How do you choose the right real estate agent?
Choosing an agent is one of the most important parts of selling your property. They will responsible for many aspects of the sale including listing, marketing, negotiating sales and legal aspects.
To choose the right business partnership in a real estate agent for your real estate transactions comes down to three parts.
Part 1) Research
With websites such as realestate.com.au offering a “find an agent” tool as well as many real estate websites offering profiling information on their agents, makes searching for the “right one” a lot easier.
Blogs, reviews and recommendations from previous clients on websites and social media will also assist you to make the right choice.
Search for agents in your local area is a great starting point and arrange initial appraisals/appointments with them.
Asking questions or finding out information such as: what is their experience as an agent, how long have they worked in the area you’re selling, how many property sales have they recently been involved in/currently have listed as well as their ability to answer your specific property information. These are all important things to find out so you get an idea how they can best serve you and your selling goals.
Part 2) What to look for in an agent
As well as their ability to answer the above questions they should have a high degree of professionalism, a good reputation and are passionate about real estate. Below is a great checklist to use when meeting real estate agents:
- Are they able to meet your requirements? Not theirs?
- Do they have the necessary professional credentials such as real estate institutes, memberships and the like?
- Do they have a good reputation and references from past clients?
- Do they know your local area well? Property and community?
- Do they have experience in the price bracket you’re selling?
- Do you feel you can trust them to deliver? Are they committed?
Part 3) What the agent should provide
Before signing the dotted line, ensure your agent provides you with:
- Market sales and appraisal data in your area
- Has a good buyers database to contact
- Shares advice on how to best market and present your home with marketing strategies
- Advice on the best method of sale (auction or private, home opens etc)
- What the negotiation services will be between you and a potential buyer
- Open and ongoing communication about your sale progress and whether changes are required
- Effective execution of legal and financial requirements.
These are just a few of the initial things you need to consider when selecting an agent.
Once you’ve found the right agent for you, now is the time for a written contract to be drawn up. We will be doing another blog article on what to look for in real estate agreements.
Next week we will be sharing with you our real estate tool kit so keep an eye out for it in your inbox!
So your home loan has been rejected. What now?
With recent changes to lending requirements and banks sharpening their pencil in regards to the amount of investment and consumer loans their allowing, it’s now becoming harder than ever before to achieve finance.
If you’ve been rejected for a home loan don’t panic! Different lenders have different criteria for mortgages, and one rejection doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to buy a home.
Here are some simple yet effective steps that can assist you getting back on track and achieving a successful outcome on your next application.
1. Ask why you were rejected
Your lender should be able to tell you the reason/s why you were rejected, which will give you the opportunity to change and fix things before your next application. It could be something simple that you missed!
2. Review your options
Create a plan before applying again. Research different home loan lenders – the more you know, the more informed you’ll be to make the best decision on who to partner with to get approved.
3. Check your credit profile
Sometimes lenders decline because of your credit history. You will need to solve any outstanding issues with your credit file before applying again. If you do have late payment, missed bills get your finances in check and have reasons to explain your financial history to your next lender. For the future, ensure you pay bills on time and develop a regular savings plan. The more reliable you are financially, the better you will appear to future lenders.
4. Review other debts
If the reason you were declined was credit card or other debts, look at consolidating or clearing your debt before undertaking any new loans. Reducing your credit limits or even cancelling cards can go a long way in the eyes of your future lender.
5. Don’t give up
Only those who give up fail!
Always try again, there are plenty of lender options out there. There’s bound to be one that matches your budget and needs however you may need to change your expectations in terms of what you can realistically afford in repayments and what you can borrow.
If you are rejected for a loan the key is not to panic. Loan rejection isn’t uncommon and it certainly doesn’t mean you will never be able to secure finance. Provided you show you’re a reliable financial customer with a good credit history and a sound savings strategy, you shouldn’t have too many difficulties obtaining finance.
6. Appoint a broker
I still believe that finance brokers are the best option currently for securing finance. A good broker’s knowledge about the mortgage landscape, current stipulations with different lenders and suitability to your personal circumstances can prove invaluable when trying to access funds. Please as you continue to build your portfolio the broker becomes an advisor on your journey aware of your personal lending history, needs and ultimate goals.
It can be confusing what type of mortgage to get. It’s not only important to check the right rates for you but make sure you’re getting the right features in your home loan.
At CPG our brokers work for you and help whether it’s a simple rate comparison or a full financial health check – talk to one of our brokers today
Moving house can be the answer to streamlining your finances
Moving house is an exciting (and stressful time) but did you know it is also a great time to make financial changes too?
For the start of 2016 when a lot of us are moving house, let’s look at some easy ways you can kickstart your finances using your house move…
1. Use this time to get organised
Take this opportunity to set up your bill pay systems. Create a dedicated shelf, section, or whatever works for you in your office to sort all your bills and receipts. Something as simple as files can keep your financials organised.
2. Go paperless
Reduce the paperwork in your life and get your bills sent electronically instead of by post? Instead of updating your new address, ask to be sent your bills via email. This way it’s great to avoid late fees as it’s sent straight to your inbox.
3. Supplier review
Moving house is the opportune time to review your utility suppliers. It’s easy to find rates and quotes for your gas, internet and other suppliers to make sure you are getting the best deal possible for your needs.
4. Bundle your Insurances
Just like your utility suppliers, reviewing your insurance needs such as home and contents and even bundling your insurance with one supplier can offer better rates, less contracts and saving money.
After the move is a good time to set up automatic payments/direct debits of your new bills so you’ll know exactly when money will be deducted from your accounts. It makes it easier to budget too!
Most of us don’t need multiple savings, checking and separate accounts. Especially if moving in with a partner/spouse now is a great time to review your accounts and look at removing or combining some saving on fees and being able to keep track of your money easier.
Making the most of your big move by organising your finances will give you one less thing to worry about in 2016. Let this new start in a new home inspire you to get on top of your finances and take control for a great fresh start.
Prepare the way financially before starting a family
Becoming a parent can be an exciting journey. It can also be an expensive one so it’s important to prepare for the new addition in your life.
Here’s some tips to expect financially when you’re expecting:
The upfront costs
Before having a child, it pays to be organised and be prepared for the upfront costs. These may include:
- Baby clothes and equipment
- Upgrades at home—you may need to make baby friendly changes, paint and decorate the baby’s room.
- Doctor’s bills and hospital expenses.
Saving for these well in advance will assist greatly especially if one parent will be taking time off work or a reduction in income.
The ongoing costs
Many parenting blogs out there say new parents underestimate the ongoing costs of raising a child/children.
According to the AMP.NATSEM survey, a first child can cost on average $281 per week. Food, clothes, child care, education, hobbies and a range of other costs can continue growing and impacting your household budgets.
Just like upfront costs, planning ahead and even considering school fees now will only help set you up for success down the track
Taking the time now before baby comes to get your budget in order and creating a long term savings plan will help you in your new role as parents.
When planning to balance your household income and expenses, factor in your household income before and after the baby’s born (taking into account any loss of income) and consider:
- Essential living costs such as loan repayments, mortgage/rent and other regular ongoing expenses.
- The upfront and ongoing costs mentioned above
- Paid parental leave you or your partner may receive from your employer/s
- Any government contributions you may be entitled to.
- Day care and other care expenses.
Your Savings Plan
With a budget in place, you’ll begin to understand the costs you’ll need to be prepared for. Sticking to this budget will be easier if you set up a baby savings plan and automatically save money for these upcoming expenses.
The earlier you start saving the better, even if you’re not starting a family just yet, you can still put a savings plan in place today.
Starting a family is a major life event, so it’s important to seek help in managing your finances if you need to. Getting professional advice ensures you can make the most of any money you earn before the baby’s born and avoid financial stress at a time that can be one of life’s most special events.
Buying Property Interstate
Here’s an interesting statistic – Most property investors start and continue to purchase properties in areas familiar to them, more often than not close to home. It’s a common part of our makeup as humans to trend towards what we know which delivers a sense of comfort.
But in sticking close to the nest, you could be missing better opportunities in another state. As the property cycle clock runs at different times and speeds around the country there are always different areas in a state of rise and fall. Identifying these and investing around the country and following the cycles give the investor the best chance of achieving capital growth and growing their portfolio faster.
While buying property interstate can seem like a daunting task, the benefits can far outweigh the risks. Accomplished investors regularly sight diversification and early capital growth gains as the pivotal factors behind their success.
Here are my top tips when considering investing interstate:
Doing your homework is key. No matter where you’re buying, the key to success is to investigate the market you’re looking at and the potential rewards and risks. If you do your homework, you could buy at the bottom of the cycle in an up and coming area interstate and enjoy strong capital gains in the near future.
There are a few cost factors that differ state to state such as stamp duty, settlement costs and land tax as well as the tax implications. For example Stamp duty is deductible in the ACT but not deductible in other states. All this information can be found online at http://www.infochoice.com.au/calculators/stamp-duty-calculator/
If you don’t live close to your investment, it’s more important than ever to choose a good property manager as you won’t be nearby for regular inspections or for maintenance issues.
It’s important to make sure they do regular inspections, the rent is accurate and up to date and they have local rental market knowledge.
Refer to an expert
Now more than ever there are property mentoring groups and experts offering investors a suite of opportunities Australia-wide. Look to align yourself with a group that can provide you with property options and due diligence around the country. That way you can easily compare the states and different locations performance against each other before jumping into the next purchase.
How to Get Started
Information about the performance of each state is easily accessible through popular investment magazine YIP and Australia property investor. Purchase a copy and familiarise yourself with the state of the current markets, while preparing your finances and buying position with your broker. When you’re ready to buy, then connect with and investment expert to discuss options in your top 2 states.
Why People Struggle in Retirement?
Recent research has found that 95% of working Australians are not financially prepared for a comfortable retirement and a significate number continue to delay planning for life after work. There is usually a gap in what they envisage for their retirement and what the reality is.
Around 87% will be dependent on welfare so if the pension age is increased to 70, many of us will need to consider working longer to have an income and build more retirement savings.
Think you’re too young to start worrying about retirement? Decisions you make now regarding life style and financial choices will make your retirement what you want down the track.
Whether it consists of golf club memberships, living in your dream home or luxury holidays, here’s our top tips to ensure you’re retirement ready:
Think about retirement when you think about saving
It really does pay to start thinking about your retirement when you save today.
Although in Australia if you’re employed a percentage of your income is paid to prepare for this, it’s not always enough for your future needs. The more of your income you set aside for retirement, the easier it’ll be to retire comfortably. By saving early you can ensure your retirement benefits from the value of compound interest.
Have a plan
When it comes to retirement most people don’t have a plan or retirement strategy. The success of this plan is the cumulative effect of the small steps and decisions you make each day.
By evaluating this plan, you may need to adjust your lifestyle choices of today to make it a realistic one. Living a champagne lifestyle today may get you a beer budget come retirement.
What age will you retire?
Do you know how many years your retirement savings need to provide enough income for? These days it can be safe to assume that many of us will live to the age of 90 or beyond.
With many of us wanting to retire in our 60’s, there is usually a big difference in the age people say they want to retire to when they actually do.
Insurance is important
Taking out insurance to protect your retirement plan is an important part of your strategy.. There are many types of insurance that should be considered include life insurance, health insurance and long-term care and can make the difference between a comfortable retirement or financial stress and worry.
The exciting part of getting ready for retirement
When transitioning from work life to retirement, we work less and play more. It’s more than just money we’ll need, but the reality is all retirement dreams need money — to a degree. Thinking about things like relationships, health and a life that engages your interest and fulfils you can help you save more.
Once your financial goals are in place and your retirement plan filled with motivating interests, you’re find yourself one step closer to a comfortable retirement in all areas!
Want to retire earlier? Do you know how much you need?
If you need assistance is creating a retirement plan and strategy, contact one of our wealth creation specialists today. They can help you create what you really want; a financially secure future, a retirement to look forward to and to enjoy life’s luxuries along the way.
Start your plan now
Investing tips for the self employed
Running your own business or being self-employed is becoming more and more popular with investors and entrepreneurs alike. I often hear the common misconception that being self-employed can be a barrier to owning property. However this is not always the case, even though there are usually extra hoops to jump through with the banks, with a bit of forward planning you can successfully secure home and investment loans.
Here are my top tips for maximising your ability to invest.
1. Supplying full financials
You need to be organised and up to date with tax returns as most lenders require the past two years worth of tax returns. This will show lenders a consistency of income. Banks want to see that the business has been maintaining a level of income that is suitable to meet their minimum servicing requirements for the loan.
By being able to provide these tax returns, means that you could potentially borrow up to 95 per cent of the property’s value. It gives the self employed person the best possible chance of having a loan application approved
2. Supplying your business activity statements (BAS)
Some lenders allow self employed applicants to apply for a home loan by providing 12 months of BAS statements.
A disadvantage of applying for a loan using your BAS statements is that you may only be able to borrow a maximum of 80 per cent of the property’s value.
3. Build up a savings history
By having a solid savings history of at least 6 months it can work in your favour for applying successfully for a property loan. By showing you can regularly save you increase your chances of passing the banks strict loan serviceability criteria.
4. Consult a home loan expert/accountant
Prior to applying for a home loan consult an investment property specialist mortgage broker – http://www.crawfordinternational.com.au/professional-services This way you’ll have a clear idea of how much you can borrow and from which lender/s, before you even begin the process.
With their help you can establish what taxable income level you need to apply for the requested loan to confirm your borrowing power and eligibility for finance.
Keeping good records is important for self-employed people looking to buy property, so when the investment opportunity comes, you are ready to capitalise on it.
5 must-read books for the budding investor
Ever wonder why some investors become more successful than others?
Reading books on not only practical applications of investing but positive mindset have been a huge contributing factor to my success in property investing, running several businesses and also in my personal life. So much so that in our team meetings here at CPG, we give an opportunity for a team member to share their key takeaways and lessons from a book they’ve been reading with the rest of the group.
Practical knowledge steps must be taken for an investor to become successful but what is often overlooked is the soft skills that a budding investor must develop. One of the ways to develop these skills is to read books that either demonstrate what has worked for other successful investors, or that tell stories of what made successful investors great.
Here are five books that I consider a MUST read for all property investors.
0-130 Properties in 3.5 Years – Steve McKnight
With more than 160 000 copies sold, this is Australia’s highest selling real estate book — ever!
Scores of investors (myself included) have used Steve McKnight’s wealth building information to discover how to achieve their financial dreams. Now it’s your turn.
Using his incredible real-life account of how he bought 130 properties in 3.5 years, McKnight reveals how you can become financially free by using cash and cashflow positive property.
4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris
If you want to live life on your own terms, this is your blueprint. This engaging book will make you ask the most important question that you will ever face: What exactly is it that you want out of work and life, and why? Tim Ferriss is a master of getting more for less, often with the help of people he doesn’t even know, and here he gives away his secrets for fulfilling your dreams.
You Inc. – John McGrath
John McGrath is CEO of Australia’s fastest growing real estate company, his core message is about being the best person you can be. He applies this to your business and your life. This is a book of strategies, tips and positive anecdotes that is destined to change all aspects of your life.
I have personally used the principles in this book over and over again in my life.
Rich Dad / Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki has, virtually single-handedly, challenged and changed the way tens of millions, around the world, think about money. This book is timeless, priceless and should be required reading for everyone (especially High-School kids). Seriously one of the best of all time and a must read.
5: Where will you be five years from today?
This book is such a favourite of mine, we take our clients through this exact process as part of their wealth creation journey.
Whether you are setting goals for retirement, considering a new career or direction or just looking for inspiration, here’s the most inspiring and compelling gift you can find.
The Property Insider Magazine – Download Now!
Our first edition of The Property Insider includes insights into:
- How to conduct property due diligence
- Market watch and industry news
- How to choose your property expert team
- Placing your property investment in the right hands