Some Useful information to a Residential Property Seller and Buyer

Many people who are thinking of selling their home really do not comprehend the selling process that is involved. It can be very daunting and stressful to the seller once you have decided to sell your home. Be warned!! I hear it so often, when I was selling residential property in Queensland and now down on Phillip Island,  that the sellers rely so much on the advice from the local real estate agent. The most important advice is what price should you list your home at? When you do put your home on the market the most disappointing part of selling is how long your home is on the market for. When your home sells quickly you are so pleased, however the longer you have your home on the market  the more stressful it becomes, because you are frustrated your home has not sold and also other factors such as having to  keep your home clean and tidy and the outside neat and the grass mown for open homes and inspections. Homes can sit on the market for a long time and the main reason comes down to price and when you first listed your home the price could have been inflated!  Or the home sells for a lot more than advertised and this is disappointing to the buyer. The buyers know so much about homes they are interested in purchasing because they do all their research on the internet and will only make an offer if the price is close to their research.  This is why auctions are good because properties sell at the current market value. I will talk about this in another Di’s Corner Chat.

Interestingly, the State Government has introduced on May 1 2017, changes to the Estate Agents 1980 and this will strengthen laws against underquoting in Victoria. This is all about the selling price of the property. This is very relevant to the seller and buyer of residential property in Victoria. Under the new law, all estate agents and agents representatives selling residential property in Victoria are required to:
1) set a reasonable estimated selling price :
2) consider the 3 most comparable property sales to the property for sale when setting their estimated selling price :
3) prepare a Statement of  Information, in the approved form, for prospective buyers that includes the indicative selling price for the property for sale, the details of the 3 most comparable property sales and the  median suburb price :
4) not use qualifying words or symbols to describe the advertised price for a property for sale (if a price is included in an advertisement) and
5) update advertised prices if the estimate selling price is revised.

N:B: If the property for sale is in the Melbourne metropolitan area, the comparable property must be within 2 kilometres and have been sold within the last 6 months. If the property for sale is outside the Melbourne metropolitan area, the comparable property must be within 5 kilometres and have been sold within the last 18 months.

For more information read my blog on and  from the Consumer Affairs website.

It is so important that you the seller understand this and make sure you do receive three comparable properties before you decide to list your home at a price that is relevant and keep an eye out on the market in your area.

I have my new quarterly Market Report available. This is on my website and being delivered to homes in San Remo, Newhaven, Cape Woolamai and Rhyll in the next week or so. If you would like a copy please contact me on my mobile or by email to receive a copy.

Please contact Dianne on 5956 6837 or 0408 034 080 for your real estate needs.

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Your home is outdated and you’re trying to decide if renovating is your best option, or if you should sell and move to a new property. I get this question a lot from home owners. “If I add value to my home would I be able to sell for more, including all the costs in renovating or am I best to sell as is and buy a new home that suits our needs? My answer is; “if you are happy in your location you are best to stay and renovate. If the home does not suit your needs, you are best to sell and move on”.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to renovate or buy a new property. To help you decide, there are three important steps to follow to help you reach your decision.

  • Be really clear about the type of property you want.
    This requires you to think about your immediate and future requirements. Whatever your needs, you should compare and contrast them with your current home to help identify any major gaps or shortcomings.
  • Compare property values in your street and suburb.
    This is a very important step. This goes to the heart of assessing how your property stacks up against everyone else’s, and whether there are any major price differentials. The reason for doing this is twofold. Firstly, to help you decide if it’s worth putting the time, effort and money into renovating, and secondly to help reduce the likelihood of over capitalising – that is, spending too much on your renovation.
  • Do your sums
    Once you’ve completed steps one and two, it’s time to start crunching some numbers and prepare a budget. Doing your sums is the financial side of the equation, and is all about letting you know what you can reasonably afford – which in itself may determine your best option.

Whether you renovate or sell, it is often a balance between what best fits your personal lifestyle needs, what’s affordable, what’s less disruptive and what gives you the best chance of long-term capital growth. However, if you plan to sell your property within the next one to two years, be very mindful of undertaking a major renovation project – you need to make sure you can at least recoup the cost of your investment.

If you would like any real estate help or advice, please contact Dianne. Contact her on 5952 5480 or 0408 080 034

Benefits of Good Photography for Selling Homes

They say that first impressions last a lifetime, and this could very well be true when it comes to buyers laying eyes on the perfect family home for the first time. To increase the chances that a buyer will fall in love at first sight with your property, you’ll need to impress them with a good first impression. Before buyers come to inspect any property, they will first get these impressions from listing photographs. As a result, these photographs are of the utmost importance, because they could be the deciding factor between a buyer deciding to come visit your home or not.

How many buyers search the internet for a home?

In 2006 approximately 80% of home buyers searched the internet when looking for a home. Today the percentage of home buyers that search on the internet when looking for a home has jumped to approximately 92%. Consumers are purchasing and becoming competent with more technology devices such as laptops, iPads, tablets and smart phones. These consumers are home buyers and they want to shop online. Their trend is showing us that they recognise how useful technology is and therefore they are going to be better at noticing professional versus point-and-shoot photos.

The buyers main tool is using online to search for property, so when selling, online is a very important part of your advertising schedule.

With all the competition on the market, it is important to have professional photos because they are your first and maybe only impression, to the majority of buyers who are searching for homes on the internet.

Why professional real estate photography is so important

 It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the same holds true for your home. Whether you’re looking to sell or rent, the right photographs can make or break the amount of interest your property receives.

While the tried and true channels of marketing your property – advertisements, window cards, signage, etc. – can still be very effective, it’s a fact of modern life that most people spend a lot of their time online. Whether interacting with friends on social media or catching up with their favourite TV shows, consumers expect everything to be accessible by the click of a mouse.

Open houses may still be a great way to show off a property, but just as many people – if not more – are using the internet in their search for a home. For this reason, using high-quality photographs that show off the best features of your property is essential.

Why professional photographs help

With people counting on a detailed look at your property online, the damage poor photographs can do should not be underestimated. Shabby pictures can give the impression that your home is in poor condition or not worth a second look.

Additionally, focusing on the photographs you use can help you determine exactly what kind of buyer you’re trying to appeal to. For instance, who is your ideal buyer? Someone with a family? A single person? A young couple? By figuring out who you’re trying to attract, you can determine the features your pictures should accentuate.

A family might be most drawn to pictures of a large backyard offering plenty of space for children to play. Meanwhile, a young professional could be interested in pictures of a spare room that could double as a home office.

Every property has features that can be highlighted, and professional photography can help you emphasise them in a skillful and aesthetically pleasing manner.

The benefits of professional photography

The biggest hurdle preventing many property owners from utilising professional photography is price. No one wants to spend money on a service they feel they can do themselves. However, it’s important to understand the advantages experienced and great-looking pictures can provide.

First, it’s essential to remember that with so many people shopping for homes online, how your pictures look could very well be the most important factor in generating interest in your home.

Professional photos can result in your listing getting more attention, and in turn this increases your chances of making a sale or finding the ideal buyer. This can give you a huge competitive advantage, especially if you’re listing your home in a market where property owners are struggling to make their home stand out from the crowd.

In this way, there is a very real chance that using the wrong photographs could affect your bottom line for the worse.

Finding the right photographer

Unless you’ve been trained in photography, chances are you’ll be better off outsourcing the duties to a professional.

When selecting a property photographer, it’s important to do your research. Search online and analyse portfolios, as this will give you an idea of the type of work the professional has done in the past. Also always be on the lookout for referrals and customer reviews, as this will indicate that a photographer has done good work.

It’s also worth narrowing your search for someone who specialises in photography of property in Australia. An excellent wedding photographer may not have the skills necessary to make your home shine.

Most importantly, go for value over price. Cheap does not mean better and paying more for quality photographs can pay off big when it comes time to sell your house.

Make sure your agent gets a good professional photographer to take your photos. This is too important to leave to an amateur.

If you’re serious about selling your home for more hire a pro! A pro not only gets you the best possible image but also gives his or her professional advice on how to ‘stage’ the photo to give you maximum impact. Every week, real estate professionals in your area use their personal contacts and resources to help sellers prepare their homes for sale. Why not ask your real estate professional for a referral. (to find your local real estate professional go to  and click Find My Agent)

My next blog will be on How to Price your Property For Sale.

Until next time.

Cheers Dianne

Dianne Ray Realty

Source: Book- How to Sell your Home for More;;;;;

Shifting Interstate

What do you know about when you shift from one home to another home, especially Interstate? You really think you know what is involved and you have everything covered but boy things are forgotten or new things arise unexpectedly.
Recently I shifted interstate, sold my home in Brighton, Queensland and purchased a home in Newhaven, Victoria. Being a real estate agent I thought I had everything covered. But did I!!
Firstly I would like to say, when you sell a home, this is a very stressful time. You have a settlement date and you have to be packed up and have cleaned the home by a certain time. What happens if the removalist truck arrives late or you are still packing after settlement? “Panic”! Usually the selling process is a snowball effect. The new owners have to move out of their home because the buyers of their home are moving in on the settlement day and maybe they have sold their home and the buyers are moving in into their sold home, all on the same settlement day. All property settlements are happening on the same day. What a debacle! Thus very stressful to all concerned and everyone has to be shifted and out and cleaned up before the settlement time on settlement day. Not easy!
You have to arrange to disconnect and reconnect all your utilities: electricity, gas, telephone, Pay TV, internet and whatever else. You have to be at your new home for connections to happen and the companies say “between 8am to 12noon, or 2pm to 6pm and you have to be at your new home for all this to happen. What a nuisance and time waster. How do you do this if you are working and do not know anyone who can be there!
Other areas you have to change – address changes for your communication such as banks, Medicare, private health, memberships, electoral roll, and more, the list keeps on going.
I might add you always find out some other problems and cannot work out how certain appliances operate or the pool pump is not working or whatever. All I can say it is fun.
When you move interstate this is very interesting. Because in Australia each State has different laws and settlement for your new property, you have purchased interstate has to be at least 4 days after the settlement of your sold home. This is because of transfer of funds to the conveyancers Trust Account or due to the bank timing. So what happens during this time? You have to arrange accommodation for at least 4 to 5 days and what happens to your furniture? It is sitting in a furniture truck. The removalist can charge you for storage, or the amount of days to unload. Or you can do what I did and this does not happen all the time, I gained early access to the property to unload the furniture. You cannot stay in the new home until settlement has happened. This can only happen if the sellers have moved out earlier. Be prepared for this.
You have settled and you have moved into your new home and all is really feeling good. On the first night you pop the cork to celebrate the purchase. You are feeling quite excited about your new venture. The next day after feeling absolutely exhausted you have to face the task of unpacking. Hint- the quicker you can do this the better. When the unpacking is finished it feels so much better.
The next thing is getting to know your community. This is daunting when you do not know anyone. It helps if you have children but if you do not, joining clubs you are interested in, is the only way to meet people. I play golf so I joined the golf club straight away and also I am in Rotary.
I am starting to meet people and starting to feel I am belonging to a new community.


How to Sell Your Home for More!



How to Sell Your Home for More!

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How much is your property REALLY worth?



Okay.  It’s been an interesting 12 months with its fair share of economic triage.  There’s been speculation about everything from employment, inflation, the price of gold, interest rates and the value of real estate which many would say is where the whole mess started.

Of course the banks are in the cross-hairs for approving loans with repayments that could never be sustained.  But the media who crucify them daily seem to overlook the millions of homeowners who took the plunge, bought and now own real estate they never could under current qualifying rules.

But I digress…

What does the next year hold for property owners?  Will our investments, including the sacred roof over our heads, be worth more or less a year out from now?  It seems the answer depends on where you are.   Canada officially went into a recession and is out.  The US went into a bigger recession and if you go state-by-state, many are still in one (unless you want an apartment in Manhattan which is ‘boomtown’ right now).  Australia never officially went into a recession and prices are great in some areas and down in others depending on supply and demand.  New Zealand just won the gong for being the most non corrupt country on the planet so needless to say everyone wants to live in the jewel of the South Pacific so prices are strong in major cities.

The US Government bailout looks to have worked, however the long term effect of this on the economy is unknown.  Debt levels in the USA have never been anything like where they are today and we’re talking about a country spending more than one billion dollars a day fighting two wars.  The strength of the US dollar and trending inflation are the two big question marks.

General economic views confirm we can look forward to slow and steady growth but I fear this gives false hope to property owners who really want to sell but are holding out for the next big boom.  In fact, an increase in bank mortgage rates is usually followed by a softening in prices.

The best advice I can offer is to speak with your local real estate professional and get a solid local opinion.  Every area and every market is different.  Only your local pro knows.  Click here to arrange a current market opinion with the recommended real estate professional in your area


Article By Ray Wood.
Founder & CEO of Bestagents Real Estate Group



Housing Market predictions.


No Australian housing crash, but market could stagnate for a decade: Residex’s John Edwards


Australia’s housing market is not heading for a crash but could undergo a decade-long period of stagnation with house prices declining in real terms, according to Residex CEO John Edwards.

Speaking to Peter Switzer on Sky Business this week, he said a stagnation in house prices was likely if “things continue to the way they are going and the government and RBA do not do the things they need to do” to stimulate a recovery.

“In real terms they are likely to fall marginally over the next decade,” Edwards said.

“A little pessimistic, I know,” he added.
According to Edwards, long-term stagnation only occurs during very severe recessionary or depressionary periods.

However, he said given what was happening in Europe and other parts of the world there could be a global crisis.  “We have one now, but it could get worse.”

Locally, he says the key factor is the unemployment rate.  But he tempered these comments by saying that even in periods when things go badly, property tended to do better than other asset classes.  “The stock market is much more volatile – and you see something [like a crash] much more often.

“Housing remains the best in terms of investment and the lowest and safest risk option.”

Looking at the current capital city housing market, he said the bottom line was that the housing market had improved somewhat over the last few months.
But he said Residex data indicated the housing market was very fragile.
“It has been improving, but it has been in and out of correction in recent times.”

Residex has Australian house prices down around 1.4% to a median of $430,00 for the year to July and unit prices up 0.8% to a median value of $401,500.

Edwards said Sydney was now doing OK and Brisbane is “well out of its correction phase” but Melbourne “looks like it is about to enter a correction phase”.

Edwards said rental rates would rise substantially above inflation due to a shortage of rental property.  “Across the market there are good places to be and bad places to be.”

“Generally the unit market is doing better than houses because of better affordability.
“This is the market that is going to perform best provided we don’t have oversupply issues like markets like Melbourne,” said Edwards.


Queensland Stamp Duty

The good news for real estate in Queensland is that the newly elected State Government announced that Cabinet approved the reinstatement of the owner occupied home stamp duty concession from 1st July 2012.

This is great news for buyers, but has meant some purchases are holding off buying, and why not! The saving is going to be approximately $6,500. First home buyers pay zero stamp duty on their first place of residence (up to $500,000).