunities with Harcourts!



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Videography – The latest, greatest real estate marketing tool

When it comes to selling one of your most valuable assets, your home, it makes sense to take time in choosing a real estate agent that is qualified and knowledgeable and has the right tools and strategies at their disposal.


Capture

Lee Perry: Winning More Listings And Keeping Yourself Motivated

Harcourts Australia’s number one sales consultant for 2015, Lee Perry provides tips for real estate agents – establishing yourself well in the early days of sales, what you can do to win more listings and keep motivated.

Key learnings

  • Sometimes it can be more effective to focus on building a rapport with buyers than chasing listings
  • If you’re beginning in the industry, align yourself with an established sales consultant. Shadow them and help out where you can
  • Sellers are interested in knowing who is getting results – which agents are selling the most property. It’s that simple
  • You can’t cut corners or assume that certain clients will be sure to list with you. Make sure you’re always following a great process and take the time for each and every potential client
  • Align yourself with a brand that properly rewards and recognises its people. It’s great motivation that makes the hard work worthwhile

 


Email Chris Booth  if you’re interested in exploring franchise opportunities with Harcourts!



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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

When selling your home it’s fair to say you are looking to achieve the best result for your property in the shortest amount of time. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to how quickly your home is sold, but when it comes to some of the things that may be holding you back, it’s good to know what these are before you look to sell your home.  Here are our top five mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Having unrealistic price expectations

One of the key reasons some properties sit on the market for far too long is because they are not priced correctly from the beginning. The majority of properties receive the highest level of buyer interest in the first four weeks of the property being marketed. After this time, buyer enquiry tends to wane, and the longer a property sits on the market, the lower the enquiry rates get.

It’s a fact that over-priced properties take longer to sell and do not attract the optimum number of potential buyers, particularly during the prime selling period. The longer properties sit on the market the lower price they achieve. After three or more months this can often be 20% to 25% less.

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Tip:

To ensure your property is priced correctly, do your research, look at what similar properties have sold for in your area, be realistic and look at your home objectively through the eyes of a potential buyer. Lastly, speak with a knowledgeable sales consultant who will be open and honest about the price range your home is likely to fall into.

Investing too little in marketing

Investing enough in your initial marketing campaign is very important as this will help to ensure your property is highly visible to potential buyers in those crucial first few weeks.

The latest research from Harcourts Group Australia, showed a direct correlation between the amount spent on marketing versus how much interest was generated for a property, and what price it sold for. On average, properties that sold in the shortest timeframe invested a further AUD$1,913 in marketing than those that did not see a sale in the 45-day period.

Tip:

Speak with your sales consultant about the best marketing approach for your property. A knowledgeable sales consultant who knows the area, takes the time to become familiar with your home and understands the needs of potential buyers will be best placed to help you determine the best marketing strategy for your property.

Using poor quality photographs to market your home

The images of your property that appear in print and online are the first, and possibly only impression you will make on potential buyers, so it makes sense that they have a certain wow factor. You need your home to stand-out against the others it is competing with, and with professional photography becoming more and more popular, you don’t want your property to be the odd one out that lacks the professional and well-presented touch.

Stats also show that homes listed online with professional shots ten to get more clicks, so it’s well worth the investment.

Tip:

Your sales consultant can organise for professional photos to be taken of your home, taking the hassle out of organising this yourself.

Not carrying out necessary maintenance or repairs

It’s a good idea to make any aesthetic repairs needed in your property well before you have buyers inspecting the home. Things as small as a chip in paint in an interior wall could detract from the overall feel of the home, and lead to lower than fair offers. On the other hand, a fresh coat of paint can add value to your property that may far outweigh the cost of repainting.

Remember, it’s important to look at your home objectively through the eyes of a buyer. As hard as that may be it does mean putting your personal feelings and memories of the property aside and looking at it as if for the first time.

Tip:

You could also invest in updating features like tired curtains, older fixtures and fittings, re-carpeting or laying new turf if you have a patchy lawn.

Failing to interview potential sales consultants

Choosing a sales consultant is a critical part of the home-selling process. After all, you are going to want to work with someone you trust to achieve the best result possible for your home, and that’s not necessarily going to be the first sales consultant you meet.

There is nothing wrong with meeting a few sales consultants to see what each has to offer and to see who will be the best fit for you. Here are some things to look for when choosing a sales consultant:

  • Qualifications.  To sell real estate in Australia or New Zealand, you need to be a qualified sales consultant, and that means you need to hold the proper valid licence.
  • Experience.  Experienced sales consultants don’t just know all there is to know about selling real estate, they also know about your local market, average house and unit prices, what kinds of homes and even features are popular with buyers, key negotiation strategies, and how to effectively market your home.
  • Focused on you. The real estate office you choose to sell your home through should ensure their people not only receive in-depth professional training but are also committed to creating meaningful and genuine personal relationships.
  • Is able to achieve the best result. Achieving the quick sale of your property for the right price can depend on more than your sales consultant alone. A consultant needs the right tools at their disposal and the support to use them effectively.

Now that you know some of the most common mistakes made when selling homes, put in place some strategies to avoid them, and if you need help or advice about the best way to price, market and sell your property speak with your local Harcourts sales consultant.

Looking for a Harcourts sales consultant in your local area? Visit http://international.harcourts.net/ and go to Locations to find one nearest you.

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To fix or not to fix W

Fixed or Variable Mortgage Rates – Which Is Best?

Choosing a fixed rate is about managing your future risk. Will rates continue to fall or will they start to rise in the future? When choosing between a fixed or variable mortgage rate, the question needs to be asked, how far into the future are you planning for?

You actually have many options, you can fix your whole loan amount or choose to split your loan into various portions. For example, a portion of the loan fixed and a portion variable or even have multiple fixed portions over different time frames e.g. a portion fixed for four years and a portion fixed for three years etc.

People considering fixed rates, need to be aware of possible exit fees. Although it is widely promoted that exit fees have been banned on all new home loans in Australia, this isn’t always the case. Lenders can still legally penalise you for exiting a fixed rate loan during the fixed rate period, but this fee is usually called a ‘break fee’. Break fees can easily be upwards of $10,000, but you won’t necessarily see it written in your loan contract as a dollar amount, so be aware and ask if you’re unsure.

 

Why opt for a fixed rate mortgage?

The main reason for taking on a fixed rate mortgage is it eliminates the risk to you that comes with a variable rate mortgage, offering you a fixed repayment amount, with a known interest cost for a definite period of time.

However, what you need to consider is what might also happen during this fixed rate period. Will you need to sell the property? Are you planning a family and may need to reduce your loan repayments down? Or worse still if you have a joint loan with your partner how strong is the relationship. Divorces are sad, messy and expensive and with a fixed rate to break they can be more expensive.

 

Is now a good time to lock in a fixed rate?

At the moment there are many lenders offering low fixed rates that are even lower than the standard variable rates being advertised.

A fixed rate mortgage is an insurance policy against financial pressure brought on by mortgage rate movements, especially rapid ones that could cost you the farm.

In the last 15 years there have been two periods of sharp rate increases. The recent one kicked-off in August 2007 and another in October 2009. There have also been two periods of moderate increases starting in November 1999 and again in May 2006.  So again, the point is, it does happen and you should think through your position carefully before deciding what is right for you.

 

Things to consider when choosing between fixed or variable mortgage rates

There is no doubt that in a climate of so much uncertainty, cheap fixed rates have become increasingly attractive. However you should remain mindful of the limitations of fixed rate loans before you race to sign on the dotted line. Check to ensure what limitations apply to extra payments and redraw and remember, just like the chance that rates will rise, there is a chance they will fall as well.

Regardless of whether you choose a fixed rate mortgage or not, how you arrange your loan and the features you choose will have a significant impact on your finances and your life, whether you notice it or not.

 

Looking for the best home loan rate on the market? Why not take a look at the top three loan products for your needs? Head to www.helpcompare.com.au for your free report.

The above should not be considered as financial advice. We encourage you to seek independent financial advice for your situation.