Deciding who to select for a real estate agent you are going to come to a decision with regards to whether you are going which what is called an exclusive agent, joint exclusive agent or an open listing authority. I will explain the difference for the sellers out there that are considering bringing their property to market.

An exclusive agent is where you are selecting one agent for a length of time to conduct your business exclusively. A joint agency is where you will select 2 agents to be involved and they will work exclusively for you. And then there is also an open listing which means you are going to list it with every agency for instance in Albany here.

The benefits of having an exclusive agent is that you only have to solely deal with them direct. Any agent can sell any other property in Albany or any other suburb matter of fact, it is what we call a conjunctional in the industry.

So there is no benefit to having an open listing you are way better off having an exclusive listing working with that agent, building a good relationship with that agent and working hard to get a great result.

If you want to know about listings and exclusive agency then are you welcome to contact us.

You may have noticed recently that one particular bank is advertising on TV with regards to property reports and having them done for buyers being able to complete that online.

I would be a little bit careful about that because of the fact that the information that is being used while they can access data from RP Data or Landgate or other different organisations that physically don’t go through the property and actually assess the property so it can be a little bit misleading there.

So it is really important that if you are going to get an assessment on a property either as a buyer or as a seller that you speak to a real estate agent who takes into account everything that is on the property and work from there.

If you are looking to know more about property in regards to the value then talk to your real estate agent.

I’ve been asked a question recently about property developers and what they look for. So I am going to let the viewers in today about developers are looking for.

First of all the majority of developers are quite big developers so they are looking for high lot yields – what I mean by this is properties that are able to be subdivided into a quite a lot of blocks. So you might be looking at a lot that can be split into 100, 200 plus blocks, so there is some longevity in the process.

Most developers will want to do what is called due-diligence on the property. So that is their investigations and research in to the cost of subdivision, also the selling of the blocks – what they can get for the block, amount of blocks sold over a year and how long that is going to take to move their stock because there is what is called holding costs, which are costs that developers incur while they are waiting for the property to hit the market, to be sold, titles to be issues and stuff like that.

A lot of the time developers have either boards or investors to report back to. That has to be taken into consideration as part of their decision making in regard to risk and also regarding finance, which can be a challenge in the current market.

Those are some of the things that developers are looking for, obviously we work with a number of developers. If you would like to talk more developments or you are a developer and looking for some land then please come and talk with us.

Real Estate is a really diverse industry and there is a lot different job opportunities within real estate that you might like to consider as a career.
Obviously sales representative which is what I do as well as a number of others in my office. So that is selling houses and that side of things.

There is also opportunities which exist through residential property management which is looking after landlords properties, very challenging role and a very thankless role but I am lucky I have a great team that does all that. So there is opportunities there to learn about residential property management and forge a career. Commercial management which is more around leasing with warehouse, retail or business space and the like.

And then other niche areas such as selling businesses, selling rural property being anything from small acreage to broadacre property and then you might like to move into Strata property which is something again very different and very specialised.

Apart from that you are looking at general administration, trust accounting. So about 8 or 9 different roles that can be completed if you are considering real estate as career.
The REIWA website is a really good place to go to get general information or come and have a chat to us at Merrifield Real Estate and we can talk more about it.

The latest June quarter figures from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia have just been released and are showing some interesting data. Showing there were 90 sales for the late quarter basically an annual growth of negative -1.3%, over a 5 year period a .9% growth and then over a 10 year period a negative -.9%. So that is a certainly a reflection of what has been happening in the market place.

The average selling time frames for days on market is now 85 days compared to other regional areas being Geraldton 81 days, Kalgoorlie 102 days and Broome 114, so not too bad compared to other regional areas.

The median price for the last quarter was $363,500, that was an increase on the previous quarter which was $350,000. We now sit around $380,000 as an average base.
Leasing wise; 179 leased for the June quarter and that showing an average rent of $343 per week. So not too bad for landlords.

Some very interesting information, a little snapshot of the market place. If you would like to know more about that please feel free to call us at Merrifield Real Estate.

There is a change happening for people selling property over $750,000 as of 1 July 2017 this is really important for people to know.

What the changes is, is the Australian Taxation Office has what they call a Clearance Certificate that will be required for anyone selling a property over $750,000. The reason for this is they are looking at way to stop tax avoidance from foreign nationals.

So the process behind this is, if you are selling a property over $750,000 you will have to apply to the ATO via their website is the best option at this stage – to complete a form to obtain the Clearance Certificate. If you don’t obtain this certificate prior to settlement, what will happen is the ATO will hold back 12.5% of the sale proceed until that clearance certificate can be provided. If you are looking to settle on a property over $750,000 after 1 July this is going to be really important to make sure you to have this in order.

My advice is to talk to your real estate agents, go on the ATO website or talk to your accounting. This is a major change and it comes in to affect 1 July 2017. If you would like to know more about this please get in contact with us on 9841 4022.

So I am just walking back to my office from an appointment on York Street and just having a look around at all the businesses that are open and you may or may not have thought about buying a business for yourself. There are a number available in Albany in different sectors such as restaurants, retail or all kinds of different industries.

If you are looking at purchasing a business it is very important to do your due diligence. That is another word for doing your research to ensure you are covering everything. If you want to learn more or have a chat to us about purchasing businesses then it is certainly something we can discuss and put you in contact with various experts such as lawyers, accountants and the like to be able to help you transact of them.

Business is certainly a career option if you are looking at changing jobs.

June 30 is quick approaching and its that time to get everything in order with regards to submitting all the information you require to your accountant so they can complete your tax return.

As part of that if you own an investment property it is important that you have an end of year summary statement. This covers all your expenses that you are able to claim as part of your deductions for your investment property.

One thing you might like to consider before June 30 is getting a depreciation schedule, we have touched on this in an earlier video and there are significant benefits of getting that for your properties.

Have a chat to your accountant and have a chat to your real estate agent get everything in order before June 30 and you will be in a much better position to lodge your tax return earlier and potentially get a refund.

This is Archie and this is my dog and he is a miniature dachshund. A lot of tenants have dogs, I don’t know whether you know but nearly 60% of tenants have dogs. If you are a landlord and considering renting your property out there are ways of being able to allow for pets that give you protection.

So the first thing is Landlord Protection Insurance that is a good way of making sure that if there is any damage to the property that you are covered. The other thing is that there is a legal requirement for the tenant to pay a pet bond on the property, that pet bond is $260 which is aside from the normal bond of 4 weeks rent which is your normal bond.

If you are a landlord and considering renting your property out have a strong consideration for a tenant who does have pets such as Archie and that they would like to rent your property and the likelihood is that you can have the property rented quicker and income coming in sooner.

Yesterday I attended a course here in Albany where the focus was on client retention and certainly follow-up with regarding to clients – there were other topics but these were the main things that I got out of it.

With regard to what Merrifield Real Estate do in looking after our clients. Here is a brief overview.

When we conduct an inspection we make sure we get back to both Buyer and Seller with inspection feedback.

When Buyers contact us when enquiring on property we like to be able to give them as much information as quickly as possible whether that be over the phone, email or post or any other forms of means.

Also with Sellers we are regularly in contact with them so they know where the market is at and where we are at with the sale of their property. That way we can adjust things accordingly whether it be price or marketing strategy to get them the best result as quickly as possible.

Those methods are fantastic and from our prospective and we do on a regular basis is we are investing in technology and also other avenues to make sure that we are on top of the latest and we are always looking to continue to improve our relationships with our clients.

Stay tuned and I look forward to providing you more about those concepts being developed at Merrifield Real Estate.

Today we are going to talk about insurance. You may have recently heard about insurance premiums increasing or you may have just received your policy and see that your premiums have increased again! Obviously you own your own home or have an investment property that you have an insurance policy on, it is important to make sure that you are correctly insured.

You want to make sure that you are not under insured if a natural disaster happens and you have to rebuild or potentially over insured and paying a higher premium because of that. So where do you start? The way around that is to have an updated market appraisal on your property that way you can get an idea of the full improvement value of your property, this meaning the value of the house and any buildings on the property. Then you can use that market appraisal to go back to your insurance broker and be able to then renegotiate with a new company or ensure that you have the correct amount of cover.

You don’t want to get to a position where that has been a natural disaster and it is too late and you are in a sticky situation.

Have a think about those points and we really want to help save you money through insurance premiums and the team and Merrifield Real Estate can give you a free Market Appraisal whenever you are ready.

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As you get older there comes a time in every home owners life that they have to consider their options. When’s the right time to downsize or move? Do I want to sell and go travelling? Can I afford to sell and if I do where will I live? What is my current health like and what will be my future requirements for housing? What about my family? The list goes on but there are many questions to be asked and I have found through my many years of real estate experience that it gets left either too late or left for someone else to handle which can create a lot of stress, heartache and time.

So today my advice is to start thinking about your options if you currently fall into this age bracket or demographic. It’s not easy to move an asset quickly if you need to, so preparation is the key. Start thinking about succession planning and transition into either retirement or downsizing mode. The sooner you have an idea of a plan in place, then the easier it should become for you. There are a lot of options out there for housing and it doesn’t hurt to look into them so you have an idea what you may want. It doesn’t mean you have to move now but it does mean that you can prepare better. It also means that you are likely to be in the few % that actually does this.

There are plenty of advisers out there that can assist with all aspects of this transition period so take advantage of them. Of course when it comes to property we can provide advice. We don’t have a crystal ball but we can tell you the process to go through so you have some idea ahead.

The old saying “If you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail” has never been more applicable.

State election campaigning is in full swing but what items should the political parties be looking at? In my opinion stamp duty needs immediate attention. Western Australia has one of the highest stamp duty rates in the country. People ask me all the time what do I get when I pay stamp duty? The answer is you get nothing other than paying another tax. Stamp duty reduces the amount people can spend on buying, limits the amount of sales and reduces how much they can save as a deposit. Did you know that stamp a duty on the median price in Albany is $13,965? And remember you have settlement costs and transfer fees on top of that.


I’d also like to see no stamp duty on people over 55 in regional WA that sell their principal place of residence and purchase another principal place of residence in regional WA within 12 months. What this does is unlock the equity in property meaning that over 55’s have the ability to be able to spend in local communities that then has a knock on effect for business. And why not reward the elderly that have worked hard and pay their taxes for our country.


Then there is first home buyers. Great that there is a 15k grant to buy a block and land and build in 2017 but what about the buyers that want already established? Did you know that before the established home owners grant was abolished that over 70% of first home buyers bought an established property. Let’s bring back the grant and make it a decent amount.


What all the above does is create action and movement in the marketplace. That lends to more activity in other sectors such as marketing and advertising, signage, timberpest and building inspectors, banking, insurance etc. and is good for the 209,000 plus small businesses in WA.


So if political parties really want to get serious, stop the garbage talk and fake promises and let’s action the items above to make real progress.

As we reflect on 2016 what can we take away about the property market in the Great Southern? So here’s the review. Overall we have seen a 2.6% decline in property values over the last 12 months which shows that there is still softening of the market. The large push in listings through the latter part of the year means that stock levels are still high with approx. 1260 properties for sale listed on as of writing this article. Over 50% of that is residential housing. This comes on the back of a soft listing period through winter when stock levels were 10 – 15% lower than where they currently sit. If you average out over the last 5 years REIWA data indicates only a 0.1% growth in property values which means we have had a flat market for some period of time.


Properties in the higher end of the market haven’t moved much with less than a dozen sales over $900,000 in the last 12 months. Building approvals have been strong with over 90 residential approvals in the last 4 months to the value of over $37 million. On average the last 2 years has seen 240 residential houses built per year so that’s well on target again.


The residential rentals currently sit at just over 100 available with vacancy rates at approx. 3.5 – 4% which is well below the Perth rate of 6.5%. The median rent for Albany is $340 per week with a median residential price of $375,000 compared to Perth at $380 per week and median price of $480,000. Employment has a big factor on tenants decision making and most of the change in tenancies is down to people either moving away for this reason or relocating back due to family connections.


In the commercial sector the retail, office and shop properties have been soft with more activity for sheds and warehouse. With businesses confidence steady without brimming with confidence it has effected this sector. And that’s had an impact in leasing with vacancies approx. 10%. This is still lower than the 25% currently in Perth.


So what does 2017 hold? Well as unpredictable as this year has been when we saw things like Brexit and Trump you just never know. But one thing is for sure, people will always need a roof over their head, people will have the Australian dream of owning property, banks need lending to happen to continue to operate and people move on average of 7 times in their lifetime. What that tells you is that there is always something going on in the property sector no matter what part of the world you live in.

Looking for property and seeing a million signs. Who do I contact I hear you say? I don’t want to leave my details with 10 different agents and be hassled. It’s a common comment we hear all the time. Did you know that you don’t have to deal with a heap of different agents and that you can select ONE agent and only deal with them. So here is how it works. If you deal with one agent, they can show you through ANY property listed for sale. That’s provided you haven’t made contact or had dealings with that companies listing rep or staff otherwise they will classify you as there client. That even includes going through home opens and leaving your details so be mindful of this if your just driving past and think it’s a good idea to just “pop in”.

It’s what we call a conjunctional in the industry and the one agent acts for you during the buying process. They help you with the negotiation and go right through the whole process as per normal till the handing over of the keys at settlement.

So how does your agent get paid? Part of the listing reps fee goes to the selling agents office. This is all done internally and is a percentage of the final sale price. There are no costs to the buyer. So there you go. You can go out select one agent and deal with them for the whole transaction and until they find you a property. No matter which agents listing.