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Aug 4, 2023

Selling your investment property while tenanted?

As a landlord in Victoria, you may be feeling the pressure of recent interest rate increases, prompting you to consider selling your investment property and exploring other opportunities. If you find yourself in this position, it's important to be aware of the challenges and potential pitfalls associated with selling a property while it is still occupied by a tenant. Current laws in Victoria stipulate that the tenant must be given proper notice of the intention to sell the property. This notice can be provided at any time during the lease, whether it is a fixed-term or month-to-month agreement. It's crucial to remember that the tenant has the right to give only two weeks' notice to vacate the property without any penalties. Additionally, you are required to give the tenant at least 24 hours' notice of entry prior to any marketing activities, such as taking photos or creating floor plans. Please note that such activities should be conducted between 8 am and 6 pm, and the tenant may object to having their belongings photographed, which could present an issue during the sales process. During the sales campaign, the tenant is entitled to compensation for half a day's rent or $30, whichever is greater, for each open house inspection. However, sales agents are limited to conducting only two open house inspections per week. One of the challenges in selling a tenanted property is the condition in which the tenant maintains it during the sales process. According to the law, tenants are not required to make any special effort or incur expenses to enhance the property's appeal to prospective buyers. They are only obligated to maintain the premises in a “reasonably” clean condition. The presentation of the property may vary depending on how organised and tidy the tenant is.  Although there are financial challenges of not having a tenant in place during a sales campaign, it remains more cost-effective than selling a property in poor condition, considering the adverse effect it would have on the sale price. To avoid such a scenario, I recommend that your sales agent visits the property and discusses the sales process with the tenant. This is to see if the property will be presentable for a sales campaign and if the tenant is willing to cooperate. Surprisingly, many tenants are more than willing to assist in making the process as seamless as possible. Offering a small financial incentive to the tenant can go a long way in fostering cooperation. Remember, a well-presented and cooperative property can yield better results in terms of sale price and overall buyer interest, making the temporary financial sacrifice worthwhile. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your real estate agent for guidance and support throughout the selling process. Written by Elli Blanco

Jul 21, 2023

Navigating the Melbourne Rental Market: Understanding Seasonal Trends

In the ever-changing landscape of the Melbourne rental market, there is a season for everything. As we reflect on late 2022 and early 2023, one thing becomes clear: renters faced an unprecedented surge in demand while searching for their next home. However, as with any market, there are ups and downs, and understanding seasonal trends can be crucial for both rental providers and renters alike. Melbourne Winter, in particular, has historically witnessed a drop in demand. With fewer people starting new jobs or commencing university courses, and the weather taking a turn for the worse, many tend to hunker down, leading to a decrease in rental activity. However, it's essential to note that some property types and areas may still enjoy sustained demand, while others might experience a slowdown. Rental providers need to be mindful of media reports indicating low vacancy rates across the board. While this might be true for certain suburbs, it doesn't necessarily apply to every area. In some neighborhoods, there could be a notable number of vacant residences, giving renters the advantage to choose and even negotiate for a better rental price. As the rental market can fluctuate rapidly, being able to adapt to these changes and consider price adjustments if necessary will ensure securing a tenant sooner rather than later. For renters, it's wise to keep an eye on seasonal trends and market shifts. Understanding the patterns can help plan the search for a new rental property strategically. While competition may be fierce during peak seasons, waiting for off-peak times like Winter could present opportunities for better deals and more options. As the market continues to evolve, both rental providers and tenants should stay informed and proactive. Being in touch with property management professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance to navigate the rental market successfully. For any questions or assistance related to property management, please feel free to get in touch. Our team is here to help you make informed decisions and thrive in the ever-changing rental landscape. Written by Jordan Palma

Jul 7, 2023

Methods of Sale - Maximising Efficiency and Effectiveness

In this article we're going to delve into the exciting world of buying and selling, but don't worry, we're keeping it short and sweet. We're going to explore the differences between three common methods - auctions, private sales, and expressions of interest. So grab a comfy seat and let's get chatting! First up, auctions! Picture this - a room filled with enthusiastic bidders, an auctioneer with a rapid-fire cadence (check out our newest auction video on our socials), and that unmistakable thrill in the air. Auctions are like a rollercoaster ride of emotions, where properties go to the highest bidder. It's an adrenaline-fueled battle to secure that prized possession. Whether it's a house, artwork, or even a briefly seen storage locker (have you seen storage wars?!), auctions offer a dynamic and fast-paced experience. One key advantage of an auction is transparency. The bidding process is open for all to see, eliminating any doubts about fairness. Plus, the competitive nature can drive up prices, potentially leading to a higher sale value. However, auctions can also be nerve-wracking. If you're not a fan of public pressure or the intensity of bidding wars, you might want to explore other options, which we will discuss.  Next, let's talk about private sales. Ah, the more laid-back alternative. Private sales are like a cosy fireside chat between the buyer and seller, without the crowd and excitement of an auction. This method typically involves direct negotiations and a more personal touch. With private sales, buyers have the opportunity to negotiate prices, terms, and conditions directly with the seller. It's a more relaxed atmosphere where you can take your time to discuss and evaluate the property without feeling rushed. Plus, you may avoid the potential stress of competing against other buyers. However, it's important to note that private sales may lack the transparency of an auction, as negotiations happen behind closed doors.  When the main demographic of potential buyers for a property requires certain conditions to make an offer, such as first home buyers who often need their offer to be subject to finance, the Private Sale method is often the best option. This allows for greater flexibility and accommodates the specific needs of these buyers, ensuring a higher likelihood of a successful sale. Last but not least, we have expressions of interest. Think of it as a mix between an auction and a private sale. Expressions of interest involve potential buyers submitting their offers or proposals within a specified timeframe. The seller then reviews the submissions and decides which offer to accept. This method allows buyers to make their best offer without the pressure of an auction. It also provides a level playing field for all interested parties. However, unlike private sales, you don't get the chance to negotiate directly with the seller. Instead, you must put your best foot forward in your initial submission. So there you have it, a simple breakdown of the differences between auctions, private sales, and expressions of interest. Each method offers a unique experience, catering to different preferences and circumstances. Whether you're a thrill-seeker, a fan of one-on-one negotiations, or someone who enjoys a balanced approach, there's a method that suits you. Remember, the agent will advise what works best for you and your specific buying or selling needs. So take your time, consider your options with the agent, and embark on your journey armed with the knowledge of these different approaches. Happy bidding, negotiating, or submitting offers, and may your transactions be smooth sailing! Written by Jess Wilking

Jun 30, 2023

Two Trick Pony

Australia's recent ranking of 19th out of 64 countries in the World Competitiveness Yearbook report is further evidence of our over-reliance (dependence) on digging things out of the ground and importing people to prop up the economy. While the country excels in life expectancy and health coverage, its position in entrepreneurship (62nd of 64) and productivity (46th) is alarming. A preoccupation with immigration and reliance on China’s consumption of our natural resources has hindered Australia's ability to foster innovation and diversify its economy. What does this mean for Australian property? World Competitiveness Centre director Arturo Bris in discussing the results of the report, noted that “resource-rich countries – and Australia is one of them – are naturally more productive… However, the challenge for resource-based economies is how to translate such efficiency into prosperity, for example, how to make people’s lives better”. Professor Bris emphasised that countries like Australia must transform efficiency into prosperity through sound policies and institutions. To achieve this, Australia should look to nations such as Switzerland and Singapore, which have successfully built highly productive economic models without significant natural resources.  Innovation, particularly in the fields of quantum computing and medical research, could unleash new possibilities and fuel economic growth. The Federal Government’s National Quantum Strategy, announced in May this year, is the type of initiative Australia should be pursuing to realise innovative economic diversity and growth. Still, at a maximum investment level of $1b AUD, it fails to signal genuine intent to succeed. By investing more heavily in research and development, Australia can position itself at the forefront of technology and attract global talent and investment. Australia's heavy reliance on commodity exports exposes its vulnerability to fluctuating global markets. The Committee for Economic Development of Australia highlighted the need to diversify the economy beyond traditional trade strengths. The recently formed AUKUS pact provides an opportunity to strengthen defence capabilities, promote advanced manufacturing, and create high-skilled jobs. By investing in industries such as aerospace, defence technology, and renewable energy, Australia can foster further innovation, reduce dependencies, and secure its economic future. Australia possesses world-class healthcare and research institutions, making it well-positioned to lead in medical research and development. By increasing investment in this sector, the country can nurture groundbreaking discoveries and attract global investment. We witnessed Australia’s capacities during the research, development, and production phases of COVID-19 vaccines. Subsequent investments in mRNA capacities (particularly the Victorian State government) are, as with quantum computing, the right moves, but not at a sufficient level to be considered much more than lip service. Australia has the potential to become a global hub for biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovation, fostering job creation and strengthening its competitive position. Immigration is a divisive and complex issue, one I’m not qualified or capable of distilling into a neat “for” or “against” position in a 500-word (ish) blog piece. On the issue of housing, however, at least in the Victorian context, I have some insights. The simple supply/demand equation demonstrates to real estate agents, renters and buyers, on a daily basis, that there are currently too few homes for the number of people needing to be housed.  Matt Barrier, CEO of Freelancer, speaking recently at The Sydney Morning Herald Sydney 2050 Summit, described how he sees Australia’s approach to immigration as it relates to property: “The US uses quantitative easing to drive ‘easy, relentless’ growth — Australia uses quantitative peopling…This is not about ‘growth’ but inflating demand for housing. It’s not about the ‘economy’ but inflating GDP. But population growth does not increase GDP per capita.”   These are pretty incendiary observations, and there are plenty of counter-arguments to Mr Barrie’s view. The central observation, however, that we, as a country, have an increasing demand for housing is unequivocal.  In order to realise the innovation and economic diversification proposed above, we’re going to need plenty of smart and skilled people from around the world to work alongside the smart and skilled people already here. We’re also going to need somewhere for them to live… this continues to be the core issue for housing accessibility and affordability in this country and one that our governments (past and present) continue to fail to address adequately. Written by Jacob Caine CEO

Jun 15, 2023

Social Media is a big YES when selling

If you are looking to sell your property, you should be reading this. The real estate industry has experienced significant benefits from the use of social media, including platforms like Instagram. Here are the key advantages and why you should consider social media in your marketing plan. Extensive Reach: Social media provides a vast audience base, allowing real estate agents and home sellers to showcase their properties to a wide range of potential buyers. Instagram, with its visual nature, is particularly effective for displaying properties through high-quality images and videos. This exposure can attract a larger pool of interested buyers. Targeted Marketing: Social media platforms offer advanced targeting and advertising options. Real estate professionals can leverage these features to reach specific demographics, interests, and geographical locations. This ensures that property listings are seen by individuals who are more likely to be interested in buying a home, increasing the chances of generating qualified leads. Engaging Content: People spend a significant amount of time on social media, including watching videos. These platforms offer convenience and entertainment, making them an ideal medium to capture the attention of potential buyers. By creating compelling videos and engaging content, real estate agents and home sellers can hold viewers' interest, encouraging them to explore the property further. Visual Storytelling: Videos are a powerful tool for showcasing properties. They allow potential buyers to experience a virtual tour, giving them a better understanding of the property's layout, design, and ambience. Videos can highlight the property's unique features, amenities, and the surrounding neighbourhood, creating an emotional connection with viewers. This immersive experience can significantly impact a buyer's decision-making process and increase their interest in the property. Enhanced Engagement: Social media platforms offer various engagement features such as likes, comments, and shares. These interactions can generate buzz and create a sense of community around a property listing. Increased engagement can lead to more views, awareness, and potential referrals, ultimately boosting the chances of selling the property quickly. Reach out to your trusted real estate agent who will be able to advise on the market trends and demographics relevant to your specific situation, tailoring the marketing campaign accordingly with other tools like websites, print media, and other channels of advertisement.  In conclusion, social media platforms, including Instagram, have become integral to the real estate industry. The extensive reach, engaging content, and visual storytelling capabilities offered by social media make it an essential tool for maximising views, creating awareness, and generating interest in property listings. Allocating a portion of the marketing budget to social media platforms is a wise investment, as it provides cost-effective marketing, helps reach the right audience, enhances engagement, and offers measurable results. Written by Elli Blanco

Jun 9, 2023

It’s Hotter Than You Think!

One of the biggest myths in real estate is that Winter is a bad time to sell. Actually, the opposite is usually true, and that’s especially the case this year. Let me explain. Selling in Winter is actually advantageous for vendors in two ways. Firstly, there is typically a lower number of homes for sale in Winter (because of the myth!). What that does is tighten up supply, and that strengthens buyer competition for the homes on the market. Buyers who want or especially need a new home do not stop looking because the weather gets cold! Secondly, if your strategy is to buy your next home after you’ve sold your existing one, then selling in Winter means you’ll be ready to buy in Spring – when there are usually a lot more homes for sale. These two advantages are present every year, but in 2023, the supply/demand advantage is magnified. This is because we’re at a point in the market cycle when stock is already very low, data from Domain and realestate.com show total listings are down 30% on historical averages, which means buyer competition will be even stronger for the homes available for sale during Winter this year. The market is now absolutely on its way back after a correction with buyer demand clearly increasing, stock levels are not yet improving. This creates great selling conditions, with auction clearance rates in Melbourne up to well beyond the 70% mark and climbing! So, we see a great opportunity for sellers to do very well this Winter in the suburbs with particularly tight supply, so if you’re thinking of selling this Winter, get in touch today! Written by Toby Campbell

Jun 2, 2023

Preparation first, then go for it!

Renting out your property can be a lucrative investment opportunity, but it requires careful preparation to attract quality tenants and maximize your returns. Whether you're a seasoned landlord or a first-time property owner, getting your property ready to lease involves preparation done the right way.   Minimum standards are items that must be adhered to before a tenancy commencement can take place.  The annual smoke alarm checks with the gas/electrical checks to be completed every two years are minimum standards that many rental providers don’t know about. Within current rental legislation, renters rights include ending the rental agreement immediately without costs should minimum standards not be met within a property before they move in.  Preparing your property for lease requires careful attention to detail and proactive measures to attract desirable tenants. By cleaning, decluttering, conducting necessary repairs, enhancing curb appeal, updating the interior, and setting a competitive rental price, you can position your property as an attractive and desirable living space. Remember, a well-prepared property not only attracts quality tenants but also establishes a positive landlord-tenant relationship, leading to long-term satisfaction and success in your leasing endeavors. Written by Jordan Palma

May 26, 2023

It's Tax Time

The big news in property this week was the Victorian Budget and the introduction of new land tax measures, with the land tax threshold to be cut from $300,000 to $50,000. Of the 860,000 investment property owners in Victoria, 380,000 have not been subject to land tax before. For example, a couple who owns two properties in Victoria, one being their home and another being an investment apartment with a site value of $120,000 would not be paying any land tax under the current schedule of land tax rates. Under the new land tax measures, from the 2024 land tax year, they would become subject to a fixed land tax charge of $975 per year in relation to the apartment, which would apply on top of existing costs. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has criticised the land tax increases announced in the State Budget, saying they will only worsen the current rental crisis facing Victorians. In recent years, we’ve observed a lack of investor activity within our marketplace, largely due to an array of legislative policies and increasing costs that have made property investment a somewhat unattractive proposition. Unfortunately, the tax measures introduced in the latest Victorian budget are likely to further diminish the appeal of investing in property, which will only exacerbate the tight rental market.  As always we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter or answer any questions you may have regarding the possible impacts to your investment. Written by Peter Hannon