Office shot

Office shot
Dougmal Harcourts - The Property People

Friday, 27 March 2015

Top 5 reasons to choose a professional property management service

Ask any experienced property investor (landlord) and they’ll tell you that property management is not for the faint hearted! Many new landlords assume that managing tenants and the property itself is simple and straightforward. They don’t realise there is a huge amount of administration and effort that goes into successfully managing a property.

I have compiled a list of 5 of the most important things a professional property management agency will do for you in managing your investment property.

1) Finding the right tenant
A professional property management agency knows how to find the best tenant to occupy your property. Property management agencies conduct background checks, reference checks and conduct interviews to ensure that only the best tenants are considered. 

2) Day-to-day tenant management
Property management agencies spend most of their time on the day-to-day management of their landlord’s properties. Property Managers speak to tenants about rent owing, rent increases, noise complaints, and many other issues that arise on a daily basis. 

3) Property maintenance and upkeep
Another aspect of managing a property is property maintenance and repairs. Landlords often under-estimate the amount of work and patience this requires; from dealing with the tenant and addressing their queries, identifying the issue, getting the best quote, and then getting the appropriate repairman/tradesperson to fix the problem. Next is the liaison with the tenant to ensure the repairman can get access at the required time, follow-up, and finally billing and payment. 

4) Rent payments and other issues
Keeping track of rent monies and other payments such as water usage is a huge factor when it comes to managing an investment property. Professional property management agencies have the software and systems to keep track of monies paid, and can immediately attend to non-payments before they become a larger problem. 

5) Regular and thorough inspections of your property
An investment property needs regular inspections that are fully documented, and if needed, supported by photos.
Property Management agencies will organise for these inspections to be done, to ensure tenants are looking after the property as detailed in the tenancy agreement. Any issues are dealt with efficiently by the Property Manager.

Harcourts’ property management service is industry leading and multi-award winning.

For any property management advice, speak to one of our highly experienced property management professionals on 4628 7444.

Friday, 20 March 2015

March Auction Results!

Last week we had our March in-room auction event, held at the Rydges Hotel in Campbelltown. 

The 18th of March in-rooms auction event was certainly action packed! 12 properties were up for Auction, and we had a massive audience of over 200 people.

This auction event achieved some outstanding results, selling 9 of the 12 properties submitted to auction – a 75% clearance rate. Here’s the summary:

RABY, 32 Mirage Avenue - SOLD!
LEUMEAH, 17 Illawarra Road - SOLD!
RABY, 24 Boeing Crescent - SOLD!
BRADBURY, 1 Bocking Avenue - SOLD!
GREGORY HILLS, 64 Healy Avenue – Not yet sold
ESCHOL PARK, 11 Trebbiano Place - SOLD!
AMBARVALE, 21 Tremlow Crescent - SOLD!
LEUMEAH, 10 Carrington Circuit - SOLD!
ROSEMEADOW, 2/260 Copperfield Drive - SOLD!
BARDIA, Lot 2132 Wootten Avenue – Not yet sold
BARDIA, Lot 2197 Wootten Avenue – Not yet sold
ROSEMEADOW, 11 Jessica Place - SOLD!
There was also good bidding on the properties passed-in on the night. Negotiations are continuing and we expect these to sell in the next couple of weeks.

  • Of the properties SOLD, our team achieved on average $21,333 above our vendors’ reserve selling prices.
  • Of the properties SOLD, our team achieved an average of 43 buyer inspections per property during the intensive 21-day marketing campaign leading up to the auction.
  • Of the properties SOLD, there was an average of 5 bidders vying for each property. 
  • 9 of the 12 properties submitted to auction SOLD – a 75% clearance rate!

It was another great auction event with great results. Thank you to our Auctioneer, Paul Casarotto, and the wonderful support from Domain, The Macarthur Advertiser and Harcourts NSW.


Friday, 13 March 2015

What to really focus on at open home inspections

Inspecting potential properties can be both fun and at times draining. Before you begin to inspect at open homes, the best thing to do is to have a list of property attributes. These would be your “must-have attributes” and “nice-to-have attributes”. For instance, “must-have attributes” would be the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garaging etc. “Nice-to-have” attributes may be a theatre room, or home gym.

There are also more things you should look out for at open home inspections:

The dwelling’s structure

Damage from pests – recent termite damage in wooden structures is of high concern. Have a look for bores through wooden frames or dirt tubes in the foundation.

Poor construction – windows and doors that jar, or cracks in the walls around doors and windows are both signs of poor construction.

Wet spots on walls or ceilings – condensation within the home can lead to mould build-up, timber decay, leaks, corrosion and even loss of structural integrity.

Cracks in the foundation – some small cracks can be harmless, however large cracks running down the foundation or across could mean a home is shifting, which can cause significant structural damage over time.

The neighbours

Do they have pets – it might not be an issue, particularly if you have pets of your own. But look for problem pets. Can you hear non-stop barking? Is there any evidence of pet damage to shared fences or common areas?

Do you have a good level of privacy – take a good look around the home from every angle. Would it give you the privacy you want?

The location

The property is on a busy main road – can you hear the noise from inside the house? A property on the main road also attracts lower prices than others that are not.

The property is next to a retail or commercial space – this can cause issues with local business traffic, parking and noise.

The property’s proximity to a train line – a property close to public transport is always convenient and attractive to tenants, however, one backing onto a train line can be very noisy. 

Powerlines over the property – these lessen the value of property as they are unsightly, sometimes noisy, and are a concern due to claims that living close to them can cause health issues.

The property is on a flood plain – look into the property’s history to ascertain whether the property is located in an area that is affected during times of heavy rainfall.

These are the main considerations to look into when going through an open home. If you do decide that the home is for you, gain the help of an independent property inspector to cast a professional eye over the property.

For more information about buying or selling property, contact a Harcourts Sales Consultant today on 4628 7444.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Smart Property Searching

With interest rates remaining low and house prices affordable, more buyers are looking to either get into the property market, upgrade or invest. 

However, before you take the plunge, you should be diligent, do your homework, and be a smart property searcher. 

Online real estate websites have certainly changed the way we search for properties. It is an invaluable resource to efficiently find properties and gain detailed information – all with a few clicks on the mouse! Real estate websites allow you to call up properties for sale in specific price ranges and locations, zoom-in on floor plans and maps, find comparable sold properties, and much more...

Google's Street View and Google Earth is also regularly used to virtually venture up and down streets of interest, viewing properties from different angles.

Given all this, online information is still no replacement for physically inspecting a property, the surrounding area, and the suburb. The Internet is a limited experience, and some visuals and information can be a year or more old! Add to this, your mind can also add to the online visuals and anticipate what is real – and when you visit the property you realise certain aspects are quite different.

Seeing a house for yourself can also tell you all sorts of things the Internet can't. By inspecting the property and its immediate surrounding area you gain an understanding of its vibe, the quality of shopping and dining, neighbours, infrastructure (current and upcoming), the people who live there, and the best and worst streets. None of this can be fully appreciated from the Internet. 

Also, be wary of relying on data gained from the Internet - it is possibly out-of-date or even inaccurate! 

Speaking to a highly experienced real estate agent in the area and gaining accurate and current information is highly important before making property decisions. In addition you can give the agent your specific property requirements that should then be utilised to inform you about relevant properties as they hit the market.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Campbelltown Triumphs at Real Estate Awards

Our team recently attended the Harcourts New South Wales Quarterly Awards to celebrate individual and office real estate achievements for the October – December 2014 quarter. 

We competed against 66 other real estate offices, 150 sales consultants, and over 60 property management professionals across NSW to gain these highly sought-after awards.

Individual Awards Won:

Customer Service Award - Colleen Rapley

Business Development Manager Award - 1st place, Sarena Rowley

Bronze Sales Achievement Award
Gary Ghassibe
Tod Campbell

Silver Sales Achievement Award
Tom Spiljar

Gold Sales Achievement Award
Garth Makowski
Steve Arentz

Sapphire Pin
Steve Arentz

Emerald Pin
Gary Ghassibe

Top 10 Sales Consultants - Income to Office
7th place, Troy Holmes
10th place, Cathy Furness & Shaun Moss

Office Awards Won:

Property Management Office Excellence Award - 1st place

Property Management Business Development Office Award - 1st place 

NSW Top Office (highest gross revenue) - 1st place

Another great result for our team at Harcourts – The Property People. A well deserved win for our hardworking Receptionist and Administrator, Colleen Rapley. Also Sarena Rowley took top honours in property management business development. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

February Auction Results!

Last week we had our first in-room auction event for 2015, held at the Rydges Hotel in Campbelltown. 

Our first Auction event for 2015 was outstanding! Ten properties were up for Auction, and we had a massive audience of over 200 people.

This auction event gained some outstanding results, selling 6 of the 10 properties submitted to auction – a 60% clearance rate. Here’s the summary:

RUSE, 11 Borthwick Road - SOLD!
CAMPBELLTOWN, 11 Paley Street – Not yet sold
CAMPBELLTOWN, 79 Allman Street - SOLD!
AMBARVALE, 34 Haredale Street - SOLD!
BRADBURY, 10 Wandarra Crescent - SOLD!
GLEN ALPINE, 66 Heritage Way – Not yet sold
GREEN VALLEY, Lot 433 Wood Close – Not yet sold
GREEN VALLEY, Lot 432 Wood Close – Not yet sold
CAMPBELLTOWN, 42/31-35 Chamberlain Street - SOLD!
ST HELENS PARK, 90 Kellerman Drive - SOLD!

There was also strong bidding on the properties passed-in on the night. Negotiations are continuing and we expect these to sell in the coming days.

  • Of the properties SOLD, our team achieved on average $37,250 above our vendors’ reserve selling prices.
  • Of the properties SOLD, our team achieved an average of 31 buyer inspections per property during the intensive 21-day marketing campaign leading up to the auction.
  • Of the properties SOLD, there was an average of 7.5 bidders vying for each property. 
  • 6 of the 10 properties submitted to auction SOLD – a 60% clearance rate.

What a fantastic night! The room was absolutely packed and the energy was electric. Everyone worked so well together to create the best possible auction night, and it transpired to excellent results. 

Thanks again to our Auctioneer, Paul Casarotto, and the wonderful support from Domain, The Macarthur Advertiser and Harcourts NSW.


Friday, 13 February 2015

Your Guide to Preparing for Auction

The process of selling your home through auction can be both an exciting and stressful one. There’s a lot to consider before you even get to auction day. That’s why it pays to be as prepared as you can be, have all of your concerns and questions answered, and make a few crucial decisions before the big day.

Auctioning your property is about so much more than simply showing up on auction day. There’s a lot that goes into it beforehand to ensure you achieve the best result possible for your property. Effectively marketing your property is top of the list!

Your agent should walk you through your marketing plan in detail, from the images that’ll be selected and advertised, the copy that will be included, to where the property will be advertised (online, papers, brochures, in-office).

During the campaign, in lead up to auction day, you should expect to hear from your agent on a regular basis, plus a meeting updating you on buyer activity at least once a week. 

Your agent should also be keeping you informed of the market, so that you are in the best position to make decisions come auction day.

When it comes to marketing your property before auction, the rule seems to be “more is more”! The success of your auction can be largely dependent on your marketing campaign. 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. That is money spent on a comprehensive marketing program gained more buyers, more competition on auction day, and a higher final sale price.

It’s important for you to understand and be clear on what your reserve price is, and how it’s used during the auction. Your agent or auctioneer should be able to explain this to you in detail. You don’t have to disclose your reserve price to your auctioneer, but if you do, it shouldn’t affect how your auctioneer performs during the auction. They should be working to ensure you get the best price possible for your property.

That being said, try to avoid openly discussing price with others, to reduce the risk of price leaking out into the market. 

If possible, it is ideal to have you there on auction day if there are any last minute questions.

Your agent will also want to confer with you depending on how the auction is going. If bidding stops below your reserve price for example, your agent will want to discuss next steps with you.