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Celebrating 100 Years: An Interview with Steve & Eva Gotsis

October 8, 2019 Leave a comment

As part of our 100-year anniversary in 2019, Fletchers have been sharing a selection of real stories from our valued clients.


Steve and Eva Gotsis first met Canterbury Director and Auctioneer, Tim Heavyside, 17 years ago.

Here’s their story.

How did you come to choose Fletchers?

Eva: Our first experience with Fletchers was when we purchased our block of land at the Wattle Park Estate, which was with Rob Fletcher.

Steve: That was all the way back in 1995.

Eva: We were so happy that it was such a smooth transaction for us. When the time came for us to sell a property, we decided to use them again.

How long have you known Tim?

Eva: Steve and I have known Tim just under 20 years. It was around 2002 when we sold our first property. He’s been over so often; we can talk about everything in detail. Nothing’s off the table. Whether it’s in the afternoon or late in the evening, we can comfortably discuss what we want to achieve.

How many times have you sold with Fletchers?

Steve: We’ve sold around 8 times with Fletchers and over a 17-year period. We’ve sold with Rob FletcherTim HeavysideJason Salan and purchased through Daiman Kane.

Eva: And that’s been across different suburbs as well.

What made you sell with Fletchers multiple times?

Steve: At the end of the day, we keep on going back to Fletchers. Not because we’ve been dealing with them for 20 years, but because we’ve used their whole network. We’ve found them to be really good people that make us feel comfortable and we would not go anywhere else.

What methods of sale have you used to sell your properties? Why?

Eva: When deciding what method to use, we always listen to Tim’s advice because he always seems to come through and achieve the best results for us [smiles].

What was your experience of the sales campaign process?

Eva: Well, it’s been fun [laughs].

Steve: Yeah, it may be fun for you! [smiles]

Eva: Why?

Steve: You get to buy extra furniture, new pillows, new ornaments! You go above and beyond. [smiles]

Eva: Well, look, it has been fun, but I think also Tim has made it fun! [laughs]

In your opinion, how has Fletchers evolved over the years?

Eva: I’ve seen Fletchers branding and website evolve over the years and I think they’ve really moved with the times.

Steve: Fletchers have stayed in tune with how the real estate market has changed and who the buyers are.

Tell us about your experience on working with Tim Heavyside and his team?

Eva: I think working with Tim Heavyside and his team has been really beneficial for us achieving what we want to achieve; a great result. The relationship has also given us the opportunity to really be open. Tim Heavyside’s really just that type of person and we’ve always been comfortable to tell him what works for us. The same with Allison; we’ve had tips on styling, copywriting input, all the little details – all the way from Feng Shui to photography. I love the way they communicate after every open and we really know what’s going on throughout the 4-5week process.

Tell us a little bit about how Fletchers works to get you the best results?

Eva: For us, they’ve always gone above and beyond to meet us with us at any time of the day or night.

Steve: I work in Sales too and I like honesty, integrity, those longstanding relationships.

What comes to mind when you think of Fletchers?

Eva: Teamwork. There’s a great team at Fletchers.

Steve: We have been introduced to the team; whether it’s Allison, Tim’s PA or whether it’s the person working on our artwork, graphics or copy.

Eva: For us, I think it’s the whole team and how they come together to help us achieve that result. That’s why we’ve kept selling with Fletchers.

Have you got any stories to share about your experience with Fletchers?

Eva: Once, we had a porthole at this art deco house and when we were doing the shoot, Tim had this idea. Instead of standing outside the front door, he told the videographer to go inside and did this little entrance with the porthole. It was a fun experience and we had a few laughs along the way. I think that’s achievable after a period of time because you start feeling comfortable. [smiles]

Categories: Real Estate Services

A Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Exterior

October 4, 2019 Leave a comment

The exterior of your home shouldn’t feel left out when it comes to spring cleaning. Although it doesn’t usually require quite the same attention as the interior, there are simple measures to ensure your home sparkles from the outside in.

Did you know that regular paint touch-ups can extend the life of your overall exterior paint job? Pay attention to timber window frames if you have them and any ageing weatherboards.

Secondly, try to clean your windows as often as possible. It’s astonishing the difference it makes from the outside but you’ll really marvel at how clearly you can see out! If cleaning your windows is too physically demanding, or in hard-to-reach spaces, employ a window cleaner every quarter, it’s well worth the outlay.

Finally, keep guttering clear. Grass sprouting from the roof is not a good look and it could damage parts of your roof. Again, this may be a job for a professional, but it will save you dollars in the long term.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Real Estate Services

Spring Market Update – More Properties, More Buyers

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

As the Spring selling season continues, we are thrilled to see an increase in properties coming onto the market, alongside a comparable increase in the number of interested and qualified buyers.

Research by Domain economist, Trent Wiltshire, indicated that the relatively high clearance rates in the two months prior to Spring are most likely an early sign of market turnaround. He notes that most commentary suggests that rising prices and higher clearance rates have been boosted by the low number of auctions but that historically, this has not been the case.

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“Regardless of the number of auctions being held, clearance rates are still a timely and pretty accurate indicator of market conditions” he said. Economists, including Mr Wiltshire, have also predicted a third interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia before the end of the year.

Domain data from the June 2019 quarter also showed a slight jump in house price medians, for the first time since the peak at the end of 2017.

Feedback from our auctioneers and agents have echoed the positive sentiment, reporting that buyers are no longer holding back to place their bids, and often jumping in to spark further bidding once a home is announced ‘on the market’. Young families in particular are also coming back to buy, after regaining the confidence to put their hands up to bid. REIV President, Robyn Waters, notes that “the interest rate cuts and APRA’s advice to relax lending standards are among the factors that have cultivated an environment conducive to upsizing”.

After a relatively slow start to 2019, we now have the result of the Federal election well and truly settled, as well as two interest rate cuts already this year. We expect a robust and competitive Spring selling season, and hope that we can assist you with any of your selling, buying or investment needs!

Categories: Real Estate Services

Renting VS Buying a House | The Pros and Cons

August 13, 2019 Leave a comment
Brought to you by National Australia Bank 

Renting vs buying a house, the debate is never ending. We look at the pros and cons of both options to help make the right decision for you.


Housing affordability is a huge issue. Working out whether to jump onto the property ladder or continue renting can be a confusing decision. We’ll go through some of the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.

Renting: The Pros

Frees up your savings

By choosing the renting life over home ownership, you’re not spending your savings on a deposit and all the costs associated with buying a home. You’re freeing up money to spend or invest elsewhere. Depending on where you invest the money, you may actually get a greater return on investment than if you’d bought a house. You need to think carefully about your investment goals and strategy.

Or you may be at a time in your life when you’re not yet ready to have all your savings and monthly income going towards a deposit and a mortgage. Does travel or study beckon?

It gives you more flexibility

Renting gives you flexibility. As a tenant you can freely relocate from home to home and area to area once your lease expires. The significant costs associated with buying and selling means that you have less flexibility when choosing to move house.

Allows you to diversify your investments

Buying a home, especially for first home buyers, often means that all your savings will be going towards the one asset. Do you feel comfortable with most, if not all, of your savings being tied up in a single investment? Renting allows you to use your savings across a broad range of investments. By diversifying your investments, you’re also spreading out any potential risk.

Renting: The Cons

If history is a past indicator, the cost of renting will steadily increase over the years due to inflation and rise in property prices. Depending on where you live, your mortgage repayments may initially be higher than the cost of renting, but over the life of the loan, the interest charged reduces as the principal is paid off. Many people pay off their mortgage in under 30 years. Sure they’ll still have costs for home maintenance and council rates, but they’ll be free of large monthly payments to live in their home. But if you choose a life of tenancy, you’ll always have rental payments. Once you hit retirement and your income is reduced, it may be difficult to find a large sum of money each month. You may also be less able to absorb rent increases.

No forced savings

A mortgage is like forced savings. You’re obligated to pay your mortgage every month – putting money towards an asset that could potentially increase over time. But with renting, it can be tempting to spend spare cash rather than saving or investing it.

Buying A House: The Pros

It gives you stability and freedom

Buying a home provides you with certainty; there’s no risk that you’ll be displaced by a landlord. Tenants have very little say in how long they can occupy a rental property beyond the lease term. Living in your own home also allows you the freedom to renovate and decorate your home as you please.

Rise in house prices over time

Having an asset that may increase in value over time is appealing. While house prices have consistently risen over the long-term, they can also have periods of weak growth or even fall in value. You need to remember that home ownership is a long term investment strategy.

The ability to use the equity in your home

Home equity is the proportion of your home that you own. Provided that the value of your house is increasing, as you pay off your loan, your equity will also be increasing. You may then be able to use the equity to fund an investment such as shares or a managed fund.

Buying A House: The Cons

You’ll be paying interest

The interest and fees you pay over the life of a loan can be significant. Be prepared for interest rates to fluctuate during the term of your loan, especially if you have a variable interest rate or when your fixed rate period expires.

There are opportunity costs

This is the cost of having your money tied up in property. If you choose a life of renting, you’ll have the money you would have saved for a deposit to spend elsewhere. This might be for travel, study, entertainment or your own business. It could also be used for other investments that potentially could yield greater or quicker returns than a residential property will.

Ownership costs are more than just a deposit and loan repayments

Buying and selling isn’t cheap. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, it costs about 4% of the sale price of your home to sell (agents fees, advertising) and about 6% of the purchase cost to buy (stamp duty, government fees, conveyancing costs, loan establishment fees). Not to mention the ongoing running costs of owning a property including council rates, repairs, depreciation, body corporate fees, water and insurance costs. It’s much more than just saving for your deposit.

Doing The Sums: The Best Option For You

As we’ve seen, the case for buying or renting isn’t a simple one. There are many different factors to consider including your financial resources, lifestyle, family needs, investment goals and appetite for risk. Doing research and talking to an expert is a good idea. To assist you with your decision, as a starting point, we’ve got a handy rent vs buy calculator. Based on your current rental repayments this tool will help you work out if you could afford a home loan.

Important Information
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.
Categories: Real Estate Services

2019 Rate My Agent Awards

February 21, 2019 Leave a comment

Wow, what a great night!

It was such an honour to be nominated for RMA Agent of the Year for both Victoria and Australia for the third consecutive year! Thrilled to be recognised as the Number 1 Agent in Victoria and so grateful to all of my valued clients that took the time to share their experience.

Also a big shout out to my incredible team, who work so hard everyday to provide our clients with top notch service.

Market Update

The Domain Group reports that Melbourne property listings are running at about five per cent below the stock levels of 2017 so far this year. Buyers have had less choice throughout the cooler Winter months, particularly during the school holiday period.

Despite a tightening of supply, buyers have been wary of paying too much for property and in many cases are constrained on what they can spend due to the widening clampdown on mortgage lending. This has been illustrated by lower auction clearance rates compared to last year and relatively lower levels of enquiry. So if you are considering buying, now is your opportunity. We have seen real estate circles like this before (2008/2011), where buyers have tried to pick the bottom of the market and outsmart themselves. Particularly if you are upsizing on your property, now is the best climate to take action.

Low interest rates, strong employment growth and strong population growth continue to be a positive foundation for the housing market. AMP chief economist Shane Oliver believes that some parts of the Melbourne market may hold up better than others going into 2019. Melbourne’s outer perimeter, for example, continues to grow. The REIV reports that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

REIV President, Richard Simpson notes that, “auctions continue to be popular all over Melbourne, but clearance rates have fallen from the lofty highs of early 2017. Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations”.

This is an important reminder, particularly as we should see an increase in stock levels in late Winter and as we move into the peak Spring selling season. If you would like a complimentary appraisal of your home or simply wish to chat about the market, give me a call on 0403 020 404.

Buying At Auction

With 2018 auction clearance rates in Melbourne in the low-mid 60 percent range, you may be wondering if it’s time to reconsider your strategy or, perhaps adopt one! Here I take a look at all the different paths you could take, and their pros and cons.

Should I bid?

If you’re interested in buying the property, yes! There are several benefits to bidding, with the obvious one being that subject to reasoning the vendor’s reserve price, the highest bidder becomes the purchaser.

It’s important to remember that if you are the successful bidder, there are no delays. Contracts of Sale are signed and exchanged then and there so you must have your finance in order, and the sale isn’t subject to any conditions (an unconditional sale). With that in mind, it’s important to inspect the legal documentation and arrange any necessary inspections prior to auction day.

When bidding, stick to your budget but also keep in mind how much you would be willing and able to stretch if needed. If an extra ten, five or one even thousand dollars could knock out your competition and secure you the property, feel empowered to make those extra bids boldly. Sometimes, that’s the difference between winning and missing out on auction day.

One of the biggest advantages about buying at auction is the transparency. It’s an open forum where you can see who you’re bidding against and at the same time, have an opportunity to respond.

If a property doesn’t reach the vendor’s reserve price, the property will be passed in. The highest bidder has the first and exclusive right to negotiate for the property which is a fantastic position to be in. However, if you choose to hold back and not bid, you miss out on a terrific purchasing opportunity.

Potential purchasers often show reluctance to bid as they’re worried about paying too much under competitive circumstances. This is completely understandable however if you stick to your budget and know your stretch limits as noted above, you should feel confident about putting yourself in the best position to secure the property at a price you’re comfortable with.

If the property passes in, should I go inside and negotiate, or stay outside?

If the property passes in with no genuine bids, but you’re still interested, the agent may invite you inside the property to negotiate.

This may ultimately come down to your personal preference – you may be more comfortable to negotiate inside, where it’s more private. Alternatively, by staying outside, you can see and evaluate any remaining competition. On the flip side, the competition also has that same advantage if you stay outside and can see who is having conversations and try to analyse the body language and potential outcome.

Remember, if no one has bid, the vendor, via their real estate agent, is able to negotiate a sale with any genuine buyer.

Should I wait until after the weekend is over to show my interest, if the property has passed in?

Most agents will schedule an open for inspection on the Monday afternoon/evening if a property passes in on the weekend. This opens the property not only for potential buyers who had interest prior to the auction, but also to a fresh pool of potential buyers. The downside of this strategy is that you don’t have the transparency of auction conditions, and you no longer have a grasp on who you may be in competition with to secure the property.

Should I put in an offer to purchase the property prior to auction?

In many auction campaigns, the vendor provides instruction to their agent that they won’t consider any offers made prior to their auction. They would prefer to let the property go to auction and let the competition on the day determine what it sells for. Circumstances vary and can change, however, so it’s best to have a discussion with the agent and seek their advice. It’s so important to make your interest in a property known to the agent, so that they can keep you informed of any developments.

Purchasing your new home or investment property is an exciting experience but can also be a bit daunting. Ensure you do your due diligence and familiarise yourself with the sales documents, the area and recent local sales. Being properly informed will add to your confidence and increase your chance of success.

I’m available to help if you have any questions relating to a property we’re selling, or to assist you with any real estate advice you need.