The Power of Providing a Building and Pest Report Beforehand

I've got to share this one. I think a lot of people are catching onto this wave and I think it's a great movement that we're doing so I wanted to talk to you about the power of having and providing a building and pest report prior to your buyer being involved and signing a contract.

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Selling Quickly

There was a situation with a particular home and It's had a few buyers humming in and around it and there were two buyers in particular that are really interested in the property. Both buyers knew they were actually in competition, but one buyer wanted to go and conduct their own building and pest inspection and one buyer was willing to go and look at the one that was recently just done.

So what happened in this negotiation from a seller's perspective, is that we're trying to do get the seller into a really clean position, unconditionally, as quick as possible. There are only a few standard terms within the contract itself so obviously, you've got your deposits, the initial deposit, your balance deposit, then you've got the price before that as well.

Create as much transparency as possible.

Then you've got the building, the pest and the finance. And finally, the settlements and any other special conditions in there. And each one of those conditions represents a certain level of risk when you're selling a home because a buyer has to meet that requirement. What I’ve found is that if we can eliminate and create as much transparency as possible behind the home and put that buyer into a very clear position, then the progress becomes easier. You must find a building inspector that's willing to talk to the buyers afterwards as well.

So after we gave them the report, the negotiation went smoothly. We got to talking about the price, about the terms of the offer, the finance and the building and pest. We asked them “do you know that we've got a current and clean building and pest report in the property?” They said, "We'd love to go and see that because we’ve read the report and we're happy with it and we would be comfortable in moving in."

Provide a clear understanding of the properties overall situation.

The buyer that are more ready to buy will be educated on how building and pest reports work as opposed to a buyer that's probably never read one before and might freak out. So anyway, we gave the buyer the building and pest report, then the buyer came back to us within a day and basically turned around and said, "Well, I'm happy with the report. I'm going to remove that from my actual conditions of the offer and I'm now only subject to the finance and the other standard terms, which are the price, deposit, and settlement." And what you've done from a seller's perspective is you've provided a clear understanding behind where your home is at. By the way, everything's regulated these days. Every building inspector has got a licence number and it's quite serious now.

Get a stronger negotiation position.

Another thing that's happened during the event itself is the buyer has put themselves in a much stronger negotiation position. It's worked way well for the buyer. And from our perspective, it's another thing that we don't have to deal with other problematic things that happen after the contract is signed. Oftentimes, when you get a property under contract subject to building and pest inspection, there’s a real looming period.

We don't know which buildings the inspector will go and get, you don't know what type of buyers you're going to have. Now, if a buyer wants to go and get their own building and pest report, by all means, go ahead and do it. That's not a concern for us. But with respect of how this contract work goes, we eliminated the significant part of the terms of the contract. The buyer, in turn, put themselves in the position to own the home and fundamentally secured that house.
 

So the power of actually getting a building and pest report prior to your campaign is significant. I highly recommend that you guys go out there and get one done or take in all the things that might come up inside the report fixed, get the report redone. Hope that works for you guys. I look forward to seeing you guys at the opens and have a great day.

JETT RUSSELL

Free Letter From Santa

GET IN THE SPIRIT AND ORGANISE A PERSONAL LETTER FROM SANTA FOR YOUR CHILDREN, FRIENDS OR RELATIVES

All kids love Christmas and it's important to ensure that we make each year count for them. That is why we're providing free personalised letters to children (or the young at heart) from Santa.

There are numerous ways in which you can order your free Santa letter. Simply provide us with your name, address and phone number and the names of the kids that you want the letter sent to in the below form.

Order your free Santa Letter prior to 17th December to ensure delivery before Christmas Day.

P.S It’s absolutely free and will be sure to put smiles on faces! Don’t delay, it’s easy to order and takes less than a minute.

Must reside within the Newcastle/Greater Hunter Region

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Adult/Parent Name
Child/Children Name *
Child/Children Name
Child/Children Name
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Light Up Your Home Better: Benefits of Good Lighting

Picking new furniture for your new home is an adventure! From couches, appliances, and accents, there are so many to choose from. However, in this frenzy, lighting is often forgotten. 

You might not notice it since lighting is such a basic part of our life, but these little lights—especially if they’re used right—benefit us in many ways. 

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Good lighting makes any room look larger.

Lighting helps with the illusion of space. When your room is a bit small, insufficient lighting (combined with incorrect furniture) makes it feel cramped. Also, isn’t it nice to have a well-lit room with natural lighting and natural air?? Even if it’s not large, being lit well will make a huge difference.


Good lighting sets the mood.

A room’s lighting also sets the mood. You might want a restful and relaxed feel for your living room, and a more intimate mood for the bedrooms. No matter the size of the room is, lighting can create a positive aura that makes you feel more at home. 


Good lighting makes you more productive. 

Aside from providing a relaxing ambiance, having the right  lighting in your home makes you more productive. Task lighting—straightforward and bright lights—in certain areas of your home such as kitchen, home office, garage, and study area are essential. 

How to Light Up Your Home Properly

You ask now, “How can my home have good lighting?” Fear not, because I got your back. Here’s how you do it:

Break your room down. 

Think of it like  a cake. The most prominent layer is the base—in this case, general lighting. They enable you to see and walk around the room. They’re the majority of a room’s light. 

The second layer is the task lighting. List down the tasks you do in each room and make sure to keep them in mind while wiring.

Last is the icing—the accent lighting. They make the room look better and sets off the mood.

Keep the switches in mind. 

Separate the switches for the three layers for easy control. For example, if you’re entertaining visitors, it’s easy to turn accent lighting on if their switches are grouped together. You can also use a dimmer switch to give you more control to soften or brighten the lighting whenever you want.

Have a color scheme. 

Yep, lighting should also have a color scheme—even though it’s limited. Bulbs have different shades of white light, from yellowish white to bluish white. To check, look at the Kelvin Colour Temperature and pick ones with similar ratings.

Last Tip: 

Pick bulbs that last longer and cost less, such as LED lights. Not only are they more affordable, but also environment-friendly!
 

There you go! You can now light up your home and your life properly. I’d love to hear what  your house looks like with better lighting - Leave a comment or reach out if you’ve got any questions! 

JETT RUSSELL

Planning For The Settlement Process

When you're going into the settlement as a seller, expect a pre-settlement inspection. It's an inspection that happens just before the settlement, and can be any time before the settlement itself. Expect the buyers to want to come through right at the very end when you're busy and you're packing and you're trying to get your lives moved in order. So keep reading to know few of the things you want to do to be prepared for that.

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Inform the buyers that the home is not readily presentable.

It's important that you let the buyers go in for a pre-settlement inspection. But make sure your agent informs the buyers that the home is not going to be in its open home ready presentation. It's not going to look as good as the photos and it's going to be in shambles and boxes and things going everywhere. So to avoid surprises on the buyer's end, informing them beforehand is a must.

Plan well in advance.

Having information and a plan about when you're gonna pick up your things and when the settlement day and time actually is must be done in advance to have the settlement move in a flawless manner. The time is really important because normally I find they're mostly between 12 and 4 pm, but more predominantly in the afternoons. So if that’s the case, you would want to get yourself out of the house well in advance and ready to move into the next space that you're going into.

Clean your home.

Please, as a seller, please clean your home. When you're getting to the end of the process and you've got boxes, you've got your family, you've got your kids, you've got everything getting ready and it's organized and sorted and you're moving, and usually people the cleaning at the last minute. Most people just go, "Bugger it. I'm not gonna go and clean the home." Or they just do a pretty basic job of it.

It's not a requirement in law to go and clean the home, but I genuinely, genuinely ask and request everyone to go and do this. Please leave your home in a clean state, the way you would love it. You don't have to thoroughly clean the home, but get a cleaner or spend a couple of hours to wipe everything down. If you can do the oven, do it! Usually, people go, "Oh they just left it in the way that they've been using it." And it doesn't leave the buyer in the greatest of impressions.

A messy home can delay the settlement process.

Every now and then if the home is left in bad shape or there's too much stuff around, you will delay your settlement. All these things that you’ve got planned, you might actually muck up or slow down or stop the settlement until the buyers are satisfied with the home during the pre-settlement. Again there’s no law that says that they can actually stop the settlement, but in the same process, let's do everything we can to leave the home better for the next person so that when they get inside the home they just go, "Yep, that's great. Thank you." Get organized, makes a big difference.
 

So that's what I've got. I hope these pre-settlement tips help you out in a big way to make the settlement process a better experience for both parties. See you at the open homes!

JETT RUSSELL

6 Tips to Attract Buyers When Selling Your Home

At the end of the day, if you want to sell your home you need people to see it! You also want to make sure that when they DO see it, they want to take it. There’s a lot of competition out there and you need to give yourself the best chance of success. Here are six ways to attract more buyers to your property and create a lasting impression.

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Get the word out.

Is your property ready to go? Time to get the word out. Make sure you’ve got professional photos (a video if you can!) and get it into the world. Personally I am a huge fan of social media because of the targeting and cost effectiveness, and I’d strongly recommend you find someone who can help you do this. Some print and offline advertising is always part of the process too.

Both online and offline you need to get the conversation going. Marketing is one of the absolute most important parts of selling property and when you create buzz you create competition, which creates scarcity and then…. Results.

Get a bit of word of mouth going too - tell your friends and family!

Have the home that makes them feel at home.

You often hear that first impression is everything. That’s because it is! Stage areas that you want to highlight within your home and make it warm. Create an attractive place setting and a centerpiece on the dining room table, set up a reading light next to an armchair or get some nice artwork to hang on that empty wall in living room. Things like this have a big impact and you want to make it  feel like a lovely home a buyer would want to live in.


Comfort is everything.

Everybody wants to have a comfortable atmosphere in their home and an air-conditioning system is something that plays a big role in that. Adjust it to a comfortable temperature and keep the rooms bright and full of light. Open curtains or blinds and turn on the lights, especially when the weather is overcast. Bad smells of course are a total no-go!
 

Highlight the season.

Use the seasons to your advantage. During spring and summer, it’s nice to have a vase with fresh flowers in the entrance hall or dining room. During autumn and winter, just have a basket of pinecones by the fireplace to give it that warm feel. And don’t push Christmas past New Year and put away those decors.

Be creative with your incentives.

Come up with an incentive that you know buyers would want and appreciate. You can do things like offering certain pieces of furniture, appliances or artworks at the selling price. It’s especially valuable to buyers if they’ve been custom-made for the property and they want to hang onto it.

 

Trust your agent and give them the keys.

Trust your agent and give them a key to your home. Allow them to easily access your property especially at times when you’re not there or are unavailable because you never know when a buyer will be ready to go. Try not to be too restrictive on viewing times - the more time available for the agent to show the home, the bigger the number of buyers can actually view the property.

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The tips listed here can be easily done by any homeowner and you don’t need to spend too much to attract those buyers. All you need is a creative agent, a well presented home and a simple method to getting the word out. If you want some help, give me a call at 0418 577 200

JETT RUSSELL

How To Buy And Sell At The Same Time

If you want to move into a new home, it’s not just about finding a new place - you also need someone to buy your old property! This obviously creates a logistical headache - so here are the things you need to know before you pull something like this off.
 

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Know the market conditions.

This is the biggest factor in when you should do your purchase and sale. This determines how much your home could sell for, and the price range of the houses you want to buy. Also, the time it takes to buy and sell can differ depending on the market conditions of the locations of your old home and your desired location for a new home.

Choose the right real estate agent for you.

An experienced real estate agent can be priceless in these times, since buying and selling a home at the same time can be stressful. An experienced agent can help you with marketing, strategies, negotiations and also coordination of the overall process. Remember to pick one who’s knowledgeable in your area, so he / she can guide you in deciding the right listing price.

Figure out your finances.

Firstly, find out how much equity you have in your home. Equity is the difference between the house’s market value and how much you still owe on the mortgage. This affects your lending ability which can play a big factor in buying your new place. Also, it’s important to know your home’s resale value. Do an inspection of repairs and other work the house needs before selling and how much of it you can add to your listing price.

Now that you’ve figured the preliminaries, here are questions you need to ask yourself.

  • Will my home be able to sell quickly?

  • How much do I need to find a new home?

  • Is my equity enough for a bridging loan?

  • Can I keep both houses at the same time without a bridging loan? Is my income enough?

If you’re still confused and need help deciding, you can always ask your agent for advice.

At this point in time, you have three options:

  • Sell first, buy later. This is the most viable option if you have little equity or if your house would not be selling fast.

  • Buy first, sell later. If you have a large enough equity and have strong enough income to own two properties at once, you can go on this road.

  • Use a bridging loan. Bridging loan is a short-term loan that bridges the gap between securing a property and arranging a long-term loan. Unlike other loans, this loan’s principal is calculated by this formula: 

bridging loan principal = value of new home + outstanding mortgage of your old home - the old home’s likely sale price

You can do this if you have a strong enough equity but don’t have an income that could hold two properties at once.

  • Buy and sell at the same time. This could be a pain to orchestrate - you need to be organised and get ready for negotiations. You could do this if you have a long settlement in your home - your contract should include a clause that allows you to have forward settlement. This long settlement could last up to six months. This could also happen the other way around: buy a home with a long settlement, find a buyer for your old home, settle both homes on the same day. The catch is this: if you don’t buy a new home in time, you might need to move out and rent somewhere. If you don’t sell your home in time, you might lose your deposit in the new home.
     

Buying a new home and selling your old one could be a crazy roller-coaster ride, if you’re not prepared and organised. If you need more help or advice, I can lend you a hand. Just drop me a line on social media or give me a call on  0418 577 200!

JETT RUSSELL

5 Things You Should Do to Maintain Your Home's Value

Over time your home naturally gets a bit worn down, and there are certain areas that you definitely need to look into to make sure that you’re retaining the value. As a homeowner it’s important you take the time to check your property’s overall condition because it will have an impact when you sell. Plus, nobody wants a shabby home! Here’s 5 things you should do to maintain your home’s value - let’s take a look.

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Curb Appeal.

Your front yard and front door are the first thing people see - so you want to make a good first impression! An attractive entrance doesn’t have to be expensive either - you’ll be surprised at what a few potted plants and some nice garden lighting (if relevant) can do. You might also want to consider a graveled area to add a bit of character if your yard can accomodate for it.

 

Repainting.

This is one of the easiest fixes you can do for your home. Repainting both the interior and exterior of your home can give it a fresh look and a well-maintained appearance. Consider painting the ceiling as well, it will make a dark room look a lot brighter. Remember - when in doubt, go light bright and white!

 

Check the Plumbing.

Plumbing is often a recurring problem for any home. Checking your faucets, toilets, showers, and pipes for leaks - it’s worth it! It will help you avoid a potentially disastrous plumbing issue... Find a little time every month or so to check your plumbing system for your own peace of mind.

 

Protection From Termites.

Termites suck. Be proactive here! Don’t wait around for them to come to you,  because by then it might be too late for you to fix the damage. Find yourself a pest professional that can treat your home for termite prevention and this will be one of the best investments you can have for your home. (If you need a guy, give me a call on 0427 124 345 - I’ve got a guy!)


 

Regular Cleaning.

Don’t just clean right before home inspection or before an open house. You can make it a lot easier if you clean your house regularly. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore clean just enough to keep it neat - it’s a good idea to do it once a month. With regular cleaning, your home can have a better value and will age a lot more gracefully over time.

 

Bonus Tip - Check Your Roof.


Bonus tip here… You don’t need to actually replace your roof if you can help it (that’s expensive). But checking for leaks and damage can save you a LOT of trouble (and money) when you’re proactive. Just checking for clogged gutters and chipping paint can seriously save you from having to completely replace your roof after a few years. Your roof can add a huge value to your home (and also hurt your value if buyers see it as something they have to fix).

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Keeping the value of your home is easy when you’re proactive and you know what to maintain. Just keep in mind that like anything else you own, your house needs maintenance too. If you want to know more call me on 0418 577 200 any time.

JETT RUSSELL

Four Things You Must Do Before Moving To A New Area

Moving is a big adventure, but one that must be undertaken with caution. It involves a lot of careful research and planning. From my experience of being an agent, I have helped lots of people move out of their old homes and into new ones. From those experiences, here are some tips that can help you!

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1. Ask yourself: is it time?

Is it time to move out? To find out, here’s a small questionnaire:

  • Do you feel stuck?
  • Is your budget stretched too thin?
  • Does your current place not support your goals?
  • Do you like the weather in your current location?
  • Do you complain about your city all the time?

If your answer to all these questions are a big YES!, then you might really need to move.

2. Research the area you want to move into.

Even though you already have an area in mind, you still need to research it. Knowledge is your friend here. The internet is, too. Here are some things you need to research:

  • Cost of living. Look into how much you need to spend on basic necessities such as housing, food, health care, and taxes.
  • Employment opportunities. If you’re moving to a new area without a job waiting for you there, you might need to secure a job first.
  • Neighbourhood. What kind of neighbourhood do you want to be in? Check the distance of the  neighbourhood from establishments, schools, hospitals, etc. It’s also important to look into crime rates and other statistics, weather hazards, and the like to ensure an area’s safety.
  • Transportation options. Would you need a car or would you need to use public transportation to get around? Which neighbourhoods have the best routes and train lines? What are your parking options if you need a car
  • Quality of life. Do you see being satisfied and happy in the new area? Consider your financial security, health, safety, and family life.

It would also be helpful if you actually go to the neighbourhoods you’re eyeing, to get a personal feel of the place.

3. Look for real estate agents in the area.

Search for real estate agents in your desired area. Interview them to know how knowledgeable they are about the area you want to move in. You’d want an agent that is good with people and a good negotiator. You can also ask details for:

  • Comparables. These are the homes recently sold, which could be used as a benchmark on how much homes cost. You could use them to avoid overpaying.
  • Market temperature. Are you buying in a hot, cold, or neutral market? The market temperature is indicative of the number of homes being sold and their final price.

4. Learn more about inspections and disclosures.

Find out which inspections are performed and disclosures you can expect to receive. You can ask your agent some of these questions:

  • Do state laws govern transfer of ownership? Do they also command inspections?
  • What types of repairs do sellers cover?
  • Are pest inspections part of the contract?
  • Who pays for home building inspections?

Another thing you need to know is the disclosure of material facts. Material facts are information about a property that may affect a buyer’s decision. Material facts include the occurrence of violent crimes, murder, and even the suspected presence of ghosts. Seller’s agents are required by law to disclose those kinds of information to avoid misleading buyers.

Here are some more tips if you have decided which area to move in:

  • Set up a moving budget. Moving still costs money, so be prepared for it.
  • Research movers. Look for recommendations online, or better yet, ask your friends, family or neighbours.
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask for cost estimations.
  • Get all the move-related paperworks in order, to avoid hassle.
  • Create an inventory and divide it into three groups--bring, sell/donate, and throw away. This will help you sort your belongings out, and hey, you can earn money or help people, too!

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Start your new chapter armed with knowledge through these tips! You’ll never know when you’ll need them. And if you need help in finding a home or setting up to sell, just reach out to me at 0418 577 200! Talk soon!

JETT RUSSELL

Buying a Home? Make Sure You Read This...

I want to talk about the importance of showing your interest in a campaign, and primarily as the buyer. See when we launch a property and we do all the marketing, and do all the information and take it to its first point of interest, with the first showing we get inbounded with phone calls, SMSes, inspections in the home itself and questions that are always coming forward. And what we're doing is we're filtering through all the people. So it’s important to show your interest in a home straight away.

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Agents can’t keep track of everything.

Agents go through a wide range of people that come through the home itself, which are the ones that really want the home. And we're going to make sure that everyone is given as many opportunities, as much space to declare their best interest in the home. But sometimes you get some really good campaigns, where there will be 15, 20, 30 people running through the front door. Especially when you get those big open homes, where you get 30 to 40 people running through. You get a lot of people and in any one given period of time, it’s important to talk or converse with the Agent there and then, or send a simple text message afterwards, or just do something that can show that you are interested to find out if the home is available for you and if you can buy it.

 

Always try to have your say.

This happened to a lady, and she literally said, to the effect of the words, "I didn't get to have my say." That's probably one of the most disappointing things that a buyer can go through in a campaign itself. When you go through all the effort, you make all the inspections, you do all your checks, and so forth and you don't actually say anything. So even if there are too many people or so much going on, just start making an offer.

 

Be transparent in your interest in a home.

The other thing that's really important is to be transparent in your interest in a home. Because if you don't make yourself aware, or known to the agent, what happens is, you basically turn around and say, "I've never had a chance to have my say." So it's important to make sure that you show the Agent your interest. Tell them that you like this home, or ask them if they can talk to you in a private location if you don’t like declaring your interest in front of others. The more transparent you are, the more transparent they'll be with you.

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So that’s it for my thoughts about showing your interest when it comes to a home. Anyways, give me a call at 0418 577 200 if you ever need more advice for your home. See you at the opens.

JETT RUSSELL