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Investors not spooked by ‘bubble talk’ + Make money by saying ‘no’ + Buyer beware

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Highlights from this week:

  • How you are feeling about property investment
  • What to say ‘no’ to
  • When to love it and when to list it
  • What to watch out for when investing in Brisbane
  • Solicitors says ‘buyer beware’ – what you should be told

Transcripts:

Investors not fazed about ‘bubble talk’ – Ben Kingsley

Kevin:  Every year or thereabouts, PIPA – the Property Investment Professionals of Australia – conduct one of the largest independent surveys amongst property investors in Australia. There are other surveys that are done but they always have a bit of a vested interest. This doesn’t have that; it carries a great voice for property investors.

It’s interesting to note that in their most recent survey, which has just been released, Australian property investors remained very bullish about the long-term benefits of residential real estate, shrugging off concerns about stricter lending conditions, property price bubbles – thank goodness – and oversupply.

The third annual Property Investment Professionals of Australia – PIPA – Property Investment Sentiment survey has found a number of things. We’re going to talk about those now with Ben Kingsley, who heads up PIPA.

Ben, thanks for your time.

Ben:  Thanks for having me, Kevin.

Kevin:  Quite representative: this gets across almost a thousand property investors around Australia. What about concerns over changes to investors’ lending policies? Has this been one of the key findings?

Ben:  Yes. This was new to the survey this year. We wanted to have a look at that, because there’s definitely been a shift from 2016 to 2017. Now, we know that APRA with their macro-prudential regulatory changes in August of 2015, but what we’ve seen is further tightening around servicing calculators, further pressure in regards to interest-only versus principal-and- interest lending, so we were keen to see where that sat.

The numbers speak for themselves in regards to what we found in regards to the lending side of things, and that is there’s no doubt that these sophisticated lenders are finding it a little bit more challenging to be able to get lending.

One of the questions we did ask them is “Is there a challenging lending environment for the past two years? Currently, do you find yourself unable to refinance an amount?”

22% said yes, they’ve basically hit a lending brick wall. 38% said no. There were 28% who were unsure, which leads me to think that they must be reasonably okay because they haven’t gone looking for more funding. And 13% basically said it wasn’t applicable to them, which effectively means that we have some pretty sophisticated people probably who have no debts and are enjoying the passive income from their property portfolio.

Kevin:  I noticed that interestingly, some people are still talking about a price bubble. Is it much of a concern for investors?

Ben:  Not for these investors. What we have here is because this is going out to our member databases and they are obviously talking to what we would consider established investors as opposed to the broader consumer market, we’ve definitely seen that there’s a maturity starting to form in the views of these more sophisticated investors.

They’re trying to wash that noise out, and they’re getting on with the job of making sure that they move through their accumulation phase of buying one, two, possibly three properties and then retiring the debt out, looking for capital growth and also them looking for passive income to supplement their retirement.

Kevin:  Maybe I’m reading this wrong – correct me if I am – but it would seem to me that a number of property investors are actually really focused on paying down a lot of debt, talking about the number of investors who are currently negatively geared and those who expect not to be negatively geared in the next 12 months. Is that a fair reading of those results?

Ben:  What I like about this result is just a reminder to all of the politicians out there as well that ultimately, negative gearing is just a moment in time. When we buy a property early on, we do need that little bit of support, just like when we’re buying a business and we might take on a loan. Once we pay that loan out and we stop paying the interest, that money starts flowing through to the bottom line, and it’s no different for a property investor.

What we’re definitely seeing here is we probably have a few experienced investors who have been doing this for the long term and their portfolio is now positively geared. That’s a real positive for me.

52% of investors are negatively geared, which means that 48% are neutral or positively geared, so their portfolio is generating passive income for them. And that’s what we want. That’s why we invest. We don’t invest for speculative tax incentives; we invest for capital growth or a passive income in retirement.

Kevin:  Yes, because as you pointed out, negative gearing is not a strategy, it’s a moment in time.

Ben:  It is. We hope that the politicians out there are listening to that message, because the reality is that any proposed changes to that will change the sentiment and the psychology and the confidence of investors out there, and they play an important role where state governments – if you look at the data – it’s so clear that they’ve gotten out of providing affordable social housing because it’s very expensive for them not only to build but also to operate, so the moms and dads have stepped in and provided those services.

If those moms and dads then turn to other investment classes, who’s going to step in? Because that’s a state government responsibility, and they’re going to be asking the federal government for a higher GST to be able to support that.

It has a flow-on effect, so it’s really important to understand that.

Kevin:  I’m talking to PIPA Chair Ben Kingsley about their most recent survey.

Ben, did you ask investors where they’re looking at investing? What are the favored areas?

Ben:  We did, Kevin. We basically looked at that, and again, for the second year in a row, we actually got Brisbane coming up with 43% of people looking to invest in Brisbane. We had 32% in Melbourne, and then we had Adelaide at 7%, Perth at 6%, Sydney at 8%, Canberra at 2%, and Hobart at 3%.

The clear winner at the moment is Brisbane, and I suspect that has a lot to do with the yield story and the affordability story that is provided not only in Brisbane, but if we also venture into those Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast markets, very low vacancy rates in those markets, some good yields, and some capital growth movement. I think people are finding that.

Kevin:  Yes. Brisbane is getting a lot of good press too, coming up as the most livable city in Australia, as well. Just before I let you go, Ben, in terms of regulation, I know there’s been some concern about property advice being given by certain groups of people. What are the moves there? Are you concerned about that?

Ben:  We would love regulation to be a part of the landscape. It would stop speculators from coming in, it would stop the spruikers from entering into the market, and it’ll clean up effectively what makes for a good investment for the long term. At the moment, without regulation, there are a lot of property spruikers who are operating in the marketplace telling us that this is a great place to invest and potentially selling stock.

It’s just important to understand that, yes, the survey clearly showed that they want basically regulation. 90% of people do want the marketplace to be regulated, so that’s also telling the policy makers to get behind that and try to clean up the property investment space.

Kevin:  Ben, great talking to you. Thank you very much for your time. Congratulations on the great work you’re doing, and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

Ben:  Cheers, Kevin. Take care.

Buyer beware – Jeremy Streten

Kevin:  Probably one of the most common questions I’m asked by a buyer is what exactly should an agent have to tell me or a seller have to disclose when they’re selling a property? Let’s find out. Jeremy Streten is a lawyer from SMSLaw.com.au. He joins me to talk about that.

Good day, Jeremy. How are you doing?

Jeremy:  Very well, thanks.

Kevin:  I imagine you get this question a lot, too: what things need to be disclosed. What do you say, Jeremy?

Jeremy:  Yes, it’s an interesting question. The law says that it’s really buyer beware, so if you’re buying a property, you need to do your own investigations and find out everything you can about that property and not rely upon what anyone knows about that property, but that can be changed depending on what the actual issues are.

So, if there’s an issue that the seller knows would actually affect your ability to buy the property, then they have to disclose it to you. And if you ask the agent a question and they know the truth of what has actually happened with the property, then they have to tell them what that actual issue is.

Kevin:  The difficulty, though, is proving it, isn’t it – proving what the seller knows and what the agent knows?

Jeremy:  Absolutely, yes. The problem with a lot of the things with the law is actually proving what someone knew at the time. It depends on what it is and it depends on what you’re trying to actually prove.

Kevin:  What are some of the substantial things that need to be disclosed that sellers need to be aware of?

Jeremy:  Things like known defects in the property, so if you know that the construction isn’t up to scratch and that things aren’t properly approved, then you need to disclose that to the buyer.

There was a classic case in New South Wales where an Asian buyer was looking to buy a property and they weren’t told that someone had actually died in that property a couple of years beforehand, and that kind of information, because of who the buyers were and their religious beliefs, they weren’t actually able to buy.

It does vary on what it is, but there are…

Kevin:  Can I ask you a question about that particular case, Jeremy? That raises a couple of really interesting points, in my mind anyway. Does that mean, then, that if the agent is aware of that, they need to disclose that to every buyer?

Jeremy:  Things like that, yes, because that could affect everyone’s decision, in my view.

Kevin:  That’s a big downer, really, isn’t it? That is going to greatly impact who’s going to buy it, so therefore, some people could see that as an opportunity to maybe screw the price right down.

Jeremy:  They could, but unfortunately, if you think that it might affect someone’s ability to negotiate or to want to buy that property, then that is something that you need to disclose to them if you’re aware of it, because the mere fact that you’re asking yourself the question is indicative that it would be something that you should be disclosing.

Kevin:  What about things like there was some white ant damage, we didn’t necessarily get the damage repaired, but we certainly got rid of the white ants? Is that something that also needs to be disclosed?

Jeremy:  That’s an interesting one. Technically not, especially if the buyer has the right to get a pest inspection for the property, because their pest inspector or building inspector should find that information out. But if it’s substantial damage, then you definitely need to disclose it. If it’s minor damage and the inspector doesn’t pick it up, then you don’t have to disclose it.

It can also be that you don’t know that the damage is there, as well. I’ve seen cases where the owners didn’t actually know that the damage was there. Well, if they didn’t know it was there, then they couldn’t be held responsible for it.

Kevin:  Just getting to the bottom line, I guess, now. What can a buyer do if they haven’t been told something substantial like that about the property? What can they do?

Jeremy:  The big thing is if the contract hasn’t settled and they’re coming up with a settlement and they find out about it, then they could potentially terminate the contract depending on its terms. But if it has settled, then they can actually sue the seller for damages.

So, if the value of the property is less because of misrepresentation, if they have told them something or failed to tell them something about the property and you can prove there is a loss in value, then the buyer can actually sue the seller for that loss. That can be very difficult to prove, though.

Kevin:  Yes, of course. Is there a timeframe on that?

Jeremy:  The normal timeframe on a misrepresentation-type claim is about six years.

Kevin:  But then, as you say, you have to prove that it was like that when you purchased it and you probably also have to prove that the seller knew about it, wouldn’t you?

Jeremy:  Yes. You have to prove that the seller knew about it and also that it has actually diminished the value of the property. We all know that the value of a property does vary widely. You could ask ten different people and they probably have ten different answers for the value of a property and what might affect it, so the actual valuation question can be very difficult to understand and to really nail down.

Kevin:  Yes, it raises an interesting question. We’re not going to be able to solve it here, but I still am a great believer in that a building and pest inspection – and even some other types of inspections – should be almost mandatory at the point of listing.

There are a couple of reasons for that, I think, Jeremy. One is that the seller is going to know that there’s nothing that’s going to hold up the sale of their property, but also, buyers are going to buy it with confidence, I would have thought.

Jeremy:  Absolutely. I think probably one of the big things is that a building and pest inspection will have lots of caveats and lots of… If there was furniture up against a wall, then we wouldn’t have removed that.

You need to make sure that you get in behind all the walls, all the couches, all the beds, and make sure that what is behind the walls and what is behind the furniture doesn’t have any damage on it.

I had one recently where a client came to see me where behind the bed was a massive amount of termite damage that had been deliberately hidden away, and we were able to get some compensation from the seller on that.

Kevin:  Yes, still a lot of gray areas here. If you want to get some good advice on this, go to SMSLaw.com.au. My guest has been Jeremy Streten. Jeremy, thanks for your time.

Jeremy:  Thanks very much.

Things to know before you buy in Brisbane – Shannon Davis

Kevin:  As you know, we’re great supporters of property generally, but we have a major focus also on the Brisbane market, hence our special vlog that comes out every fortnight that we produce with Shannon Davis, and that is Buy in Brisbane. Shannon joins me.

Brisbane, of course, has been highlighted as a very livable city and a city that’s had fairly steady growth for actually quite a few decades now, Shannon, but local knowledge, you can’t beat it. You’re the man on the ground. What are some of the considerations people need to know or bear in mind if they’re going to buy property in Brisbane?

Shannon:  I think first off, Kevin, it’s north versus south. People tend to stay put and rarely visit the other side as much, so be aware of this little idiosyncrasy.

Kevin:  How can that impact investors?

Shannon:  The northern suburbs have historically been worth more. It has the airport and the CBD on its side of the river. They’re the two major employers, and probably the biggest advantage, more proven than some of the south side suburbs.

But on the south side, it has more upside I think. It’s benefiting from young families moving in, and there has been really rapid price growth in the inner and middle suburbs, and there’s probably better infrastructure and it’s closer to hubs like the Logan and the Gold Coast.

Kevin:  Yes, I was going to mention the Gold Coast. That’s probably one of the big pluses on the south side. But I guess also on the north side you have access on to the Sunshine Coast, so in another sense, I guess Brisbane really benefits from having those two major coastal centers, north and south, doesn’t it?

Shannon:  Yes, it does. But the southern infrastructure is probably a little bit better given the Logan motorway, Ipswich motorway, and more lanes for the M1. So, in that sense, it probably has a little bit of an advantage.

Kevin:  What are some of the other things we need to bear in mind if we’re comparing Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne?

Shannon:  I think outdoor living is a necessity, a bit of a deal-breaker for us, and it needs to have cover. For example, my family eats outside and swims for about ten months of the year. So, when you’re looking to investing into Brisbane, I think if it’s an apartment, it needs a covered balcony, if it’s a house, it needs a patio or a deck, and for me, it’s a bit of a deal-breaker if it doesn’t have that.

Kevin:  Okay, outdoor living. Anything else we need to consider?

Shannon:  Yes, flood zones. Living through the 1974 and 2011 floods, it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Not all sites are affected, but even such things as overland flow is critical if you’re considering a value-add strategy.

Kevin:  Yes, because the council did send out notices to everyone, I understand, in Brisbane about overland flow. A lot of people got very scared about it. How high does that flooding have to be before it adversely affects the value of the property, Shannon?

Shannon:  If it’s had damage and water through the property, it’s going to be put-off for buyers, and anything that is limiting your market depth is going to have a bit of a brake on capital growth. There will be periods where people forget about flooding issues, but for me, it’s first and center, and it’s not one recommendation that I’d make if a property has been adversely affected by floods.

Kevin:  Of course, it’s very easy to get around Brisbane as well, lots of good infrastructure. How important is it to be close to some of those hubs, both north and south, and being able to get around through tunnels and so on?

Shannon:  I think it adds value in the fact that infrastructure is a gift from the taxpayers mainly, and if you have access to that and it’s reducing your traffic lights and your commute, it’s something that we have to look for and probably a way to future-proof your investment, because you could probably add in the next 10 to 15 years another 500,000 cars to the roads.

Kevin:  Shannon, I often think about Brisbane as not being as busy as Sydney and Melbourne. How important is off-street parking?

Shannon:  Off-street parking is really important. We wouldn’t consider an investment without off-street parking at the moment, because there’s more of a love affair for Queenslanders and their cars, and there’s not as much traffic in the commute to the coast and things like that. So, if you can find one or two off-street parking, all the better.

Kevin:  Yes, off-street parking, we’re talking about that. Some of those higher density areas where they’re putting in a lot of units, you go around the streets and there’s not much parking left. It becomes a real problem, doesn’t it?

Shannon:  Yes. I was recently in Sydney too, and there are lots of places that are offered without parking. It’s probably something that may be up to the future but not quite here.

I think also, Kevin, that Brisbane is more of a buyer-friendly place. Private treaty is the preferred mode of sale, and even auction properties tend to go prior to sale or after sale. They have a lower clearance rate. I think that’s a little bit more buyer-friendly, and we can all of course have a cooling-off period and get building and pest and things like that. So, when we’re working with buyers in Brisbane, they often report how it’s a little bit better for the buyer.

The other thing is timber and tin in the southern states can sometimes have a bit of a stigma about it; it’s considered in the lower socio-economic areas. But in Brisbane, some of their most prestigious houses are made of timber and tin, and there’s a big market depth for it, huge owner-occupier appeal, and they can be very flexible with the value-add strategies that you suggest.

Then finally, Kevin, there’s Brisbane and then there’s Greater Brisbane. I think sometimes people without the local knowledge think they’re buying Brisbane but what they’re really buying into is the Gold Coast, Logan City, Ipswich City, or even Moreton Bay regions. I think that’s often described as Greater Brisbane and they haven’t really been told the full facts there.

Brisbane comprises of 190 suburbs and has a far different demographic profile than some of those other regions that I mentioned before.

Kevin:  A really great insight there for you about the Brisbane market. I guess it would be fair to say that any market really needs some sort of in-depth knowledge, which is really the message in this interview with Shannon, and that is make sure that if you’re going to buy in an area that you get some of that local knowledge, which of course, you’re going to get from buyer’s agents like Shannon.

You can contact Shannon through our vlog, which comes out every fortnight. Have a look for that, giving you a great insight into the Brisbane market with Shannon Davis from Metropole Properties in Brisbane.

Shannon, thanks for your time.

Shannon:  No worries, Kevin. Thank you.

 

Love It or List It – Neale Whitaker

Kevin:  Love It or List It on Foxtel sets up the battle between Andrew Winter on the “sell” side and Neale Whitaker on the “improve it, stay where you are, and love it” side. This highlights the dilemma facing many property owners as their family situation changes and they have to ask that inevitable question: is it easier for me to improve or should I move?

Neale Whitaker, interior design expert, editor at large of Vogue Living, judge of the television series The Block, and also co-host of Love It or List It, joins me right now.

Good day, Neale. Thank you very much for your time.

Neale:  Pleasure, Kevin. Good to be here.

Kevin:  I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying Love It or List It. I’ve always been a great fan of Andrew’s and yours, but it’s good to see the both of you together, a bit of tête-à-tête happening there.

Neale:  Thank you very much.

Kevin:  That’s all right, mate. The series, of course, features fed-up homeowners turning to the experts – both you and Andrew – to rejuvenate their outgrown houses while also coming in with an exit plan in the form of, say, a new abode.

I guess for many people, Neale, it’s not going to be as easy to do this – it’s easier for them to move – because they don’t have your skills of being able to see those hidden potentials. The thing that’s coming through for me is your ability to see behind and look at…

Do you think people miss a lot of opportunities because they can’t see what you see?

Neale:  Kevin, for sure. Absolutely. I think the longer you’ve been in a home, the less likely you are to see that potential. I think we kind of get locked in to the space that we’re living in and the problems that come with it. You basically can’t see the wood for the trees. I’ve been guilty of this in the past, too, in previous homes. You stop being able to see what could be.

I come in with fresh eyes. They’re not homes that I’m used to myself and I can immediately see what could potentially be – depending on the available budget, of course.

Kevin:  What are your tips for helping people make this critical decision, Neale?

Neale:  At the end of the day, it’s all about being very realistic and having your eyes wide open. What I mean by that is I think people need to really think about how they live and what they need. I think sometimes people over-capitalize, over-stretch themselves, and take on renovations that they perhaps don’t really need. I think just be realistic about what you actually need.

I always give the example of if you’re not a great cook or you don’t love cooking or entertaining, then why do you need an amazing state-of-the-art kitchen? You don’t. Just be realistic about the way you live your life and the way you want to live your life.

Then also, do your homework. Do your homework with similar properties in the area. Over-capitalizing is a real danger. Be realistic about what your property is likely to be valued at once you’ve done the renovation and take into consideration what it’s likely to be valued at now.

My final bit of advice, of course, is the oldest one in the book, and that’s always have a bit more money up your sleeve. If you calculate what your renovation is going to cost, then I always say whack on at least 30% because you’re going to need it.

Kevin:  I’ve often wondered about design and color and so on. I know your favorite color is blue, if I’m correct. Is that right?

Neale:  Yes, I like blue a lot.

Kevin:  Me, too. It resonates with me, as well. Who sets design and color trends? Is it the designer or is it the consumer?

Neale:  With a residential renovation?

Kevin:  With trends. We see things move in, the old mission brown trend and things like that. Where does all of that come from?

Neale:  Trends filter into the fashion industry and the design industry through the big annual trade fairs. The big one for the interior design industry is Milan, which happens every April. That’s the equivalent for interior design to the fashion runway shows that you see in London and Paris and New York.

That’s when you start to see the trends emerging, but it’s kind of a slow burn with interior design. Something that was, say, premiered in April of this year, you’re not likely to see that filtering through for another couple of years, in my experience.

Kevin:  Neale, we’re going to have to leave it there, but thank you so much for your time. All the best for you and Andrew with the series. We look forward to watching it as it unfolds. Love It or List It is on Foxtel. Neale Whitaker has been my guest. Neale, thanks for your time.

Neale:  Thanks a lot, Kevin. Pleasure.

Make money by saying no – Miriam Sandkuhler

Kevin:  Someone once said to me that you’ll make more money out of investing from the things that you say no to. That leads me to ask this question now of buyer’s agent Miriam Sandkuhler from Property Mavens: the properties that a buyer’s agent will reject, and why?

Good day, Miriam. How are you doing?

Miriam:  I’m good, Kevin. Thanks for having me on.

Kevin:  It’s a great question, and I’m sure you’re going to be able to give us a wealth of information there. What sort of properties do you reject, and why?

Miriam:  I use the term “compromise,” so any properties that are compromised in any way that can have a detrimental effect to the property’s capacity to resell down the track or to earn decent capital growth down the track.

For example, there was a great property I was looking at for a client in Sunshine West recently. It ticked all the boxes except it was very close to high voltage power lines, and I know for a fact in dealing with a lot of sworn valuers, that they always suggest if you can stay 100 to 300 meters away from those power lines, it’s better from a resale perspective and a capital growth perspective. In this instance, the property we rejected was within 65 meters of both power lines, so we walked away.

Kevin:  Yes, that would be a no-brainer, wouldn’t it?

Miriam:  Well, no, not really. In that situation, a competing buyer bought it for their client.

Kevin:  Well, there you go.

What are some of the other things that would knock properties out, Miriam?

Miriam:  When I assess a property, you look at the whole property, not just the individual parts of it. I factor in things like the suburb, what the demand is like in that suburb of buyers, what the capital growth rates are like, vacancy rates, and so forth. They have to show specific returns to make it viable to invest, and if they’re not what I need, then I don’t bother.

Proximity, so things like proximity to transport or employment or schools. Local amenities, that’s really important, so depending on how far or how close they are to it.

Some suburbs can be really big. I know there’s a suburb here in Melbourne called Reservoir. It’s a substantially large suburb and there are some really great properties, but when you figure out why they cost so little comparatively to the ones that are closer to the shops and the train… If you want to go to a shop in that region, you have to hop in the car and drive to it. So, that’s something to take into consideration.

Then you look at the street itself, what the streetscape is like, what the traffic is like, what the zoning on the street is like, what capacity there is for that street to be subdivided and developed and become denser down the track. That might be a reason to reject a property if there is a lot of risk around that, or it might actually be the reason to buy it if someone is looking for a development site.

These are some examples of the things that you need to take into consideration to decide whether or not it ticks the boxes or if it doesn’t and it’s not good enough.

Kevin:  As a buyer’s agent, when someone comes to you and says they want to buy an investment property, what are some of the questions you ask them, just so anyone who is interested can be a little bit more prepared?

Miriam:  It’s firstly about what’s your strategy? Are you investing for capital growth or for cash flow? I always like to get an idea of what’s already in their portfolio, to see how balanced their portfolio. And, of course, it comes down to their income, their buying capacity, and if they’re already financed and pre-approved.

I think one of the mistakes that most people make is they start searching the Internet and race down that path. One of the first things they really have to do is talk to a mortgage broker and find out exactly what they can borrow, because the way banks are changing their policies every five minutes at the moment, people who qualified one week suddenly don’t qualify the next.

That’s a really important thing. If you’re going to talk to a buyer’s advocate, have that buying capacity in place and know what you can do.

Kevin:  Generally, what do you find in terms of a negotiation level? If you were looking to buy something around, say, $600,000, what price range, typically, would you be looking in, knowing that you could negotiate?

Miriam:  In the market that I’m in and the investment-grade property that I buy, often there is not a lot of room to negotiate because I’m dealing with some high-demand, low-supply properties. Having said that, there are still skills that come into play and I manage, more often than not.

What’s more important is to secure the investment-grade property at fair market value rather than trying to muck around to save a couple of dollars and lose out. That’s something really important to consider.

It really depends on the state that you’re in and what the regulations are around price quoting. Certainly, in Victoria, we’ve had legislation come in that now provides a framework under which quoting has to take place. But unfortunately, the sneaky agents who are out there, a number of them [4:36 inaudible]. That effectively is still a way of under-quoting.

But you know, it really depends. It’s really case by case. The other thing, too, particularly here in Victoria, Consumer Affairs haven’t particularly advertised it very well, so there are a lot of buyers out there still automatically just adding 10% or 20% to the top of a quote range, not realizing that legislation has come in, and then they’re doing themselves out of locking in the property in the first place. So, there’s still consistency in the marketing in Victoria around price quoting.

Kevin:  I guess at the end of the day, you have to listen to what the price range is, but you then have to make your own mind up as to what you think that property is really worth, Miriam, haven’t you?

Miriam:  That’s exactly right. You always have to do your own research. In Victoria, we now have a statement of information, and where it gets tricky is that sometimes the comparables either aren’t genuinely comparable or the date of the information is so out of date that properties have increased substantially in price in that time.

Whatever it is that the agents are providing, you still have to do your own due diligence, you still have to do your own research, you still have to understand how to assess the value of property and how to know what a genuinely comparable property is.

If you just can’t do all of that and you’re missing out, understand that it’s costing you anyway because being out of the market when it’s escalating so rapidly will probably cost more than engaging a professional buyer’s advocate.

I say to investors, if you want to give it a go yourself, great, do that, but draw a line in the sand and make a commitment that you give it a go for a certain amount of time. Then if after that time, you’ve had no joy, get a professional to help you because you’d be surprised how quickly we can get you an outcome.

Kevin:  Miriam Sandkuhler there from Property Mavens, PropertyMavens.com.au. Miriam, thanks again for your time.

Miriam:  You’re welcome. Thanks, Kevin.

 

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