What marketing should I agree to as a vendor?

As part of the property sale process, agents pitching for your business will present you with a marketing proposal. 

Having the right marketing is an essential part of a successful sale campaign and unavoidable. Like most things today, you will need to advertise to be seen, and in addition to marketing, there are other costs that the agency will need to recoup from you.

It’s a misconception that the agency will bear the cost of marketing to secure a sale commission – the expense is the vendor’s responsibility.

There are other legitimate costs too, but be aware that legislation covering the real estate industry only allows for recoupment of all marketing and sundry additional expenses. The agency cannot add a margin.

How do I know where to advertise?

Assuming you chose a local agent, they know what will work best given their locality expertise. 

A typical marketing plan, all at your cost as the vendor will include:

  • Internet advertising – by far the most effective and the internet cost will absorb most of the budget.
  • Print media in some cases
  • 360-degree virtual tour movie inside and outside 
  • Photography
  • An auction board, sometimes fitted with solar-powered lighting
  • Handout brochures for Open for Inspections 
  • Copywriter fees 
  • Artwork and production 

Internet Advertising

Your agency will select what has worked best in the past, but by market share, make sure it includes these first two in addition to your agency’s site:

  • realestate.com.au and domain.com.au 
  • Your selected agency’s site. The agency will always include your property in their own branded web site. 
  • If the agency suggests other internet sites, ask the questions – what’s the reasoning behind the selection and the cost?

How much should I spend?

Typically, a well-constructed campaign will cost you as much as $8,000 for a property exceeding $1 million. As you would expect, the more expensive the property, the higher the marketing expense particularly when print media comes into play. Payment can be deferred until the property settlement for an additional small fee.

As vendor advocates, we advise you on agent selection the right campaign for your property, the cost and the method of saleCall us at ela Property Advocates to discuss your options for selling or buying a property. Guy Angwin: guyjohn@iinet.net.au, 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe: geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419 740 351.

This year’s Spring may start in February 2021?

The Spring season has historically been a high volume selling period for Inner Melbourne. However, this year due to Covid-19, the spring market only opened on October 19th. And now we see a significant shortage of stock as vendors were unable to hire tradespeople from doing any listing preparation work and real estate agencies were closed.

Our opinion is what might have listed this Spring, will now move to February/March 2021 as:

  • Stock levels may improve as vendors will gain some confidence from sales made this quarter.
  • There will be time to prepare stock for February 2021 unlike Spring this year
  • Interest rates have continued to fall 
  • All indications are the economy will continue its recovery as we learn to manage with Covid-19

Families will be looking too. After an extensive lockdown period, families have been spending more time together than ever before. The functionality and floorplan layout may have come under pressure during close living conditions. 

As a result, families about to enter the market might be searching for:

  • More space
  • Improved functionality 
  • Renovated interiors or renovation projects 
  • Proximity to schools, shops, medical and public transport 
  • Parklands and exercise areas 

All of these factors indicate This year’s Spring may start in February 2021Call us at ela Property Advocates to discuss your options for buying or selling in 2021. Guy Angwin: guyjohn@iinet.net.au, 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe: geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419 740 351.

Auctions are different, but property fundamentals remain the same.

The selling environment in Melbourne has been through some dramatic changes. We had a period of no auctions, and then online auctions only, a new concept for many agents.

Last weekend we transitioned to 10 only attendees plus agency staff, and perhaps soon we will return to the full open unlimited auction experience. Despite the disruption, the market has still functioned, but vendors are still wary, and stocks of quality houses low. 

What we observed with the opening of the auction market was a potent reminder of the fundamentals. 

One auction we attended attracted just one bidder and one other onlooker despite healthy market demand.

Why? 

The fundamentals of the property weren’t quite right. The property was promoted as a sizeable five-bedroom family home, but the layout was not functional, the pool dominated the back yard, and there were no green lawn areas for children.

The gally kitchen position was separated from the family and living zones, and overall, the market assessed it as a C grade property. The market functioned efficiently, and the property attracted little interest.

The reminder to buyers and us again is that C Grade properties will always struggle in nearly all market conditions. 

However, at the other end of the scale, the demand for A-Grade properties is healthy. Stock is short and will remain so. Auction competition is active with multiple bidders, and in our view, this will continue for the foreseeable future for A-Grade properties. (See our story: https://elapropertyadvocates.com/2020/04/27/buy-when-the-right-house-comes-along-dont-wait/)

And to our readers, here’s a reminder of what constitutes an “A Grade” property in inner Melbourne.

  • The land content is consistent with the precinct and the property not overcapitalised.
  • The location is away from main roads or busy streets and preferably in quiet and pleasant streetscapes. 
  • The property is ideally walking distance to shops, medical facilities, open spaces, school and transport. 
  • The building itself. Scarcity, for example, period homes, the build quality, orientation on the block and a functional floorplan. 

As buyers advocates, we work for you to assess properties you may be considering now. Is the property your looking at an A – B – or C grade property? We also source properties if required, and negotiate on your behalf. 

Call us at ela Property Advocates. Guy Angwin: guyjohn@iinet.net.au 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe: geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419740351.

Do you have an Auction strategy for today’s environment? We do.

The great real estate news for the week is the re-opening of public auctions. Up to ten people can attend a residential auction plus the agency staff conducting the auction. This announcement follows the earlier news that inspections could take place with one agent employee and one interested party. 

Ten might sound a small number for an auction, but there would rarely be that many people bidding on one property. The agency team will sort out pretty quickly who can attend after pre-qualifying genuine purchasers. The new norm is a smaller, qualified crowd and more likely that those you see at the auction have a genuine interest. 

This news is great for vendors and purchasers, many of whom have been in a holding pattern for 2020. Agents are also excited about on-site auctions as they are transparent and unconditional.  

To be successful at auction, you will need multiple strategies, and that’s where we come in. 

  • Auctions today will be different – those attending are probably genuine buyers. What is your bidding strategy with a smaller group?
  • Not every auction or property is going to be the same. Do you have and A B and C strategy ready? 
  • What’s your strategy if there are no bidders or multiple bidders?
  • What is the best time for you to start your bidding?  
  • If an auction is a pass in, how will you negotiate?
  • Do you negotiate inside or outside?

Call us at ela Property Advocates to talk about your game plan and how we can help you search, assess and enhance your auction outcomes. 

Guy Angwin: guyjohn@iinet.net.au 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe: geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419740351.

The Emotional or Financial purchase

During your property journey, there may come a time when you consider a particular property because it satisfies an emotional need rather than a financial need.

An Emotional Property purchase may be:

  • Apartment
  • Holiday house
  • Farm
  • Townhouse
  • Snow chalet
  • Flat
  • House and land package

Financial Property purchase may be:

  • Period home on 700 sqm of land
  • A property where the depreciated value of the house is less than 40% of the total purchase price
  • The property located within 10 minutes walk of a train station, shops and parklands
  • Historically the capital growth of the property has outperformed the market
  • Ideally, the property has a northerly orientation to the rear
  • Has off-street parking for at least one car
  • Located in an inner-city suburb 
  • Strong residential street with limited or no commercial or high-density residential developments
  • When you bought the property, there were other interested buyers

There will come a time in your life when buying a property is about satisfying more of your emotional needs than financial needs – it’s just unavoidable. 

Some examples of emotional purchases that may occur in your lifetime:

  • A country person looking for a Melbourne apartment 
  • An overseas buyer who needs to satisfy immigration requirements and can only purchase a newly constructed home or apartment 
  • A health care worker who needs an apartment very close to their work so they can be on call 
  • Retirees who may have a place in the country yet still like to come to the city regularly, and doesn’t want a property that requires regular maintenance
  • A family buyer who wants a low maintenance property with floor plan flexibility and convenience that only comes from a new build
  • A retired person or couple that doesn’t have the physical capacity to maintain a large family home with a garden

At some stage in your life, you will have to make an emotional property purchase. However, you can still give yourself every opportunity to improve the potential for capital growth by trying to include as many of the following as you can.

Apartments:

  • Does the property have a view?
  • Is it close to trains, parks, schools, medical, shops and cafes?
  • The layout – study the floor plan carefully – does it work – does it have floorplan flexibility?
  • What are your neighbours like – can the great view be built out? 
  • Your neighbours – are they owner-occupiers or are they transient?
  • Parking – do you have on-site parking and how easy is the access, and not everyone loves car stackers  
  • Does your apartment have a pool and gym – what cost is that going to add to OC fees? 
  • High ceilings are super important.
  • A smaller block of apartments tends to hold their value better.
  • Is the orientation, light and how is your privacy?
  • Storage locker/cage. 
  • Noise – is this a quiet apartment block or a “party tower.”?
  • Owner Corporation Fees – have you budgeted for them?

Beach House/Farmlet:

  • Is your beach house within an hour and a half drive of the CBD?
  • What are your neighbours like?
  • How far from the beach are you?
  • Where are the nearest shops?
  • Where is the nearest doctor and hospital?
  • Does the property have a view?
  • Can any adjoining developments impact your property?
  • Would your property appeal as a rental?
  • Are there any immediate or ongoing maintenance issues?

Managing your emotional/financial needs when buying a property is very complicated. If you would like to discuss your property journey, please don’t hesitate to contact us at ela Property Advocates.

Guy Angwin guyjohn@iinet.net.au 0412 022 998 or GeoffBriscoe geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419740351.

A flexible approach could help vendors get a better result

As the market re-opens, agents and vendors will use a variety of sales methods. Is the classic process of listing, marketing campaign, then zoom auction going to be the best strategy for vendors to sell their property after the recent COVID 19 shutdown?

Vendors will need a flexible approach to achieve the best outcome, and not one sales process alone is going to work. 

What selling options will agents recommend? 

  • Some agents will recommend a quote range for a private sale
  • Others may recommend a fixed price 
  • Expressions of Interest (EOI) with a closing date have been popular during the lockdown
  • Zoom online auctions have also worked 

All options will have a place in the market for now. Our view is that a skilful agent who can think on their feet and align with not one but many strategies is the right selection. 

Careful agent selection is vital, and if you’re not sure how to select the right agent with a flexible approach, that’s where we come in. 

  • Do you choose a large agency group or a local boutique agency?
  • Within agencies there are great agents – we help you select both.
  • Listing agents will have a partner; does that partner compliment the listing agent’s weaknesses?
  • Which agent has a track record of selling this type of property in this price range in your precinct?
  • What current buyers do they have that could match your property.
  • Are they skilled online auctioneers? 

In addition to agent selection, ela Property Advocates negotiates commission, reviews the marketing and recommends the sale type, e.g., auction, EOI or private sale. 

Email or call us at ela Property Advocates, Guy Angwin guyjohn@iinet.net.au 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419740351.

Are you ready to buy or sell?

Despite the full or partial market closedown, the feedback from agents is they have a surprisingly high level of listings. In their view, it will be a strong opening when the market resumes tomorrow.

But, will the financial pressure of COVID 19 impact on the quality of properties about to hit the market? Are we going to see an influx of “B” and “C” grade properties dominate new listings as financial pressure starts to hit home?

So what do I do now as a Vendor?

Healthy competition for quality properties will most likely be a feature of the market when it opens tomorrow.  

What if I’m a buyer?

You may be up against some intense competition for quality properties which, in our opinion, should remain in short supply.

  • Have a good plan and strategy
  • Ensure your preparations are complete as time on the market for quality properties has recently been less than 30 days.
  • Have a flexible approach and research the opening market trends and direction
  • Do you know how to bid at an auction or negotiate pre-auction or private sale?
  • See our article for a “Ready for when stage 4 is over”?https://elapropertyadvocates.com/2020/08/16/ready-for-when-stage-4-is-over/

If you don’t know how to do the above, that’s where we come in. We search, assess the value, bid, negotiate and gain early access to pre and off-market properties through our real estate relationships.

Email or call us at ela Property Advocates, Guy Angwin guyjohn@iinet.net.au 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, 0419740351.

Victorian Real Estate is Open for Business

Date: 27 Sep 20

MEDIA RELEASE  FROM REIV TODAY                                         

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria welcomes the announcement today by the Premier of Victoria, Hon. Daniel Andrews, MP that private inspections for purchase or leasing of properties can recommence from 11:59 pm Sunday 27 September 2020.

Relaxing of the restrictions that have stopped Victorians buying, selling or leasing their property will see a slow and gradual return to real estate transactions in Melbourne. This will be an enormous relief to buyers, sellers and renters alike, many of whom have been suffering severe financial and emotional stress over the past few weeks. The announcement is also welcomed by the real estate profession as it will enable the first step in the resumption of property transactions and getting people back to work doing what they do best, helping Victorians find a home.

The REIV highlighted to government the impact that the ban on inspections has had on the property market. Spring is usually the peak time for sales however the inability to conduct any inspections saw the number of transactions plummet. The number of auctions over August was down by over 80% compared to recent years, with September numbers reduced to under 10 per week. Although virtual auctions and inspections were permitted, the reality is that most people will not purchase or lease a property sight unseen. Being able to inspect properties in a private and safe manner will enable on-line auctions and private sales to return.

The REIV appreciates the engagement with Hon. Melissa Horne Minister for Consumer Affairs, who took the industry’s feedback on-board and played an important role in developing a re-opening strategy based on the information provided.

Real estate agents will now be able to conduct inspections by private appointment. While we await further details regarding the Second Step, REIV Members are prepared with all safety measures in place to ensure the market can resume in a safe and efficient manner. 

Comments attributable to REIV CEO Gil King:
“This is great news for Victorians and should be seen as a positive and encouraging step towards a return to ‘normal’.”

Comments attributable to REIV President Leah Calnan:
“It is encouraging to see that the plight of many Victorians who were unable to make decisions about their own property has been reconsidered by the government.”

“This decision is recognition that the real estate profession can be trusted to conduct inspections in a safe and responsible manner. We have done so previously, and will continue to do so for the benefit of all Victorians.”

Is your pool and spa registered? November 1 is the deadline.

The Victorian Government has introduced mandatory registration for pools and spas commencing November 1 2020.

Registration:

Why take this step to register pools and spas?

It’s part of a new process to ensure all pools and spas comply with building and pool regulations. Right now the State Government estimates there are 222,000 pools and spas in the state but Russell Small, the General manager of Victorian Pool Safety Services, estimates it’s over 300,000. Voluntary compliance has not worked in the past resulting in massive non-complying numbers and uncertainty.

According to Mr Small from what he has seen so far, he estimates 85% of all private Victorian pools and spas don’t comply with protection barrier regulations.

But remember its registration by November 1, not compliance. Getting non-complying pools and spas up to regulations comes later, but if you don’t register your pool and spa by the November 1, 2020, deadline you could be fined between $330 and $1,652 

What to do now:

Here’s the process you should follow now:

  • Register your pool and spa with your council, it’s around $79 to do so 
  • Wait for your council’s response, they will write to you with a “build” date/year – this is important because that date dictates exactly which compliance rules apply to your pool or spa.
  • Then call in the experts; for example, Victorian Pool Safety Services  victorianpoolsafetyservices.com.au.
  • They or other pool experts will assess your pool and arrange compliance works.
  • Once the works are done and signed off the compliance certificate is issued.

And it’s not over then, every four years you will need an inspection to ensure continued compliance just like a roadworthy on a car.

Property Settlement risk:

And finally, after November 1, pool and spa compliance may become a significant settlement risk so attend to it now if you are buying or selling. There are examples now, according to Mr Small, where banks are asking for evidence of pools and spas complying before they will settle. Talk to your solicitor/conveyancer about this if you are buying or selling.

And email us at ela Property Advocates, Guy Angwin guyjohn@iinet.net.au or Geoff Briscoe geoffbriscoe@tpg.com.au, to search, assess and buy or sell your next property.