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WA Now Australias Best Investor Option

May 18th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

With the major eastern states markets either overheating or heading that way along with diminishing percentage returns, Western Australia is now a shining light for property investors and needs to be marketed as such according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Sydney prices are really getting to the point of ridiculous with massive price increases and all indications are that market is peaking at a dangerous level.

“Melbourne prices are already comparatively high compared to Perth and Brisbane is also experiencing a high level of activity which is pushing up prices.

“Meanwhile the whole WA market is slowly working its way out of a lull caused by the mining industry slowdown with the result that value has returned along with comparatively high rents.

“As a result of softening prices and record low interest rates, for the first time in almost two decades we are seeing a high number of local properties available that can be positively geared or certainly break even after tax dispensations.

“Some of our regional centres such as Bunbury are also offering a good selection of both residential and commercial opportunities where the rent can cover all costs after tax.

“Historically WA has followed NSW in the property cycle which is another positive indicator for prospective property investors who are looking to buy now.

“Western Australian agents and developers would do well to consider a concerted marketing campaign to promote our state and the value it currently offers”, Mr Baldwin said.

FHOG on established homes a money maker not a cost!

June 22nd, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

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By restricting the FHOG to newly constructed homes the WA government is not only crippling the established housing market, it is also missing out on a massive financial windfall. Although most first home buyers don’t pay stamp duty, every home they buy frees up buyers to purchase their next home which is usually more expensive and this continues up the chain with the capacity to produce millions in stamp duty for State coffers.
The McGowan Government must stop looking at the FHOG as a cost and see it as a much needed kick start for the long suffering established housing sector and an opportunity to significantly increase stamp duty revenue.

Example:

 FHO buys $400,000 home and receives $10,000 FHOG
 Owner of that home buys $600,000 home and pays $22,000 stamp duty
 Owner of that property buys $800,000 home and pays $32,000 stamp duty

Even if it stopped there the return on investment to State revenue would be 400% plus but as almost every person/family will repurchase so the chain could very well be much longer.

FREE Property Investment Workshops – 28th June & 5th July

June 12th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

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Geoff Baldwin, Managing Director and Senior Investment Consultant at RE/MAX WA will be running FREE Property Investment Workshops in Perth, Mandurah and Bunbury during July. ‘Buy in Gloom and Sell in Boom’ is the mantra of smart property investors. Right now, for the first time in decades, it is possible to buy properties in our market where the rent will cover the mortgage and costs. Yes, they are hard to find but we will do the leg work for you. Meanwhile, come along and learn all about it from one of Australia’s most respected and successful investors.

Since 1987 Geoff has assisted hundreds of investors to increase their collective capital wealth by millions of dollars. His fun, easy to follow workshop will cover all aspects of property investing in a low key fun, atmosphere where you will be free to ask questions and seek direction.

RP Date/Core Logic are Australia’s most respected commentators on the property market and in their June Report to Industry leaders they predicts that Perth and WA is set for growth. Sydney and Melbourne are softening and, historically when this the WA market takes off.

Property Insurance
Learn:

– How to take advantage of the slow market.

– Where to look and what to look for

– How to buy so that you are leveraging the bank’s funds, using little of your own.

– How to maximise your returns and avoid the traps plus a whole lot more.

– See examples of positively geared properties and how the numbers work.

If you would like to profit from the next market surge then now is the time to act. Come along as our guests without obligation or cost. Simply fill out the ‘Send An Inquiry’ form on this page and we will confirm your seat/s including how many you wish to reserve and which workshop you would like to attend.

Bunbury – 28th June- 6pm till 7.15 – Venue – RE/MAX Lighthouse Seminar Room – 27 Carey Street, Bunbury

Perth – 5th July – 6pm till 7.15 – Venue – RE/MAX WA Seminar Room – 334 Wanneroo Road Nollamara (cnr Ravenswood Drive).

COMPLETE FORM TO BOOK or PHONE 08 9387 8149

RE/MAX WA 10 Pin Bowling Challenge

June 12th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

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On Thursday 10th August we are hosting the RE/MAX WA 10 Pin Bowling Challenge at The Rosemount Bowl 464 Fitzgerald St, North Perth.

Kicking off at 6pm and playing two rounds per team with great prizes and the evening is compliments of RE/MAX WA including nibbles and initial drinks. Save the date and come along for some competitive fun and camaraderie.

Aim for Vegas 2018 – RE/MAX International Conference

June 12th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

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The RE/MAX International R4 Conference will be held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel Casino from Feb 26 to March 1st 2018. This is an awesome opportunity to mix with around 8,000 RE/MAX people from all over the globe and to learn how others succeed.

What a wonderful goal to set yourself and with airfares starting from as low as $1,300 return and plenty of affordable accommodation in Vegas it’s not expensive. Also RE/MAX WA will contribute $300 towards your costs as long as you confirm by November 30/2017.

Let’s put a group together and make it huge!

Half Yearly Awards River Cruise

June 12th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

classique

Join us for a River Cruise on the Swan River to recognise and celebrate our achievers and to enjoy the company of our future achievers…..

20th July 2017 from 5.30 for launch at 6pm sharp from Barrack Street Jetty. Dress is casual for a fun evening on the Swan River. Entrance will be $39 per person (same as previous) which will include the cruise, food and drink allocation. We now have to adhere to RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) constraints however, there will be a cash bar if you wish to consume more of your own accord.

Come along and celebrate the success of our current and future high achievers.

Suggest catching the train if you plan on having a drink.

Save the dates – CPD Training & Brokers Retreat

June 12th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

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7 CPD Training Day – 17 October & Broker Retreat – 17 & 18.

October On October 17 we will be running a 7 CPD day with special guest speakers at Peel Manor House in Baldivis. This will be generic training for salespeople, Property Managers and brokers. More details will follow but please diarize this date now. The M & T Fund will pay for salespeople and selling brokers however Property Managers will be charged at $100 per head. Lunch will be provided as will drinks and nibbles afterwards.

Brokers are asked to stay on for Dinner (evening 17th) then the 18th we will hold our annual broker day. Again, more information on this will follow.

It’s all about Price!

June 12th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

Target Audience words on signs with customers gathered around in

Pricing Property!

At any time, in any market every property will sell as long as the pricing strategy reflects the market and the seller’s expectation is realistic. An agent is doing his sellers no favours by allowing them to overprice their property or to use an ineffective pricing strategy.

The belief that asking a premium price in the hope buyers will come along and then make offers is a recipe for disaster and the old “Fixed Price” method no longer works in today’s sophisticated marketplace.

The job of selling a property involves 3 distinct steps: 1. Attract as many viewings as possible through effective marketing, 2. write offers and 3. negotiate an offer to an acceptable price and terms.

The pricing strategy is critical to Step 1 and nothing to do with steps 2 or 3. In fact, if the pricing strategy is wrong it will undermine the marketing campaign and severely restrict viewings with the result that steps 2 and 3 are never likely to become a reality.

Also, it is worth keeping in mind that the most asked question when a buyer does like a property is .. “How long has it been on the market?” When they ask this question it is the hope that the property has been on for months so that they can offer less.

Sellers often make the statement “I am not in a hurry” but what they really mean is that they are not in a hurry to accept a low offer. The best way to avoid low offers is too price correctly from day one and to avoid using a fixed asking price.

There are several extremely effective pricing methods available and used by experienced agents to optimise viewings and to attract maximum interest and competition. Your local RE/MAX agent is available to advise on this and any other aspect of successful marketing and selling. Click here for a no obligation Market Update on your property

Real Estate Franchising Not a One Size Fits All Business

May 19th, 2017 by REMAX WA

People Network

Geoff Baldwin – MD RE/MAX WA

Unlike burger stores or pizza shops, real estate franchisees can no longer be provided a one size fits all service as there are many influences that can affect each franchise differently.

The support, training and resources required by an experienced operator will naturally be much different to those needed by a new start up or by a rebrand hence today’s real estate franchisors must be willing to tailor their services to meet individual needs.

It is also important for a real estate franchisor to recognise that their brand should never take precedence over their people as dealing in property is very much a relationship business.

Quality franchisors should be confident in knowing that the brand will naturally accompany every successful dealing and hence its perception and promotion will be much healthier and more successful than simply enforcing a brand comes first policy.

Naturally it is important to maintain brand uniformity and quality however in today’s environment real estate franchisors that are not afraid to empower their people and respect their individuality will prosper while those who cling to simple brand power will slowly perish.

Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Facts on the world’s most successful real estate group

May 17th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

Some facts about the world’s most successful real estate group and what it could mean for your career

FACT - RE/MAX WA offices do not charge “Desk Fees”, the focus is on fair commission packages that are a win-win for principal and rep.

FACT - RE/MAX was launched in the US in 1973, is now in 101 countries with over 110,000 agents however RE/MAX WA is 100% locally owned and managed.

FACT - RE/MAX WA provides training and support for every aspect of real estate.

FACT - RE/MAX WA provides top level CPD point training for all principals, sales and property managers at no extra charge.

FACT - RE/MAX has a global website that allows you to promote listings to millions of buyers in 40 languages.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has the best Social Media and online presence of any group.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has ongoing group lead generation initiatives for sales and PM. In the past 6 months alone we have passed on over $630,000 in potential commissions to our offices.

FACT - RE/MAX members are able to attend tax deductible events worldwide.

FACT - RE/MAX WA In a tough market, has grown while other groups have retracted.

FACT - RE/MAX WA still has key locations available for quality operators.

FACT - RE/MAX WA master franchise is owned and managed one of the most experienced and successful real estate practitioners in Australia.

FACT - RE/MAX WA’s Managing Director has excelled at sales, management, multi-office ownership and as CEO of large, dynamic real estate groups. He can genuinely empathize, advise and assist you to take your office to the next level and beyond.

FACT - RE/MAX WA people have fun together and focus on enjoying the journey.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has one overriding focus – To make our people more successful and profitable so that we all share in the outcomes together.

We are a team and we all have a focus to be successful and to prosper by working together. With us you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.

Let’s meet without obligation and talk about how we can work together to assist you to build a more profitable and enjoyable career.

Phone: 0893878149 or email: info@remaxwa.com.au

Facts on the world’s most successful real estate group

May 17th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

Some facts about the world’s most successful real estate group and what it could mean for your business

FACT - RE/MAX WA offices do not charge “Desk Fees”, the focus is on fair commission packages that are a win-win for principal and rep.

FACT - RE/MAX was launched in the US in 1973, is now in 101 countries with over 110,000 agents however RE/MAX WA is 100% locally owned and managed.

FACT - RE/MAX levies by far the lowest franchise fees in Australia.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has a dedicated rep recruitment system for its franchisees.

FACT - RE/MAX WA provides training and support for every aspect of real estate.

FACT - RE/MAX WA provides top level CPD point training for all principals, sales and property managers at no extra charge.

FACT - RE/MAX has a global website that allows you to promote listings to millions of buyers in 40 languages.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has the best Social Media and online presence of any group.

FACT - RE/MAX WA will provide you with group buying power (discounts) for many areas of your business. Example – RP Data Australia wide for $280 per month.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has ongoing group lead generation initiatives for sales and PM. In the past 6 months alone we have passed on over $630,000 in potential income to our offices.

FACT - RE/MAX members are able to attend tax deductible events worldwide.

FACT - RE/MAX WA In a tough market, has grown while other groups have retracted.

FACT - RE/MAX WA still has key locations available for quality operators.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has franchisees who have grown their sales teams and profits by up to 500 percent in just a few years.

FACT - RE/MAX WA master franchise is owned and managed one of the most experienced and successful real estate practitioners in Australia.

FACT - RE/MAX WA’s Managing Director has excelled at sales, management, multi office ownership and as CEO of large, dynamic real estate groups. He can genuinely empathetic, advise and assist you to take your office to the next level and beyond.

FACT - RE/MAX WA people have fun together and focus on enjoying the journey.

FACT - RE/MAX WA has one overriding focus – To make or Franchisees and their staff more successful and profitable so that we all share in the outcomes together.

We are a team and we all have a focus to be successful and to prosper by working together. With us you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.

Let’s meet without obligation and talk about how we can work together to assist you to build a more profitable and ultimately more saleable real estate business.

Phone: 08 9387 8149 or email: info@remaxwa.com.au

Rents Are Down But Returns Are Up for New Investors

May 17th, 2017 by REMAX WA

perth real estate agents

Geoff Baldwin – MD RE/MAX Investment Division

During the 1990’s and right up to around 2010 it was extremely rare to find a property that could be positively geared however, with falling property prices and record low interest rates there are many opportunities despite rents being lower.

It is now possible to locate many properties where the rent will easily cover the mortgage repayments and often also the rates and management fees especially when tax concessions come into play.

In any cycle rents returns will fluctuate and although they are currently down around 15 percent on 3 years ago they will be sure to bounce back up as the market improves.

Unfortunately, most first-time investors buy when the market is running hot and hence they tend to pay a premium price but prudent investors buy when the prices are down and when they have a wide choice.

People looking to invest in property should seek the advice and guidance of an experienced investment specialist agent but one thing is certain, now is the time to act.

Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Top Performing RE/MAX Salespeople & Offices

May 16th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

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Congratulations to:

LAST MONTH

Top Teams

1.  Team Ken Williamson and Guy Zinicola – RE/MAX GBT (Nollamara)

2. Demo Foufas Team – RE/MAX Extreme (Wanneroo)

3. Simon Pigliardo Team – RE/MAX Torrens (Bedford)

4. Phil Wiltshire Team – RE/MAX Extreme (Butler)

5. David Willis Team – RE/MAX Lighthouse Realty (Bunbury)

Top Individuals

1. Leoni StrydomRE/MAX Extreme (Butler)

2. Steve Golding – RE/MAX Benchmark (Mandurah)

3. Peter Parsons – RE/MAX Extreme (Wanneroo)

4. Sarah O’Sullivan – RE/MAX Exchange (Rockingham)

5. Cristina Botha – RE/MAX Extreme (Currambine)

Top Offices

1. RE/MAX Extreme (Wanneroo)

2. RE/MAX Extreme (Butler)

3. RE/MAX GBT (Nollamara)

Perth sales volume up – Buyers it’s time to act!

May 16th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

houses for rent perth wa

Perth sales volume up – Buyers it’s time to act!

While Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have had significant drops in sales volume of between 6% and 15 % compared to the previous 12 months, Perth was one of only a few capitals to record a small increase although it is also up 4.3% for the same quarter last year.

The numbers of settled sales in Sydney dropped significantly by 6.8%, Melbourne 15.1%, Brisbane 12.5%.

Available listing stock has also fallen year to year and open home activity is up significantly.

Historically Perth has rebounded when the eastern states markets begins to cool and it is predicted that this will repeat in the current cycle as investors begin to look away from the east coast to markets offering short to medium term growth potential. Our population growth is also beginning to increase as more people are moving West attracted by our lower prices and improving employment conditions.

This should come as a warning to buyers that the Perth market has bottomed and that now the window of opportunity is open for them to take action while local prices and interest rates remain low.

Source – RP Data Core Logic April National Update.

BUDGET – WINDOW NOW OPEN FOR WA GOVERNMENT

May 10th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

BUDGET – WINDOW NOW OPEN FOR WA GOVERNMENT – Last night’s federal budget included positive incentives for the property sector however more is needed to inject life back into the WA market and the window is now wide open for the state government to act. Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt must take full advantage of these new initiatives by urgently introducing some meaningful local incentives according to RE/MAX Real Estate MD, Geoff Baldwin.

Salary sacrificing for FHB’s – The Budget decision to allow salary sacrificing for first home buyers is a positive step towards improving the affordability challenge however it will not fix the dire environment here in the West. The new WA state government now needs to urgently add its own incentives to revitalise our local market and to assist first homebuyers. The decision by the previous Liberal state government to restrict the FHOG only to new builds was a killer blow to the established market in this state and it is critical that this is reversed as a priority.

Dispensations for downsizers – Allowing retirees to sell their large family homes to move to smaller homes and to then deposit the difference into their super funds without incurring extra tax will go some way to assisting our lower markets in WA at a time when incentives are desperately needed.  Since the previous Liberal government made the decision to deny first home buyers the FHOG on established properties that key segment of the market has slowed to almost a halt resulting in a chain effect right up through all price ranges.

Penalties for “ghost houses” – Rather than targeting genuine investors by making changes to negative gearing, the decision to impose tax restrictions or penalties on owners who intentionally leave their properties vacant is a positive and sensible action. A significant number of property owners are claiming tax concessions on their properties but make little effort to rent them out. This is also prevalent with many holiday home owners and it is a practice that should be strongly discouraged anytime but especially when the commonwealth purse strings need to be tightened.

Streamlining development approvals – Any decisions that streamline development approvals, particularly for new subdivisions should be welcomed and it is incumbent upon local and state governments to work with the commonwealth to further hasten the release of more land and in so doing assist affordability for homebuyers.

Perth’s Latest Stadium Amenities

May 2nd, 2017 by REMAX WA

houses for rent perth wa

Perth Stadium is coming and, if recent reports are anything to go by, it’s going to be big for our city. Perth’s latest amenity looks set to be a major hub on the city’s landscape, offering world-class sporting and entertainment events, as well as a dazzling array of future-driven facilities. The jewel in the crown of the Burswood Peninsula redevelopment and built by a consortium led by construction juggernaut Brookfield Multiplex, it will be the third largest stadium in the country once it opens its doors in two years’ time.

The best thing about creating major amenities such as the Stadium? They’re all designed to promote growth to our fair city. Properties that are in and around the East Perth and Burswood precincts will benefit from the new facilities purely by luck of their location, so now is the perfect time to think about purchasing an investment property (or two) that is for sale in these areas. Because once the Stadium doors are open, interest in these suburbs is likely to soar, driving market prices up.

The Stadium is slated to open for the beginning of the 2018 AFL season. Designed to be a multi-purpose venue, it will be capable of hosting a range of local and international sporting activities, including AFL, rugby, soccer and cricket, and is set to supersede the WACA as Western Australia’s premier venue for international cricket.  It will also play host to an array of entertainment events. The stunning Swan River Pedestrian Bridge will connect East Perth to the Burswood Peninsula for both pedestrians and cyclists.

When it comes to design, a ‘fans first’ approach has been implemented. The Stadium is intended to hold 60,000 people, with the capacity to increase to 70,000 people in the future should a third tier be added to the complex. There’s a wide array of impressive facilities that will be incorporated over the five levels, including:

  • 600 bike racks to encourage people to cycle rather than drive to the Stadium;
  • 748 male bathrooms, and 781 female bathrooms;
  • More than seventy food and beverage options available;
  • Two giant screens, and over 1,000 televisions.

The Stadium will have a bronze facade that reflects our State’s terrain during the day and, using LED technology, will feature home-team colours at night. The roof is set to cover 85% of the seats, and is responsive to the weather. At night, it will light up with a spectacular halo effect.

Local contractors have been the big winners during the construction phase, with around 80% of Stadium sub-contracts that amount to over $456 million being awarded to local companies. More than one hundred construction apprentices and trainees have worked on the Stadium, with twenty of them being Indigenous. Overall, up to 5,800 jobs have been created over the three year construction tenure of the Stadium. But it doesn’t stop there – residents and tourists will also reap the rewards. Transport options to the area are set to improve, including Stadium Station (a six-platform train station), the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge and special event bus terminals.

Style to Sell

April 26th, 2017 by REMAX WA

If you’re looking to sell your house quickly and successfully, then you might want to consider working on its ultimate wow-factor first. Styling your home is a fantastic way to showcase your property to its fullest potential. Not only does it increase your chances of attracting potential buyers, it also gives them an opportunity to visualise what they can do with the space and what kind of lifestyle it promises. These days, homes for sale in Perth need to be presented in a tasteful, professional manner to stand out from the rest of the pack, and home opens are the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Preparing your home

Properly preparing your home for the market is a sure-fire way to help sell or rent your home in the fastest possible time frame, at the highest price. Start preparations early, so that you’re not in a mad rush at the end to get things finalised around the home – you want it to look polished and professional rather than a hot mess. It’s also a good time to think about who your target audience might be so that you can style accordingly. For example, is it growing families looking for more room, or empty-nesters seeking to downsize? If the property is for rent, perhaps your target audience is students from a nearby university.  Take these factors into account when considering how to style your home so that you can make it as attractive as possible to your target group.

Will it be worth your while?

If recent statistics are anything to go by then yes, you bet. Real estate agents report that houses which have been styled, or ‘staged’, sell 30%-50% faster than those that haven’t, with many selling in a matter of days rather than weeks. Presenting a property in such a way that tells a prospective buyer they can quite literally move in without undertaking any work whatsoever is a major selling point for many people.  And as a bonus, statistics show that over 80% of styled homes sell at or above the asking prices when compared to non-styled homes in the same marketplace.

So how do you go about styling your home in order to sell it?

Start by making any maintenance repairs around the property, such repainting grimy walls or fixing the reticulation. Once everything is in working order, give the place a complete spring clean, inside and out. The home needs to sparkle like a new penny, so get out the elbow grease, or hire professional cleaners. The next step is to de-clutter and de-personalise the space as much as possible, because nobody wants to see your old toothbrushes and piles of shoes. Finally, it’s time to style it up. Try adding display furniture and quality furnishings to evoke a sense of beauty and sophistication. You want to create an emotional connection for your prospective buyers.

For more tips and ideas about how to successfully sell your home, call REMAX today on 9387 8149.

Tax Depreciation of New vs Old Homes: How You Can Benefit

April 19th, 2017 by REMAX WA

real estate sales

Claiming tax depreciation on an investment property is nothing new for most seasoned investors, but did you know that the age of the property has an effect on what you can claim? Essentially, depreciation is the estimated decrease in an asset’s value over time. You can claim the depreciation of your investment property as a tax deduction each financial year, and many investors go as far as taking depreciation into account prior to investing in a property. Depreciated assets are those that have a limited lifespan and will wear out over time, such as carpet and curtains. With so many household items having an approximate life span of more than a decade, the tax deductions can be considerable.

There are two types of depreciation deductions:

Capital Works Deduction

A capital works deduction applies to the over-arching structural characteristics of a property, such as the walls, roof and concrete floors. If a property was built after 1987, this type of deduction allows you to claim 2.5% of the original cost of construction each financial year, until the property reaches forty years old. If it was built prior to 1987, a capital works deduction does generally not apply.

Plant and Equipment Deduction

A plant and equipment deduction applies to the removable objects within a property that depreciate (wear out) over time, such as water heaters, stoves and blinds. This type of deduction has no bearing on the age of the property.

Depending on the age of the property, either one or both of these deductions can be claimed through tax depreciation schemes.

New Homes

Buying a new home is similar to buying a new car – as soon as it has been purchased, it loses its original value and becomes a second-hand good. New and upcoming processes are always been released in the market, so while your new home is being built, updated products are constantly being released. Both capital works deductions and plant and equipment deductions can be applied to new homes.

Old Homes

As depreciation is such a crucial part of your investment property strategy, it’s important to think wisely before purchasing a house built prior to 1987. Plant and equipment deductions can be applied to these kinds of properties. There are also instances where capital works deductions can be made as well, such as structural renovations that have been made to the property after 1987. In other words, despite a property being older, it may still be eligible for years of capital works deductions to come, in the form of depreciation related to renovations and restorations. You can also claim using either the Prime Cost Method, which is the same annual tax deduction for the asset’s effective life, or the Diminishing Value Method, which receives a higher tax break sooner by allowing you to accelerate your deductions in the earlier years.

RE/MAX WA Real Estate Internship Program

March 13th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

“A new career in real estate”

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Again in July 2017 RE/MAX WA will run the most comprehensive and structured training program (Real Estate Internships) for people looking to kick off a new career in real estate and also for people who are already in real estate but would like a fresh start with new tools, new knowledge, a new outlook plus the support and resources required to ensure ongoing success at a high level.

This program will provide attendees with a simple easy to follow blueprint and proven systems to ensure their success in this exciting industry with RE/MAX, the biggest and most successful brand in the World. The program is based on the now globally renowned, exclusive RE/MAX International “Momentum” system which has revolutionised the results of agents in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada and the Unites States.

From fresh starts many of our current salespeople are now earning six figure incomes and, subject to completing this program we have salary/commission opportunities for success oriented people in our 17 offices located from Butler in the north to Bunbury in the south.

The next Real Estate Internship Program will run in July 2017 and will include classroom and on the job practical experience with the intention of providing the most solid foundation available anywhere in the Australian real estate industry. You will be working alongside coaches and mentors who have a focus on your success.

Our aim at RE/MAX is to train, support and administer our sales staff so as to empower them to provide the absolute highest levels of service and skills to their clients. In so doing, also allow them to enjoy a wonderful income and lifestyle.

“REAL ESTATE THE RE/MAX WAY”

“Avoid the pitfalls, discover the secrets and supercharge your career”

This may be your opportunity to start a new life and to build an income and assets to ensure your future security and long term lifestyle.

On completion of each 4 week program we will be selecting new sales candidates to take up positions in our offices. To see office locations CLICK HERE.

Note: Applications to attend the July program are now open.

 

If you would like more information please complete the Send an Inquiry form and we will be in touch. An evening introduction/information meeting will be held prior to the program starting which interested people will be asked to attend.

Ultimate Moving Checklist

February 14th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Ultimate Moving Checklist compliments of Kent Removals and Storage.

Moving house, whether moving locally or moving interstate, requires careful preparation and project management. Unfortunately, most of us haven’t worked in careers that prepare us for a project of this scale and it can be a very overwhelming process.

That’s why we’ve created the Ultimate Moving Checklist. Follow the list and you’ll be prepared for the big day—it really will help ensure moving runs smoothly instead of descending into one big, chaotic mess.

An Early Start Is Key

A successful move is all about doing a little bit over an extended period of time, rather than doing a lot in a short amount of time. With two months to go you need to start:

  • Asking a number of moving companies for a free in-home visit and volume estimate. This way you can get some accurate quotes and undertake a price comparison
  • Once you’ve chosen a company you need to start creating an itemised list of all of your moving expenses so you can stay on track with your budget
  • Be ruthless when you go through your belongings. Only take what you need or love – the rest should be sold or donated. You pay for what you take so there’s no use paying for anything inessential
  • If you need storage, organise it now. Storage facilities can book out and you don’t want be stuck having to put your treasures in a poor quality facility

Keep Chipping Away

You’re off to a good start now you just have to keep the momentum going, with two weeks until the big move you can:

  • Create a final plan for moving day. Make sure you communicate with your service provider and ensure that things like access points and times at both addresses are clear
  • Make sure you’re aware of any restriction on parking, traffic management and access at your new address. You don’t want to get stuck with a nasty fine on the day of your move or find you can’t access your new property so be organised
  • You want to ensure that your new house is completely set up for your first night, so contact utility companies with enough time to ensure that your utilities will be connected by the time you arrive
  • You don’t want to have to deal with a broken down car on moving day so get it serviced
  • Book in a babysitter for the day of the move. Moving with young children is difficult and you’ll be thankful for the help when the day comes
  • Draw up a floor plan of your new home and include clear instructions as to where everything is going to be placed. That way your removalists will know exactly where you want everything and the drop off can be completed a lot quicker

Keep ticking all the items off and you’ll be surprised at how little you have to do on the big day. Just commit to doing a little bit each week and you’ll avoid all the moving day terrors you’ve heard about.

Landlords should not close door on pets

January 20th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

Claude 2

Landlords should not close door on pets

With almost 50 percent of tenants seeking rental properties that allow pets, landlords should think twice before shutting out this huge section of the renting market.

Because pet friendly rental properties are much harder to find, tenants with pets tend to be willing to pay good rents and the records show that they stay considerably longer in their leases.

Pets should be considered on a case by case basis the same as tenants and just as a property manager does with tenant applicants it is not too hard to seek testimonials from previous managers or landlords.

WA market sprouting green shoots

January 20th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

WA market sprouting green shoots.

2016 was inarguably the worse period in the WA market in the past decade however there has been a significant lift in buyer inquiries and offers since Christmas. REIWA figures show that property prices rose in November and December after having dropped for the previous few years and it is predicted that the WA market will continue to strengthen as the year progresses.

Historically Perth has followed Sydney whereas, when the Sydney market begins to slow Perth takes off as investors recognise the comparable value between the two cities.

Prospective buyers who have been holding off are well advised to act sooner rather than later before the window of opportunity closes completely.

Bad tenants targeting private landlords

January 20th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Bad tenants targeting private landlords.

The main motivation for investment property owners to manage their own properties is to save money however all too often this perceived saving quickly becomes a huge cost accompanied by nightmares that don’t go away quickly.

Because they know that private landlords cannot do not have access to the national tenant check database and lack the authority of professional property managers, the worse tenants target properties advertised in community papers and free sites like Gumtree. Our PMs are regularly being asked to take over privately managed rentals, to seek unpaid rent and to oversee remedial work on badly damaged properties.

Considering the massive risks and the time required when self-managing, the tax deductible investment in employing a professional property manager is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Geoff Baldwin – MD RE/MAX WA

Sellers should check agents’ List to Sell ratios

December 19th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Sellers will often be impressed by the fact that a particular agent seems to be active in their area by advertising a long list of properties however this can be extremely deceiving.  Sellers should check agents’ List to Sell ratios. – According to RE/MAX WA Managing Director and Trainer, Geoff Baldwin.

This subject came up in a recent conversation with a frustrated seller who had listed their property with an agent who seemed to be dominant in their area.

On analysis we discovered however that the particular agent did hold a lot of stock however was only successful in selling around 45 percent of those properties.

Obviously this meant that the remaining 55% of sellers were wasting their time and often their marketing funds when they could have listed with a more successful converter, perhaps holding less stock but with more time to dedicate to each client.

As a seller you have every right to ask for evidence of an agent’s conversation ratios or you can do your own checking by looking at the agent’s listings versus sold statistics on the major websites.

By the way, don’t be influenced by so called “agent rating” sites. They are paid by agents and certainly don’t reflect who is the best agent in any area, he said.

December National Market Update

December 12th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Click through to view the National December Property Market Update compliments of RE/MAX WA and RP Data, Core Logic.

Target suburbs for investing now

October 14th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

While the masses act when the market is peaking smart buyers jump in when the big hand is passing 6 on the economic clock and in WA that time is here according to Geoff Baldwin, MD of RE/MAX WA.

As we move towards the warmer month’s inquiry is increasing and home open numbers are up as more and more investors come back into the market before it too heats up.

Following are six suburbs that are ripe for growth:

  • Ocean Reef – well undervalued but set to go after the announcement of progress on the new marina
  • Bunbury – Always more vibrant in summer and right now there are positive geared opportunities to be had.
  • Hillarys – An A class suburb that is equal in every way to its neighbor, Kallaroo which has moved up by 17% over the past year.
  • Margaret River – While nearby Busselton has increased by nearly 12% over the past 12 months, Margaret River has lost ground. This is about to change!
  • East Vic Park – Close to the CBD, close to the action and sure to move up.
  • Padbury – Close to the freeway and 2 minutes from the beach yet down 6.6% over the past year. Huge opportunity for a positive turn around!

Buyers should seek qualified guidance form an agent who genuinely specialises in property investment but the window won’t remain open for much longer for those who want to buy at the bottom.

When to rent and when to buy

October 14th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

When to rent and when to buy can be a dilemma but while many would argue that there is never a bad time to buy property, the truth is it can sometimes be wiser to rent and wait says RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin.

The records show that most WA suburbs and towns have experienced very little growth or even a drop in values over the past few years while at the same time rents have been continually falling so it could be legitimately argued that renting through this period would have been a smart move.

When the market is falling or stagnating, paying interest on a mortgage can be money down the drain however when buying timing is hugely important.

The time to get into the market is when the big hand on the economic clock is pointing to the six and is about to tick back up toward 12 which is the peak.

With rents still low the temptation could be there to enter into another lease however as we move closer to the warmer months it could very well be time to consider buying.

There is currently an abundance of properties on the market but already this stock is beginning to reduce so now is the time for prospective buyers to take action.

Buy New or buy Established?

October 14th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Buy new or buy established is the question.

With the First Home Owner Grant only applying to new properties the temptation can be to head in that direction however the pain can sometimes outweigh the gain says RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin.

Yes, there is the $10,000 grant for first home buyers who buy land and build but it pays to do the sums over the whole package and take into consideration the time it will take from start to finish.

Typically it will take six to eight months depending on weather and other influences, from the time of buying the block through to handover of the keys and during this time there are costs to consider:

  • Rent will continue to be paid while the house is being built
  • Loan payments will need to be paid on the land and then more as the graduated payments become due on the build.
  • There are always extra costs in addition to make the house a home once the builder is finished.

Right now the market for established homes is full of opportunity and many properties can be purchased for much less than it would cost to build them at today’s costs.

Many established properties include a host of bonus extras that have already been added by previous owners such as air conditioning, pools, landscaping, etc.

There is no doubt that building new will be the choice of many however this decision should not be made based on perceived cost savings alone without considering the bigger picture.

Real Estate agent referral sites a scam

October 13th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

The Real Estate Institute of WA is to be congratulated on taking action to expose the latest scam in real estate, so called agent referral websites that claim they can put you in touch with the best agents in your area but who are little more than hired guns according to RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin.

There are now a plethora of these sites with more popping up each month and it is extremely important that the public see them for what they are as they certainly are not free to either the seller or the agent.

In some cases the agent pays these sites to promote themselves and many of them demand thousands by way a slice of the commission paid by the client resulting in the agent having much less to actually market and administer the sale.

Quite obviously, the best agents do not need to rely on these sites to attract business so it is often the lower skilled battlers who find it hard to gain listings and even harder to attract buyers to those listings.

What is a disgrace is that the people behind these sites claim a holier than thou approach to looking after the client while at the same time adding huge cost to the process which is inevitably paid by the seller.

The best way to select your selling agent is to look out for who is active in your area, arrange three appraisals and then choose the agent who can demonstrate the appropriate skills and importantly go with the person who you feel comfortable with rather than one who is paying a third party a large slice of the commission you are paying.

If there is room for agents to be paying huge rewards to referral websites for sending them your business then surely those excess funds should stay with you the seller.

Real Estate Disrupter Purple Bricks is No Uber!

September 9th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

The impending Australian launch of self acclaimed real estate disrupter Purple Bricks is doomed to failure for a number of reasons including simple maths and Purple Bricks is no Uber according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Purple Bricks, was founded in the UK and despite making impact in that market, to this are point is showing a loss of nearing $17 million over the past two years” Baldwin said.

“Unlike the UK market where sellers have been trained to do much of the work often including opening and showing prospective buyers sent to them by their agents, the Australian seller has a much higher expectation.

“Paying for a ride in a conventional taxi or with Uber car cannot be compared to the intricacies of selling property any more than comparing the decision to hire a lawyer or represent oneself.

“With the average good agency in this country retaining around 15% of turnover before taxable profit and the national average being around 7%, simple maths depicts that a whole range of services an skills will need to be omitted if Purple Bricks hopes to avoid similar losses in Australia.

“There is no way they will attract the better agents or salespeople as they simply will not work for the low fees on offer with Purple Bricks and if they believe any significant volume of Australian sellers are going to be happy to represent themselves, they are in for the same disappointment experienced by the multitude of failed discounters that have come before them.

“Of course Purple Bricks are likely to attract media attention and the interest of some sellers however, while conventional agents need to continually hone their skills and services, they are not likely to be made redundant by the Purple Bricks model.

Geoff Baldwin

Caution when selling your house to buy another

August 4th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Caution when selling your house to buy another…

It is common for people to make an offer on a property conditional to selling the one they already own but this process, if approached incorrectly, has several pitfalls and can be disappointing and/or increase the cost by many thousands.

Tread warily with ‘Subject To’ offers

In a market where high number so stock exists upgraders will often opt to place an offer subject to the successful sale of their existing property however this process needs to be considered carefully to avoid wasted time and disappointment, RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin warns.

“Invariably, when a subject sale is negotiated, the sellers will include a clause allowing them to continue marketing their property to other buyers with a proviso that the subject buyers be given a period of time to go unconditional (usually 48 hours) after which the new offer is accepted”, he said.

“To avoid this situation upgraders should consider getting their existing property sold or at least under offer prior to placing an offer on another home and perhaps ask

for a longer settlement period to enable everything to come together.

“The other problem with making subject to sale offers is that they don’t excite a seller as much as being presented with a cash or a subject to finance offer because the latter comes with a predictable settlement date and hence there is more scope for negotiation.

“If an upgrader does decide to place a subject to sale offer then they should also try to negotiate a period whereby the property cannot be sold from

under if when a another buyer comes onto the scene”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

Northern Lights Shine for Upgraders

August 4th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

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Northern Lights Shine for Upgraders …..

As the real estate market moves towards the annual Spring/Summer resurgence a window of opportunity opens to take advantage of some great buys, especially in the middle to upper price ranges. This irregularity in the market is primed for upgraders to take action however it will not exist for a long period because, as the weather heats up so too will the market with the result that stock levels will reduce and prices will bounce back quickly according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Homes in suburbs like Ocean Reef, Connolly, Iluka, Currambine, Burns Beach and Jindalee are all selling well below what they would cost to buy land and build and the added bonus is that the owners of these properties have invariably added extra value by way of pools, pergolas, solar boosters, etc that they tend to discount at sale time”, he said.

“It is also a fact that people selling lower priced properties are not having to drop their prices by near the percentage that is happening further up the market and this means they have a window of opportunity to upgrade that will only remain open for a limited time.

“Properties along the coast that were selling for over a million dollars are now going for high eight hundreds to early nine hundreds and buyers are now really beginning to recognise this value.

“Upgraders should not hesitate to consider making offers subject to the sale of their present property provided the owners of the one they are buying are willing to give them time to sell however this will always depend on how saleable their current home is made.

“This irregularity in the market is primed for upgraders to take action however it will not exist for a long period because, as the weather heats up so too will the market with the result that stock levels will reduce and prices will bounce back quickly”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

National property market doesn’t exist

August 4th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

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National property market doesn’t exist …

With each state and territory being so different in regards to current market conditions it is no longer relevant to talk about the Australian real estate market as a collective and this should be considered carefully by would be property investors. It is fair to say that the market in NSW and Victoria remain very hot while WA and SA are slow and QLD is somewhere in the middle. Understanding this and the economic cycle can enable prospective investors to time their purchases to maximise capital gains.

No consistency in national market

The days of referring to the condition of Australian real estate as just one big market are well and truly over and this is a fact that should considered carefully by real estate investors according to

RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin.

“It is not since the recession of the late 1980s, early 1990s that we have seen all states reflecting similar results across the board, he said.

“During the recent booms of Sydney and Melbourne and all the hype that has gone with that, we have seen SA, WA and NT in decline and Queensland doing little more than holding its own.

“Now as those booming states start to slow the overriding commentary is that “the” real estate market is cooling which is a lazy generalisation that should be examined carefully by property investors.

“While over time a national trend does exist, year by year

each state and territory has shown to be a market in its own right and all indications are that this will continue.

“While most projectionists would agree that the Sydney and Melbourne markets have or are reaching their upper limits, markets such as WA, QLD, NT and Tasmania are

offering comparatively good value in both return on investment and price.

“Perth has been affected by the downturn in the resources boom as that sector moves from construction into production and due to the current price of iron ore but will this override the positives in that market in the medium term?

“Australian buyers have proven to be extremely resilient and also to have short memories when it comes to negative influences and hence the more affordable states may bounce back more quickly that many think especially now that investors are looking for alternatives.

“Having been dealing

with investors and having sold new and established properties in multiple states over the past three decades it is my observation that property buyers need to consider each state and territory in isolation when considering where

to invest and that right now, there are places to buy and others to avoid.

“Overall, savvy property investors who are prepared to take a wider view will always find good, solid opportunities in some areas even though the market may be on the slide in others”, Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

RE/MAX WA National Property Market Update – June 2016

June 20th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Market Update June 16

Open letter to REIWA

June 17th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

The President – Council

REIWA

Dear President and Councillors,

I am writing to you after discussions with fellow members in relation to the new “agent rating” initiative REIWA has instigated on its website and is promoting on radio.

We are deeply concerned that, not only has REIWA launched a mechanism that hugely favours a select group of its members but which works to the detriment of the majority of members.

Also, like many others, I am disgusted that in promoting this campaign REIWA is presenting real estate practitioners in an extremely negative light in a time when we should be continually focused on lifting public perception. The attached advert can only be described as an embarrassment and a disgrace.

Notwithstanding the obvious unfairness of our industry body promoting some agents to the detriment of others, presenting agents in each suburb according to their sales numbers and active listings can be extremely misleading.

Let’s have a closer look at some examples of why this is wrong:

  1. An actual agent who will remain unnamed but who has been dominant in the northern suburbs for many years specialising in a particular suburb but extremely capable in any suburb. It is a shame that if he were to be checked out by a prospective seller in the directly adjoining four suburbs he would NOT be rated or would be rated very lowly. This could very unfairly cost this excellent agent business through no fault of his own and he is only one of hundreds of members now being disadvantaged by REIWA through the Agent Finder ratings.
  1. Then we have the total imbalance caused by individuals versus teams whereby a “team leader” with several assistants is listed above very capable individual operators who are every bit as and often more qualified and capable and who can sometimes offer a higher degree of focused one on one service.
  1. There are many long standing but hugely capable agents who choose to take on less listings than they were in past years however the REIWA rating system now paints them as less capable than agents they could run rings around in any suburb if they so desired. Is this the way to treat loyal members? Is it right to disadvantage members who have been paying their REIWA dues often for decades?

The bottom line is, like any member, I don’t expect my Institute to be disadvantaging me or any of my fellow members for that matter when I know I could compete on the basis of skills, experience, resources, etc with the best of them. Don’t get me wrong, this is not about me but the point is when REIWA decides to become instrumental in the choices sellers make about its members REIWA has stepped well and truly over the line.

There are many, many problems with the Institute becoming judge and jury as to who should be promoted to the public and I am sure that any meaningful consultation with its whole membership would highlight that all but the select few, would have a degree of concern with this new initiative.

The feeble argument is that because of the proliferation of “agent rating” sites, REIWA decided to get into the act itself however I would compare that to stating that ….. because a lot of banks are being robbed I’ll solve the problem by becoming a bank robber myself which is just as ludicrous.

REIWA Council, you people get a lot of things right and I love your current stance on Negative Gearing but on this occasion you’ve made a very bad call and you need to step back and fix it fast!

 

Geoff Baldwin

Offer what it is worth to you

June 8th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

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Offer what it is worth to you. A pricing approach to bring sellers and buyers together.

The age old method of placing a fixed price on a property and hoping that buyers will inquire and make offers is pretty much dead and should be buried according to 30 year veteran agent Geoff Baldwin who owns and runs the RE/MAX real estate group.

The problem with using a fixed price that is above the expectation is that buyers are most often looking well below that expectation, especially in a tough market however high fixed prices do little more than keep them away.

One method that brings buyers and sellers together and allows buyers to become emotionally involved with a property is to price it using a wide range and to then negotiate on all offers. The records show that, although sellers may think they will receive less using this method, in the hands of a skilled agent quite the opposite is the case. More buyers see the property, more competition is created and once a buyer falls in love with the property they will pay what it is worth to them and often that is exactly what the seller is trying to achieve and sometimes even a little more.

14% interest rates and the market boomed

June 8th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Businessman running for bus

14% interest rates and the market boomed…. In 1988, two years after I began my career in real estate, the WA market experienced a massive boom with prices increasing by up to 60% in an 8 month period. An

interesting fact was that the interest rate at the start of that boom was around 14 percent, a rate that would horrify property owners today. In fact, I remember making the statement that if interest rates were to drop to 10% I would fix mine forever.

At that time the average house price in Perth increased from $58,000 to over $100,000 and the headlines read that housing had become

unaffordable and that the market would surely suffer a long term downturn. Yes, it did suffer a couple of years of stagnation in the early nineties after interest rates soured to 20% but by 1995 the average price had increased to $125,000 and everyone wished they had purchased property in 1987.

Today that average is around $500,000 and again the popular call is that housing is unaffordable and that prices will drop but with interest rates as low as 4%, with prices having stagnated for several years and percentage rent returns pretty much as good as they have been for a decade the window of opportunity is closing and in a few years time

people will look back and wish they had purchased in 2016.

Selling in a flat market – top 3 things to consider

June 8th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Choose Your House Mirror

Geoff Baldwin, MD of the RE/MAX real estate group says that marketing, presentation and price are the top 3 things to consider when selling in a flat market.

Whilst most people tend to want to market their property as though it is the only one available, the fact is it is on the market in competition with hundreds of others and hence it needs to stand out in that massive pool. To do so it requires quality marketing to ensure it captures the attention of every buyer in its price range.

Attention to detail in presentation is critical when people have so many properties to compare and are often looking as much to eliminate as to choose.

Lastly pricing or overpricing is the surest way to stop inquiry, to minimize viewings and to stale a property to the market. Properties that are overpriced tend to eventually sell for much less than they would have had they been priced to meet the market from day one.

Keep in mind the most asked question when buyers are interested in placing an offer is …. “How long has it been on the market?” The longer it’s been for sale the less they are likely to offer so it is critical to get the pricing strategy right from day one.

Power through Property Pooling

May 18th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

REMAXimise-Chart

RE/MAX Western Australia has launched an innovative new way to bring buyers and sellers together through the power of property pooling combined with the implementation of radio advertising,

multimedia including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and website

re-targeting.

According to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin, gaining maximum exposure in a tough market is better achieved by pooling resources with other like-minded sellers to attract buyers using this otherwise unaffordable marketing initiative.

“With around 20,000 properties currently on the market in WA sellers need to take a completely out of the box approach if they are serious about attracting buyers and RE/MAX

WA has developed a bold strategy to make that happen”, Baldwin said.

“Our company recently launched the RE/MAXimise Property Sales Plan whereby a select pool of sellers offering well priced properties combine resources to attract buyers through a combination of massive radio and social media advertising.

“Whereas this level of marketing would be totally unaffordable to an individual property seller, by combining resources we are able to afford to promote this select “pool” of listings using peak radio and targeted online mass-marketing.

“In this flooded market buyers are also finding it difficult to differentiate between the myriad of properties on offer and are looking for sellers who are serious about getting a result and who want to avoid a long drawn out and often painful process.

“The RE/MAXimise strategy is to pool a selection of competitively

priced properties and to advertise that pool via radio, website re-targeting and social media to serious buyers who are ready to buy which essentially equates to power through property pooling.

“The advantage to sellers is that they achieve

their expectation and optimise the result but don’t

need to be continually slashing their asking price.

“The RE/MAXimise plan also enables buyers to see a selection of the best listings all in one place knowing that each one is realistically priced and helping them avoid weeks of searching for genuine value.

“Sellers and buyers can find out more by visiting www.remaximise.com.au.

Agents treating property marketing like online dating

April 20th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Hand with marker writing the word Beware

In recent years many agents have fallen into the trap of trying

to sell properties via their online marketing however this can be likened to treating property marketing like online dating and can be a huge mistake according to

RE/MAX WA Managing Director Geoff Baldwin.

“The biggest driver in the buying decision is the same as that in any new love affair and that is emotion”, he said.

“I am a massive believer in internet marketing however for a relationship to be successful usually requires a live meeting and the same can be said about buyers becoming emotionally attached to property. It is hard to fall in love if there is never a live inspection!

“Images and information can be a double edged sword in property marketing. In the early stages of my career I was offered some valuable advice and that was “The less you say as an agent, the less chance you have of saying the wrong thing”. I believe this same advice should be applied to advertising properties.

“It is rarely the case that any more than a dozen genuinely high quality images can be produced about one listing. There is a good chance however that, the more images placed online, the more chance potential buyers will see something they don’t like, not something that is necessarily a fault with the property, but something that doesn’t appeal to them….an inquiry killer!

“Agents need to remember that advertising isn’t designed to “sell” a property, it is designed to encourage inquiry and viewings…full stop!

“By all means provide enough information to attract inquiry and viewings but remember that curiosity is still a key to attracting buyers and attracting buyers is what we get paid for as agents.

“Telling (or showing) the whole story online can often defeat that purpose as potential buyers make their minds up without even making a call or sending an email. Of the thousands of sales I have been involved with directly in my career  there have been so many where the buyer has fallen in love with and purchased a property that was nothing like they were initially seeking.

“The secret (in my experience anyway) is to avoid treating property marketing like online dating and just tell people enough to get them to the property so that a love affair can start in real life, after all, online dating often proves to end in disappointment because the parties oversell the product” he said.

Cheaper petrol is fueling mortgage relief

April 20th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

One of the biggest financial fears of home owners is that of their mortgage interest rate rising however the volatile price of fuel can have an equal effect on the family budget according to real estate expert Geoff Baldwin who points out that currently cheaper petrol is fueling mortgage relief.

He makes the relevant point that the price of filling up the average family car four times a month when fuel prices were at their peak was around $530 however recently this has come right down to under $400, a saving more than $130 a month or $1,500 a year.

“It could certainly be argued that cheaper petrol is fueling mortgage relief or at least, taking pressure of the family budget”, he said.

“It should also be remembered that many families are running two cars adding another couple of tankfuls each month.

“Savings through current lower fuel prices are equal to the interest rate on the average mortgage of $400,000 coming down by half a percent yet most people do not relate to this saving.

“In fact, if interest rates came down by another .5 percent it would almost certainly result in a reheating of the property market he said.

“There is a growing number of

home owners who now run a strict household budget and as part of that budget they are funneling savings such as this straight back into their mortgage each month.

“The WA real estate market is starting to show signs of recovery with an increase in under offer and sold stickers and a significant lift in inquiries and viewings.

“One of the biggest influences on the market is affordability and with interest rates at record lows and fuel prices cheaper than they have been for many years, many households are now considering upgrading or buying a new home”, he said.

Property oversupply to turn around from election day

March 10th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

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Property oversupply to turn around from election day ….. Currently there are over 20,000 properties for sale across Perth presenting great opportunities and a wide choice for buyers however this glut is part of the normal cycle and it will begin to tighten once the Federal election has come and gone industry veteran and Managing Director of RE/MAX WA, Geoff Baldwin has predicted.

“In a market where there are a lot of properties on offer buyers are definitely in the driver’s seat however, regardless of the wider choice, there are only a limited number of bargains and even less that will fit a particular buyers requirements.

“The trap in this market is that buyers think the well priced properties will still be there tomorrow and next week and hence they hold off however, in any market the best properties are the ones that sell and they sell quickly regardless of market conditions.

“We are now seeing buyers contacting us to place offers on properties they viewed several weeks ago only to be informed that they have missed out because the properties has sold often resulting in significant disappointment.

“We are also seeing upgraders who have made offers that are subject to their current homes selling but who are missing out because they are holding out for an unachievable price despite negotiating a great deal on the new home.

“Sellers are advised to remember that

the most often question asked by an interested buyer is “How long has it been on the market” and the reason they ask this question is that the longer it’s been for sale the less they are likely to offer.

“Stale listings will inevitably sell well below what they would have sold for if they came to the market at the right price on day one.

“A property that comes onto the market today at a very realistic price will still attract huge interest and competition between buyers which results in the price being maximised.

“In

regards to the current oversupply, buyers are now re-entering the market and we are also seeing more and more investors recognising the value around at the moment and this increasing activity tends to have a snowball effect.

“Once people see Under Offer and Sold stickers appearing on signs they tend to move a lot more quickly and historically this has resulted in a quick reduction in stock and more pressure on prices.

“It is inarguably a wonderful time for people to buy however people thinking of buying or upgrading should do so in the short term rather than believing these conditions will last forever, Baldwin said.

ENDS

8 Expert Qualities That Make a Good Rental Property Manager

March 1st, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

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When selecting an agency to look after your property there are 8 expert qualities that make a good rental property manager that a landlord should focus on before making a

decision according to long standing property investment expert and managing director of RE/MAX WA, Geoff Baldwin.

“So often owners of investment properties, particularly first time investors, will choose their property manager on what they charge rather than looking more closely and considering their results, service and record.

Following are the 8 most important considerations:

Experience

Like any profession property management cannot be learned in a month. Your chosen property manager should have at least 2 years’ experience.

Longevity in the position

There is nothing more frustrating than to

endure a procession of property managers so it is very important that you choose one who is happy in the job and who is unlikely to leave.

Vacancy factor

Check what percentage of the properties under management are vacant as this is a very reliable indication of the abilities and commitment of the property manager. Anything more than 3 percent is a concern.

Number of properties under management

The ideal amount is around 80 per PM which allows around 28 minutes per week per property which is the minimum needed to do the job properly.

Discount Factor

If the Property Manager or the agency is advertising discount rates to attract business this should sound loud alarm bells. Quality Property Managers are sought after and in demand and although their fees will usually be competitive, they will never need to advertise discounts.

Current Clients

A property manager who is confident in the abilities and service levels will not hesitate to provide you with the names and numbers of 4 or 5 current clients for you to ring.

Systems

The best property managers are totally systemised in their approach to the job. Before making a decision ask the PM to show you how they approach the job from your sign up, inspections, records, reports, communications and everything else that affects your property. A quality PM will relish the opportunity to share this information.

Attitude

The best PMs are respected by both their owners and the tenants they place in each property. Choose one whose is respectful and pleasant but who is also in control and diligent. Follow your intuition.

These are what I consider to be the 8 expert qualities that make a good rental property manager and property owners are encouraged take them into account rather than falling into the discount trap where a possible fee saving of a few dollars a week can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lost rent or damage through negligence.bigstockphoto_Business_Woman_With_Red_File_F_27328[1]

3 Critical Considerations When Buying Commercial Real Estate

March 1st, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Main Street U.S.A.When seeking out a commercial property to purchase as an investment there are 3 critical considerations when buying commercial real estate according to long standing property investment expert and managing director of RE/MAX WA, Geoff Baldwin.

“Although with commercial property the owner has the advantage

of the tenant paying most of the ongoing costs the following should be high on

the list of considerations when selecting the right property to purchase:

Return on investment

Unlike residential properties where the value is mainly depicted by location, size and condition with commercial, the percentage rental return is a huge factor in determining value. ROI should be researched and expert advice sought as to what is an acceptable rental return on the particular property prior to making an offer to purchase.

Local vacancy factor

Try to avoid areas where there is a predominance of vacant properties as this is a negative indication. Supply and demand is a huge factor in determining the rentability of a commercial property.

Quality of tenant

The general rule is, it is better to have a slightly lower rent from a quality tenant who agrees to a longer lease than it is to get a higher rent from a less secure tenant on a shorter lease. Although above I said that ROI is important it is also important to have a tenant in place whose business

is unlikely to fail and who will consistently pay the rent on time every time.

“Although these are 3 critical considerations when buying commercial real estate there are many more issues and factors to consider so it is highly recommended that you seek out the services of an experienced commercial agent to provide guidance and advice.”Main Street U.S.A.

3 Simple Tips to Improve Customer Relationship Management

March 1st, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Customer relationship management is so often referred to in these competitive times but keeping customers on side and happy is really not a complicated challenge according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

Following are a 3 simple tips to improve customer relationship management that can be applied with a systemised approach in any real estate business:

Talk to people

One of, if not the biggest complaint in real estate is lack of communication. Agents and their staff simply do not talk to their clients often enough and/or do not listen intently to the needs of their clients. The simple remedy is to systemise this for every dealing. Contact, report to and seek feedback from you’re your clients before or after key happenings such as home opens, placement of advertising, buyer viewings, etc and then again at least one time every week. The old saying is “It is hard to lose a happy client” and the easiest way to keep a client happy and on side is to keep them informed. Oh, and do it live, as in by phone or face to face. Texting simply does not cut the mustard.

Be honest early

It’s unfortunate that many agents are afraid of delivering bad news and the worst news for a client is that their price needs to come down. With any listing this becomes obvious very early on but it is so often that case that agents leave it till late in the listing to be firm with the seller about this critical influence. The time to tell a seller they are overpriced is as soon as it becomes evident and by doing this an agent’s list to sell conversation rate will drastically improve and their lost listing rate will decrease markedly. More importantly they will have a much larger list of happy sellers and buyers.

Be consistent

And the best way to achieve this is to systemise every aspect of your business. Driving our car has become a sub conscious skill because of repetition. We do it without even thinking about it. So too should you be able to consistently apply a high level of skills and disciplines to each process and dealing. Understand what needs to happen and apply it in a systemised manner each and every time. By doing this, success in real estate will become a “habit” and as easy as driving your car resulting in a very high level of satisfied clients.

“Of course there are many other influences on the quality of our business relationships but if you are able to get these three right there is little doubt that you will have many more happy clients and in turn your job satisfaction and results will boom as well.apart, together road sign

Select Your Agent Like You Would Select Your Surgeon

January 11th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

In Perth or regional WA, sellers who approach the selection of their real estate agent based on what they charge or the size of the listing price they suggest are bound to be disappointed and instead should place the same importance as if they were selecting a surgeon to carry out a lifesaving operation according to CPREA Chairman, Geoff Baldwin.

Of course selling a property is not a life a death situation but

considering it is often our most valuable asset we should surely place its marketing and sale in the hands of the absolute best available “specialist” to ensure a great outcome.

Often sellers will fall into the trap

of choosing their real estate agent based on which one claims they can attract the highest price however the folly of this is that the only influences

an agent has on the price is in the competition they create with their marketing of the property and their negotiation skills when they attract an offer.

An agent should to be guided by market evidence to a certain degree however their job should not be to guess what price can be achieved but instead to use all of their experience, contacts, knowledge, skills and diligence to achieve the highest price possible. Sellers who are seeking the best result should seek out the best agent rather than the agent who makes the biggest promises.

Another trap is to select an agent who charges the lowest fee however the question is, if an agent discounts their

fee to attract business are they likely to have the skills required to defend your price let alone negotiate

with a hardnosed buyer.

Of course every cent counts and a lower fee can look like a saving however a discounted fee often costs sellers ten, twenty thousand

dollars or even more because they don’t have the right representation when it counts.

Just as they would if they were employing an accountant, a lawyer or a medical specialist, sellers are encouraged to select their real estate agent based on optimising their outcomes and achieving their desired result”, Mr Baldwin said.

Contact – Geoff Baldwin – gbaldwin@remaxwa.com.au

Real estate franchise opportunities with RE/MAX WA

January 11th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

RE/MAX Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin, invites you to discuss the exciting real estate franchise opportunities that remain available to open a successful RE/MAX office in a key area of WA.

Western Australia invariably follows Sydney and Melbourne in the property cycle and there is every indication that this current cycle will be no exception with our market picking up as the eastern states slows so there is no better time to be considering opening your own office”, he said.

Over the past couple of years our group has continued to grow and our major difference, besides lower franchise fees than any of our competitors, is the fact that we treat every franchisee based on their particular circumstances and needs rather than taking a one size fits all approach.

Because we are still in expansion mode we have opportunities for new franchises in key areas across the metropolitan area and state where other brands are unable to offer such a wide choice of locations.

We provide a thorough induction process with training and support from day one and also assist with systems, marketing, templates, staff training, recruitment and genuine personal attention from our Regional Support Office.

Applying the RE/MAX model a new franchise can typically build to a value of in excess of a $1 million and often much more, within 3 years.

If you are a salesperson looking to take the next step into your own business, an independent agent needing a lift or perhaps a non real estate person with a successful business background, we invite you to contact us to arrange a confidential, obligation free chat at your convenience.

As the managing director I am confident that checking out these real estate franchise opportunities with RE/MAX WA could be the best business decision you will make this year.

Contact – Geoff Baldwin – gbaldwin@remaxwa.com.au

Geoff Baldwin’s Top 7 Areas for Rental Returns in 2016

January 11th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

3D Illustration Of Roi (return On Investment) Button

After many years where finding a property that attracted sufficient rent to cover the mortgage and costs investors are now spoiled for choice when it comes to neutrally or even positively geared rentals according to RE/MAX Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

I have worked with closely property investors for almost three decades and the late 1980s and early 1990s was probably the last time we saw such an availability of real estate in Perth and in other areas of WA offering such attractive returns”, he said.

Investors should look for areas where a larger number of tenants are looking for houses for rent Perth WA and where they can buy a property at or below the average price in the area, where a large number of tenants are looking for houses for rent and where the land value equals or better still, exceeds the value of the structure.

Also keep in mind the age old rule that being, the lower the sale price the more chance of a higher percentage return.”

Here are what I consider to be the top seven affordable areas of Perth and regional WA:

Were you can purchase a rental property and attract maximum returns on your investment:

1. Mandurah

Set to recover from its lull, has a strong rental demand and offering properties from below $300,000

2. Medina

Super affordable with a median price of around $280,000

3. Calista, Camilo, Hillman

Properties from around $275,000 and plenty of scope for growth

4. Armadale, Parmelia

Villas from below $300,000 and houses just a little more with massive rental demand.

5. Merriwa

Popular northern suburb with good sized blocks and quality housing.

6. Balga

Older properties, many with redevelopment potential and only 13 kilometers from the CBD and sought after by tenants

7. Bunbury

Now only 90 minutes from Perth via the Forrest Highway and offering a smorgasbord of low priced properties with good rentals.

There are several other attractive areas that meet the investment criteria but for anyone considering entering the investment market, there is no time like the present as the market begins to bounce back from its malaise of the past couple of years.

Contact – Geoff Baldwin – gbaldwin@remaxwa.com.au

6 Tips for Getting Sold in 2016

January 11th, 2016 by Geoff Baldwin

Key And Home

The WA market is changing as we kick off 2016 however to achieve a sale and to maximise sale prices, sellers should

be conscious of six critical influences according to RE/MAX Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

Western Australia invariably follows Sydney and Melbourne in the property cycle and with real estate sales in Western Australia there is every indication  that this current cycle will be no exception with our market picking up as the eastern states slows”, he said.

“Although the market will improve as the year progresses, only those sellers who take into these important considerations will ensure a smooth and successful outcome.

1. Use an effective pricing strategy

Keeping in mind the age old “fixed price” method is no longer the best way to attract viewings or offers. There are several alternatives such as Buyer Feedback Ranging, Auction, Set Date Sales, etc and an experienced agent will be able to explain these so you can make a decision on which one to use.

2. Be “In a Hurry!”

Sellers often say to their agent that they are not in a hurry but what they really mean is, I don’t want a low offer. The most asked question by interested buyers is “How long has it been for sale?” They ask this question this question in the hope that the answer will be many weeks or months. History shows without question, the longer a property is for sale, the lower the sale price.

3. Marketing is critical

Ensure your property stands out from the bunch hence your agent should be able to show you not only what marketing is available but how each component will be effective in boosting inquiry and achieving a result in the short term. You can’t sell a secret!

4. Presentation can make tens of thousands of dollars difference in sale price

And it can also significantly influence time on market. Permit or even demand your agent to be bluntly honest with you to identify anything that may turn potential buyers off and anything that can be done to help make your property shine. Remember, there is no second chance for a first impression.

5. Put emotion aside.

One of the biggest enemies of the seller is their emotional involvement in the property or the process. Buyers can be brutal, especially in a market where there are thousands of properties from which they can choose. Just keep your eyes on the end result and on what you are trying to achieve.

6. Someone’s got to say this

so here it goes…

Don’t choose your agent on what price he or she suggests or on how much commission they charge. Choose the agent who you genuinely feel comfortable with and who has the experience, skills, resources and knowledge to maximise your price and ensure a smooth process. It’s not the job of your agent to depict what price you will achieve, it’s his or her job to maximise the result and that will rarely happen if you employ an agent on price or commission.

Over this coming year real estate sales in Western Australia will pick up but the sellers who benefit most will be those who focus on getting things 100 percent right from day one on the market.

ENDS

Author & Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

Six Reasons Why You Need a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

September 30th, 2015 by REMAX WA

Happy Family

There are many reasons people consider selling real estate in Perth and across WA. You may need to move closer to work or schools, downgrade or upgrade or you may simply need a tree-change. Whatever the reason, the whole process will go much more smoothly if you have a professional real estate agent to do all the hard work for you.

There are many good reasons to hire a realtor rather than trying to do it all yourself.

  1. There is a lot involved in selling a home. A good, well skilled and resourced real estate agent will have a great deal of experience and will be able to advise you how to get the best price possible for your area. This may involve selling by auction, by fixed asking price or other strategy. They can take care of all the documentation involved and ensure everything is binding and legal.
  2. Because they are constantly in the market real estate agents have many contacts that other people don’t have. They keep a database of clients who want to buy and sell townhouses, units or other kinds of property, so they can often find a good match quickly and for the best price.
  3. When you sell a home you will need to offer inspections and open homes. A real estate agent can organise inspections for you and coordinate home open times. They can also give you tips on how to make your property present at its best to attract buyers.
  4. A RE/MAX real estate agent has the training necessary to sell homes or commercial real estate in Perth, so no matter what you want to sell, they will help you.
  5. The estate agent will handle photography and floor plans for advertising, making sure that it is all done in a professional way that will attract buyers.
  6. When you use a professional to sell your home you get professional service, legal protection and the constructional agreement is handled professionally, an aspect that reassures buyers that they are not going to be scammed in any way.

Protection from Stress

For many people, selling their home is an emotional and sometimes stressful time as many precious memories may be attached to that proeprty. This can make selling it yourself something of a trauma and you may even stall the sale subconsciously. An estate agent will not be emotionally involved and can enhance the likelihood of a sale while protecting you from the stress involved.

In addition, if you work full-time you will find that taking on the added job of selling your home means you have no free time to rest, relax and enjoy your family. This also can create the kind of stress that you are better off avoiding.

When a real estate agent is on the job you can expect your property to sell more quickly with a minimum of fuss and bother. You will then be able to get on with the rest of your life as you settle into your new home. The team at RE/MAX WA offer their professional services to help you sell your home.

Perth to emerge as a National Hot Spot this Spring

August 3rd, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

As Sydney and Melbourne come off the boil more and more eyes are turning to Perth and also the WA South West regions according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“In addition to significantly increased inquiry to our Investments Division from China and Malaysia in particular, we are also seeing local buyers recognising that value has returned to the market which is another sign that this spring will see Perth identified as one of Australia’s hottest opportunities.

“Numbers at home opens has increased markedly over the past few weeks and the number of people looking to upgrade their homes also shows that they are seeing value at the higher end of the market.

“With local property prices at a 3 year low first home buyers are beginning to realise that the repayments on the average mortgage now compare favourable to the amounts they are paying in rent and are actively looking at their options at the cheaper end of the market.

“Some pundits will argue that the downturn in the mining sector will keep the brakes on the Perth market however history has shown that our local economy is extremely resilient and that it recovers very quickly and all indications are that we are set for a healthy bounce as the warmer months approach”, Mr Baldwin said.

Perth market to enjoy spring rebound

July 13th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

The Perth market is set to regain the ground it has lost in the past few years seeing prices increase by at least 7 to 10 percent this financial year according to industry veteran and RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Despite July historically being the slowest month of the year there has been a marked lift in buyer interest across all price ranges and this renewed activity will almost certainly continue to increase as we move towards the warmer months”, he said.

“The records show that Perth follows the Sydney market in every cycle and there is little argument that Sydney is currently experiencing a record boom.

“Although Perth real estate is not predicted to boom all pointers are that we are heading for a period of very strong, sustained growth and this is also expected to reflect in WA’s south west regions such as Bunbury and Albany and also north to Geraldton.

“Interest rates are at all-time lows resulting in mortgage repayments on homes up to $500,000 being comparable to rents being paid for similar properties and making buying a home a viable option for many renters.

“House prices in many suburbs are down by 10 percent or more compared to 3 years ago however this slack will always be quickly taken up as the market rebounds.

“Right now there is a window of opportunity for buyers whereby prices are competitive, stock numbers are plentiful and the opportunity to buy at the bottom is now a reality however, as the days begin to warm up that window will close locking out those who leave their buying decision too late”, Mr Baldwin said.

Jump in home open numbers points to rebound

June 30th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

The number of people visiting open homes is up 57 percent for the first three weekends of June compared to the last three weekends of May heralding a rebound in the Perth market according to RE/MAX Managing Director Geoff Baldwin.

“We surveyed across 50 of our groups open homes in 19 suburbs which showed an average of 8.1 people visiting each property up from only 4.6 visitors in the May survey period indicating a significant lift in buyer sentiment and activity despite what has been less than pleasant weather”, he said.

“What is even more positive is that our conversation of inquiry to sales is also up by around 23 percent and all signs are that the Perth market is heading for a healthy rebound as we head towards Spring and Summer.

“General feedback from prospective buyers is that now is the time for buying decisions to be made with prices as low as they have been for several years, interest rates down plus there is plenty of choice with the relatively large number of homes on the market”, Mr Baldwin said.

Warehousing rampant in Sydney market

June 30th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Recent discussions with prospective foreign buyers requesting to purchase established properties in the names of Australian residents indicates that this practice is now well entrenched particularly in Sydney according to RE/MAX Managing Director Geoff Baldwin.

“Our investments arm has received numerous requests particularly from Asian buyers wishing to purchase Perth properties in the name of associates who hold Australian residency status thereby enabling them to buy established homes.

“When questioned about the legality of this practice one inquirer stated that many of their friends were doing exactly that in Sydney and Melbourne.

“The audiences and successful bidders at Sydney auctions reflect a disproportionate number of foreign buyers with the same faces often appearing repeatedly.

“Foreign buyers are not generally able to purchase established properties under the guidelines of the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board however the evidence at hand would indicate that these guidelines are often being circumvented.

“The legalities of using an Australasian resident to purchase properties in their names and then having a side agreement in regards to ownership need to be examined as this practice can place massive extra pressure on prices.

“There is also the danger that if this practice is uncovered and proven to be unlawful a flood of properties coming back onto the market could cause long term uncertainty in Sydney.

“The government needs to look more closely at the circumstances of these repeat buyers and serial auction bidders to make sure they are genuinely buying for themselves and not for overseas syndicates”, Mr Baldwin said.

Land Subdivisions

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The same rules apply to large or small developments.

Firstly – our strong recommendation is to assemble a proven team of professional consultants who have the expertise and proven “hands-on” performance to carry through your project to a successful and timely completion.

Land development is a specialist art and should not be attempted without the proper professional advice.
Whilst the main objective is to achieve a maximum lot yield this sometimes myopic view should not be allowed to cloud what is the best “overall” result as this is tangibly affected also by a marketing and thus financial yield viewpoint.

The integration of marketing and physical development is a paramount consideration and any owner contemplating a development should ensure they are in possession of the right advice from Development and Marketing specialists before proceeding.

It is not the number of lots you achieve – rather it is whether what you eventually develop/create meets market requirements and approval, thus guaranteeing maximum financial results.

At RE/MAX we utilise the services of the best town planners, engineers, cadastral surveyors, quantity surveyors, electrical engineers & specialist consultants to ensure these objectives. This mix when integrated with our specialist marketing empathy ensures that the initial subdivision design and product creation has a “market oriented” focus.

Market Oriented Design

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

A good design comes from this vitally essential ingredient – all successful developments start here!! That is why it is essential to have specialist marketing input at the beginning!

The experience of our RE/MAX staff will ensure that your project is developed with current market requirements well in mind and because of this your financial returns (profits) will be maximised.

Project Management

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

We have got the runs on the board – whether it is creating a new land subdivision, from a small duplex lot up to a complete community, or anywhere in-between. Or we can professionally assist with multi-residential projects large or small. We have the expertise, proven experience and results in the market place to ensure your intended project is a winner!

Orchestration of disciplines

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Our function as project managers is to professionally orchestrate all of the above disciplines and thus return our client, the maximum financial return. Effective specialist marketing is an integral and vital ingredient in this skill mix.

Zoning

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The first and most important information you require is to ascertain the current zoning of your property under your Local Authority’s (Council’s) current Town Planning Scheme (TPS) and that such is suitable for your intended use. The TPS is the professionally prepared guide plan for orderly development in that Local Authority area.

Land Use – NOW or future?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

If your land presently enjoys, say, an urban zoning (for residential development), enquire whether you can develop unconstrained and or if it is the subject of an overall planning structure plan and or an overall subdivision guideplan – as this can and will effect when and what you can develop.

Such will also effect future subdivisional access to your land and even though you may presently have an existing road frontage, (and you thus presume you can gain access to your intended new subdivision) under the guideplan this may not be available for the overall intended subdivision as the future internal roadplan may be different, and you may therefore have to wait for a neighbour to develop before you can get access “into” your subdivision; through their adjoining property. Sometimes this can take many years before subdivision can proceed – even though they are actually zoned for immediate (hypothetical) development now.

The guidleplan layout may in fact have a design which shows lots on your property which back onto the existing road frontage that currently provides your access. The final layout may cancel the use of that road altogether, and use the overall “new” road system within the subdivision created. Be careful here – as this can (sometimes) cost you years of time and many $$$.

Changes of Zoning

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Keep up with local happenings, zoning or land use amendments of your local authority, as the present zoning of your land may change and leave you disadvantaged; unless you lodge an objection and respond to the advertised “public comment” period normally offered prior to any major changes.

We have seen many owners, who didn’t respond to the call from local authorities – or were oblivious to what was happening in their area, only to then inherit disadvantageous rezonings downgradings and amendments to density or use, or simply exclusions altogether from an advantageous rezoning etc, because they just didn’t respond to or weren’t aware of intended changes which had been clearly advertised by the LA in their area.

Absent owners suffer from this quite often!! Get someone local to keep you up-to-date with happenings and local news etc, and ensure your mailing address is always current!! If you move – advise the LA immediately.

Surveying

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Normally this would be a function of the Town Planning Consultant (TPC) in conjunction with the Project Manager instructing the project Surveyor. Our instructions to them would be to complete:-

Initial surveying of boundaries, identification of local features and environmentally sensitive areas

Aerial photography of the property to identify property assets & marketing features (such as lakes, rivers, creeks, environmentally sensitive areas, tree preservation areas and view corridors etc) and assist with –

Preparation of Contours and base mapping to allow sufficient cadastral information to then allow the TPC to commence a design layout maximising on utilisation of these assets, thus impacting on marketability and value.

Essential Services

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

It is vital, before incurring costs, to establish that essential services of sewerage, drainage, water, gas and electricity are available in your area. Also, that there is sufficient capacity to serve your intended subdivision and that such can be extended and connected to your lots at the time you require. There is no point in spending lots of $$$ on development if you are going to be held up waiting for connections/extensions of services, or have to fund a major service extension.

We have seen many property owners falter here, as even though they have land zoned correctly, the cost of extending essential services may be prohibitive and cause severe financial trauma.

Do not presume it is only outlying areas that can suffer this, as some inner suburban areas are also still prone to lack of services.

This also reinforces the need for professional consultants and correct methodology at the outset of the project.

Sewer infill program

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Most presently “single-residential” properties cannot be developed to multi-residential (depending on zoning) until connected to deep sewer.

The Western Australian State Government has undertaken an extensive sewer infill policy where all lots in the metropolitan area will be connected to sewer within the next few years – thus providing more development opportunities and softening the environmental impact on the ground-water from the previously used septic systems.

Once sewer is provided a property must be connected within 18 months – even if the property is not being developed. This will ensure that all present septic systems are “decommissioned” by the year 2010, thus closing the environmentally negative loop forever. The State Government have committed well over $1 billion to this program.

You should enquire with the Water Corporation in your local area for the latest information on infill timetables and intended future capacities. You will find them very helpful and knowledgeable.

Special Rural & Rural Residential developments

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The same rules apply as for residential development, however without the constraints of sewer and (sometimes) water supply provision, as generally septic effluent systems are acceptable (because of the larger lot size and much lower land use) and the latter can be contained on-site from rainwater tanks. (quite often a condition of planning approval).

If you are subdividing in an environmentally sensitive area however – again take care – as you may need to provide enviro-cycle type effluent disposal systems for each lot (or at least advise intending purchasers in writing of their need to have them when they build – which adds considerably to the cost) and to also obtain the approval of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) before your subdivision is approved in the first instance by the Ministry for Planning (MFP).

A further approval is needed when development is completed before the approval conditions can be finally cleared and the new Certificates of Title issued. (which you need for final settlements of the lots sold)
Electricity is an essential service which should not be overlooked, as extensions in rural areas can become excessively expensive and financially flatten a project if not calculated in the first instance.

Telephone services (or extension thereof) and internal cable reticulation also needs to be included in the costings, as Telstra is becoming less enthusiastic about providing cabling infrastructure (which they used to do free of charge) due to the a slower permanent resident establishment and their higher costs involved.
Geographic logistics also need to be addressed as more “remote” rural developments normally cost more for transportation of construction plant, equipment and machinery mobilisation.

Redevelopment

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

RE/MAX can act for you on a redevelopment of existing residential, commercial or industrial property. We can “recycle” an old underutilised or disused property and maximise its current worth by creative redevelopment. The same rules and methodology apply as for subdivisions; it is just case specific as to which direction and product.

Strata Titles

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

We can take an “englobo” building and subdivide it under the Strata Titles act and then apply for separate Strata Titles to the “lots” created. This discipline is relevant for residential, commercial or industrial property and depends on the current state of construction and possible compliance with the requirements of the LA and the act.

A strata plan shows residential, commercial or commercial units as “lots” and upon successful fulfilment of the conditions of approval from the MFP and the LA we would apply for individual titles to that plan and then attend to settlements of the units sold.

Again, our special projects marketing skills would be employed by to ensure that all units were sold, and settled as quickly as possible.

Foreign Ownership & Special Projects Marketing

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Our project manager has travelled extensively internationally and therefore knows and understands foreign cultures, timetables and requirements. We are familiar with the provisions of the Australian Government Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), and their requirements with and limitations on foreign ownership of property, their development requirements and continuing ownership policies.

If you are a foreign land or residential unit owner or intending developer requiring development, project management and or specialist marketing assistance, then you should call us for professional informed advice and marketing results second to none which will exceed your expectations!!

What to consider

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Good agents, like most astute business people, work to a strict budget. Naturally agents have been careful not to overspend and this, coupled with ever increasing advertising costs has meant that the ads have got smaller, fewer and, in many incidences, totally ineffective.

In recent times however, legislation has changed and sellers have been required to pay for much of the advertising in promoting their own house. Although they are no longer obliged to, some agents will still pay for a proportion of the advertising if the house is considered to be a saleable proposition. In the new deregulated real estate market, advertising costs need to be discussed with your agent at the time of listing.

Your RE/MAX agent may include many elements of the marketing and advertising in the selling success fee that is charged. These details will be discussed and agreed between you and him or her prior to signing the listing authority.

Invest in Success

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Marketing gurus say that you should spend at least a half to one percent of the likely sale price on promoting a property to achieve maximum results. With this in mind you need to look closely at the marketing options your chosen agent has available to promote your home effectively.

Unfortunately many people try to save money on the marketing of their property and in so doing limit the amount of inquiry created and hence there is a lack of interest and competition for the property. The end result is that the property is too long on the market and sells for much less than it would have with a good, high impact marketing package. Trying to scrimp on marketing is truly a false economy!

On the other hand, a well thought out and targeted marketing strategy will pay for itself many times over through an increased selling price.

Affordable advertising secrets that work (1)

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Photo display adverting… Instead of becoming lost in the myriad of hard to read adverts which abound in the real estate columns, why not make your property stand out head and shoulders above the rest by investing in a series of photo adverts. These ads are purchased in discount runs of 4 or 6 at a time and are proving to increase inquiry by five-fold or more. There is every chance that your property may sell before the last ad but that’s a problem we are sure you would be happy to live with.

Affordable advertising secrets that work (2)

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Large photo or floorplan sign … People can never appreciate the features your home contains when they drive past but unfortunately many buyers do judge a house from the road.

Why not list all of the features including a floorplan, internal or pool and garden photos in full colour on your front verge. Whether you are in a cul-de-sac or on a busy road, one of these signs will literally eliminate drive buys and draw people out of their cars and into your property.

Progressive agents will have a discount arrangement with a sign supplier and should be able to design and arrange for erection within a couple of days of ordering. 15% of sales come from For Sale signs but with a professionally designed photo sign the effective inspections increase by 30% or more.

Affordable advertising secrets that work (3)

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

What about the Internet … Like it or not this exciting technology is no longer the way of the future. With 3 in 5 Australians plus millions of people around the World having daily access to the Internet, you simply must be able to expose your property through a strong real estate site.

www.remaxwa.com.au … is our own dedicated internet site. It is updated daily with all of our new listings, ideal investment properties & any rentals that are coming becoming vacant ensuring your property has the absolute best chance to snare inquiry.

It is also important that your agent provides you access to all of the major national and international proerty sites.

Ask your prospective agent to show you their internet offering.

Affordable advertising secrets that work (4)

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Property Tours or Video Tours … This amazing but extremely affordable technology literally brings your property to life right on the computer screen of every prospective buyer or tenant. It allows them to use their mouse to “walk” through your house and garden admiring its individual features in full colour, three-dimensional reality.

In addition to the services provided within their success fee, your RE/MAX agent will have a list of recommended high impact advertising and marketing options to ensure you optimise interest, inspections and competition and ultimately maximise the eventual selling price.

Mass or Local advertising?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Whether you concentrate your advertising locally or go state wide or further will depend on the location of your property. In many residential areas the majority of buyers tend to move only ten to fifteen kilometres from where they live currently. If this is the case your agent should concentrate on local advertising and marketing.

If your property is located in an area that has a large investor influence, you may well be advised to appeal to the wider market as your buyer is likely to come from outside your local area.

Your RE/MAX agent will be able to advise you on local demands and will help you design an effective marketing plan to suit the requirements of your market place.

It’s important to keep in mind that around 85% of buyers are influenced through exposure to properties on the internet so it is wise to invest a good perecentage of your marketing budget in online marketing.

Some Proven Facts

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Many of us believe that our next pay rise will be the solution to our financial woes, only to find that nothing really changes.

The small percentage of our population who have achieved real wealth know that its not just how much you earn, more importantly, it’s what you do with your income that really counts.

You may be amazed to see just how little you need to put aside from your salary to make an enormous difference. Many Australians like you have discovered that a little discipline and a few dollars each week put towards property investment can quickly produce real wealth.

The Security of Property

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Ask yourself, “Had you purchased a property 15 years ago in a good location, would you smiling today about its increased value?”

Not sure, then let’s consider this example…

Now imagine if you had 3, 4, 5 or even more properties increasing at the same rate.

The secret to building wealth with property is to not only to buy wisely but to then increase your holdings as often as possible and HOLD LONG TERM!

Your Tax Burden Increases

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

We are told the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.

History shows us that, as time goes by the percentage of our income we pay to the tax department continues to increase.

We work longer and longer each day before we start to make money for ourselves. It used to be morning tea but now for many of us, it’s lunchtime before we are finished earning for the taxman.

We are not just paying income tax but also many hidden taxes.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could divert some of this money away from the taxman and into your own future wealth? In other words, turn the certainty of tax into a tool for your own future security!

Property versus Super & Shares

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

It is good advice not to have all of your eggs in one basket, but it’s also important to compare and understand your options.

With Super & Shares:

a. You are usually dealing with an intangible asset
b. There are high broker’s fees
c. You have little control
d. Your returns tend to fluctuate considerably
e. The share market can be very volatile. Fortunes made and lost in a day.
f. And, financial institutions do not seek shares as security for borrowing.
Now lets compare property:
g. It is very tangible; You can see it, feel it drive past it.
h. As a purchaser, you do not pay agents commissions. The seller pays these.
i. With property, you’re in control, you may be advised by your chosen agent or property manger but you make all of the final decisions.
j. As has already been demonstrated, the record of property as a stable long-term investment is second to none.
k. Banks advertise daily that they will lend up to 98% of the value of residential properties and if you already have equity in your own home, they will lend you 100% plus any other funding that you require.

There is no argument that superannuation is a positive move. It’s an undeniable fact that we have an aging population that before long will not be able to support a pension system. Rather than just relying on a super fund that may only give you a third or half of what you currently earn, why not start building a solid property portfolio and be sure of an increasing long term income long after you retire?

Making the right choice

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

When it comes to a wise investment, not all property is equal.

You may consider land to be low maintenance but, although there is no house to maintain, you miss out on rental income and there is absolutely no tax relief at all. We do not recommend land as the best investment choice!

What about commercial/industrial properties?

Well, the argument is that the commercial tenant pays more of the expenses and therefore will give you a better return. This may be essentially true but it’s also a fact that commercial/industrial investment is a much higher risk and very specialised field.

Regardless of the state of the economy, people always need a roof over their head so residential property may be a more reliable investment. Even in good economic times many businesses fail to prosper and are forced to close leading to vacant shops, warehouses and factories. The proliferation of closures in the banking sector over recent years, demonstrates that even “blue chip” tenants can let you down and leave you without income.

It’s also important to understand that the value of commercial premises is based primarily on the return from their lease. You will always pay a higher price for a better tenant, which means that, if you lose your tenant you also lose value and equity.

First time investors should consider and balance these risks carefully before making their choice. Importantly, tax deductions can only be claimed on income producing properties!

Gearing

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

When investors use the term “gearing” they are usually referring to their degree of borrowing against their overall equity and how much income they are receiving from their portfolio compared to the amount they are paying out.

You are considered to be positively geared when your rental income exceeds your total out-goings but it is worth keeping in mind that you will pay tax on the excess income.

You are considered to be neutrally geared when your income covers your out-goings without profit or loss. In this situation you would pay no tax on the rental income but would very likely be entitled to a tax credit for depreciation on the chattels and possibly the construction.

The term that you are more likely to be familiar with is Negative Gearing. This refers to the situation where your rental income is less than your total outgoings. This shortfall is a tax claim for you and Negative Gearing is popular with many investors because it effectively means that you can use money that would normally be paid to the ATO, to support your property investment portfolio.

Criteria of a good Investment

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Firstly, it is very important to buy right! This may sound like common sense but unfortunately many people treat the purchase of an investment property the same as buying their own home rather than considering important issues like: will the property be sought after by tenants, will it show a good capital return and will it provide an attractive rental income.

Other considerations are;

Buying in the bottom or middle of a suburb’s price range rather than the top range as the latter option leaves little room for growth.

Choosing a property with a practical floor-plan

Avoiding properties that are unusual in design or construction as these will only ever appeal to a limited market.

Proximity to transport, shops and schools is important.

And, timing the purchase of your properties is imperative –The old advice “buy in gloom, sell in boom” may be an overstatement but it is never a good option to buy at the top of a booming market.

There are many other considerations in making the right choices and Roy Weston can assist you with through their experience in dealing with property investors. Keep in mind that the majority of agents concentrates on the general owner occupier market and have very little experience in property investment.

Add or maintain value

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Once you have chosen and purchased your investment property it is important that you add value by maintaining or improving the property.

If you do purchase a house that is in a run down condition, be sure before you make it available to tenants, that you renovate it to top standard. These costs should be taken into account when you make your offer to purchase as history show that many “run down bargains” by the time they are renovated, turn out to be more expensive than buying a house that is already in top condition.

If the property you purchase is in excellent condition when you take possession, it is important that you make every effort to keep it that way. Respond to the tenant’s reasonable requests for maintenance and fixing the small items while they remain small.

History show that good tenants are attracted to well maintained and located properties while run down and poorly maintained properties attract the worse tenants who by their very nature, continue to damage the property.

If you keep your property in A1 condition you will always have the best tenants who will look after and respect your property and pay you the maximum rental income.

Another benefit is that your properties will always value at a premium price if they are looked after, making it easier for you to borrow against them when you choose to increase your portfolio.

Professional property management

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The temptation may exist to manage your own properties but, when you consider the traps, you will usually find it easier and possibly, less expensive, to use the services of an experienced property management company. When compared to the overall picture, the outlay is small, especially since it is a tax claim, but a qualified and experienced Property manager can save you thousands by avoiding the pitfalls that often trip up, do-it-yourselves.

Things like;

Complying with the Tenancy Act and the statutory requirements in your State or Territory.

Gaining access for inspections

Ensuring that the rent is paid on time – every time – and knowing what remedial actions are open to you as the owner.

Evicting tenants if it ever becomes necessary. Keeping in mind that good property mangers know how to avoid this by selecting the right tenants

Having access to the REIWA and other defaulting tenant data base check lists.

Asking for and achieving reasonable rent increases. The records show that self managed properties invariably return a lower rent than those that are professionally managed.

A professional Property Manager will provide a necessary buffer between you and your tenant. They will be fair to the tenant but firm in applying the rules and regulations that have been designed to protect all parties.

The five rules

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Residential is first choice
As we stated previously, regardless of the state of the economy, people always need a roof over their head but even in good economic times many businesses fail to prosper and are forced to close leading to vacant shops, warehouses and factories.

Don’t just buy any house or unit.
Do some homework on your area and continue to grow your knowledge about investment before you begin to search for your investment property.

You may not love it
If you are living in your second or third home, which tends to be the case with many new investors, you are unlikely to fall in love with a property that you‘ll buy for half the price of your current home. This is normal however it is important that the property fits the recommended criteria.

You must be able to drive past it and feel good
Although you may not love your investment properties as you do your own home, you must be able to drive past it and feel good about its inclusion in your portfolio. The chances are that, if you feel good about the property, so will the bank, prospective tenants and future buyers.

Work with an investment specialist
The majority of real estate agents sell properties for and to owner-occupiers and although they may dabble with the occasional investor client, they do not specialise in this field. RE/MAX have a definite focus on providing specialised service to investors. Their specialist representatives work predominately with investors, run regular information seminars and manage properties for investors. Discuss your plans with them and they will be able to provide you with advice on every aspect of property investment including the sourcing of suitable properties.

Avoiding the traps

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Like anything we do in life, property investment does have its share of pitfalls. Let’s now have a look at some of these and how we can avoid them.

By far the biggest of these is financial over-commitment
Property investment can be very profitable however when starting out, it may pay to be a little conservative. Many “first timers” have soured their experience by buying too much too quickly and hence, placing themselves under pressure. One of the positive points about property investing is that it forces us to commit a part of our income into an appreciating asset. It is important though, to be sure that you can handle the commitment no matter what else happens in your life.

What about interest rates?

Well, if they’re down they can go up and if they’re up they can go up!
The recommended financing method is to use fixed interest loans whereby you pay only the interest. This allows you to concentrate on paying the mortgage on your own home, optimises your tax relief and gives you the security of knowing your interest rate cannot rise. Of course you may choose to take advantage of a low variable loan now and take the option to fix should interest rates look like rising in the future.

The fear of vacancies
The worst vacancy factor in Australia in the past 20 years has been 9%. In other words 9% of properties were vacant but importantly, 91% were occupied. The fact is that, those properties that present well and where a reasonable rent is being sought will always be tenanted regardless of the state of the market.

Buying in the wrong location
is a trap that catches many purchasers, investors and owner-occupiers alike. Usually, the only attraction for badly located properties is the lower price being sought. The first problem is that tenants do not want to live in undesirable locations and when it comes time for you to on-sell your investment, you too will have to accept a lower price.

Speculation.

Many new investors are attracted by the thought of speculating in property but it is important to remember that speculation is short term and high risk, while investment is long term and almost risk free if simple rules are applied. The successful speculator usually works full time in property, buying improving and then reselling. These people will usually have a large bankroll and do not have to rely on rental income. Property speculation is a specialised field and in essence, provides a full time job for those involved. ON the other hand, property investment does not require a huge ongoing commitment in money or time.

Suffice to say, any of these traps can be avoided with adequate preparation, planning and thought.

Capital gains tax

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

It is probably one of this countries most misunderstood taxes.

In September 1999 a new capital gains system was introduced. With this new system only 50% of the realised capital gain is taxable but, unlike the old system, there is no allowance for indexation. In other words, you will pay tax at your marginal rate, on half of the capital gain.

For example: If your total capital gain was $50,000 and your marginal tax rate was 35%, you would pay $8,750.

Remember, the secret is to never sell while you are earning a high income and never sell all of your property assets in the same tax year. The lower your marginal tax rate the less capital gains tax you will pay.

What can you claim?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Interest paid on the mortgage is usually your biggest tax claim however there are many other items that can be offset against your income tax liability. These items can be broken down into:

a. Cash items, in other words, things that you pay cash for during the year to support or maintain your property.

Some examples of cash items are;

Land and water rates
Property managers fees
Strata levies
(if you purchase a property in a strata complex, each owner usually pays a levy towards the maintenance of common areas, security lighting, insurance, etc)
Postage and stationary used in relation to your investment
Insurance – general, contents and landlord protection.
Advertising
Bank charges
Inspection reports
And most other items for which you pay cash
(or its equivalent) in relation to your investment properties.
b. The second category of claim is – Non cash items. These are the deductible items you do not actually pay cash for during the year, these include things like:

Depreciation on chattels.
(This is a big one and it’s one that many investors do not optimise).
It is a good idea to have a quantity surveyor complete a report for your accountant on all of the depreciable items in the property.

Roy Weston recommend the services of:
Merrifield Wilde & Woollard quantity surveyers

Floor coverings, cupboards, exhaust fans, hot water units, window treatments, light fittings are some examples of depreciable items but there are many more.

Depreciation on the construction.
All residential investment properties built after the 1985 budget was introduced, include a depreciation allowance on the construction costs. This is a substantial and legitimate claim and you should ensure your accountant includes it when compiling your tax return.

Although you may be doing your own tax return at the moment, once you begin to build your investment portfolio it is advisable to use the services of a specialist property investment accountant. His or her charges are also a tax claim.

Buying without cash input

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Using the equity you have in your current home, you may be in position to invest in one or more rental properties with no initial financial input. Using current equity instead of a cash deposit is probably the most popular method used to begin and then expand into property investment.

Borrowing for property investment

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Even without the tax advantages of negative gearing, The fundamental basis for property investment still applies. That is – the less money you invest in a property, the greater the return!

Of course, your level of borrowing will depend on the rental return and your own income and financial circumstances.

Your loan options

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

To purchase your own property, you would most likely have used a principal and interest loan. A P&I loan allows you to pay extra amounts off the principal however is usually susceptible to interest rate movements. Although, you may be willing to put up with rate movements to retain the flexibility to pay off your own home quicker, this is not necessarily the best way to go with investment loans.

A better option may be the Interest Only Loan. This type of loan only requires you to pay the interest component and allows you the security of fixing the interest rate for up to five years. This would be the most popular type of loan for investors however there are a proliferation of competitive loan options available and it is good advice to deal through a good mortgage origination company to get the full story.

You also have the option of Splitting your borrowings fixing some of your loan and having the remainder on a principal and interest basis.

Mortgage Originators have access to the loan products available from of the banks and other lending institutions. Unlike individual banks, they are able to demonstrate the full spectrum of loan options and then assist you to find the one that suits your particular needs. The lender usually pays mortgage originators so there is no charge to you for this fantastic, in home service.

PAYG withholding variation

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Under the Taxation Act, investors who earn and pay tax under the PAYE system may be able to reduce their weekly/fortnightly or monthly tax deductions rather than waiting until the end of the financial year for a refund cheque. This is a popular method of increasing affordability and freeing up cash for property investment. For more information you should speak to your tax accountant or click here to view the relevant ATO ruling:

What you should plan for

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

A well planned and smooth running property investment portfolio should provide a situation where:

You have an appreciating asset
You have regular rent income which is paid on time
You have long term stable tenants
You are comfortable in the knowledge that your properties are being cared for by specialist investment property managers.
Our Real Estate Investment Department specialises in providing a comprehensive and dedicated service to people who are looking to purchase investment property.

The service to expect

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

To help you construct your successful wealth creation plan, your chosen agent should be able to offer you or give you access to the following services;

INDIVIDUAL ANALYSIS

They should provide you with an individual spreadsheet guide allowing you to plan your portfolio to suit your individual circumstances.

Should keep your plans personal & confidential.

Importantly, they should not charge you for their service until your property is being managed – agents are usually paid by the seller.

ARRANGE COMPETITIVE FINANCE

They should have access to a reputable mortgage originator who can arrange a competitive loan package for you.

In Australia, mortgage originators are now coordinating the majority of home loans. The better origination companies provide a free, in home service whereby you can assess the loan packages being offered by all of the major lenders. This alleviates the necessity to shop around all of the banks and it ensures that your application is presented in its best light.

You can also be provided with a letter or certificate verifying that your finance has been pre approved. This pre approval can give you the power of a cash buyer, which can be very handy when you are negotiating your offer to purchase.

ANALYSING THE CHOSEN PROPERTY

Once you have found a property that you are interested in purchasing, your agent should assist you to project what maintenance items you may be confronted with over the next 3 to 5 years. The cost of these should be taken into account when you are negotiating the price.

Also, prior to making you offer, your agent should assist you with a final computer analyses of the property. This will enable you to assess what is a fair price to pay and how much you will be investing on a weekly basis before and after tax.

NEGOTIATING, CO ORDINATING & FOLLOW UP

Your agent should be able to demonstrate comparative values so that you can assess what is a realistic offer.

They should be able to prove average prices in your area of choice.

They should ensure that the offer is written correctly

Skilfully negotiate the price and terms on your behalf.

And continue the excellent service by following up until settlement and beyond

EXPERT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

All tenant applications should be systematically screened.

You should be provided the option of having a photographic record of your properties condition prior to it being tenanted.

All inspections should be completed on time and recorded against a detailed initial property condition report.

Your Property Manager should communicate with you on a regular basis keeping you totally informed about all important aspects of your portfolio.

And you should be provided with comprehensive monthly statements in regards to your rental income and expenses.

Hold for the long term

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The secret to long-term wealth using property is to start with the end in mind. In other words plan out your long-term financial goals taking into account just how much income you’ll need to retire comfortably.

Only 6 percent of our population buy investment property in addition to normal superannuation, with the intention of building long term wealth. These are people who set themselves up financially for a very comfortable and prosperous future.

Most people consider their own home to be the single best investment they have ever made, and they are usually right!

What is Conveyancing?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Conveyancing is the transfer of property ownership from one party to another. The exercise is not just a matter of filling out forms. The laws associated with land transfer are complex and the process can be full of pitfalls.

It is imperative that you choose a competent settlement agent. This will allow your RE/MAX representative to easily track the dealing by liaising with your assigned clerk to avoid any possible hold ups or misunderstandings that may occur through unfamiliarity.

Your Settlement Obligations

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

When buying or selling you have rights and obligations in regards to:

Mortgage finance
Contract of sale
Dates
Insurance
Settlement
Encumbrances on the title
Rates
Conditions
Times & dates
Possession
Agents fees

The Torrens Title System

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The Torrens Title System of ownership is one where, in principle, governments guarantee title and boundaries for your land. It is important to search the relevant certificate of title because it records all caveats, easements, covenants, mortgages and mortgage discharges. There is also the issue of ensuring all conditions on the contract are met.

It is important then, that an experienced licensed settlement agent assists you with the conveyancing process so as to fully protect your interests.

The Offer & Acceptance Contract

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The Contract by Offer and Acceptance is a legal document that is used to negotiate the sale of the property. It also summarises any special conditions that have been agreed upon, i.e. finance approval, white ant clause, etc. It gives the proposed dates for these conditions to be fulfilled and final settlement to be completed.

How long does it take to settle?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The normal period from sale to final settlement is around 6-8 weeks, but can be shorter or longer to fit in with the vendors’ or purchasers’ plans. However, occasionally complications can arise and it may be necessary to amend these dates (with the agreement of the vendors and purchasers) if it becomes apparent that a delay is unavoidable.

Signing Mortgage Documents

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Mortgage documentation is prepared for signing by the purchasers and your broker or bank should ensure that this procedure is completed by the purchasers without delay.

Statements of account are prepared by your settlement agent to enable the balance of purchase monies to be paid into the trust account so that settlement can proceed on time.

Your bank or building society will calculate a payout figure to finalise your mortgage loan and liaise with your appointed settlement agent to receive this amount on the date the transaction is to be completed.

Mortgage Discharge Fees

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

These are payable to building society solicitors for the preparation of standard documentation to evidence the finalisation of your loan. They are usually added to the final mortgage payout figure and repaid when the mortgage is finalised at settlement.

Titles Office Fees

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Although the purchaser pays to register the Transfer of Land document you will be charged with the registration fees for any mortgage discharges, caveat withdrawals etc. These statutory charges are also added to the final loan payout figure at final settlement.

Rates and Taxes

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

If you have paid your Shire and Water rates up to June 30th in advance, then you will receive a proportional refund which is shown as a credit on your final settlement statement.

Your settlement agent will act on your behalf to finalise all the above items and account to you for the proceeds of the sale after paying out the mortgage loans etc.

Why should I stick with one agent?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Rather than putting yourself through the roundabout of being contacted by dozens of different agents and visiting a multitude of home opens there are many good reasons to find an agent with who you feel comfortable and to let that agent do all the work for you.

A highly skilled, professional agent will have the negotiation skills required to ensure you buy well and also that you avoid any problems. To you, this can mean a difference of thousands of dollars.

If you choose to use the services of one agent be sure not to ring other agents or to walk into their home opens as once you have contacted an agent in regards to a particular property, your own agent cannot represent you in regards to that property. This is a rule between agents to protect their own businesses.

Naturally, as your own agent is working hard to find you a suitable property, he or she will be working for nothing if you unintentionally bypass them. The easy answer is to contact your own agent about any property you see or hear about, as they will be able to procure conjunctional rights with other agents. With modern internet access, your local RE/MAX representative can source most available listings.

The end result is that you get the professional representation you deserve; from your own agent and fairly, you agent is able to earn a fee for his or her service without worrying about you going elsewhere.

Renting Versus Buying

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Studies conducted by Choice Magazine, The Housing Industry Association and The Real Estate Institute of Australia, all show that in the short term the property renter can be better off financially. However, in the longer term (3 to 5 years), the homebuyer wins, because the capital appreciation in a property far outstrips the renter’s savings.

All the study papers conclude by claiming that it is almost essential to own your own home by the time you retire and the question really comes down to – when you should buy, rather than if you should buy!

“If you can afford to rent in Perth, then you should be prepared to buy, if possible”.

Home ownership has many long-term benefits and the most important of these is the opportunity to build up an asset that will provide a valuable hedge against inflation and financial security in later life.

Finance For Your Purchase

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Your real estate purchase should be the beginning of a dream – not a nightmare of trying to keep up the monthly mortgage repayments. Therefore the golden rule is not to over-commit yourself financially and as a rule of thumb, you should check that your total monthly financial commitments (including your home mortgage repayment) do not exceed a maximum of 35 – 40 percent of your monthly income.

There are many avenues for housing finance to suit your particular needs.

The amount you can borrow is measured by your income, your other financial commitments and the size of your cash deposit available. In addition, you will need to set aside an amount to cover the normal additional expenses in purchasing a property, as outlined in the section “How To Calculate Buying Costs”.

The level of finance for housing is directly related to the level of interest rates and these rates are very competitive between lenders. This competition means that the borrower can take advantage of the most competitive rates and most suitable loan packages on offer.

The source of your finance will depend on the size of your cash deposit and your ability to satisfy the various rules and regulations which govern the lending of the respective financial institutions. For example, some lending institutions are more liberal in their willingness to accept both husband’s and wife’s incomes, and the purpose for which the property is be purchased, i.e. investment or owner occupation. First homebuyers will find that they have the widest range of lender choices, because of the number of Government subsidised mortgages available to them.

Be prepared to provide evidence of your deposit saved, taxable income and other commitments. This will assist in establishing exactly how much you can afford to borrow and is also required when your written application for finance is being completed for presentation to the chosen lending institution.

To Build Or Buy Established?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Your ultimate decision will depend on the relative price differences between new and established homes, and whether you will be able to find your dream home already built and fully established by the previous owner.

A brand new home has these benefits:-

– You can choose your own design, style and pick individual colour schemes etc.
– There is a written warranty on the building and the various fixtures and fittings such as electric stoves and hot water systems.

The main disadvantages in building a new home are:-

– The costs of establishing the property with all of the finishing touches may not be included in your long-term mortgage loan and may well exceed your budget estimates.

The purchase of an established home is preferred by seven out of ten homebuyers, probably because, among other reasons, they can see the financial benefit in the inclusion of the chattels (moveable extras such as carpets, drapes etc.) in the one purchase price and they do not need to pay rent plus graduated payments during the building.

Buying A Block Of Land

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

You may decide to buy a block of land to satisfy your desire to build a new home; or, as the first step towards home ownership if your cash or income is insufficient to purchase a home right away. Many parents are encouraging their children to invest in a block of land as soon as they gain employment; firstly, to built up an asset for their future and secondly, as a means of forced monthly savings by way of keeping up the mortgage repayments.

The selection of a suitable building site should not be decided on price alone. Other factors to carefully consider are:-

The location and quality of surrounding houses.

The shape and size of the lot, not to mention the slope and the soil type.

Are there any easements or other impediments to building on the land?

Are the boundary survey pegs in place?

Check with your local RE/MAX agent for information on the range of vacant land available in Perth suburbs.

Choosing The Right Property

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Obviously the choice of your dream home will be influenced by the limit of your financial resources and the type of property best suited to your needs.

The choice between a house, home unit, villa unit or duplex unit will depend on your requirements and also your relative lifestyle. A young business couple may well decide to purchase a villa or townhouse, because their busy lifestyle does not allow time for gardening and outside entertaining during the day.

An elderly couple may be better advised to purchase a home unit or villa unit (with no steps), because of the security factor and the close proximity of near neighbours in the same complex.

Again, the purchasers with a low cash deposit and insufficient income to finance a normal loan to purchase the house of their dreams are well advised to consider a cheap home unit as the first step towards owning a detached home later on. The home unit will provide them with a roof over their heads and will increase in value to ultimately realise (on re-sale) a larger cash deposit towards the purchase of a home.

You should begin by determining how much you can afford to spend and what type of property you would like to purchase, in consultation with your local RE/MAX agent. Secondly, decide on your choice of suburb or suburbs that contain properties for sale in the style and price range you can afford.

Thirdly, only inspect properties that contain your basic requirements and try not to let emotion guide your ultimate decision to buy. The number of bedrooms, proximity to your employment, the structural condition of the property, are all of vital importance and should not be overlooked in the buying process.

Finally, place your confidence in your trained RE/MAX expert, who will welcome your honest comments on your likes and dislikes on the properties you have been shown. Given this adequate feedback, your sales consultant will be able to guide you towards your vision with the minimum of fuss and delay.

The Agreement to Purchase

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Once completed and signed by both parties, the contract by Offer and Acceptance becomes a legally binding contract on the vendor and purchaser of the property.

RE/MAX offices recommend and use the standard contract by Offer and Acceptance form produced by The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, with its accompanying Joint Form of General Conditions For The Sale of Land, prepared by the Law Society of Western Australia and REIWA.

These copyright forms protect both the purchaser and vendor in that:-
(a) The purchase price, cash deposit and final settlement date are noted.
(b) A specific clause is inserted, specifying the source of finance required by the purchaser, the amount and latest date for approval of the loan.
(c) Space is provided to list any number of special conditions requested by the purchaser or vendor, which become part of the legal contract e.g. the production of a certificate against white ant infestation prior to final settlement.

The 2000 Joint Form of General Conditions For The Sale of Land which accompanies the contract is important in that it clearly sets out the obligations of all the parties to the contract. An important clause in this regard is that if final settlement and possession of the property purchased are delayed unnecessarily by either party to the contract, then the aggrieved party has the right to levy a penalty rate of interest until final settlement is completed.
You should also be aware that the purchaser’s cash deposit will be refunded in full if any of the conditions on the contract cannot be fulfilled, e.g. finance is not approved within the time span stipulated.

The dates inserted in the contract are of vital importance and whilst you may be keen to secure your purchase quickly, you should accept the advice of your qualified RE/MAX agent in allowing sufficient time for the necessary finance and settlement formalities to be completed.

Negotiating Your Purchase

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

When you have inspected a number of properties for sale in the suburb of your choice and in your price range, it is a relatively simple task to compare these values to the ultimate property you have decided to purchase.

Once you have made a decision to buy, don’t waste time contemplating the purchase, particularly if the price seems realistic in comparison with others you have inspected. Statistics show that properties listed at an asking price closest to their ultimate sale price, sell within the shortest possible time. It is a fallacy to think that every property vendor is asking a far higher price than the property is really worth; many urgent vendors will deliberately price their property down in order to obtain a quick sale.

Any agreement to purchase real estate must be made in writing and your local RE/MAX agent will guide you in completing the necessary contract by Offer and Acceptance.

It is customary for the written offer to purchase to be accompanied by at least 5 percent of the purchase price to bind the deal. A genuine vendor will expect a deposit and will measure your bona fides by the relative size of your cash deposit to the purchase price.

From experience a genuine property vendor will either immediately accept your price, or may “counter” your offer by inserting the lowest price he is prepared to accept. Tempers become frayed if this process is repeated indefinitely and it is therefore a wise decision to make your initial offer close to the price you are prepared to pay.

Important: Buyers can have a tendency to believe that the more they can negotiate off the asking price the bigger the bargain however it is critical to remember that it is value and not asking price that is important. If a property is $50,000 overpriced and you negotiate $40,000 off you still haven’t purchased well. On the other hand, if the property is priced spot on and you miss out to another buyer because you were focussed on paying less then neither is a positive outcome. Compare the property to others on the market and negotiate your price based on what the property is worth compared to its competition. A reliable guide is to ascertain the median price for the suburb and then decide wither the property sits compared to that guide.

Buyer Feedback Ranging explained

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Buyer Feedback Ranging has been around now for some years. It is considered by many to be the fairest way for both seller and buyer to begin negotiations.

Rather than the seller placing an unreasonably high asking price on the property that does little more than discourage buyers from inspecting, a wider “expectation” range is used. This Buyer Feedback Range is usually based around the average market prices in the area and it allows the purchaser to make an offer, within the range, at a price that he or she thinks is reasonable. This price may either be accepted immediately or will become the basis for negotiations to begin.

Rather than buyers missing out on properties because the seller is asking too much, Buyer Feedback Ranging opens up the market place. It allows the buyer to not only see properties that would normally be missed, but also to start negotiations based on where they think the property compares rather than at the sellers price. Ultimately, this is good for the seller because buyer inquiry is increased with market demand depicting the price and for the buyer because they get to see more properties and negotiate from a level playing field.

With Buyer Feedback Ranging, the general guide is to compare the property to others you have seen and make an offer based on what you think it is worth rather than just starting at the bottom of the range.

Insurance for Property Owners

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The ownership of property brings with it the responsibility of protecting the valuable asset against damage and the need for personal insurance to provide funds to pay off or continue the mortgage repayments in the event of illness or death of the borrower. Although some insurance is mandatory for mortgaged property, the vast majority of purchasers elect to take out adequate insurance cover to protect their property and for their own peace of mind.

Personal insurance falls into two main categories. A Sickness and Accident Policy will provide a regular weekly income in the event of illness or an accident of the insured person. This is particularly helpful for self-employed people and in those cases where the insured person’s job is terminated because of the duration of the illness. A Mortgage Protection Policy will provide a lump sum paid on death of the insured, sufficient to discharge the mortgage loan and any other long term debts. Both policies give absolute peace of mind to homeowners and your RE/MAX agent can help with further information and advice.

Selecting Your Agent

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

When embarking on anything that requires expertise we normally enlist the services of proven, qualified specialists. For our health we go to a doctor, for legal matters we approach a solicitor, for finances, an accountant. These are professionals who have studied, qualified and practiced their different crafts for many years and big promises or cheap fees are not usually big factors in which one you choose.

Real estate is no different, the focus should be to locate and deal with a real estate professional with whom you not only feel comfortable but who can demonstrate and prove their skills, results, integrity and their worth.

Take Care

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

You are about to place the sale of your most valuable asset in the hands of someone who you usually will not know well, if at all. It is extremely important that your first mistake isn’t choosing the wrong agent.

RE/MAX ethic is based on decades of successfully serving the Western Australian community, as a West Australian owned company. Under-promise and over-deliver is the message we impress upon every team member at RE/MAX and record sales results year after year and our long list of repeat clients and referrals are proof of the success of this simple approach.

Building Extensions to the Home

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Many property owners are faced with the decision to either add extensions to their existing property or to sell and purchase a larger home elsewhere. This decision will be made easier if you consider answers to the following questions:

– Are you completely happy with the home and the locality?
– Will the proposed extension appeal to others, if you decide to sell later?
– Will the proposed extension add value to your property commensurate to its cost?
– Is the necessary finance readily available at a low interest rate?
– Will your local council approve the alterations you propose?
– Will the alterations involve costly plumbing, or require sewer lines to be re-sited?
– Is there ready access for your builder to carry out the additions?

Will the completed extensions have architectural appeal or detract from the existing building design?
Your RE/MAX agent will be able to provide guidance and answers to many of these questions. A local builder and an officer of the local council building department in your area will also be able to provide additional advice.

It is also wise to check out the availability of other homes for sale with the accommodation you require and check the values of these against your present home’s worth plus the cost of the additions you propose. You may well find that it is cheaper to sell and repurchase a larger home in the area, thus avoiding the hassle and inconvenience that usually occurs during the building process.

Selling For Retirement

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

By the time you reach retirement age, the family home is usually too large and the gardens too difficult to maintain, which prompts the decision to consider selling and moving into something smaller.

There are many options available, such as a duplex half, a home unit, apartment, or perhaps your name is now at the top of the list for a retirement villa in a church or residence funded retirement village.

The decision to relocate in retirement is one that should be carefully considered. There is certainly no need to rush into smaller accommodation if your health and lifestyle make this move unnecessary. Regular retirement seminars and study papers are available which will assist you in making a final decision.

Here are some hints that may help:

Have your local RE/MAX agent carry out a free market appraisal of you present home to establish its realistic worth.

Have your local RE/MAX agent arrange inspections of properties that may fit your retirement needs and also verify how much it will cost you to relocate. If the sums add up, then only accept an offer to purchase your existing property if a special clause is added to give you time to confirm and complete your purchase. This will ensure that if your sale or purchase cannot be concluded then you will not find yourself out of house and home.

Care should be taken if you are contemplating the purchase of a retirement villa in a planned village concept. Some developers are offering home units with the popular title of “retirement village”. A true retirement village should be convenient to shops, transport, have on-site medical staff and provide you with security of title and the ability to re-sell later. It is wise to carefully examine the contract, or have it explained to you by a qualified person, e.g. a solicitor.

Your local RE/MAX agent is well placed to assist you in the whole process of seeking out information, locating your retirement property and selling your existing home.

The Property Appraisal

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The tendency can be to invite a 3 or 4 agents to appraise your property and to tell you how much they charge and then to choose the highest quote and the lowest fee which is often a recipe for disappointment. It is much wiser to research local agents, ask two or three of them over for a cup of tea and a chat to assess their capacity to market, present, negotiate, communicate and optimise your sale price. Then, if you are comfortable with them, invite them to inspect your property and to present a pricing and marketing strategy.

Your RE/MAX agent will provide you with an honest and professional estimate of what your property is worth in today’s marketplace. He or she will do a lot of homework to ensure they appraisal is reliable including:

Checking the Valuer General’s and REIWA records to compare average prices being acheived in your area.

Comparing your property with other similar properties for sale but remembering that “asking price is rarely selling price”.

Estimating the land value and replacement cost of your property.

Gauging the strength of the current market.

Gauging current supply and demand.

Once all of the above is completed your professional written appraisal will be prepared.

All RE/MAX Agents are requested to present appraisals in person and to explain the many influences that have been considered in its preparation.. We consider it very unprofessional to just “drop off” something so important without setting time aside to go through all aspects with the prospective sellers. If there is more than one owner we recommend that all parties be present when our agent presents the appraisal so that nothing is lost in the passing on of important information.

Preparing your Property For Sale

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The old retail adage “goods well displayed are half sold”, also holds good for real estate as does the saying “There’s no second chance for a first impression”.

Accept the advice of your trained RE/MAX agent on maintenance and other adjustments required before you offer the property for sale. This may avoid you wasting time and money and will ensure you maximise your selling price.

See your property through a buyer’s eyes!

It’s simple really; an immaculate home will always sell faster and for a higher price. Look for anything that could reflect negatively on the presentation. Think about those jobs that you would like to have got done as those items are most likely to be objections for buyers. A day or two cleaning, painting, repairing and preparing can make a difference of thousands of dollars.

The Listing Agreement

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The agent’s authority to sell your home must be in writing and signed by all parties pursuant to the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.

Your local RE/MAX agent will outline the various types of listing agreements that are available and will recommend the most appropriate approach for your property.

Keeping in mind that you want your agent to fully commit all of his or her time and resources to achieving a great result for you, be prepared to grant a reasonable listing period of at least 90 to 120 days.

Regardless of how you decide to list your property will appear within two working days on the RE/MAX WA, RE/MAX Australia, Real Estate Australia, REIWA and also our the only international site of its kind – www.global.remax.com

For Sale by Public Auction

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The main benefit of a public auction is that a time limit is placed on the negotiations and the resultant sale to the highest bidder is unconditional under the terms you have set. A minimum reserve price is your protection that the auctioneer will not sell the property too cheaply.

A public auction focuses an enormous amount of purchaser attention on your property and although sales are not always made on the day, a sale will usually result soon after to a purchaser who was introduced to the property by the advanced level of high quality and intensity marketing.

If your property has unique or individual benefits, is of unusual design, possesses characteristics which set it apart from others, or will appeal to neighbouring owners, then you should seriously consider a sale by public auction.

Your local RE/MAX agent can advise you whether or not your property is suitable for auction or whether one of our other RE/MAX marketing strategies would be more suitable.

What’s Included in the Sale?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

It is normal for all fixtures and fittings (items which are screwed or nailed or permanently fixed to the property) to remain with the property. Some chattels (moveable items) including which carpets, curtains and light fittings are also generally included.

Failure to clearly list all of the chattels included in the sale price at the time of listing the property for sale, can result in a dispute with a purchaser later.

If you wish to retain any of the fixtures and fittings, such as your prize door chimes, or an expensive light fitting, then you should advise your agent accordingly and have these exclusions noted on the original Authority to Sell document. We strongly recommend that you replace or remove any items to be retained by you before placing the property on the market for sale; this will avoid any confusion at a later date.

It is recommended that the purchaser ask for a final inspection of the property prior to the settlement. At this inspection the inventory of chattels and fixtures and fittings which will remain with the property can be pointed out, room by room. In this way, both the vendor and the purchaser are satisfied that there are no contentious items to be disputed after the settlement has been finalised. Reticulation equipment (particularly if shared with adjoining owners), is a good example of a commonly overlooked item in the sale.

The For Sale Board

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The distinctive red, white and blue RE/MAX for-sale board is often refered to as our “24-hour silent salesperson” and our studies show that up to thirty percent of inquiry is influenced by the for-sale board.
Further, if prospective buyers inquire as a result of seeing a for-sale board you can be confident that they already like the outside of the house and the location.

Unfortunately many people do judge a property from the street and never get a chance to appreciate the hidden aspects of the property. Our large high impact descriptive and photo signs are an option that will ensure a huge increase in inspections and will minimise the “drive bys” at home opens.

When the property is sold it is customary to place an “Under Offer” or “Sold” sticker on the sign until the property settlement is completed. The “Sold” sticker is self-explanatory, but an “Under Offer” sticker is used when a contract has been negotiated but is still subject to one or more conditions e.g. finance approval.

What price should I ask?

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

If we imagine for a moment that all buyers are contained in a pyramid. The biggest concentration of buyers are grouped at the bottom of the pyramid and as we move up in price, the buyers thin out, until only one buyer stands alone at the top.

How much you decide to ask for your property will determine the number of potential buyers who are attracted to “have a look” and consequently the length of time it will take to sell.

Shorter time means a higher price … The two most frequently asked buyer questions are, “how much will they take” and “how long has it been on the market”. The first question is a great opportunity for a good agent to invite an offer but the second question is always a curly one. When people ask how long a property has been for sale, it is usually because, the longer it’s been for sale, the less they think they will need to pay.

It has been proven that the best opportunity to achieve top price for your property is within the first 30 to 45 days. After that the “scavengers are gathering” waiting for it to show signs of a last desperate price reduction.

Consider the Buyer Feedback Ranging option

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

Ranging has been around now for some years. It is considered by many to be the fairest way for both seller and buyer to begin negotiations and it has proven to be a sure-fire method to create buyer competition and ultimately to achieve the best price possible for the property.

The pitfalls of traditional ‘fixed price’ selling are that the seller will almost always get less than their asking price and many buyers never take a look because they don’t think they are in with a chance. Keep in mind, history show that buyers usually spend between 5 and 10% more than they first planned. It’s also a proven fact that buyers make their ultimate decision based on emotion rather than price. In other words, if they love it, they will find a way to buy it.

Buyer Feedback Ranging between the ‘Top dollar’ price and the ‘bargain basement’ price will ensure maximum interest and is fairer to all parties as it allows buyers to view the property and to provide feedback, hopefully via an offer, at a price where they see the property value compared to other properties they have viewed.

And NO, very few people start at the bottom. They will usually compare your property to others they’ve seen and base their offer on where they think yours compares. Remember, they have got to see it before they will make an offer and Buyer Feedback Ranging is the best way to invite them to “have a look”!

Showing the Property to Buyers

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The general rule is to let your agent show the property without interference. Potential purchasers are usually happier if the owner is not present when they are inspecting the property.

Never apologise for the appearance of your property, because genuine purchasers understand that you cannot keep it in showroom condition twenty-four hours every day!

First appearances are important and this means the garden area, driveway, guttering, windows, window frames and other obvious areas should all be clean and in good condition.

The interior of the home should be neat and tidy and not cluttered with too much furniture for the size of the various rooms. Dishes should be washed, beds made and cupboards spring-cleaned (purchasers sometimes have a look).

Keep your pets under control and turn the radio or television volumes low when the agent arrives with customers to inspect.

If the weather is fine, perhaps you can move into the garden while the inspection is taking place. Buyers are conscious of the fact that they are invading your privacy and may rush the inspection if you are too close at hand. If is far better to leave them and your sales consultant to enjoy a relaxed stroll through your property so that they can get the true feel of it as their possible future home.

Home Opens

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

This is an extremely popular way of presenting a property for sale to potential purchasers. Purchasers can inspect with the sales consultant in attendance, but without any obligation to start negotiations.

RE/MAX statistics show that around 9 per cent of properties sell as a direct result of the home being opened for inspection. But many more sales result from the salesperson meeting the purchaser at another home open. The rule is, home opens work and work well so please allow and encourage them.

Your RE/MAX agent will always be present during an open house, to escort potential purchasers through the property and act as the caretaker in your absence. It is wise however, to lock away valuable items such as jewellery, money boxes, expensive ornaments, etc. Incidents of theft from properties being open for inspection are extremely rare, but it is nevertheless wise to remove these temptations from sight.

Be aware that smokers and pet owners will rarely smell odours to which they have become accustomed and it is usually too embarrassing for a third party (including your agent) to broach the subject.

A tip to make the home smell sweetly is to place a cinnamon stick in a heated oven for a short period prior to the home open or to bake a loaf of bread or a cake during the home open. A vase of flowers and the dining table set for a dinner party will also show off your property to its best advantage.

Negotiating with the Buyer

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The best advice for sellers is to always negotiate through your real estate agent. A potential purchaser will sometimes attempt to negotiate directly with the property vendor, perhaps to establish what is the lowest price you are prepared to take. It is wise to politely refer the purchaser back to the agent you have appointed to act on your behalf.

Any agreement to purchase your property will be made in writing on the standard form and signed by the purchaser. Offers made verbally cannot be legally enforced and are therefore worthless.

When your agent arrives with the customer’s written offer, you should clarify every clause ensuring you completely understand what is proposed. You may then decide to accept the offer by signing in the space provided, or to “counter” the offer at a higher price that is acceptable to you. Inserting the new price on the contract and initialling the alteration usually achieves this. Your agent will then present your “counter-offer” back to the purchasers for their acceptance or rejection.

You should be aware that if the purchasers do not wish to accept your “counter-offer”, they can withdraw their original offer leaving you without a purchaser. Therefore your decision to counter the original offer at a higher price should be made with the clear understanding that you may run the risk of losing your purchaser altogether!

Important: When a property is placed on the market, the fact is it is in competition with other properties and not in isolation. Buyers will always compare your property with others that offer what they are seeking and they will then make their offer and negotiate with that in mind. When confronted with a offer rational and balanced response is important. Your agent should have been providing you with feedback and guidance and also market evidence including the median or average price for homes in your area. It is then a matter of how your home compares and remembering that in the end result, it’s worth what a willing buyer will pay.

Handing Over the Keys

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

This event is more than a symbolic gesture because by handing over the keys to the property, the vendor hands over the physical possession of the property to the purchaser.

The keys to the property are usually handed over after final settlement, i.e. when the vendor has been notified that the transaction has been finalised by the settlement agent/solicitor and the settlement agent/solicitor is in receipt of the full purchase monies.

In practice, it is usual for the vendor and purchaser to make prior arrangements for the handing over of keys to coincide with their mutual arrangements for removalists and the like.

This occasionally takes place before the settlement has been finalised, but only by signed agreement and if all parties are confident that a date and time have been arranged for the final settlement and that this will be concluded without any hitches. The careful vendor may decide not to pass over keys however, until official notification of the settlement has been received. Your RE/MAX agent can advise you on this important matter.

Disputes sometimes occur if the vendor is unable to provide keys or remote controls (usually 2 for double garage) for every lock on the premises. It is fair to ensure that all keys are provided and this will help ensure a happy transition.

Things to do when Moving House

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

This checklist may help you avoid some of the inconvenience and confusion brought about by your move.

Before moving notify:

Bank (inc Credit cards & kids accounts)
Age/Invalid/Repat pensions
Child endowment
Public Library card
Life insurance (quote policy number)
Property insurance company (inc Contents)
Car insurance
Hire purchase companies
Store accounts
Motor registration – Drivers licenses
Electoral office
Brokers – shares, investments, Govt. bonds
Employers
Schools, universities
Doctor, dentist, other medical
Health Insurance
Children’s activities (Scouts, dance school)
Sporting and other clubs
Neighbours, relations, friends
Milkman, newspaper deliveries
Gas, Power, Telecom
Pay television
Post office – redirection order
Magazine subscriptions
Foxtel
Tick off when completed
Note: It’s a good idea to make up a couple of dozen labels with your name & new address ready to insert into any mail you may be sending out.

If you sold your home through RE/MAX we will automatically advise the rating authorities and the Land Tax Department, but you will need to lodge a Land Tax Return.

McGowan shows signs of what to expect under Labor

May 28th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

With his announcement to do away with option fees for tenants making applications on properties, WA Labor leader, Mark McGowan has already shown what the real estate Industry can expect if he is installed as Premier according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“People should see this for what it is, a cynical vote grab with no consideration for property owners or the industry that has to administer this challenge”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Some meaningful consultation with the real estate industry would have enlightened Mr McGowan to all the influences around option fees and enabled him to come up with a less one sided proposal.

“Although I support REIWA President David Airey in his proposal to reduce the option fee to $50 there is definitely a need for rental applicants to be compelled to provide some meaningful consideration.

“I doubt any agent would argue that tenants are faced with challenges when searching for rental properties however property managers don’t want to be overrun with people placing multiple applications forcing them to administer an ongoing series of property lotteries.

“Tenants having to pay option fees is only half of their challenge with the other, and often bigger problem being the legislated requirement for these fees to be processed through the agents trust account and often taking days to clear before they can be refunded.

“I doubt property management agents would have an issue with a substantially reduced option fee that can be held and immediately refunded should the applicant be unsuccessful but to propose no option fee at all shows a complete lack of understanding of the matter and invokes deep concerns about Labor’s record of making ill considered decisions on the run.”, Mr Baldwin said.

WA Now Australias Best Investor Option

May 18th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

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With the major eastern states markets either overheating or heading that way along with diminishing percentage returns, Western Australia is now a shining light for property investors and needs to be marketed as such according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Sydney prices are really getting to the point of ridiculous with massive price increases and all indications are that market is peaking at a dangerous level.

“Melbourne prices are already comparatively high compared to Perth and Brisbane is also experiencing a high level of activity which is pushing up prices.

“Meanwhile the whole WA market is slowly working its way out of a lull caused by the mining industry slowdown with the result that value has returned along with comparatively high rents.

“As a result of softening prices and record low interest rates, for the first time in almost two decades we are seeing a high number of local properties available that can be positively geared or certainly break even after tax dispensations.

“Some of our regional centres such as Bunbury are also offering a good selection of both residential and commercial opportunities where the rent can cover all costs after tax.

“Historically WA has followed NSW in the property cycle which is another positive indicator for prospective property investors who are looking to buy now.

“Western Australian agents and developers would do well to consider a concerted marketing campaign to promote our state and the value it currently offers”, Mr Baldwin said.

Slower market creates opportunity for upgraders

April 20th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

There is no argument that the market has slowed since Christmas however this can be wonderful news for people looking to sell their current property to upgrade to a bigger and better home according to RE/MAX Western Australia Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Right now there are approximately 14,000 properties on the market which is around 40 percent more than this time last year so upgraders do have a larger selection to choose from however many a worried that they won’t achieve a good price for their current property”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The brutal truth is that an upgrader may need to accept less on their current property but there is little doubt they will enjoy a parallel discount on the one they buy and this is when the sums really add up in their favour.

“In an example where 12 months ago, a person was selling a $500,000 property to upgrade to one worth $800,000, the gap was $300,000. Today, in the slower market, although they may have to take $480,000 for their existing home they are now more likely to buy that $800,000 home for $760,000 reducing the gap to $280,000 and saving them $20,000.

It’s also very relevant that when the market slows the dearer properties are hit hardest while the cheaper homes, up to around $600,000 continue to sell readily as that is where the buyers are most prevalent.

“The secret is to not look at selling and buying in isolation but to instead consider the whole changeover package and by doing so it can often be found that selling to upgrade in a slower market is an advantage rather than a disadvantage”, Baldwin said.

No better time for renters to buy

April 12th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

With the property market having slowed significantly there will never be a better time for renters to consider getting into their own home according to RE/MAX Western Australia Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Currently there are more homes available than at any time for the past 4 years which means that buyers are spoilt for choice and prices are much more competitive”, Mr Baldwin said.

“There is also the important consideration that interest rates are lower than they have been for many decades.

“A person paying $450 a week in rent could buy a similar property and be paying the same amount or even less even taking into account land and water rates.

“The biggest challenge for first home buyers right now is that of rounding up a deposit but it is worth sitting with a mortgage advisor to see what grants and subsidies are available and to establish exactly how much is needed up front to buy a home of their own.

“Often people are pleasantly surprised and find that they are closer to qualifying for a loan than what they thought.

“In recent weeks we’ve been providing a dedicated service to first home buyers where they can seek advice without pressure or obligation and we are finding that this service is becoming increasingly popular and is allowing prospective first home buyers to set short term goals to get into the property market.

“Property ownership has forever been a main catalyst to long term security and we should be doing everything possible to assist people to reach their goal of buying a first home”, Baldwin said.

Presentation is critical in todays market

April 3rd, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

A study of 120 homes currently on the market over a 12 week period has shown that those with immaculate presentation are a selling up to three times quicker than those that are not and this has become a critical factor in both price and time on market according to RE/MAX Western Australia Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Currently there are more homes available than at any time for the past 4 years which means that buyers are spoilt for choice and prices are much more competitive”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Obviously, if a buyer has a choice of several similar sized and located homes they will usually tend to buy the one that presents best and is less likely to need work.

“On the other hand they will put a line through any home that is in need of even simple maintenance or at best they will offer a much lower price than had it been in good condition.

“In this current market sellers cannot afford to let their listing go stale as the longer a property sits on the market the less people are likely to offer and a property with poor presentation is certain to be ignored.

“Throughout our group the current average time on market is around 52 days which compares favourable to the industry average of 70 days however properties with quality presentation are selling as quickly as 15 to 20 days or even less and are often attracting multiple offers.

“In a market where listing stock is low and buyer activity is strong sellers may get away with sub standard presentation but when stock levels blow out and buyers have so much more to choose from it is critical that homes are presented at their absolute best from day one on the market”, Baldwin said.

Super plan for first home buyers is not rocket science

March 18th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

There is a simple and sustainable solution to Labor’s and others opposition to the proposal that first home buyers being able to draw on their super to provide a deposit according to real estate industry veteran, RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The argument is that allowing a draw down on super would harm the system and the future security of retirees however this can be easily overcome with a ruling that all funds plus a levy must be deposited back into the super fund upon the sale of that first property.

“This would also encourage people to hold their property for a longer period and in doing so have a more settling effect on the market and a more sustainable effect on individual borrowings.

“Using properties purchased under this system as security for other borrowings should also be disallowed ensuring that future equity remains unencumbered.

“The levy amount should be based on the capital gain of the property at sale after costs. In other words, if the property netted 20 percent more than its purchase price when sold in the future then the levy would be 20% of the amount drawn from the super fund in addition of course to the original draw down.

“Any argument that this would cause people to pay more for a property such as argued by Chris Bowen, is clearly wrong. A buyer using a super fund deposit would be restricted by their borrowing capacity as are most buyers so saying that everyone will suddenly find “another 30,000 and pay more” is rubbish.

“Much of the opposition to this proposal (apart from the opposition themselves) is emanating from the financial sector who see this as a threat to their income in that, for the most part, they are biased towards the stock market. They see money drawn from super funds for home deposits as money on which they will not be earning fees.

“In the right format this proposal is a good one and one that does not need to harm the superannuation system. In fact, with people reimbursing their super funds with the amount borrowed plus a levy it could be argued that the super system will be boosted over the longer term”, Mr Baldwin said.

Buyers invariably the winners from private sales

March 10th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

A phone survey of 31 buyers who had purchased private sales over the past 12 months provided some interesting facts and highlighted the overall expectation is that savings are definitely to be made but unfortunately not by the seller, according to CPREA (Certified Practising Real Estate Agents) Chairman, Geoff Baldwin.

“In all but two cases the buyers considered that they purchased their property more cheaply because there was no agent involved”, he said.

“When asked if they took into account the fact that the seller wasn’t paying an agent’s fee, every buyer surveyed said yes and that they expected to and in most cases did negotiate this amount and more off the price of the property.

“Several of these buyers even stated that the seller willingly offered up that they would look at a lower price because they weren’t paying an agent.

“Most people said that although they felt less comfortable dealing directly with the seller it was easier to negotiate their offered price without an agent being involved.

“The average reduction from the private seller’s asking price and the price paid was 8.7% which is a significantly larger discount than the market average of just under 5% over the same period.

“Several people said that they actually targeted private sales because they knew they would buy more cheaply if they didn’t have to negotiate through a professional agent and in a couple of instances boasted that they had saved more $60,000 by buying privately.

“It does make sense that a buyer will expect to get a better deal when the seller is not paying an agent’s commission and what has become very obvious out of this survey is that it is buyers who are benefiting from no agent being involved, not the private sellers.

“Of course it is critically important that a highly skilled and resourced agent is selected, one who can negotiate his/her fee plus more, but sellers who expect to save money by doing the job themselves are more often achieving the exact opposite to the delight of their buyers”, Mr Baldwin said.

Sellers – beware of Price Trap

February 10th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Asking several agents to provide appraisals then establishing an asking price based on their opinions is costing sellers thousands in time and money according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Many prospective sellers invite three or four agents to provide appraisals of their property so as to ascertain a likely selling price and often fall into the trap of adopting one of the highest prices quoted however this can actually cost money rather than gain more”, he said.

“The biggest driver in the buying process is emotion however it is impossible for a buyer to fall in love with a property if he or she never has it on their list to view and the biggest barrier to viewings is incorrect pricing.

“The records show that buyers invariably spend five to ten percent more than they initially budget and this is because they are often disappointed with what they are seeing or because they see a house above their budget, fall in love with it and simply pay what they need to pay to buy it.

“Choosing a price based on agents’ opinions and then adding another $10 or $20 thousand for “negotiation” will only ensure that the wrong pool of buyers are viewing the property and that the correct pool are simply not putting it on their shopping list.

“In addition, it is often the case that the agents’ opinions are wrong because they can’t take into account the emotional attachment of a buyer.

“It is common when several buyers are interested in the same property, especially where there is no price indicator, for those buyers to make offers that differ by tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“For this reason, using the age old approach of placing a fixed price of a listing and then hoping to attract multiple viewings simply no longer works and for that reason, sellers should be looking for agents who offer a more strategic approach.

“Adopting a fixed price above the expectation will also ensure that at the start of the listing when interest is at its highest, the wrong buyer pool are viewing the property, if anyone at all.

“Auction, Buyer Feedback Ranging, Set date sales, etc are all invitations for buyers to view the property without the barrier of a fixed price that often scares them away.

“Once a buyer has seen the property, if they are attracted to it they will pay whatever they need to within reason, to make it their own.

“Sellers should steer away from a conventional fixed price and appoint an agent who can sit down with them and construct a marketing and pricing strategy that will ensure the sale price is maximised through eliminating barriers and maximising competition”, Mr Baldwin said.

Current market lull very temporary

January 23rd, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

The lull over recent weeks in the property market will only be a temporary reprieve for buyers and is more related to seasonal than financial influences, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“After a slower December and early January we are already beginning to see a fresh influx of buyer activity and expect February to be a bumper month for our sellers”, he said.

“Although a booming market tends to stay strong through the holiday period in normal conditions buyers and sellers do often take a break from their activities during this time.

“We can confidently expect the remainder of summer through spring to be buoyant and for buyer competition to return in strength and quickly.

“Price does however remain a relevant factor in WA as with around 13,000 properties for sale compared to around 8,000 this time last year, only those that are being marketed with an effective pricing strategy will capture buyer attention.

“The age old approach of deciding on a dream price then adding five or ten percent to allow for negotiation is simply no longer effective, is a sure way to keep buyers away and inevitably results in a lower end sale price. Sellers should be looking for agents who can demonstrate more effective marketing and pricing methods that take advantage of early interest and which ensure price is maximised.

“Overpricing is the biggest factor in properties not selling and in them becoming stale and sellers should keep in mind one of the most asked questions by buyers when they are interested in a property is

“How long has it been for sale?”. What the buyer wants to hear is that is has been on the market for a long period because they know that they have a much better chance to negotiate a lower price.

“The bottom line is that the market is a long way from bust, it will continue to fire up as the year progresses however only those properties that are competitively priced will attract viewings and offers” Mr Baldwin said.

A rent reduction can save thousands for landlords

January 11th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Most property owners are extremely resistant to adjusting the rent to meet current market conditions when they are seeking tenants for their vacant or soon to be vacant investment property however it is often the case that a small reduction in rent can avoid weeks without a tenant”, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“It is very common for owners of rental properties to insist on their property manager finding new tenants who will pay the same or even higher rent than the vacating tenant however this can often be a false economy”, he said.

“The amount of rent that a property will attract is influenced by a number of factors including the amount of properties available, the number of tenants looking, the time of year, rents being achieved for similar properties and many other factors”.

“So often owners will hold out vacant for weeks attempting to attract a tenant to pay a higher rent only to eventually be forced to meet the market anyway but in the process they have not only had to reduce by $20 or $30 a week but they have lost thousands through their property being vacant for along period.

“When notice is given that a tenant is vacating it is important that a frank and open conversation occurs between the owner and their property manager whereby an achievable rental amount is set that will ensure vacancy periods are avoided.

“Another bonus of asking an attractive rent rather than overpricing the property is that the property is more likely to attract multiple applications and provide the owner with more opportunities to find a quality tenant.

“Of course it may be the case that a property can maintain or even increase its rental income capacity however it is much more sensible to be tenanted than it is to be waiting vacant for a premium rent” Mr Baldwin said.

Dog owners may be better tenants

January 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

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It is often the case that landlords place a blanket ban on their property manager accepting applications from tenants with dogs however more often than not these applicants can be a better option according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The general feeling is that a dog may in some way damage the property however as an experienced manager of large rent rolls I have found this to be far from the truth and in many ways quite the opposite applies”, he said.

“Considering, or even welcoming applications from dog owners has two major advantages for the landlord in that these tenants will usually pay a premium rent and they are much less likely to move because it’s harder for them to find another pet friendly property owner” Mr Baldwin said.

“Although it may sound brutal, often the facts are that more damage can be done by young children than by a dog, however no one would consider banning families with children from applying for their rental property.

“Of course it is important to take into account the size of the dog, whether or not it is a breed that sheds fur, its age, whether it’s an inside or outside dog and any other information that can be gleaned before making a final decision.

“There is also the option of seeking feedback from previous landlords and the property owner has a legal right to request an additional pet bond.

“In a more competitive rental market as is predicted for 2015, owners should be looking at ways to make their property more attractive and actually inviting tenants with dogs to apply is a huge point of difference” Mr Baldwin said.

Agents – you are being watched

December 23rd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

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Although few agents have anything to hide all should be aware that an increasing number of sellers may have them under surveillance during inspections and home opens according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“With basic CCV cameras being so affordable and available from electrical stores property owners are purchasing them so that they can check their homes remotely when they are at work or anytime they are away.

“Rarely would a property owner specifically arrange a surveillance device to spy on their agent but there are now cameras with audio installed in an increasing number of homes so this is another reason for industry personnel to ensure professionalism at all times.

“One of our offices recently listed a property that had been on the market with another company for several months and, in discussion it became obvious that the owner had been watching and listening in on conversations between the agent and prospective buyers during inspections.

“The property owner commented that she was disappointed with the content of discussions between her agent and viewers during inspections and when questioned as to how she knew she divulged that she had a camera and microphone installed so that she could keep an eye on her dog whilst at work.

“With technology readily available and with people using it at an increasing rate agents need to not only be aware of the fact that they may be being watched but to expect it and act professionally at all times”, Mr Baldwin said.

Pricing critical as listings stock increases

December 15th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

With almost double the number of listings on the market in Western Australia compared to this time last year only those that are priced correctly will attract the attention of shrinking buyer pool according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“When listing stock is in short supply and buyers are competing for properties pricing is important however when the market slows down, there are less buyers and are more properties available, using an effective pricing strategy is critical”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The days of coming up with a dream price then adding on another ten percent are well and truly over as today’s buyer is much more informed and simply does not have the time to be deciphering overpriced properties.

“It is a fact that most people are influenced by emotions when buying a property however they cannot become emotionally attached to a home if they never get to see it and overpricing is a sure way to restrict inquiry, viewings and to stale a listing to the market.

“Many sellers believe they can always bring the price down over time but one of the most asked questions when a buyer does like a property is “How long has it been on the market” and the fact is, the longer it’s been for sale the less the buyer is likely to offer.

“Rather than just placing a fixed price on a property experienced agents will be able to suggest alternative pricing strategies that have been proven and will ensure maximum buyer inquiry and significantly increased competition for a listing.

“The records show the properties that sell within the first 30 days of coming to the market invariably sell for a higher price than those that are on the market for longer periods of time however many sellers come to the market overpriced and by the time they adjust to meet the market their listing is stale, they have missed many potential buyers and end up with a lower sale price.

“The market will always slow down as we move towards the holiday season and this year the slowdown has been accentuated by a general lull in the state’s economy however there are still buyers in the market and they will always be attracted to and pay well for properties that are priced and marketed correctly”, Mr Baldwin said.

Short Window of opportunity opens for smart buyers

December 9th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

There is no argument that the market has slowed as we approach the festive season however this period presents a short but attractive opportunity for property buyers to negotiate harder and save thousands according to CPREA (Certified Practicing Real Estate Agents) Chairman, Geoff Baldwin.

“Historically our real estate markets slow down from early November through mid to late January with the result that keen sellers become considerably more negotiable to the benefit of those few savvy buyers who are active during this period”, Mr Baldwin said.

“We also see listing stock increase due to buyer inactivity creating a wider choice of properties for those buyers who remain in the market.

“While sellers who are not under pressure for a result will wait out this short term slowdown it is also not unusual to see others who are keen for a result, to drop their price expectations at this time of year.

“Sellers who are upgrading understand that they may accept less on their current property but they will also benefit when negotiating their next home.

“Experienced investors know that the Christmas, New Year period is a great time to buy and hence we are currently seeing a significant increase in activity from our established investor base.

“Each year around the third week in January we see buyers re-enter the market in force and it is predicted that this coming January will be no exception so those who are keen to take advantage of the lull should be taking action now”, he said.

Sellers, agents dont know exactly what a property is worth!

November 10th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

The first sign of a real estate agent who doesn’t understand the market is when he or she tells a seller what they achieve for the sale price of their home according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Sellers often seek three or more appraisals and then demand that the agents advise them accurately on how much their property will sell for, but the agent they should list with is the one who refuses to play that game of Russian Roulette”, Baldwin said.

“To test this theory sellers should ask themselves this question. If 3 buyers wanted to make an offer on my property and none of them knew my asking price, how varied could the offers be? “On a property where the expectation is say $1,000,000 the offers could vary by $300,000 or even more, so how in the world can any agent predict the outcome with any degree of accuracy or confidence?

“Of course agents should discuss market evidence, recent sales, market conditions, etc with their sellers and a mutually agreed expectation should be established but that expectation should not be made public.

“The best agents will simply not get into a price argument but will always demonstrate methods that ensure maximum price and for many reasons this is rarely achieved by promoting a property with a fixed asking price.

“Methods such as Auction and Buyer Feedback Ranging are wonderful alternatives that ensure prospective buyers are not scared off by a high asking price and also that the eventual selling price is driven by the buyers emotional attachment to the property and the negotiation skills of the agent.

“The biggest motivator for buyers is emotion but they cannot fall in love with a property they never see and unfortunately many buyers miss out on seeing properties because they are initially well overpriced.

“In this situation everyone loses in that the seller’s property is stale by the time the price is dropped to meet the market resulting in a much lower price and the buyers who may have bought it never even placed it on their viewing list”, Mr Baldwin said.

Property located badly on Social Media

November 9th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Agents do neither themselves nor their clients any favours by posting property adverts on social media sites and in fact the practice is a sure way to become ignored according to Geoff Baldwin, Chairman of CPREA (Certified Practising Real Estate Agents).

“It is not unusual for an agency’s social media page to be totally dominated by properties for sale and, just as damaging, brag photos about recently sold listings, record prices, etc, etc”, he said.

“People are attracted to social media for entertainment, human interest, information that adds value and curiosity and these should be kept top of mind by every administrator of real estate pages.

“Unfortunately a lot of real estate agents are more focussed on bragging about how quickly and for how much they sold their last listing which unfortunately is often interpreted in a very negative light by the public.

“Any post about a specific property should be by way of a story such as how a renovation gained extra thousands, how new owners have inherited Perth’s best garden, Why Bob loves his new shed, etc, etc.

“What people, don’t want to see is “Sold by Joe Bloggs in 3 days” or “Another record price in Jonesville” etc, as all these ego type posts achive is to give people the impression we don’t work hard enough for our commissions, how easy our job is and/or we will make them pay too much.

“Agents should decide why they are establishing a social media business page and then never lose sight of that objective always keeping in mind that it’s not about what they want to say but what the public will want see, read and discuss.

“It is also important to remember that on the internet there are millions of valuable articles, videos and interesting stories that can be shared so the information that is posted doesn’t all have to come from between the four walls of the agency.

“For agents who are serious about building a great social media presence I would also highly recommend they work with a professional media company that specialises in this field. Investing a few hundred dollars a month to get it done right can make an enormous difference.

“Across the board, our Industry’s interaction with the public is not done well however this does create enormous opportunities for agents to stand out in their particulars areas by taking time to get it right and by treating their social media presence like a critical component of their business”, Mr Baldwin said.

7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling

October 24th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Selling a home is one of the most important financial transactions that a person will make during their life according to Geoff Baldwin, Managing Director of RE/MAX WA.

When people sell their home, they often make common mistakes which cost thousands of lost dollars that they could have retained had they had sold their home correctly, added Mr Baldwin.

Below are listed a seven of the most common mistakes made by homeowners when they decide to sell their home.

1: Overpricing resulting in the property “staling” itself to the market. History shows that the best price is achieved in the first 30 to 42 days on the market. The most asked question by interested buyers is “How long has it been for sale?” The longer the property has been on the market the less a buyer will generally offer because they know the interest and hence the competition has dissipated.

2: Listing for the lowest fee rather than with the best agent. Often people say they want a cheaper agent because every cent counts however, just as we look for the best doctor or the best accountant, so to should we seek out the best agent in our area and they will rarely be the cheapest. A few thousand dollars perceived saving in commission can mean a $20,000 loss in sales price through lack of skills and/or resources. The time to negotiate on commission is when the agent has done the job and has an offer on the table, not when you list. If the offer is a good one, be happy to pay the commission, if it is not up to what was indicated then that is the time to talk commission.

3: Overcapitalizing the home for the neighborhood. This happens with additions and upgrades being made, the cost of which simply cannot be recouped. Overcapitalizing cost millions of dollars in WA each year.

4: Hiring an agent based on non-business factors ie: they are a relation or a family friend. Make sure you’re hiring an experienced and proven agency with a great track record. It might be nice to hand over your largest asset to your nephew who has just got his sales certificate — but you could end up losing a friendship and thousands of dollars.

5: Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home. This is one of the biggest challenges home sellers face when putting their house on the market. Once you decide to sell your house, it’s no longer a home, but a product. The property needs to be prepared as a product, marketed as a product, and priced as a product. Let the buyers get emotionally involved as it will be their new “home”.

6: Covering up problems. Homebuyers today are much more informed about building and maintenance issues. For example, if during a closer inspection the potential buyer finds faults with the swimming pool, bore, structure, etc they quickly lose interest because they will then believe other problems may have been hidden.

7. Not allowing the selling agent to do their job. For example, some owners do not like home opens and others do not want a sign out front. The result is they hamper the process, exclude a large number of potential buyers from knowing about or viewing the property and reduce competition and the chance a good offer. Once a homeowner chooses a reputable and experienced selling agency they should allow them to use their skills to do their job unhindered.

Homes opens a necessary inconvenience for sellers

October 19th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

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Serious sellers understand that allowing their agent to open their home for inspection between set, advertised times is critical to attracting maximum buyer viewings according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Often sellers request that their agent does not open the home but instead arrange private inspections only however most buyers prefer to conduct their first viewing via a home open”, he said.

“One of the first questions asked by prospective buyers is “When will the home be opened? “On many occasions buyers will put off inspecting properties that are not opened for inspection and this can cause the seller to miss out on attracting their potential sale and can also cost them thousands off the sale price.

“It may be the case that an agent will meet your buyer at another of his or her open homes but, with this in mind, it is only fair that all sellers do their bit to attract buyer interest.

“Experienced agents will know how to maximise the results from open homes and will provide a written and verbal report immediately after conducting each open.

“Feedback from buyers visiting open homes will also assist in assessing your marketing and pricing strategy.

“It’s our experienced that well-structured and conducted open homes can significantly increase viewings, competition and ultimately the sale price”, My Baldwin said.

US Agent Murder a timely reminder

October 2nd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

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The murder last week of real estate agent, Beverly Carter in Arkansas USA should be a reminder to agents that they need to be vigilant at all times, always have an emergency plan and avoid putting themselves in vulnerable situations according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin. US agent, Beverly Carter, was abducted while showing a property and her body was found later in a shallow grave in nearby bushland. A suspect has since been arrested and charged saying to reporters that he targeted her because she was “A woman working alone and a rich real estate broker”. Agents should not be paranoid about safety but they should remain mindful that we do live in troubled times particularly with drugs and other pressures leading to robbery and violence every day in our community. It is very simple for an agent to be lured into a vulnerable situation by someone posing as a prospective buyer or tenant, especially if the property is vacant or the owners are not at home. The following are simple tips for agents who may be concerned about being isolated with a stranger; • Always ring the office telling them where you are and who you are with. • Tell the office you will ring them back to confirm your appointment is completed. • Ask the office to ring you if they haven’t heard from you. • Tell the office to ring 000 if you can’t be contacted within a certain time. • If you are really concerned do not go ahead with the appointment without taking along a buddy.

“There is no need for agents to become overcautious but a simple set of office guidelines put in place by the principal as part of the OHS policy can avoid a similar situation happening here in Australia” Mr Baldwin said.

Marketing is critical to achieving maximum price

September 15th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

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The difference between average and great real estate marketing can mean many thousands of dollars in the eventual sale price of a property according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The days of just putting up a sign, a few adverts in the local paper and a basic listing on the internet are a thing of the past for people who a serious about maximising their price”, he said.

“Agents and sellers who go that extra mile to ensure their property marketing is exceptional are being rewarded with up to 400 percent more inquiry which obviously creates more viewings and ultimately more competition.

“Today’s buyers are smart enough to realise there is little or no interest or competition if they visit a home open and see no other visitors or see a property that has been on the market for weeks or even months and hence, even if they are interested themselves they are likely to come in much lower.

“One of the most asked questions by interested buyers is “How long has it been on the market?” The longer it’s been for sale the less they are likely to offer hence a well targeted and impactful marketing and pricing strategy is critical to shortening listing time and maximising price”, Mr Baldwin said.

Investors now wary of property spruikers

August 15th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

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The investor trend in 2014 has been away from large hard sell, volume focussed seminars and towards smaller workshops or one on one meetings according to long standing investment specialist, Geoff Baldwin who is also Managing Director of RE/MAX WA.

“When the market was booming and competition for properties was very strong, prospective investors filled seminar rooms across the country however the current more normalised market conditions tend to bring out the prudent investor who understands the enormous opportunities this market offers but who also demands a high level of individual service.

“Over the past 6 months we have moved right away from providing the larger seminars and now run smaller regular workshops where people can interact and share ideas and experiences and where we can then focus on assisting with their individual requirements and plans.

“Although there are more properties available now this can be a double edged sword as it is harder to sort out the wheat from the chaff without experienced guidance.

“People are also confused about whether to buy an established property or to buy new and these are the issues that can be better sorted out in a one on one meeting with an experienced property investment agent and a pen and paper.

“It is often said that the best time to buy is when the market is slower so there is no argument that now is a great time to look for a good investment however it is very wise to gain as much knowledge as possible before you even start looking at properties.

“When seeking advice and guidance on property investment, just as it’s important to research the market it is just as important to research the agent you considering working with to ensure he or she has the experience, the record of success and also that he/she actually walks their own talk by buying and owning investment property.

“It is also critical to choose a company that offers a complete service package and one that follows up and supports throughout the whole process”, Mt Baldwin said.

Focus on Value, not asking price!

August 15th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

Often buyers tend to over focus on asking price rather than researching what a particular property is worth and this is causing disappointment when they are outbid by another buyer who has done their homework according to, RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The tendency for less experienced buyers is to look at the asking price and to make an offer well below that price however it should be remembered that the asking price is based on an estimation by the agent and heavily influenced by the seller’s motivation and situation”, Mr Baldwin said.

“It is very often the case that the seller has purchased another property and with that in mind they have priced their current property to sell quickly rather than building in a wide negotiation factor into their asking price.

“Recently, the incidence is increasing of buyers falling in love with a property then putting in an unrealistically low offer only to be outbid by another buyer who recognised the asking price was spot on. “The easiest method to establish value is to research what the median price is for that particular suburb and then assess where the property compares to that median price.

“If it is better than average it is likely to sell for more than the median and if it isn’t then it is likely to sell for less regardless of asking price.

“Rather than just looking at the asking price and automatically coming in lower, ask the agent to show you documented evidence of other properties in the area that have recently sold then make an offer based on the actual value”, Mr Baldwin said.

Apartment oversupply is overstated

July 13th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

There is no arguing that construction of apartments in Perth and surrounds is has increased significantly in recent times causing some concerns of an impending oversupply however a study at the influences suggests this is unlikely according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The property development industry is now much more regulated and sophisticated than it has been in past cycles and this has come about through hard lessons learned, not only by the developers themselves, but by the lenders that finance these projects”, he said.

“Prior to the global financial crisis lenders were much more liberal in their financing of prospective developments however today it is almost impossible to achieve financing without the developer having substantial equity in the project and certainly not before a majority of the apartments are sold off the plan on unconditional contracts.

“Without 60 or 80 percent unconditional presales developments will now not begin construction so, unlike in the past when construction could stop due to lack of finance or lack of sales, today they are unlikely to get off the ground at all.

“Further, as each development is mostly sold before construction begins the chances of a flood of unsold new apartments is very unlikely.

“It also must be taken into account the massive shift towards high density, low maintenance, secure living that is seeing an increasing number of people move away from the suburbs and into apartment closer to the city.

“We are also seeing a steady stream of overseas property investors snap up inner city apartments to rent out or to accommodate their children who are attending educational institutions in WA.

“Our property development industry is certainly influenced by supply and demand however, unlike in the past where slowing demand resulted in oversupply, there are now many safeguards in place to ensure this situation is avoided and that this segment remains healthy” Mr Baldwin said.

Banks change rules on split contracts

July 3rd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Recent bank changes to lending criteria for Survey Strata house and land contracts will result in dire consequences for many developers and is likely to kill many current off the plan projects according to RE/MAX WA managing director and long standing property investment specialist, Geoff Baldwin.

“Whereas strata titled projects are required to be totally completed before the deal is settled, survey strata developments allow settlement on the land content and then graduated payments until completion, much the same as a conventional house and land package”, Mr Baldwin explained.

“These new changes will now require developers of survey strata projects to totally complete the project before any funds are paid over by purchasers resulting in significant extra holding costs to the developer, additional stamp duty to the buyer and inevitably, a higher purchase price.

“As an example, we are currently mid-way through selling a villa development in Perth’s southern suburbs with most of the purchasers having committed to graduated payments and the entire pricing structured around that model so all parties are now faced with the problems resulting from these sudden changes.

“The banks are justifying these changes arguing that, should a developer not complete a project the land will be difficult to sell because it may be isolated from the road or without services, etc however this seems like another decision made by bureaucrats who have little understanding of the repercussions or without consideration for alternatives.

“One solution would be for the developer to demonstrate their capacity to complete the project without the benefit of graduated settlements ensuring that no buyer was at risk and that the bank’s funds were secure.

“Another consideration could be for the developer to be required to hold funds as a security bond for the lenders.

“This is another fairly radical decision made without sufficient consultation or warning and one that has the capacity to cause enormous harm to developers, the building industry and a stream of supporting trades”, Mr Baldwin said.

Is Perth being seen in wrong light?

June 29th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Many would be Asian investors and prospective immigrants overlook Perth because our continual talk of it being a mining and resources centre rather than a beautiful, clean and evolving city according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“In recent talks with an expert Asian immigration advisor about how Perth is seen in the eyes of many in China we were informed that many Chinese picture Perth itself as the centre of actual mining and associated industries and that this is a barrier to investment and immigration”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Because we live here we assume that people in other countries know that it is only the headquarters of mining companies that are located in Perth itself and not the actual operations of those companies, but unfortunately that is often not the actual perception.

“While Melbourne and Sydney are automatically accepted as large conventional cities worthy of investment, we have found that it is not until the prospective overseas buyer does some research or arrives and sees our city for themselves that they recognise it is not a mine site.

“In recent years Perth has been widely promoted as the mining and resource capital of Australia however we must consider that it is easy for this to be interpreted literally and for it to give a completely opposite picture to the reality.

“Actual knowledge of Perth is scant in many Asian countries so it is important that it is promoted more widely and with more detail about it’s beauty, scope and lifestyle if we are going to compete with the more accepted eastern states capitals”, Mr Baldwin said.

Pricing See-Saw is a Sellers Biggest Challenge

June 6th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

History proves that maximum interest in a property listing happens in its first few weeks on the market so it is critical that the pricing strategy is spot on from day one or this initial thrust will be wasted according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Unfortunately with the majority of new listings the pricing strategy is not in sync with the time when maximum interest is happening”, Mr Baldwin said.

“We refer to it as the Pricing See-Saw whereby, while buyer interest is at its peak at the beginning of the listing, typically the price is such that nobody is compelled to go ahead and make an offer.

“Unfortunately, when no offers are forthcoming the price is adjusted to lift interest but in most cases it is too late and the listing stalls.

“A study of listings that are on the market for more than 6 weeks shows that, on average, the eventual sales price will reduce by around half a percent for each additional week until it sells.

“One of the most asked questions when a buyer likes a property is “How long has it been for sale?” and buyers love it when a property has been on for a long period because they feel they have more negotiation power and, they are often right.

“Sellers are afraid of under-pricing however there are several sophisticated and proven strategies to ensure that maximum price is achieved but also that potential buyers are not scared off by a high fixed price.

“It must be understood that the pricing strategy is not a component of selling the property, it is a critical component of marketing to attract buyers to view the property.

“Once a buyer has come to see the house the marketing, including the pricing strategy, has done its job and from that time onwards the buyer either likes the property or doesn’t.

“Marketing is designed to attract buyers to view properties so if the pricing component of the marketing is wrong then buyer enquiry will be scarce or it will come from the wrong buyer pool.

“For a buyer to fall in love with a property they must first see that property and one of the biggest barriers to that happening is the asking price so sellers should ensure the agent they choose is able to explain how they will overcome this challenge and what strategy they propose to achieve maximum viewings and a great sale price”, Mr Baldwin said.

Property Taxes in Australia an Outrage

May 3rd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

The level of taxes on property in Australia is still outrageous and is on the verge of crippling the market according to www.CPREA.com.au Chairman, Geoff Baldwin.

“The property sector continues to be used ruthlessly as a cash cow for governments throughout Australia and this is now one of the biggest barriers to both buying established and building”, he said.

“The ABS publication, Taxation Revenue Australia shows that during the 2012/2013 financial year, Governments throughout the nation collected more than $33 billion in property taxes.

“While collections of most other taxes have remained steady during the ten year period 2003 – 2013, revenues from property taxes have jumped by over $12 billion (33%).

“Around 30% of the cost of a new home is made up of local, state and federal taxes.

“People often claim that agents fees are high but compared to government taxes they pale into insignificance, and while agents provide a service, the return for paying taxes is just more taxes.

“The property industry will soon be taxed to death if the levels of taxation being imposed on the industry continue at the current high rates.

“This was is no exaggeration, because currently the number of first home buyers in the Australian housing market has fallen dramatically mainly because of rising taxes on property.

“First home buyers are the lifeblood of the housing sector and they now account for less than 14% of all home buyers.

“High property taxes are now beginning to have an impact on second and third home sectors. More homeowners are simply deciding not to upgrade to better homes because of the high level of property taxes.

“State and Federal Governments throughout Australia have been able to get away with these tax rises because property owners and the property industry have been complacent.

“I encourage other companies in the property industry to mobilize against these massive tax hikes on property owners.

“No business in the property sector is immune from property taxes. If people are prohibited from buying or building new properties because of high taxes then there will be a massive negative flow on to our community is certain”, he said.

HECS model possible stamp duty trade off in WA

April 23rd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Rumours are rife about a cessation of the stamp duty dispensations for first home buyers in the upcoming state budget however one possible solution may be the introduction of a system similar to the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“First Homebuyer stamp duty relief is critical to ensuring this critical segment of the market doesn’t lose even more strength as its cessation would almost certainly prove to be a knockout blow for the property sector”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Obviously the WA government is looking at all options to get the budget back into surplus but crippling the capacity of first home buyers would be extremely short sighted as this segment is the first link to the strength of the whole market.

“Having already been disadvantaged by having the First Home Owner Grant slashed to $3000, compared to $10,000 for new home buyers, the established real estate Industry can well do without another hit at this time.

“One solution is to adopt a system similar to HECS whereby it continues to be granted when it is most needed but paid back when the recipient is in a stronger financial position.

“The repayment could occur when the property is sold or in say 5 years, whichever is the sooner.

“Stamp Duty could be a via zero interest loan rather than a dispensation and that it should be paid back from the proceeds of an eventual sale or by instalments after five years.

“By implementing a repayment system the Government could continue with the stamp duty dispensation knowing that it would eventually recoup all of these funds and enabling it to avoid creating another negative blow to the market and ultimately the WA economy.

“There is no doubt that the dispensation is justified but it is most needed when people are trying to put together the required funds to buy a first property.

“Once that property has been held for a few years it will gain equity value creating a capacity for repayment.

Extreme Growth at RE/MAX Extreme

April 2nd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

From a small office in Butler with just a couple of salespeople, RE/MAX Extreme, under the leadership of Brett and Alana White, has grown in a few years to be one of the most dominant real estate brands in Perth’s northern suburbs.

“The Whites now run a burgeoning and highly successful business of three offices and more than 40 staff with new people applying to join their teams every week.

“We are very proud of the growth and success that Brett, Alana and their people have achieved and also that they are an integral part of RE/MAX WA.

“RE/MAX Extreme is a classic blueprint for a real estate business, in that it has staff structures at every level, is systemised, has a strong team spirit and a massive focus on professionalism and results.

“Added to that is the leadership and experience of Brett and Alana who have engendered a high level of loyalty with their staff since the inception of their business.

“The RE/MAX Extreme model is a wonderful example for the industry in that it allows salespeople at all levels from rookie to the very experienced to meet their full potential.

“As the managing director of RE/MAX Western Australia, I know that when we send an experienced or a brand new salesperson to talk to Brett and Alana White, that person will be welcomed and given the opportunity to succeed and prosper in a great environment.

“RE/MAX Extreme currently have offices in Butler, Joondalup and Wanneroo and are soon to announce a new office in another of the North’s key areas”, Mr Baldwin said.

Stamp duty budget cuts will have domino effect

April 2nd, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Rumoured cuts or abolishment of the current stamp duty dispensations for first home buyers would have dire effects across the entire market and create a government instigated downturn at the worst possible time, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The negative affect the ceasing of stamp duty relief for first home buyers would be extremely damaging however, when this segment of the market stagnates it ripples up through all price ranges and the effect would be crippling”, he said.

“If you take a line through NSW and Victoria where subsidies have been abolished, first home buyer activity has dropped to 8% and 12% respectively, compared to the current 22% in Western Australia (RP Data).

“Historically, in a healthy market, first home buyers account for around 25 to 30% of all buyers.

“The established home market has already taken a massive hit through the government’s recent actions in changing the First Home Owner Grant whereby those building new homes receive $7,000 and people buying established only $3,000.

“To abolish first home owner stamp duty concessions would be extremely short sighted as it will a negative impact the whole market and hence the Industry, just at a time where we are again experiencing some prosperity in the property sector”, Mr Baldwin said.

Markets dent the Dent Prophecy

March 11th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

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For years the messiah of doom, Harry Dent, has been predicting Armageddon for the US property market and more recently has included Australian property in his quest to attract audience, however with almost every state in the US currently seeing increases in property prices Harry’s argument is seriously dented according to RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin.

“I have spent the past two weeks firstly attending the RE/MAX International Convention in Las Vegas with agents from 65 countries and all US states, and since meeting with agents in the southern states who confirm that these markets are strong and in some cases booming”, he said.

“All but 2 of the mainland states have experienced increases over the past 12 months with some achieving growth as high as 23 percent.

“Forced sales are down by around 70 percent and there is a generally a positive feeling right across the market.

“It amazes me that people like Dent who have been making money by talking the world’s economies and property markets down for years only to be proven wrong time and time again, are still given any degree of credence but I guess there is always an audience for negativity.

“The popular consensus in 2008 to 2010 was that our Australian market was also destined for decades of doom however I am happy to say that I, and other rational observers of the economic cycle, remained confident in predicting that we were experiencing just another bump in the road, albeit a fairly large one that took longer to repair.

“Our local markets are very much on the up and up and any owner occupier or investor who is listening to people like harry Dent and holding off for the market to crash is sure to be disappointed“, Mr Baldwin said.

COOL is everything when selling

February 24th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

In Western Australias summer months, lack of air conditioning when selling a property can quickly put it to the bottom of the buyers list according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“A recent survey conducted across our home opens and people inquiring about our listings confirmed that air conditioning influences people’s buying decisions with eight out of ten buyers”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Even in cases where buyers said they would still buy a property that wasn’t air-conditioned, many said they would negotiate a lot harder on the price they were prepared to pay.

“With temperatures often hovering in the high thirties and sometimes even in the forties, it is little wonder that buyers feel much more positive when walking into an air conditioned home.

“On the other hand, when a prospective buyer inspects a property that is not air conditioned they cannot help but be less enthusiastic about it, especially if they have already visited properties that were invitingly cool.

“Often people will supplement with pedestal fans however this does little more that draw attention to the lack of air conditioning and the problem is that buyers don’t hang around for long enough in hot houses to appreciate other features.

“People looking at selling properties that are not air conditioned should consider a reverse cycle air conditioner that can be installed for under $1,500 can not only remove the objection but also ensure that buyers are not distracted from other features”, Mr Baldwin said.

Still many poor agents in rich market

January 28th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

There is no argument that today’s property market across Australia is either strong or improving rapidly however there are still many agents who are not making money despite what seems to be prosperous times according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“It is not unusual in the current environment, for properties to attract multiple offers and many top agents are achieving double and even triple the sales they were making a year ago however closer analysis shows that Pareto’s 80 – 20 principal continues to apply with 80 percent of the sales being made by 20 percent or less of agents”, he said.

“Listings are much easier to sell with buyer demand at its highest for many years but the critical ingredient for agents to enjoy this market is for them to have a good stock of listings.

“Many weaker agents are finding out that long term success is not about selling properties to buyers but more importantly, being able to earn the trust and confidence of sellers.

“Agents who lack the ability to demonstrate their skills, experience, knowledge and ability to a property owner will often resort to drastically discounting their fees to attract listings however sellers soon realise that any perceived saving in commission pales into insignificance compared to what is lost through the weaker agent’s inability to attract and negotiate the optimum price.

“In 2013 there were approximately 450,000 house and apartment sales in Australia and there are approximately 40,000 real estate salespeople which is an average of around 11.5 sales per salesperson or one sale per month.

“When you take into account the number of sales made outside of the real estate industry and you also consider that the top echelon of salespeople are selling up to 8 properties a month, it is obvious that a large proportion of agents are still battling despite the strengthening market.

“Agents who cannot consistently list properties simply can’t survive regardless of the strength of the market but more importantly, if they don’t have the required attributes to impress a seller then they are very unlikely to have what it takes to achieve the best selling price”, Mr Baldwin said.

Market to Bounce in February

January 28th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

Historically the month of February sees the real estate market rebound following the Christmas, New Year lull and opens a new window of activity for buyers and sellers according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Although through this year’s holiday period has seen the market maintain strong momentum February is predicted to see buyer demand go to a much higher level again”, Baldwin said.

“Sellers who have been holding off would be well advised to take advantage of this predicted upswing in buyer demand as it historically creates more competition for available listings often resulting in better sale prices and a shorter time on the market.

“One problem facing the Perth market this year is the comparatively low listing stock levels which will mean that buyers will have less to choose from making it advantageous to those sellers who do place their properties up for sale.

“We have seen buyer demand increase significantly in the second half of January and this momentum is expected to grow as we move into February with the overall outlook for 2014 being very positive for sellers.

“Buyers who have been waiting to get through Christmas/New Year would be well advised to act sooner rather than later to avoid paying more”, Mr Baldwin said.

USA property rebounds – Australia on verge of boom

January 9th, 2014 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

RE/MAX, the world’s highest selling real estate brand, has reported US property prices were 11.5 percent higher in November 2013 compared to the same month in 2012, the best performance in 5 years and heralding the likelihood of boom conditions in Australia within the next 18 months according to RE/MAX Western Australia MD and 27 year industry veteran, Geoff Baldwin.

“Despite the predictions of a myriad of commentators over the past few years, that the US market was doomed to decades of struggle, the past twelve months saw property price rises in almost every US state with California and Nevada increasing in excess of 21 percent year to year” he said.

“This positivity in the market has come despite continuing tough rules around lending plus a very slow recovery across the rest of the US economy.

“US prices are predicted to continue rising into 2014 and beyond.

“The Australian real estate market has for decades been a mirror of the US market and, despite the fact that stricter lending ensured we did not experience the same pain as the US, renewed confidence their will almost certainly reflect positively in Australia.

“Most states in Australia are either experiencing increasingly strong activity in the property markets or are certainly well into recovery mode, interest rates remain at record lows, employment, apart from the manufacturing sector, remains strong, immigration and foreign investment in real estate are at record levels and confidence is relatively high across the board, all pointing to a perfect storm environment and a possible boom.

“Informed observers in the US are predicting that market to boom again within 3 years and when you compare our local economic conditions it is hard to argue that we are better placed.

“The only possible restraining factor is that Australian property prices in our major centres are arguably too high to allow them to skyrocket however, this same argument was put forward before all recent booms in this country.

“The bottom line is that Australians, investors and/or owner occupiers, who are holding off would be well advised to take action now rather than to wait and see”, Mr Baldwin said.

How big is your agents pool?

December 2nd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

One of the biggest mistakes being made by sellers is to focus solely on their property as a single commodity rather than ensuring it is marketed in the largest possible listing pool to attract maximum buyer enquiry and competition according to Geoff Baldwin, Managing Director of RE/MAX Western Australia.

“Often sellers will choose to list with a small or home office agent for a perceived saving in selling commission but what they miss out on is the massive increase in enquiries the bigger, better marketed and resourced agents can bring through their larger stock holdings”, Mr Baldwin said.

“When a seller chooses their agent based on a perceived saving of a few thousand dollars in fees it can and often does cost ten times that through a lower sale price because maximum exposure, enquiries, viewings and competition are not achieved.

“The property may still sell but too often the result, unbeknown to the seller, is at sale price that is well below what could have been achieved had the property been in a larger listing pool where the agent is attracting multiple buyer inquiries each day because of a larger listing stock.

“Simple maths depicts that an agency carrying marketing a hundred listings will attract 20 times more enquiries than an agency carry five.

“There is no argument that the smaller the agent, the less stock that agent carries and hence it stands to logical reason that less listings will attract less inquiry.

“An agency carrying a large pool of listings would conceivably attract hundreds of potential buyers each month and, it is often the case that those buyers call about one property, view several and invariably buy another one of that agents listings.

“It is not unusual for the collective property marketing spend of a successful larger brand to be tens of thousands of dollars per month directed solely at attracting buyers.

“Personalised service is obviously extremely important to a seller however the records will show that the larger agencies became so through providing great service and achieving exceptional results for their clients”, Mr Baldwin said.

Agents Trust Level an Urban Myth

October 20th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

The long held view that real estate agents are among Australia’s least trusted professions is simply not supported by reality according to RE/MAX Western Australia Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“In repeated surveys over several decades it has been reported that the public have a low opinion of the trustworthiness of our Industry but it is worth taking a close look at what is involved in our business to establish if this myth holds any real substance” Baldwin said.

“There are few professions where a person would be willing to hand over the keys to their home often after only one or two meetings, allow tours and open homes without them being present, manage their property portfolios, entrust their personal particulars including bank details and, in the case of buyers, allow the agent to hold large sums of money on their behalf.

“Yes, every now and again we do hear of a rogue agent doing the wrong thing but let’s face it, the thousands of dealings that go through without a hiccup despite the complexity of selling and transferring a property from one set of owners to another is not something for which the industry is given its due credit.

“Unfortunately, when something goes wrong in a property dealing or on the rare occasion that an agent is found to have breached the rules it tends to make the news, however the actual percentage of confirmed intentional or unintentional breaches occur in less than point two percent of dealings.

“What many people may not be aware of is that the percentage of complaints to actual dealings in the real estate Industry compares favourably to most other professions and trades including lawyers, accountants, doctors, mechanics, plumbers or builders.

“Going back 35 to 40 years ago anyone could hang out a sign and call themself an agent however the qualifications and ongoing professional development required to operate successfully in today’s real estate industry is onerous and anyone who doesn’t meet those standards tends to be weeded out very quickly.

“In addition to the huge advance in professional standards the real estate industry is now one of Australia’s most regulated and stringently overseen sectors.

“There is a genuine focus by the majority of today’s agent’s to continually improve professionalism and skills and to lift the public’s perception of our industry and I for one am very proud to have seen that focus increase each year since I kicked off my career in 1987”, Mr Baldwin said.

Ends Media contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Mobile Etiquette Unacceptable

October 14th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

For many businesspeople their need to be constantly monitoring and reacting to their mobile phone has got to the point where they are totally oblivious they’re being judged as ignorant and uncaring by those around them according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Accepting calls whilst in a conversation, constantly stepping out of training sessions to take or return calls, texting during sessions, being fixated to their mobile screen when talking to people are all becoming unfortunate traits that we are being judged by”, Mr Baldwin said.

“There is no argument that a mobile phone is an important tool however it should not be something that rules our lives and it should certainly never interfere or override current conversations or interactions.

“I know that that may sound like a radical approach but it is my view that answering a mobile phone call is often the most disrespectful thing we can do, not only to other people around us but also to the caller.

“It is more often the case we are concentrating on something else when our phones ring so the chances of us being able to respond positively and fully to the caller’s inquiry are minimal.

“By letting all of our calls go to voicemail we remain focussed on the task at hand and maintain more genuine, uninterrupted conversations but importantly, the caller will have left their name, their contact details and exactly what they are inquiring about so that when you return their call you can be clear minded and prepared.

“Obviously we should return calls in a timely manner and it is very common for people to express their appreciation by saying “thanks for getting back to me” however, it is interesting that almost no one ever thanks you for answering your phone.

“Leaving a mobile on vibrate, or even silent mode, on the table in front of you at appointments or in training sessions is just as annoying in that you and others around you are distracted every time your phone screen lights up and you glance at it or pick it up not to mention tweeting and other social media habits.

“I encourage people I work with to leave their phone in the car whenever they are going into a meeting or at least, turn it off completely and return calls after their appointment or during breaks.

“I also point out that there is no reason to raise our voices 10 or 20 decibels louder when we are talking on our mobile phones which is another distracting and disrespectful habit of many agents.

“A mobile phone is a wonderful resource but when it starts to control the lives of agents and disrupt the lives of those around them then it is time to take stock and be more aware of our actions”, Mr Baldwin said.

RE/MAX listed at top spot among real estate franchises globally

October 13th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

RE/MAX listed at top spot among real estate franchises globally For the fifth consecutive year RE/MAX has been listed as the top ranking real estate brand in the highly respected and sought after Franchise Times Top 200 survey, RE/MAX Western Australia Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin, announced today.

Rising two places in 2013 to number 14 overall and number 6 in sales growth RE/MAX shares the top twenty with icon brands such as McDonalds, Burger King, and 7 Eleven, Mr Baldwin said.

2013 marks the 40th Anniversary of the RE/MAX brand which now boasts over 90,000 agents in 92 countries.

According to RE/MAX International CEO, Margaret Kelly, throughout 2013, RE/MAX has been recognized as an industry leader in a variety of real estate surveys. RE/MAX agents averaged more transaction sides than agents with any other national brand according to the 2013 RIS Media Power Broker Report.

“To be recognized among these well respected brands is truly an honour and as we continue to celebrate 40 years of helping homebuyers and sellers achieve their dream of home ownership, this confirms the outstanding service and productivity of RE/MAX agents around the world.

“In the 2013 REAL Trends 500 survey, RE/MAX averaged more than double the transactions per agent than the Industry average and RE/MAX Associates held 98 of the 500 spots in the Wall Street Journal & REAL Trends for the most transaction sides,” Ms Kelly said.

“We are very proud to be a part of this amazing organisation and to contribute to its global success through our own focus in Western Australia”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Since my purchase of the RE/MAX rights to WA in late 2009 we have combined decades of local experience and success with the huge resources and support of RE/MAX International and we continue to grow and to increase our market share year by year.

“We have built to 15 franchises in WA and expect to open at least two more offices plus increase our salesperson number by another 15 percent in 2013”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

RE/MAX WA Agents in International Top 100

September 18th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

RE/MAX WA Agents in International Top 100

RE/MAX boasts around 94,000 agents in 92 countries so when 15 of the top 100 sales producers in their category, come from one state of Australia it is an achievement worth recognition group Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin stated today.

“The RE/MAX International Top 100 lists the agents who have sold the most properties throughout the world. There is a Top 100 for Individuals (salespeople who work on the own) and a Top 100 for teams (salespeople who are supported by others).

“I’m very proud of the fact that 15 of our WA agents made the International Top 100 Sales Producer lists in July especially since it justifies our concentration on lifting the quality of service our people offer their clients rather than just putting more bums on seats in our offices”, Mr Baldwin said.

“We have had several of our people making the Top 100 each month but to have such a large percentage of the best producers in the 92 RE/MAX countries in one month is a huge accolade and we are very proud of them and their achievements.

“We have a massive focus on maintaining the skills and service levels of our agents through continual training and education both at a head office level and very importantly, at each franchise office.

“In August RE/MAX WA was awarded for Training and Education in Sydney at the Real Estate Business Australian Real Estate Awards and these ongoing results reflect that our commitment to perfecting the skills of our agents is definitely a winner”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media contact – Geoff Baldwin

RE/MAX WA members in the Top 100 for Team Leaders:

#8 Tom Miszczak – RE/MAX Southern Stars Cannington
#23 Denis Sauzier – RE/MAX Extreme Joondalup
#25 Phil Wiltshire – RE/MAX Extreme Butler
#28 Brett White – RE/MAX Extreme Joondalup
#31 Demo Foufas – RE/MAX Extreme Joondalup
#32 Guy Zinicola – RE/MAX GBT Realty Nollamara
#46 Suzi Baker – RE/MAX Extreme Joondalup
#55 Tom O’Rourke – RE/MAX Sunset Coast Scarborough
#59 Keith Elliott – RE/MAX Lighthouse Realty Bunbury
#92 Rhett Tindall – RE/MAX Extreme Joondalup
#99 Deborah Conroy – RE/MAX Connects Bicton

RE/MAX WA members in the Top 100 for individuals:

#10 Janette Abbot – RE/MAX Coastal Baldivis
#40 David Willis – RE/MAX Lighthouse Realty Bunbury
#45 Deborah Shadler – RE/MAX Lighthouse Realty Bunbury
#51 Ann Watkins – RE/MAX Torrens Bedford

Zoned block owners beware

September 14th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

Demand for suburban blocks that are zoned for development has risen significantly and owners of these sites should choose their marketing method very carefully or risk underselling according to Geoff Baldwin, Managing Director of RE/MAX WA and long standing property investment specialist.

“We are repeatedly seeing owners of potential development blocks being approached directly by builders and developers with offers to buy their properties however in many cases the prices being offered are substantially lower than what they would receive with a professional and targeted marketing campaign”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Often these properties are owned by elderly people who have lived in them for decades and hence they have little concept of the true value so when they are approached with what looks like being a trouble free sale they are trapped into selling cheaply.

“Owners of properties in any area that is popular with developers should seek indications of their likely sale price through local agents who have a proven record of achieving good prices for sellers and who have a thorough understanding of how to pitch the property to ensure maximum exposure.

“These sites are now in high demand and although developers won’t overpay, it is important that an agent knows how to create competition and hopefully attract multiple offers to ensure the best result is achieved for the seller”, Baldwin said. Ends Media contact – Geoff Baldwin

Perfect storm forecast for Perth investors

September 2nd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

According to Geoff Baldwin, Managing Director of RE/MAX WA and long standing property investment specialist, Perth should batten down for the perfect storm in our real estate market to correspond with the beginning of Spring.

“Strong rental returns and demand, record low interest rates, competitive prices, positive and neutrally geared opportunities and increasing stock levels all point to a window of opportunity for prudent investors”, he said.

“Going back three or four years it was almost impossible to find a property where the rent would cover the mortgage however these positive and neutrally geared opportunities exist in many areas of Perth and also in some regional areas such as Mandurah and Bunbury.

“Spring is predicted to be the start of a significant increase in activity that will bring upward pressure onto prices and a significant return to the market by investors so now is the time to act to take advantage of this window as it will not remain open for a long period.

“Most people who have owned their own home for a few years will have enough equity to purchase an investment property without having to put in any cash themselves plus, working with an experienced agent they should be able to identify and purchase an investment property that will cover most if not all its own costs”, Mr Baldwin said.

Ends

Media contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Geoff Baldwin holds regular workshops for new and established property investors. Book by going to www.remaxwa.com.au

Perth listing numbers bounce

August 30th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

After a period where the number of property listings being offered for sale has been at its lowest level for decades, the past month has seen some strong signs of stock levels increasing for the first time in 2 years according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Since early 2011 when there were around 19,000 properties for sale we have seen this number drop to only around 7,000 however in July the number of properties being listed throughout our group increased by around 30 percent compared to recent monthly averages”, Mr Baldwin said.

“This sudden increase in listings coming onto the market has not been at the cost of sale numbers which have remained fairly strong throughout Winter so it can only be put down to record low interest rates and people seeing a brighter light at the end of the election tunnel.

“Seller confidence has been at an all time low through the longer than normal election lead up and this coupled with constant talk of the mining sector softening and a general hesitance about debt have all combined to convince prospective sellers to wait and see.

“The general consensus is that activity will increase markedly after the election next month and with the normal Spring bounce and it seems that sellers are recognising that now may be their best time to sell and to get into their next property before the price gap begins to widen.

“Although we are seeing more stock coming onto the market we believe this increase will be absorbed by a lift in buyer activity between now and Christmas and that there will be upward pressure on prices”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media contact – Geoff Baldwin

RE/MAX Files for $100 Million IPO

August 22nd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

RE/MAX Holdings, a real-estate franchise operator, filed on Monday for an initial public offering of up to $100 million, another sign of growing optimism over the U.S. housing market.

The company boasts that its agents have sold the most real estate in the U.S. and Canada every year since 1997. Revenue has remained fairly steady the last three years, although profits drastically improved. In the first half of this year, revenue rose sharply while core earnings growth fell amid higher costs.

“With approximately 74% of our 2012 revenue coming from the U.S., we believe that we are well positioned to benefit from a continuing recovery in the U.S. housing market,” RE/MAX said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The franchise operator also owns regional franchises that account for 46% of the roughly 92,000 RE/MAX agents. RE/MAX saw its agent count decline during the economic downturn, but the company said growth in agent numbers is accelerating this year after an increase in 2012.

The company indicated that $27.3 million of the proceeds from the offering will be used to buy more regional rights in the central Atlantic and southwestern regions of the U.S. The move would bring RE/MAX share of agents to 54% of its total U.S. and Canada agent count.

The remaining proceeds will go toward buying shares in RMCO LLC. RE/MAX, whose major shareholders include co-founders and executives Dave and Gail Liniger, will act as the sole manager, operator and controller of RMCO.

Denver-based RE/MAX, which will now be incorporated in Delaware, will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RMAX.

ENDS

Give Trainers A Break!

August 19th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

RE/MAX Western Australia Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin says that real estate agents and salespeople should keep an open mind to trainers and speakers offering their material, courses or ongoing services at events and conferences.

“Recently after attending several quality events I have been intrigued to hear real estate people complaining that they don’t like products or packages being offered for sale by trainers during or after their presentations” Baldwin said.

“At an interstate event earlier this year I experienced a young agent approach a speaker during a break to advise him that “I didn’t attend to be sold to” and that the speaker should not be offering products from the stage.

“The funny part of it was that the speaker was in the process of signing up a long line of attendees who obviously had a more positive view of his offerings.

“To hear real estate agents who make their living from selling, complaining about being sold to, seems a little strange especially since there always seems to be another segment of every audience who line up to sign up or buy what is on offer.

“The facts are that many trainers main source of income is through the products and ongoing coaching that they offer and that often the fee that they receive for speaking does little more than cover costs.

“I may be missing something but I simply cannot see how being offered additional training opportunities or material could offend anyone especially since it is surely a take it or leave it decision for attendees.

“Over my 27 year career I have purchased a myriad of training material and have participated in ongoing coaching, mentoring and training opportunities that have massively enhanced my success and my income.

“On the other hand I have often not taken up these offers but I have never been offended or wanted to deny the presenter’s opportunity to market their products or services as this would conflict with my views that good salespeople take every opportunity to “sell”.

“I would encourage agents who may have an issue with this to understand that, just like us agents, good trainers are often selling their knowledge and like many of us they too have families to feed”, Mr Baldwin said. Ends Media contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Confidence is the missing link

August 19th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

People say that current record low interest rates may create another property boom however the records show that it’s not just the cost of money that boosts the market according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The 1988 real estate boom started when interest rates were hovering around 14 percent so with fixed rate loans currently available from as low as 4.5 percent it would be reasonable to expect a stampede to property”, Mr Baldwin said.

“With rent returns remaining comparatively high, a low vacancy rate and an increasing number of positively and neutrally geared opportunities all the boxes are ticked for investors to be very active, however the one missing link is confidence!

“Whether it be first home buyers, upgraders or investors, when confidence is low so is activity and right now in Australia there exists a palpable lack of confidence.

“Many put this hesitance down to the current negative political situation while others say it is a hangover from the GFC or just a general mistrust of the market but one thing is certain, when it changes we will see a sudden lift in activity and prices will bounce.

“Most informed projectionists are in agreement that the Australian property market is affected by elections so if you accept that the upcoming election will clear the haze that has been present since Julia Gillard kicked off the world’s longest election campaign you will also acknowledge that a new positivity will return after the 7th of September.

“Spring motivates activity each year after the Winter lull so all considered, now may be the last opportunity for buyers to take action at today’s prices”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

RE/MAX Western Australia takes off National Training Award

August 12th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

WA franchise group RE/MAX was recognized as Australia’s leaders in Real Estate Training and Education at the Australian Real Estate Awards earlier this month.

Group Regional Owner and Head of Training, Geoff Baldwin, was in attendance with his wife Kathy to accept the accolade at an event attended by the industry’s elite performers in Sydney this week.

RE/MAX was one of more than 700 nominees for the prestigious awards and won from a short list of five finalists.

“Our team is extremely proud to have received this national accolade and we are honored to be recognized at such a high level”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Training and education is a huge focus for our group, not only at a head office level but with all of our franchises and the results are reflected in the massive progress our group has made in its four year existence since 2009.

“We were also honored to be finalists in the category of Best Australian Group Under 100 Offices and a nominee for Best Web Presence all reflecting a commitment to excellence across all of our offices” Mr Baldwin said.

Ugly Neighbours can Be Costly

July 29th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

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The better presented a home the more it will be affected by untidy neighbours who can often cost tens of thousands of dollars off a sale price according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The potential selling price of a home with average street presentation will be dragged down if adjacent homes are untidy, not maintained or overgrown however it is the superbly presented property that is affected the most” , Mr Baldwin said.

“When a superbly presented home with immaculate street appeal is next door to an unkempt, run down property prospective buyers are even more distracted and more likely to be put off,

“Often it can be worthwhile to have your agent seek permission from the offending neighbour to have the lawns and gardens trimmed and to have rubbish removed, etc even if it means spending a few dollars.

“This often small investment can make a huge difference to the end result both in time on market and particularly in the price achieved.

“Although bad presentation may be as a result of elderly owners or any numbers of legitimate reasons, potential buyers often relate untidiness with problem neighbours, so again it is better to address the issue before going to market.

“I have often approached untidy neighbours asking them do they mind if we get our handyperson to give their front garden a free trim and tidy and this is usually accepted without hesitation so I would encourage any seller faced with a similar dilemma to have their agent do the same”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

This and other subjects are covered in Geoff Baldwin’s free how to guide ‘Hot Tips For Sellers’ available at www.hottipsforsellers.com

Spring Surge Predicted

July 25th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

Spring Surge Predicted

After a lull during the winter months all the indicators are present for a positive market surge as we move into spring and summer according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Historically the Spring period see the market improve and there is little doubt this annual cycle will repeat again however there are several other influences that are likely to create extra pressure this year”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Record low interest rates, affordability at it best since 2007, more listings expected to come onto the market and a resurgence of investors are all add up to increased sales and upward pressure on prices.

“People who are considering selling to upgrade and first home buyers are unlikely to see a better time to take action than between now and the end of September if they want to avoid paying more.

“Upgraders who are holding off for a higher price must also remember that the home they will be buying will also be more expensive if they decide to wait.

“Most informed projectionists are in agreement that Australian property prices are as low as they are likely to get and although no one is predicting boom conditions people who buy now will almost certainly benefit from significant gains over the next few years”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

From pricing treading on dangerous ground

July 21st, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate in perth

The increasing use of “From” Pricing or “Offers Over” pricing is pushing the limits of trades practices laws and considered by many to be misleading advertising so should be avoided according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“This strategy that has become popular in recent years whereby the seller sets a price low enough to attract buyers with the intention of working those buyers up to a higher price”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Personally I am very uncomfortable with this method as it often borders on being “bait” advertising and I advise sellers to avoid it and to instead consider a fairer strategy.

“Also, if the seller will not accept the lower “From” price then legislation depicts this as being a breach of Trade Practice law in that it is seen as misleading and deceptive advertising.

“The best way to turn a buyer off is to upset them the moment they ask about the true price expectation by telling them it’s advertised at ‘X’ but the sellers won’t accept below ‘Y’ so unless a seller is genuinely willing to accept the advertised price then using the “From” or “Offers Over” pricing strategy should definitely be avoided.

“There is no argument that placing a fixed price on a property is difficult as every buyer will have a different opinion so people should consider marketing a wide “Buyer Feedback Range” surrounding their expectation.

“Buyer Feedback ranging, as it suggests, invites feedback from all interested parties and is considered fairer to buyer and seller and has been used successfully, particularly in Western Australia for years.

“The records show that most properties tend to sell in the middle of the range however buyer traffic to these listings is around three times that of fixed price listings.

“For information on pricing strategies and all aspects of selling a new ‘How To’ guide, has just been released and sellers can download a free copy at the RE/MAX WA sponsored website www.hottipsforsellers.com Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media contact – Geoff Baldwin

Agents need to diversify

July 3rd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

The state government’s decision in its latest budget, to reduce the First Home Owner Grant on established homes to $3,000 but to increase it to $10,000 for new homes has highlighted the need for agents to seek out opportunities to diversify, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“For many years now we have sought out new homes and apartment stock in addition to our conventional established property sales and this has ensured that challenges such as this latest one have been much less of an issue”, he said.

“Agents need to take time to nurture relationships with builders and developers and to hone the skills required to market and sell this product.

“Selling newly established or particularly, “off the plan” requires a different knowledge and expertise but more agents could certainly develop these skill sets and with the3 result that their businesses would be more secure and profitable.

“Patience is also another critical attribute when selling new product especially since a property development can take years from concept to settlement but the rewards can be well worth the wait.

“Another benefit of course is that when selling new homes an agent can often pick up the buyers original listing as many people need to sell their current home to buy the new one.

“Real estate today is a fast changing and challenging industry and the best agents are seeking out ways to ensure they can continue to prosper regardless of the environment”, Baldwin said.

New South Australian pricing laws will hurt sellers & buyers

July 3rd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

Changes to laws affecting real estate pricing by agents have the propensity to make auctions in that state redundant, are unfair to home sellers and buyers and are a dangerous precedent for other states according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

He was responding to the recent changes introduced in South Australia whereby agents and sellers will be compelled by law to list one set asking price rather than a “bidding range” and whereby the reserve price must be disclosed before each auction.

“The whole concept of an auction is to allow potential buyers to decide what they think the property is worth but by disclosing the reserve price, which is often well above the eventual selling price, the whole process is destroyed”, Mr Baldwin said.

“This is a classic example of misinformed bureaucrats who have no coal face real estate experience, overstepping the mark without considering all of the consequences and as a result sellers and buyers having their opportunities significantly reduced.

“Any experienced agent will tell you that in the greater majority of cases buyers will spend around 5 to 10 percent more than their original budget due to not being able to satisfy their needs and wants within that budget.

“Because the auction process does not provide a definite price buyers are more likely to inspect and despite the reserve price, which is only ever a seller’s wish price, they will offer what they are willing to pay however if the reserve is disclosed these prospective buyers may often simply not inspect.

“In regards to providing “bidding guide” ranges, if they are intentionally misleading then they should not be used however it is often the case that a property will eventually sell 5 to 10% below or above reserve so who is to depict what is unreasonable?

“What a wider range achieves is attracting people to inspect so that they can make their own decision as to what the property is worth and often the price they initially offer, although lower than expected, will be accepted once the seller listens to the market.

“Auctions and “Buyer Feedback” ranges bring fairness into the process because buyers get to see properties they may have otherwise ignored and sellers are able to make their decision based on genuine buyer feedback.

“Ill informed decisions such as these made by bureaucrats who are ignorant to the realities of the market set a dangerous precedent for other states and industry leaders need to take a proactive stance on educating their legislators in advance to ensure this is not replicated”, Mr Baldwin said.

Rebounding US Market good news for Australia

July 1st, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

commercial real estate perth

There is an old saying that when the US market sneezes Australia catches a cold and that was certainly the case with the global financial crisis where we followed the US into the abyss however with US property now recovering we can expect to enjoy a positive reflection locally according to Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“For decades the Australian economy has closely mirrored that of the USA and although we navigated the recent global financial crisis better than most, we were almost immediately affected by the US downturn in 2007”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The good news is that the $17 trillion dollar US housing market is rebounding strongly with confidence returning, forced sales reducing and sales volume up significantly and new house starts at a 5 year high.

“America’s highest selling brand, RE/MAX recorded values rising across the board in the US by 5.1 percent over the past 12 months with many markets up by as much as 13 percent to 20 percent.

“This demonstrates that the historic real estate cycle is as reliable as ever and the same applies here in Australia.

“Confidence returning to the US market bodes well for our own real estate environment remaining in positive territory and activity in most states is expected to show continual improvement through winter increasing with the onset of the warmer months.

“People who are considering buying, whether they are owner occupiers or investors, should be taking action sooner rather than later”, Mr Baldwin said.

Buying in cheap suburbs can have big rewards

June 10th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

Most home buyers would love to be able to afford a home in a premium area however if your budget depicts that you can only afford to buy in a cheaper suburb there are still some big upsides according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Over my long career in real estate I’ve often heard buyers say that they are only buying in a particular suburb because that’s all they can afford but our current market is demonstrating why cheap is not always bad”, Mr Baldwin said.

“A study of recent sales will show that significantly more properties are selling in the more affordable suburbs, they are selling faster and most importantly, on average, they have outperformed all of the dearer suburbs as the market recovers.

“Historically, cheaper suburbs are the first to recover in any economic cycle plus, for investors, the percentage rental returns when compared to sales prices are much higher than in dearer suburbs.

“As an example, you can still buy homes in Perth under $350,000 with rental returns above 5% whereas in the more expensive suburbs it can get down to as low as 3%.

“Wanneroo, Balga, Girrawheen, Thornlie, Armadale, Mandurah and regionally, Bunbury are just some of the areas still offering great value but the current window of opportunity is closing as stock reduces and pressure on prices increases.

“Regardless of whether you are buying to occupy or as an investor buying in the more affordable areas is a surer stepping stone to gaining substantial capital and/or ongoing returns”, Mr Baldwin said.

Traditional approach is redundant in today’s market

June 4th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

The days of slapping a high fixed asking price on a property, banging in a sign and placing a few adverts here and there and hoping to achieve a sale at maximum price are long gone but sadly this is still happening with some properties according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“What many sellers, and unfortunately some agents, overlook or fail to understand is that selling real estate today requires specialized and sophisticated planning backed by an advanced level of skills”, Mr Baldwin said.

“A successful sale requires a systematic, multi stepped approach to firstly maximise inquiry and viewings, secondly to attract an offer, thirdly to skilfully negotiate the best possible price and terms and lastly to manage the sale through to a smooth settlement for all parties.

“It is very important to understand that the pricing strategy is a critical component of step one and if it is handled wrongly inquiry and viewings will not happen, the listing will stale and ultimately, a lower price will result.

“The traditional fixed asking price method of selling is more often not the answer in today’s market and your agent should be able to assist you with alternative pricing methods that will ensure you do not undersell your property and just as critically, that you don’t build a barrier to inquiry and viewings by overpricing.

“Pricing is a component of your marketing and as such, is an important influence in attracting potential buyers so we encourage prospective sellers to only list with an agent who can demonstrate a thorough understanding of the process but who can recommend and confidently explain your options”, Mr Baldwin said.

Ends

Savvy Investors Buck the Trend

May 30th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

Records show that most new property investors tend to be influenced by the masses buying at or near to the top of each cycle but the minority who reap the biggest rewards have purchased and settled long before the upward trend sets in according to RE/MAX WA MD and veteran property investment specialist, Geoff Baldwin.

“It’s an unfortunate fact that most people need to see evidence of something happening before they are willing to invest their money and hence they wait for the market to boom before they buy”, Mr Baldwin said.

“A smarter way to approach property investment is to study the historic economic cycles as they relate to property as this has proven to be a failsafe guide for investors for over 100 years.

“Although this last cycle has been longer than usual due mainly to the global financial crisis, it has been a cycle all the same comprising the boom years of 2007 – 2008 followed by rising interest rates, an easing of activity and prices, a lull in the market through to 2012 then falling interest rates, rental stock shortages, rising rents and a significant bounce in buyer activity into 2013.

“Since the beginning of this year we have seen stock levels plummet in WA to a 10 year low of around 6,000 properties, sales volume is way up and we are seeing more and more examples of multiple offers on properties with many properties selling above price expectation.

“For investors wanting to take full benefit from this upswing, now is the time to be entering the market and securing property before investing again become the fashionable thing to do.

“Most people 30 or over have, at some stage wished they had purchased a property at yesterday’s prices but right now a window of opportunity is wide open for investors to take action so they can look back happily with some nice capital appreciation and a healthy nest egg for the future”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Geoff Baldwin will host a comprehensive Property Investment Workshop on Wednesday June 12 from 6.30 till 8.30pm. For details or to book visit www.remaxwa.com.au or phone 089440 5933

Agents must adapt to changing landscape with sales staff

May 27th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

Rather than resent the fact that commission splits for salespeople have risen in recent years business owners need to accept this changing landscape and adopt sustainable business models to ensure win-win outcomes for all players according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“In 1987 when I kicked off my career in real estate 40 percent of the gross commission (with exceptional results recognised with bonuses at 50 percent) was the accepted norm throughout the Industry however today we work in a completely different environment”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Although new salespeople willingly accept a lower commission scale once they hit their straps and are enjoying consistent settlements they are inevitably tempted by the availability of higher commission splits from either within their current office or from other agencies.

“Instead of continually swimming against the tide business owners should be accepting that their salespeople will want to be recognised for their increasing success and set in place commission structures that not only enable this but that also ensure profitability is maintained.

“Salespeople who start at an office understanding that they will be financially recognised for their success through consistent, easy to understand and achievable commission models are much less likely to move and this also negates the probability of having to negotiate one off deals that can often backfire.

“It is very hard to argue when salespeople say that their results come, in the main, from their own hard work, community profile, marketing, proactivity and skills more so than any brand or from the efforts of their office, hence they have a right to expect a percentage of the commission on each deal they settle that recognises their input.

“Obviously commission structures should take into different levels of performance, must be sustainable for all concerned and must take into account fixed and variable costs however fair, generous, preset pay structures are a critical component of staff retention in our Industry today”, Mr Baldwin said.

Agent fees a moral challenge

May 20th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

The variation in fees agents charge their clients to sell their properties has become a topical discussion as the industry strives to lift its public image according to Geoff Baldwin, Regional Owner of RE/MAX Western Australia.

“Lawyers, doctors, accountants and other professions tend to have a set scale of fees that they apply across the board however real estate agents are more often discriminating with their fees and charging different fees to different clients for selling similar properties”, Mr Baldwin said.

“An example of fee discrimination is when one client accepts an agent’s selling fee of say 3% but then another client selling a similar property negotiates the same agent down to say 2% or less, a difference on a $500,000 property of $5,000.

“This is not about how much a particular agent charges as there are many different business models in the market from low fees and basic service to higher fees for full service by agents with higher levels of experience, skills and resources.

“To charge a client one fee because they just accept it without argument but to then discount that fee for a second client who is a tougher negotiator, I consider being discriminatory and bordering on unfair practice.

“The thinking is that, if there is to be a discount then the first buyer deserves it as much as the second and an agent’s fee scale should apply fairly and equally for all clients rather than based on the clients acceptance or resistance.

“The simple test is, if the two clients met and one discovered they had been charged significantly more, would they feel as though they had been treated fairly and ethically?

“There are of course exceptions where an agent is selling multiple properties for a developer but I am referring to single listings in similar suburbs or areas where the sales requirements and criteria are pretty much the same.

“Obviously this is a controversial topic and people may have differing opinions however I encourage agents to ask themselves, if they are varying their fee from client to client, would they be comfortable if all of their clients became aware of how they operated”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Author – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

The disappearing art of farming

May 10th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

In these days of the need for instant gratification more and more real estate agents are taking the scattergun approach to attracting listings rather than knuckling down to master a farm area according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The best bit of advice I received when I started in real estate was to decide on a small slice of a suburb and to set my goal to meet everyone who lived in that area within 4 months”, Baldwin said.

“My mentor, who was a soon to retire agent, asked me this question – are people more likely to choose you if they actually know you of if you are just a flyer in their mailbox – The answer was pretty obvious.

“Armed with that advice I set about knocking on doors and within that four month period I had met and had conversations with about 1,100 of the 1,260 property owners in my chosen area which was the eastern side of Craigie, a mortgage belt suburb north of Perth.

“I also made a point of meeting every shop owner, school principal and service provider in the area along with learning about bus routes, school boundaries and compiling all the last 12 months sales and current stock.

“Keep in mind that the internet hadn’t been invented nor had mobile phones, pagers, faxes or any of the current tools that agents now pay lip service.

“Suffice to say that within 12 months I was averaging around 40 to 50 percent of the sales in my area plus many others in the near surrounding suburbs and my career never looked back.

“My strong advice to new or battling salespeople is to stop relying on chance, sharpen your farming skills, start sowing the seeds today, fertilise often and as long as you also continue to grow your skills and knowledge, nothing can stop your success.

“Often we make this job of real estate too complicated but in reality it is a simple matter of how many people we talk to, our ability to listen and the quality of what we say.

WA Property Market in Interest Rate Rose Garden

May 5th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

While most other states in Australia continue to experience a real estate lull the WA market has bounced back strongly to the point where it is hard to argue the case for another interest rate cut according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“I know there are many people who would argue with me on this point but if real estate sales in the rest of the country were as strong as they are here in WA currently I’m sure the Reserve Bank board would not be considering dropping rates”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Of course there are other sectors of our WA economy, especially retail, that do continue to need assistance to boost trade however the last thing we need in WA is for our real estate market to overheat.

“The sub $600,000 segment of the WA market has been strengthening for some time fired up by latent first home buyer demand and this activity is now beginning feed through to the higher prices as people upgrade to second and third homes.

“Obviously a strong property market is always a good thing but a short term boom fertilised by “irresistible” interest rates can only result in another long period of stagnation such as the 2008 – 2012 down market.

“History shows that when the property market is down, everything is down because when people see their home value affected they lose confidence and are much less enthusiastic about spending elsewhere so this is another reason to avoid a boom and bust environment here.

“It’s a big call but, because the states can be so different economically there is almost an argument for rates to be adjusted to suit each market rather than a one size fits all approach”, Mr Baldwin said.

Landlords cashing in on market revival

April 21st, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

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With renewed strength in the WA market, especially in the sub $600,000 price ranges, more and more owners of rental properties are selling up and transferring equity into their super funds, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“With the rental market already under enormous pressure and rents at historic highs this shedding of properties by investors is definitely adding to the problem”, he said.

“Hundreds of tenants are now making the decision to buy their own home rather than continue to be exposed to the challenges of renting but in many cases they are buying stock that was previously available for rent causing a catch 22 situation.

“After suffering substantial drops in values over recent years now is not the time for landlords to be selling their properties as this recovering market has a good way to go before we see the next peak.

“7% to 9% per annum increases in values are historically achieved in a normal, healthy market so there is plenty of upside for investors to hold.

“Obviously now is also the perfect time for new investors to take advantage of rising prices and record returns”, Mr Baldwin said.

Ends

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

Window Closing For Upgraders

April 21st, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

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Strong demand for sub $700,000 properties has seen prices trending upwards over recent months reducing the gap between this segment of the market and million plus properties however this window is certain to slowly close as upgraders repurchase according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The recent resurgence in the market is mainly focussed on the lower priced properties however many of these homeowners are now selling to upgrade and are cashing in on the fact that million plus properties have not yet increased substantially in price.

“Prospective upgraders who are holding out for more money on their current home stand to cost themselves many thousands of dollars as the gap begins to widen.

“As an example, to hold out for another $10,000 or $20,000 on a $600,000 property can be a big mistake if the intended million dollar upgrade purchase increases by $50,000 which can happen very quickly in a market with reducing stock levels and high demand.

“Now is a wonderful time for people to upgrade but this window of opportunity will only remain open for a limited time before price pressures move up the chain”, Mr Baldwin said.

Ends

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

3 Speed Property Market in Perth

April 2nd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate sales

3 Speed Property Market in Perth

The Perth property market is operating at different speeds in line with asking prices, resulting in confusing mixed messages to sellers and buyers, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Right now the local market is being driven along by vigorous competition for properties under $600,000 with many of this lower priced stock attracting multiple offers and sale prices at or even over asking price”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The $600,000 to $1.5 million price range is starting to see the feed through from this activity however certainly at a slower pace and with buyers being a lot harder on price.

“Above $1.5 million buyers remain few and far between and the sales that are happening in this range are still tending to be heavily discounted when compared to the lower ranges.

“The frantic buyer activity in the sub $600,000 market has seen pressure on prices and this is sure to result in the Perth median price pushing back up to or even beyond the previous record high.

“Collectively and in most cases individually, RE/MAX WA offices have just recorded best quarter in the history of the group and there is no sign of this demand subsiding any time soon.

“News of this renewed buyer interest is causing owners of higher priced properties to raise their expectations and in many cases stopping sales.

“In regards to higher priced properties, we predict that as people sell in the lower ranges they will increasingly buy up into a better property and this inevitably will result in a slow recovery right through the price ranges”, he said.

Ends

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

100 Point ID Checks have become a debacle

February 23rd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

For Sale by Public Auction

The recent implementation of identification check legislation following Perth property scams has become a debacle unnecessarily inconveniencing sellers and generally causing confusion and in some cases anger, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The Real Estate Agents’ Act was changed to make it compulsory for agents to acquire 100 point identification and to have it on file prior to every property sale they administer while at the same time it has also been demanded that settlement agents obtain the same ID confirmation again before they settle the property”, he said.

“This in itself is overkill and it upsets a lot of sellers who, in these days of identity theft, rightfully feel uncomfortable with having copies of their passports, licenses, etc sitting in manila folders in offices across Perth which is now the requirement for agents to comply with their yearly audits.

“Although the onus of ID checks has been enforced on agents information being disseminated by the government via flyers and radio advertisements telling sellers they are required to provide 100 points of ID makes no mention of real estate agents.

“All advertising is telling the public that settlement agents and brokers, etc will demand 100 points of identification but agents, who are the first port of call for ID, are not mentioned in any material or advertisements.

“There is no argument that an ID system is required to make it as hard as possible for fraudsters to succeed but the current misinformation, doubling up, copying and storing of peoples personal information in agents’ offices is madness and has the capacity to replace one security problem with another.

“The government needs to act now to refine the one system whereby prospective sellers attend the Post Office once, provides the required ID which is registered online as having been cleared. This ID clearance should be associated with the particular property and the secure database should be accessible using a PIN, to agents, brokers, and settlement agents for their clients only.

A one stop system such as this would be much more secure, avoid this crazy double up, confusion and aggravation”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS
Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

American and Australian agents – very different structure

February 23rd, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate agents perth

We often hear comparisons being made between how business is done by agents in the US and Canada compared to in Australia however the differences are is substantial, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“I was recently involved in a social media exchange around whether agents should or should not conjunct, in which a US based agent commented that it was the norm over there so why wouldn’t we welcome it here in Australia?”, Mr Baldwin said.

“This US agent’s comments really do highlight the differences in the way we operate.

“Firstly, the average commission charged in the USA is more than double that charged here In Australia and hence the sharing of commission is not only more sustainable but is normal practice.

“While agents in Australia market to the public and conduct open homes for the public a US agent’s main thrust is towards other agents and attracting them to see the home in the hope that they will have a buyer.

“The Multi Listing system thrives in North America however, due to the comparatively lower level of commissions charged in Australia the MLS system here became unsustainable and ceased back in the early 1990’s.

“In Australia an agent/principal runs a business whereby his income is made from commissions earned as a result of his or her team making sales while in the US and Canada the main focus of an office owner is to make an income from charging a desk fee to as many reps as possible.

“As a regular visitor to the North America I am familiar with real estate companies that employ 200 or more salespeople charging each of them around $1,000 a month plus 5% or 10% of the commissions each agent earns while back home, if the salespeople don’t make sales then the principal also makes nothing.

“Many would say the existence of this common motivation in a team to get properties listed and sold is a very healthy one.

The population of North America is around 300 million while ours is 22 million hence the dynamics of how we are able to and how we choose to do business will always be significantly different and it would be a mistake for any agent to try to duplicate exactly the approach of a US agent”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin

Ex News Ltd – REA Manager joins RE/MAX

February 7th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

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Ex News Limited advertising director and state manager of realestate.com.au, Donna Goddard, has accepted a role as Business Manager for RE/MAX Western Australia, group regional owner Geoff Baldwin announced this week.

“Donna has a successful and impressive corporate background that is closely aligned with property and she is widely known and respected in our industry through her previous positions so we believe she is a perfect fit for our team”, Mr Baldwin said.

“I have known Donna on a professional and social level for over a decade and have a deep respect for achievements, her ability to build strong relationships and to adapt to any situation or challenge.

“In her new position she will work closely with me in our focus to attract quality established or new agents and salespeople to RE/MAX WA and on maintaining the high levels of training, service and support we have set for our group.

Ms Goddard said that she was looking forward to new and exciting challenges in her position with RE/MAX WA which she accepted after considering many opportunities and offers.

“Through our association over the years I have come to admire Geoff’s unique, innovative and successful approach to business and his vision for RE/MAX in WA so I am very much looking forward to working with him and his team”, she said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Window of opportunity for investors will close

January 18th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

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People considering investing in property in WA are now seeing some amazing opportunities with prices, rental returns and low borrowing costs all currently in their favour however the market has spiked significantly since Christmas and the window is closing quickly according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director and Investment Manager, Geoff Baldwin.

“Fixed interest rates are as low as they have been for several years and are predicted to go lower, massive rental demand is seeing returns increasing almost weekly and, although stock is beginning to diminish there is still some great value available in the WA market”, he said.

“For the first time in years we are able to offer positive geared properties whereby the rental income will cover the costs after tax for many investors so people have the opportunity to get into the market without it being a drain on their income.

“We are seeing a massive increase in demand for our “off the plan” developments as investors recognise the opportunity to buy now and take advantage of an improving market while not having to settle for 6 to 8 months or more.

“Our recent investment workshop numbers have been triple what they were this time a year ago and our sales to investors are now at five year record levels.

“As stock continues to decrease there will obviously be less choice and hence upward pressure on prices so people considering investing in property should take action sooner rather than later”, Mr Baldwin said.

Geoff Baldwin will hold his next Free Investment Workshop for first time and established investors in Perth on 30th January at 6.30 pm. Booking can be made by emailing gbaldwin@remaxwa.com.au

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Untidy Neighbours Can Be Costly

January 14th, 2013 by Geoff Baldwin

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The better presented a home the more it will be affected by untidy neighbouring homes and can often make tens of thousands of dollars difference to a sale price according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“The potential selling price of a home with average presentation will be dragged down if adjacent homes are untidy, not maintained or overgrown however it is the superbly presented listing that is affected the most” , Mr Baldwin said.

“When a superbly presented home with immaculate street appeal is next door to an unkempt, run down property prospective buyers are even more distracted and more likely to be put off,

“Often it can be worthwhile to have your agent seek permission from the offending neighbour to have the lawns and gardens trimmed and to have rubbish removed, etc even if it means spending a few dollars.

“This often small investment can make a huge difference to the end result both in time on market and particularly in the price achieved.

“Although bad presentation may be as a result of elderly owners or any number of legitimate reasons, potential buyers often relate untidiness with problem neighbours so again, it is better to address the issue before going to market.

“I have often approached untidy neighbours asking them do they mind if we get our contractors to give their front garden a free trim and tidy and this is usually accepted without hesitation so I would encourage any seller faced with a similar dilemma to have their agent do the same”, Mr Baldwin said.

ENDS

Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin – 0413754414

Franchising Not For All Agents

November 15th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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Although most real estate franchisors would like to argue otherwise, franchising is definitely not for all agents to the point where for many it would be a waste of their money to consider joining a group according to RE/MAX Western Australia regional owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“I have been managing or owning major franchise brands for over a decade and during that time I have interviewed hundreds of agents considering the franchising option however I would say that of those, only five out of ten would benefit from joining a group and of the remainder many would not take advantage of the benefits and again would be wasting their time”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The honest truth is, there is a great variance in the quality of real estate franchise groups just like in any other industry where franchising exists so choosing one that suits your requirements is critical.

“Although there are some notable exceptions, older, long established independent agents usually battle with the changes required to take full advantage of joining a franchise system as do some younger, brash agents who have a need to conquer the world with their own name in lights.

“There is also another breed of agent who will join a franchise system and then insist on doing everything their own way with the result that they miss out on enormous opportunities and in so doing waste their investment.

“Franchising is most certainly a two way street where an agent knows his or her strengths and weaknesses and where the franchisor fills in the gaps plus provides all the advantages that an independent cannot access.

“World class training, support, benchmarking, buying power, national and global exposure, recruiting, marketing, media exposure are just some of the advantages offered by a good franchise however it is the old horse and water adage whereby it will only work if the franchisee uses what is on offer.

“A franchisee has a right to expect a return on the investment they make in joining a group and the best way to measure that is by increased business they achieve as a result of joining.

“It’s also important to join a group that recognises that it is its people who depict its success and not the brand itself and that if the group empowers its people then the brand cannot help but succeed.

“Personally, my goal is to at least double a franchisees turnover through the services we provide including ensuring a good supply of recruits and convertible listing leads on an ongoing basis which is a basic measurable service not many franchisors focus on.

“It’s unfortunate that a lot of agents are anti franchise more through not knowing than through experience and I encourage any new prospective agent to explore all of the options making a decision”, Mr Baldwin said.

Conversion Ratios are Critical

November 15th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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Often sellers will choose their agent based on that agent’s activity and amount of signs in their area however volume of signs is not always the best indication of success according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“What’s more important than having a lot of signs up is how many of those properties actually sell and settle and this is referred to as an agent’s conversion ratio, Mr Baldwin said.

“Analysis of results in Western Australia disclose that, although some agents do not focus on holding large volumes of listings, some of them have exceptional conversion ratios whereby they are selling almost every property they list.

“On the other hand some agents with large numbers of listings and signs are only achieving list to sell rations of as low as 50 percent.

“Obviously it is important to sellers that they have the highest possible chance to achieve a sale so we encourage people to ask the agent they are considering to demonstrate to them what their conversion ratios are and also their average time on market per listing”, Mr Baldwin said.

Fuel Prices As Influential As Interest rates

November 15th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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For the average two car family a 10 cent increase in the price of fuel can affect the household budget as much as a .25 percent interest rate rise according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Currently interest rates are trending down and all indications are that this will continue into 2013 however the other significant influence on major consumer buying decisions is the price of fuel”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Fuel prices over the past 12 months have increased by around 10 to 15 cents per litre and this amounts to around an extra $700 to $1,000 more per year for the average family.

“When it is considered that a .25 percent rise in interest rates based on the average mortgage is around the same amount there can be little argument that fuel prices can and do influence other areas of the economy.

“The recent announcement by the ACCC of its intention to investigate possible price gouging by oil companies is a very welcome move in the right direction that will hopefully, over time, result in a fairer go for consumers”, Mr Baldwin said.

Respect a client’s right to object

November 1st, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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How an agent responds to objections from buyers and sellers can make a significant difference to their level of success according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“When confronted with and objection it is not uncommon for the average agent to immediately slip into justification mode rattling off all the reasons why the objection is unjustified and, in the process, widening the trust gap between them and the prospective client”, he said.

“As an example, when a buyer at a home open says that the property is “too dear” it is common for the agent to respond with all the reasons why the price is justified but does the agent really know what the prospect meant?

“Are they saying that the property is overpriced, are they are not interested, are they saying that they like it but would offer less or are they saying that it is too dear for their budget?

“When a seller comments on an agent’s level of fees are they necessarily saying the fee is too high or are they simply seeking clarification as too why it is higher (or lower) than that quoted by other agents?

“Highly skilled agents will always ask for more information in response to any objection to ensure they know exactly what the client is assaying before they respond.

“Often we are completely wrong about what we think is the essence of an objection but by seeking clarification and more information we can ensure we don’t turn a minor issue into a major barrier.

“In fact, when an agent genuinely seeks more information about an objection and allows the client to clarify and detail their thoughts on the matter, often the person will come up with their own answer or solution.

“It has long been proven that when a prospective client expresses an objection it is an indication they hold some level of interest, so agents should welcome objections and refine their skills in how to professionally and respectfully respond to them.

“It’s another example of why listening is one of the most critical advanced skills of all high achieving salespeople”, Mr Baldwin said.

More research needed before a career in real estate

October 30th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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With around 86 percent of people starting a career in real estate lasting less than 18 months prospective real estate salespeople are encouraged to do a lot more research to gain a more thorough understanding of what’s required according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“In many ways it is a self fulfilling prophecy because people who are thinking about a career in real estate visit homes opens and interact with others who have recently entered the industry and feel that, if they can do it so can I”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Unfortunately though, with so many people not making the grade they are gaining a false sense of what is required by their exposure to these rookies and often battling agents.

“My strong advice for anyone who is considering a career in real estate is to research thoroughly speaking to long term successful agents and even going to the extent of accompanying one or two high performers for a few days.

“It is also wise to do a lot of homework to ensure choosing the right agency or brand as this can make a massive difference to new agent’s chances of success.

“Things like do they offer an induction course in addition to the registration course, do they have a mentoring system, do they provide ongoing training in house, is there a senior person who can be contacted for advice out of hours, etc, etc.

“Having had a hand in the training some of Western Australia’s most successful agents over the past two decades I find it frustrating when I see a highly motivated rookie with all the right attributes kick off their career in an agency that lacks the training, support, systems and resources they will require to succeed”, Mr Baldwin said.

Agents photos lost on public

October 30th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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Agents’ promotional photos in newspapers are second only to confusing abbreviations in when it comes to what puts people off about property adverts according to a recent spot survey by RE/MAX WA.

RE/MAX Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin, reported that his corporate team had recently conducted a spot survey asking prospective buyers and current sellers what they disliked about real estate adverting in the print media and the two issues that dominated were their inability to decipher abbreviations and to understand why agents insisted on publishing their faces.

“In response to the question – “What is your opinion about agents promoting themselves with their head shots in newspapers?” 67 percent of respondents referred negatively, many asking why agents publish these photos and several commenting that the photos often had no resemblance to the person they met”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Several respondents were puzzled that often agents advertised themselves as being the area specialist yet had no listings to offer under their photos.

“Some sellers also commented that they felt their property advertisement was often dominated by the agent’s own promotional advertising.

“In regards to abbreviations, especially in print adverts, sellers and buyers expressed that they often found it difficult to understand what they stood for and hence passed over the property.

“There is always a case for professional, strategicly considered marketing, including agent photo’s but agents should never lose sight of what is the expectation of the public.

“Publishing a brag photo with a notation asking for more listings or telling people you are a great agent is not only a waste of money but also an annoyance to readers.

“It is my advice that we need as agents to consider more what our clients and prospective clients are looking for and less what we feel the need to promote as that focus will do more to set us apart than abbreviated ads dominated by agents mug shots”, Mr Baldwin said.

IGNORING YOUR MOBILE CAN BE THE BEST OPTION

October 27th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate agents perth

The use of mobile phones by many real estate agents not only reflects negatively on our industry but is also counterproductive from a work effectiveness perspective and a radical paradigm shift is needed according to RE/MAX WA managing director, Geoff Baldwin.

“It is not unusual for an agent to break away from a conversation, meeting, seminar or other activity to answer their mobile phone leaving a tarnished perception on those present and also drastically reducing their effectiveness with the person who made the call”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Studies have shown that, when a call is answered, the person who made it is in control for around 8 to 12 seconds which means that the agent answering the call is in catch up mode from the outset especially since he or she has been concentrating or should be concentrating the activity at hand or the person they are already conversing with.

“Often the result is substandard telephone conversations where the agent is underprepared, does not have access to the required information, is defocused and ultimately is perceived as unprofessional.

“Many years ago I made the decision to not answer my mobile phone unless I recognised the number and only then if I was not interacting with another person or persons or involved in any other important activity, especially family time.

“Onlookers sometimes comment on or question this however I believe it is a lot more ignorant to stand up and walk out of a seminar, excuse yourself from a conversation to take a call from a third party, answer a call in easy earshot of other people, etc, etc.

“Allowing calls to go through to your message bank rather than always answering your phone will ensure you are able to stay fully focussed on your current activity, allow you to respond to the call backs effectively with all the information prepared, will significantly lift your time effectiveness and your standing in the eyes of your clients and prospective clients.

“Importantly, although people don’t usually give you their full name, contact details and the purpose of their call when you answer your phone they will almost always do so when they leave a message.

“Reading through your messages and setting aside regular, undisturbed time to answer them is important and it allows you to respond much more effectively that just answering your phone on the hop.

“People will rarely thank you for answering your phone but it is very common for people to say “Thank You for getting back to me” when you do later respond to their message.

“Putting your phone on vibrate mode is also really little more than a cop out and it is not unusual to see agents reading their text messages when they should be concentrating on what they are doing or the person or people they are with so there is no substitute for turning it off altogether.

“For many agents it may be time to do a self audit and to reassess how they use their mobile and how it is effecting their career and public perception”, Mr Baldwin said.

RE/MAX WA Launches National Website

October 22nd, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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RE/MAX Western Australia has recently launched its new website which now features listings from all RE/MAX states and is soon to also include New Zealand listings according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“After consultation with our wider client base as to their expectations of a group website it was clear to us that people wanted two things above all else, simplicity and content”, Mr Baldwin said.

“With this in mind we have developed a site that is extremely easy to navigate, is rich in the information it offers and with a large selection of property listings from all states of Australia.

“With around 100,000 New Zealanders living in WA we have also discovered a demand for information on New Zealand properties and will be including those listings on our site over the next few weeks.

“In all, www.remaxwa.com.au will offer thousands of property listings on one portal from all over Australia and New Zealand and is currently the only real estate group site offering this service.

“The site also provides a choice to convert to 18 different languages as it became clear from our research that a large percentage of our population does not have English as their first language however that all of these people are potential buyers, sellers, investors or tenants

“A hints and tips area for all aspects of real estate, a new blog, careers information and other helpful resources are also included”, Mr Baldwin said.

US Property Market Rebounding

October 15th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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The latest RE/MAX National Housing Report, which includes data from 52 USA regions, shows that home prices and sales volume there have both lifted significantly over the past year, according to RE/MAX Western Australia Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

Mr Baldwin reported that US home prices had risen 6.3 percent since the August 2011, the median price had for seven consecutive months and home sales volume 8.5 percent higher than a year ago.

“Another very important statistic showed that US stock volume has reduced by 27.7 percent and this is resulting in multiple offers in some areas for the first time since the onset of the financial crisis”, Mr Baldwin said.

RE/MAX International CEO, Margaret Kelly, referring to the report said “As we move from summer to fall it’s very encouraging that this year’s home selling season began strong and finished even stronger”.

“Nearly every month in 2012 experienced increased sales and prices when compared to 2011, showing that we’ve definitely passed the bottom and we’re looking forward to 2013 being an even better year across the country”, Ms Kelly said.

Geoff Baldwin added that the US market has always had a big influence on Australian prices and positive signs in the US were bound to further encourage buyers locally as our own market continues to improve.

“RE/MAX sells more property than any other group in the USA having up to 40 percent of sales in some regions with Margaret Kelly directly advising the US Government on real estate related matters and through the RE/MAX National Housing Report”, Mr Baldwin said.

Competition � Keeping it Professional?

August 19th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

In recent times they has been a concerted focus by professional agents to lift the public’s perception of our industry and our group along with other leading agents are intent on leading the field in that regard, RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin reaffirmed after a recent meeting with franchise office owners.

“In October RE/MAX Western Australia conducted a survey of 140 people who had a property on the market or who had recently sold a property through them or other agents and the results were conclusive”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Following are three of the questions that were asked along with the answers:

1. Once you have listed with your chosen agent how do you feel about receiving general marketing letters, sales reports and other helpful market information in case you do decide to change agents in the future? No Problem 67% – Prefer not 18% – Unsure 15%

2. Once you have listed your property for a designated period with your chosen agent do you believe your agent should be able to demand that no other agent contacts you for any reason whatsoever? Yes 17% – No 69% – Unsure 14%

3. Once you have listed with your chosen agent how do you feel about other agents ringing you in an attempt to gain your business or encourage you to change agents? No problem 8% – Prefer not – 86% Unsure – 6%

“These results make it fairly clear that once a seller has chosen their agent a majority are happy to receive general marketing and sales information but are strongly against being called directly by competition agents.

“When a property owner lists their home with a particular agent of their choice the last thing they want is for another agent to be repeatedly phoning them to encourage them to change agencies however, albeit only by a small minority of agents, this practice unfortunately continues to occur.

“Obviously, every seller has a right to know what their options are if they do decide to change agents and there seems no significant resistance to informing sellers of what is on offer via professional mailings or materials however phoning a currently listed seller with the intention of soliciting their business is a no go”, Mr Baldwin said.

Buyers The Winners With Private Sellers

July 31st, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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Property sellers who make the DIY decision should beware of handing the perceived savings to the eventual buyers according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“If a property owner can successfully sell their own property and achieve maximum price with no hassles then I would be the last one to discourage that however there are major pitfalls that people need to consider if they do decide on the DIY option”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The first thing a private seller should do is to see their listing through the eyes of an interested buyer and understand that the buyer realises that a fee is not being paid and will target that amount on top of any other price reduction they may be seeking.

“In my 26 years experience the general reaction from a private seller is to discount the price at least by the amount of what they would have paid to an agent and hence, more often than not, it is the buyer who ends up with the advantage, not them.

“In addition to this, a private seller rarely has the skills to unemotionally negotiate on their own home with a hard nosed buyer, often will have difficulty qualifying a buyer’s financial capacity and is not in a position to handle subject to sale offers or other challenges that often arise during the process.

“Some sellers take the half way option and pay a couple of thousand dollars to use a private sale agent to organise a basic sign, corflute home open pointers, internet listings and forms however this can be likened to buying a scalpel and operating on yourself to save money.

“Often private sellers will say that they are giving it a go themselves for a few weeks however, when it is taken into account that the first few weeks a property is on the market are always the most critical to optimise the sale price.

“A good, well resourced, experienced and highly skilled agent will not only cover their fee but will often be able to create the competitive atmosphere where they can negotiate a premium price for the seller.

“Instead of selling privately it is good advise to focus on employing the services of a proven agency in their area and ask that agent for the phone numbers of three recent clients to check his or her performance first hand with other clients”, Mr Baldwin said.

Building Now Dearer Than Buying Established

June 13th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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For the first time in around 5 or 6 years the cost of building and finishing a new home is more expensive than buying a similar established property, according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“Mainly due to the price of land but also influenced by the increasing material and construction costs having to be paid by builders, the cost of buying land and building has overtaken that of established properties.

“This is especially the case in Perth’s northern suburbs where it is now almost impossible to buy land less than $200,000 which, when coupled with building costs and applying the finishing touches to a new house, pushes the cost up to well over $400,000.

“People are starting to do the numbers and are realising that, although there is a small saving in stamp duty, this is far outweighed by not having to rent or maintain their current mortgage and also having to come up with graduated payments while the house is being built.

“Another bonus with established properties is that the previous owner has usually spent a considerable amount on added extras like pergolas, pools, gardens, etc that do not always reflect in a higher price.

“Obviously there will always be people who prefer to build new however it is a worthwhile exercise to have a look around and make some financial and lifestyle comparisons before making a firm decision”, Mr Baldwin said.

Window closes for up upgraders

June 3rd, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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The window of opportunity for home owners who are selling to upgrade to a better property is closing as strength returns to the market according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“As the market strengthens some sellers may be tempted to hold out for a better price however this tactic can be extremely costly for those people intending to upgrade.

“While people wait for a buyer to pay a higher price for their current home, the market they intend to upgrade into is also strengthening with the result that the price gap between the two properties widens.

“As an example, if an upgrader sold their current home for say $500,000 to buy an $800,000 property today then the gap is obviously $300,000 however if market values lift by 5% then the gap between the two properties will also increase.

“With a 5% increase the $500,000 property would be worth $525,000 but the $800,000 home would have gone up to $840,000 increasing the gap to $315,000 and costing $15,000 more for the changeover.

“Often upgraders hold on hoping to get more for their current home because they think that it will make the one they are buying more affordable but history shows that this can be an illusion especially in a strengthening market”, Mr Baldwin said.

Skyrocketing Rents See More First Home Sales

May 22nd, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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Increasing upward pressure on rents, scarcity of rental housing and falling interest rates have many would be renters opting to buy, especially first home buyers according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“An analysis of our sales since the beginning of February show a steady increase in first home owner activity with them accounting for around 19% of total results up from 12% in January”, he said.

“Although our overall sales results are up by around 42% over the past 3 months first home owner sales have been leading the push with an almost 60% rise.

“In speaking with buyers it seems that many of them have done their sums and have decided that the repayments on say a $400,000 home after a 5% deposit are around the same as the average rent for similar home.

“The biggest challenge for some renters is that of raising an up front deposit but with the first home owner grant and state government stamp duty concessions, etc, more and more of them are working hard to find the funds.

“We are also finding that a lot of people simply don’t think the opportunity to buy a home of their own is open to them and it is not until they sit down with a good agent or a broker that they are surprised how possible it can be.

“With up to 40 parties turning up to compete for rental properties that are becoming harder and harder to find and with rents going through the roof, an increasing number of prospective renters are now doing there homework on the buying option” Mr Baldwin said.

Agent’s event raises funds for soldiers

May 17th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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WA real estate agents came together at the latest Real Estate Rocks event to advance their real estate skills and to raise much needed funds for Project Brathwaite which is a fund for injured SAS soldiers according to organiser and promoter, Geoff Baldwin.

“We have a wonderful industry here in Western Australia and this is evident when you see around 200 agents come together to improve their skills and knowledge and to get behind a worthy cause”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Project Brathwaite provides health and wellbeing opportunities for former members of the Australian SAS Regiment who have suffered work related injuries or illnesses in the course of their military service.

“As an ex SAS soldier myself I certainly empathise with this charity understanding how important it is to look after the guys who need help after their careers.

“Our inaugural Real Estate Rocks event raised approximately $18,000 for children’s charities, Kids Helping Kids, Friends of Autism and Camp Quality and this one has also been a huge fund raising success.

“Popular eastern states speakers, Glenn Twiddle and Chris Gilmour joined me to present to agents on meeting the challenges of today’s market to provide higher levels of services and results for our clients and to promote professionalism in our industry.

“The Real Estate Rocks in WA brand has been well accepted and we intend to continue bringing quality Australian and International speakers to Perth on a regular basis”, Mr Baldwin said.

Social Media Closes Gaps With Agents

May 17th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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Of all industries real estate is one where social media is continuing to encourage sharing and support among agents to the point where day to day challenges are regularly being solved through willing online interaction according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“Although not obvious to the community at large, there are numerous groups consisting of thousands of agents who are improving their skills and knowledge through conversations particularly on Facebook”, Mr Baldwin said.

“It is not unusual for a group member to post a particular challenge he or she is currently facing with the marketing or sale of a property and for even close competitors to discuss and contribute to likely solutions.

“Often these exchanges involve dozens of agents whose collective experience can be massive.

“The quality of sharing between agents is refreshing especially since it is without obligation or expectation and it certainly signals a positive step forward for professionalism in our industry.

“I personally moderate a Facebook group of predominantly Australian agents which has grown to around 750 real estate people and I am constantly impressed by the way they interact and focus their exchanges on doing their jobs better.

“Another positive that is coming out of this is the unselfish and increasing occurrence of agents referring buyer and seller leads to one another which obviously assists clients to achieve a result.

“In this time of communication overload it is wonderful to see our industry participants bucking the trend and going out of their way to share experiences and knowledge and in so doing promote better service levels for our communities”, Mr Baldwin said.

Presentation is Key for Sellers

January 25th, 2012 by Geoff Baldwin

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With over 15,000 properties on the market in Perth and only approximately 2,000 changing hands each month sellers must ensure their property presents as well as possible to be a chance of getting on the buyer shopping list according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Buyers still have many homes to choose from in the current market that they are quick to eliminate any property that has obvious defects or that is not presented at its best”, Mr Baldwin said.

“On the rare occasions when buyers are making offers on badly presented properties they are tending to come in very low and are reluctant to increase from their initial offer.

“Sub standard presentation is an invitation for a low offer or no offer at all.

“Sellers should focus on the condition of paint, carpets, flyscreens, etc and outside lawns are gardens should be trimmed, mowed and weed free.

“Crystal clean windows cost nothing but can make a huge difference as can rearranging furniture and ensuring the property in not cluttered making it look smaller or untidy.

“A day or two spent working on the property to eliminate objections before it goes to market can make a huge difference to inquiry levels and ultimately, the sale price.

“Intending sellers can boost their chances of a successful sale by ordering a copy of the free best selling guide, “How To Sell Your Home For More” at www.hottipsforsellers.com for which RE/MAX are the accredited distributors”.

“This book has now sold over 110,000 copies worldwide and is full of easy to follow hints and tips for achieving a good price in a shorter time in all market conditions”, Mr Baldwin said.

Open Homes Have Become Counter Productive

December 30th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate agents perth

The age old system of opening homes for inspection between set times has evolved more and more into a stressful experience for buyers, sellers and agents over the past decade and our industry needs to reappraise its approach in this area according to RE/MAX Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“In the nineteen eighties and nineties it was the norm to open three or four homes maximum with 30 minutes between on a weekend day however agents are now cramming in up to eight with as little as 10 minutes between each open”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Where, in the past, an agent would tell a seller that their property would only be opened every second or third week, agents are now promising to open not only every weekend but sometimes on both Saturday and Sunday which is simply not effective or sustainable.

“We recently conducted a secret shopper survey of open homes and in many instances the results were disturbing with agents arriving late, herding prospective buyers out of homes, turning people away, cutting short conversations with potential buyers, not taking names and inconveniencing property owners for the sake of a rushed 30 or 45 minute opening.

“One agent had a run of 8 home opens in a row with 15 minutes between and needless to say he was in an obvious lather when our “buyers” caught up with him towards the end of the day.

“Unfortunately, there now seems to be far too much reliance on the open home to the point where both sellers and agents are compelled to open every weekend whereas in previous years an agent would say to the seller, we have similar priced properties in this area so I will only open yours every second weekend but I’ll do it for an hour and make sure I have enough time between opens to talk to potential buyers.

“If it is explained correctly to them, most property owners are much happier knowing that they aren’t going to be inconvenienced every weekend, that their property is going to be given a decent showing and that their agent will be spending as much time as required with viewers to ensure no opportunities are lost. Further more, if a correctly priced property isn’t opened it will certainly attract private viewings and the opportunity to redirect buyers from other home opens.

It is unsustainable for an agent to continually conduct massive amounts of home opens weekend after weekend and do them effectively maximising every opportunity for their sellers and not stressing themselves out in the process.

“Agents should take time to reassess their approach to open homes and the way they use this in their discussions with prospective sellers to ensure a level of common sense and balance is maintained for all concerned”, Mr Baldwin said.

Fixed Asking Price a No – No in New Market

December 20th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate agents perth

Using fixed asking prices in the marketing of properties is negatively affecting the net sale return, collectively costing sellers millions each month and should be avoided in what is a new market environment according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“The past 5 years and particularly the past 18 months have seen our market evolve and become much more sophisticated with more agents and sellers recognising that a completely different approach is required to gain optimum results”, Mr Baldwin said.

“The days of estimating a likely selling price then adding 5 to 10 percent buffer on for negotiation are over, if we are serious about doing the right thing for the seller and ensuring every opportunity to maximise viewings, competition, offers and the best sale price.

“It’s a fact that the majority of sellers add a buffer onto what they think they can achieve to factor in room for negotiation and this results in a listing that is overpriced in a market where qualified buyers are still well and truly outnumbered by stock on the market.

“On the other hand, buyers invariably start looking well below what they eventually pay, because the last few years have conditioned them to think that they will get a bargain and it’s not until they’ve seen many properties that they eventually lift the budget.

“Unfortunately we still have sellers asking over the odds, buyers looking well below what they need to pay for their dream home and a situation where, on a property with a likely end selling price of $500,000, buyers and sellers are up to $80,000 apart.

“Another downside of overpricing in the early stages of a listing is it is that period when the property gains most interest however, if it doesn’t attract offers it stales and the end result is a lower offer or no offer at all.

“The best way to avoid overpricing is to avoid using a fixed asking price altogether but this requires some lateral thinking on behalf of the sellers and some very advanced skills from the agent.

“There are several alternatives to fixed price that are proving to be extremely successful in the current market, conditions including auction and buyer feedback ranging which both avoid fixed prices, maximise enquiry, viewings and competition.

“Although properties may not sell under the hammer at auction, when assessed as a multi week campaign where offers are considered before and after auction day, the results are almost 100 percent better than fixed asking price.

“Buyer feedback ranging is another method that is proving to be very effective, however it is critical that this system of selling is applied correctly by an agent who has had the required training, as applying the wrong range on a property can do more harm that good.

“When choosing an agent sellers should ask questions about alternative marketing methods rather than just accepting that a fixed asking price is the way to go”, Mr Baldwin said.

Win – Win Option For Stamp Duty Relief

October 15th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

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To expect the state governments to abolish or even significantly reduce the stamp duty impost on homebuyers is unrealistic in the short term however an amortization scheme would be a win-win for all parties according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin.

“Although I totally relate to the constant calls for our state governments to ease the stamp duty burden to assist and encourage home purchase it is doubtful the reliance on this significant revenue source will be relinquished easily”, Mr Baldwin said.

“State governments have been relying on the millions of dollars generated by stamp duty for many decades and the reality is that this income has become critical to the economic welfare of each state.

“On the other hand Stamp Duty remains as the most significant financial barrier to home purchase and with the market struggling to gain traction now is a good time to look for a palatable solution for all parties.

“In addition to deposits, loan establishment costs, settlement costs and agent’s costs for those selling to repurchase, stamp duty is often the major deal breaker and is seen by the majority of buyers as a painful extra burden.

“The simple solution is to allow homebuyers to spread the payment of stamp duty over 10 years and in so doing maintain the income for the states while significantly softening this extra barrier to home purchase or repurchase.

“If a home owner were to sell before the stamp duty is repaid the outstanding balance would simply be due and payable at sale or settlement of the property.

“Naturally, to assist in financing this measure an interest component may need to be levied however there should also be an incentive in place for people to pay their stamp duty up front if they choose that option.

“To assist in the successful and financially viable introduction of this new system it would probably have to happen over several years with a reducing lump sum to be paid upon purchase and the rest over time.

“State governments have an obligation to ensure the ongoing viability of all industries and any measures taken to assist home purchase would provide a much needed boost to the established and new home sectors which are both massive employers”, Mr Baldwin said.

Interest Rate Cut Sounds Warning To Buyers

October 12th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

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The Reserve Bank’s recent decision to cut interest rates by a quarter percent along with strong indications of more cuts to follow in the near future should be sounding alarm bells for prospective home buyers and upgraders according to industry leader, Geoff Baldwin, managing director of the RE/MAX WA franchise group.

Mr Baldwin warned that the second rate cut may well be the catalyst to motivate the many hundreds of buyers who have been holding off waiting for signs of the market strengthening.

“Since rates were cut in early November we have seen a noticeable upswing in buyer activity and this second downward adjustment has added more positive fuel to the fire increasing buyer activity and creating more competition in the market which will reduce stock and put upward pressure on prices”, Mr Baldwin said.

“This has been a prolonged down cycle however it is part of a cycle and history shows that down cycles are always followed by a period of recovery and usually a swift bounce in prices.

“People who have been holding off are well advised to get into the market sooner rather than later to take advantage of the volume of choice that still exists along with the lowest prices in the past 5 years.

“We are already seeing a return of multiple offers on properties which is another indication that good listings are being snapped up quickly and that this historically wide window of opportunity for buyers is beginning to close” Mr Baldwin said.

Strong 2012 Coming – Upgraders Should Act Now!

September 19th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

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2012 will be a year of increasing growth in the property market however upgraders should take action in the short term rather than waiting or risk paying more, according to RE/MAX WA Managing director Geoff Baldwin.

“All indicators are pointing to the Western Australian property market beginning a steady recovery and for prices to rise steadily during the next 12 months and beyond”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Since the beginning of Spring we have seen significant increases in buyer activity and this is starting to reflect in increased sales volume.

“When people see the market showing signs of improvement the temptation is to hold off and wait for more profits from your current home however this can be a big trap if you are considering upgrading.

“Put simply, while you are waiting for your current home to increase in value the one you are going to buy will almost certainly be doing the same however the gap will be widening.

“If you current home is currently worth say $500,000 and you are looking to buy a better house that is currently worth say $700,000 the gap is $200,000 today.

“However, if you wait for the market to increase 10% you current home will go up to $550,000 but that better home will go up to $770,000 increasing the gap to $220,000 and costing you an extra $20,000.

“In a strengthening market the best advice for prospective upgraders is to take action sooner rather than later”, Mr Baldwin said.

RE/MAX Announces New MD For Eastern Australia

September 16th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

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Ex REIA and REIQ President and highly respected industry leader, Michael Davoren has been confirmed as the new Managing Director of RE/MAX Eastern Australia and brings with him the track record and experience required for the brand to now meet its potential in the Eastern States, RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin, announced today.

“Since my purchase of the regional rights to the RE/MAX brand in Western Australia we have experienced solid growth and I am really looking forward to working closely with Michael to offer a high level of franchise services to agents and salespeople across Australia”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Michael Davoren has vast experience and an impressive record at many levels in real estate including office ownership and corporate industry roles and is a highly awarded auctioneer enabling him to relate and provide leadership to RE/MAX people in all positions.

“It was my pleasure to meet with Michael and RE/MAX International Vice President, Larry Oberly in Brisbane this week to discuss expanding on an exciting and mutually rewarding relationship between our two regions in Australia”, Mr Baldwin said.

“I’m excited about accepting this senior appointment with RE/MAX and looking forward to contributing to the organisation’s growth in Australia,” said Davoren. “RE/MAX is number one in so many countries, and my goal is to see that it becomes number one in all states of Australia.

“Currently RE/MAX has approximately 800 staff in offices covering all states however Michael and I will be working together to increase this number substantially in the medium term and further enhancing the record of RE/MAX as the world’s highest selling real estate brand”, Mr Baldwin added.

Spring Puts Spring Back Into Market

September 16th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

real estate agents perth

The onset of spring weather has seen renewed activity in the local real estate market with sales inquiry up significantly over the past month according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.

“Historically there is a lift in sales volume at this time of year as the weather warms up and people also like to move to be settled into their new property well before Christmas”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Another significant factor is that interest rates have stabilised having not changed for around 9 months and with the Reserve Bank confirming that they are unlikely to rise this year.

“Many projectionists are of the opinion that rates are now more likely to move down rather than up over the next twelve months which is good news for people looking to take out a mortgage.

“With the softening of prices and strong rents in recent years, the WA market has now been confirmed as offering amongst the best value of all states in Australia and this is beginning to be more and more recognised by investors and owner occupiers alike.

“It is expected that the market will continue to gather momentum over the coming months and that stock will reduce putting pressure on property prices.

“Buyers who may have been holding off waiting for the best value should now consider taking action sooner rather than later “, Mr Baldwin said.

RE/MAX Announces New MD For Eastern Australia

September 16th, 2011 by Geoff Baldwin

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Ex REIA and REIQ President and highly respected industry leader, Michael Davoren has been confirmed as the new Managing Director of RE/MAX Eastern Australia and brings with him the track record and experience required for the brand to now meet its potential in the Eastern States, RE/MAX WA MD, Geoff Baldwin, announced today.

“Since my purchase of the regional rights to the RE/MAX brand in Western Australia we have experienced solid growth and I am really looking forward to working closely with Michael to offer a high level of franchise services to agents and salespeople across Australia”, Mr Baldwin said.

“Michael Davoren has vast experience and an impressive record at many levels in real estate including office ownership and corporate industry roles and is a highly awarded auctioneer enabling him to relate and provide leadership to RE/MAX people in all positions.

“It was my pleasure to meet with Michael and RE/MAX International Vice President, Larry Oberly in Brisbane this week to discuss expanding on an exciting and mutually rewarding relationship between our two regions in Australia”, Mr Baldwin said.

“I’m excited about accepting this senior appointment with RE/MAX and looking forward to contributing to the organisation’s growth in Australia,” said Davoren. “RE/MAX is number one in so many countries, and my goal is to see that it becomes number one in all states of Australia.

“Currently RE/MAX has approximately 800 staff in offices covering all states however Michael and I will be working together to increase this number substantially in the medium term and further enhancing the record of RE/MAX as the world’s highest selling real estate brand”, Mr Baldwin added.