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Cronulla Mall Report: Christmas by the Beach & Bay

12308364_1070915939607258_6296975608186851694_nSummer is here! Welcome to the best time of year and the best place to be. What a gorgeous first week we have had.

I supposed it was wishful thinking to hope that the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla Riots could pass us by without notice but unfortunately it seems that a few people are taking the opportunity to commemorate the date with a march. So while I support free speech, I don’t support this march.

As a business owner and resident in Cronulla I experienced first hand the damage that this day inflicted on the area, and then for many months, years after. Cronulla was splashed across the news around the world for all the wrong reasons. Being during peak Christmas trade, post riot day, people were told to avoid the area, local businesses did it tough, several never re-opened.

2015-12-08_11.00.08The “I Love Cronulla” Facebook page came about because of the riots. I wanted people to understand that this was not what Cronulla was about. I wanted to showcase the suburb, support local business and counter the image the rest of Sydney, Australia and the world saw on the news.

So while one group marches on 1 day, the “I Love Cronulla” page will continue everyday to support the local community.

Meanwhile, in other much brighter news, the Christmas festivities in the Mall are in full swing, starting from the top of the Mall with Santa photos for families and pets!

Across from Santa, the former McDonalds corner is looking very empty with both McDonalds and the Leading Edge computer store still vacant. Maybe the New Year will bring some new tenants?

2015-12-08_11.06.12Further down there have been a few other changes; Cronulla Surf Design is now Quiksilver and Indian restaurant Dash of Spice is now Albi’s Table, an Italian café restaurant opening soon.

Ocean Grove has seen some change lately (and council/road works) as well. Henry’s Restaurant and Bar is opening soon and sadly the popular Indian Aromas has closed. With Breeze in Gerrale St and Surf Lane almost complete and the new retail stores below hurrying to finish in time for Christmas, we are looking forward to even more choice for dining in Cronulla.

Charbella’s shop next to Grind is vacant after Charbella moved back to its old haunt in Ocean Grove Ave.

As the year quickly comes to a close, Beach & Bay Realty would like to take this opportunity to wish all our followers and their families a safe and happy festive season. Merry Christmas to all and we wish you all the best for the New Year!

 

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Why a seller should do a pest and building inspection

Consider this, for most people property is their most expensive asset. In today’s sophisticated Sydney real estate market, a great deal of time, effort and money goes into selling a home from the presentation stage to the final settlement. Besides spring cleaning and maintenance costs, budgets must cover styling, hiring furniture and advertising expenses.

It is therefore quite common for the seller to consider a pest and building inspection the responsibility and cost of a buyer, “Buyer beware” as they say. I beg to differ.

Source -www.bell4.com.au

Source -www.bell4.com.au

When was the last time you read a pest and building inspection? These reports are designed to be a brutal assessment of your property by itemising every last fault. Reports include words like:

  • “High risk”
  • Visible evidence of termite damage”
  • “Mud tubes & borers were found

You might not have recently done a pest treatment on your home, averse to the chemicals involved, or you just have not got around to it in the last 20 years. Or maybe you know the skylights leak but you have learnt to live with it and think the buyer will too.

The first the buyer will know of any issues is when they see it in writing, with lots of disclaimers and litigious words to cover the inspector’s backside.

Your home or investment property is now worth a lot of money to you, you have a lot of money on the line.

Now think about the potential buyer of your home. Do you think the buyer is going to buy your property without doing a pest and building inspection? Highly unlikely. More likely what will transpire is, after falling in love with your property, the buyer will order a pest and building inspection. That pest and building inspection, costing between $400 and $600 approx will put in writing all the defects of your property.  Without fail, your perfectly lovely home will look less appealing and the buyer will feel less emotional and more practical about what money they might spend on your home or investment property.

Without knowledge of what was in that report it is hard for an agent to counter the criticisms. Some buyers, on receiving an adverse report, go silently away, never to return the agents call. Some try to use the report as leverage to reduce their offer.

What is important to understand as a seller is, that no matter how perfect you think your property is, it will never be perfect in a pest and building inspection. What your agent will do is prepare a buyer for this. What an agent can’t fix so easily is a curveball midway through a marketing campaign. Curveballs can come in the form of a structurally unsound roof/ termite infestation/ drainage issues etc. You achieve the best price in 30 days, there is no time for nasty surprises.

The other scenario is you pay for a pest and building inspection before spending thousands of dollars on marketing. You are made aware of any major defects or issues with the building and you have time to rectify those issues before proceeding.

Alternatively, no house is perfect so if your house comes through relatively unscathed, your agent and yourself have the confidence to proceed to with a marketing and sale campaign to maximise your sale price and the added benefit that your agent can be on the front foot with any buyer criticisms.

So in my opinion, sellers should definitely do pest and building inspections and prior to the commencement of the advertising campaign.

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Will your home pass the test?

Web_01Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran recently said at a real estate conference that it takes a buyer, entering the first room of the house, only 8 seconds to get an impression of the home.  There is really no room for error with an 8 second time span and it hits home how important styling and presentation really is.

Thinking of selling? How about doing the 8 second test on your own home. Is the first thing you see when entering your home a Brady Bunch gallery of family portraits? Is this what you are selling or are you selling the light, bright and spacious entrance foyer which you cannot see because all you are focused on is the faces staring back at you?

Web_11After you have done the 8 second test, go outside and get in your car. Drive around the block and then pull up out the front of your house. How’s the 8 second rule from the street? Some buyers will see your property advertised and then do a drive-by, will these buyers come back for an inspection? Or will they see the overflowing gutters and think too many trees equals too much maintenance?

Web_10Then maybe invite some friends over to do the 8 second test.

Did your property pass the 8 second test? Give Beach & Bay a call so we can provide you with a market appraisal and connect you with our network of stylists, cleaners, handymen and women who will ensure your home is presented to perfection and the maximum sale price is achieved.

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Selling Season vs Silly Season

At this time of year buyers have one foot already in the pool, winding down for the Christmas and New Year holidays so it is a seriously committed buyer who attends open houses in the weeks prior to Christmas day.

Image from sellmycastle.com.au

Image from sellmycastle.com.au

There are also Christmas parties to attend, hangovers to recover from and Christmas shopping to be done, all leading to a drop in open house attendance in December.

This year most solicitors are trying to wrap things up for Friday 19th December so this weekend is an important auction weekend.

If you are planning on selling in early 2015 remove any Christmas decorations from the house prior to photos being taken otherwise buyers will think you have been on the market longer than you have.

January is usually a quieter month for real estate but sellers have less competition and there are still buyers around. With less properties for sale in 2014 there might be still a committed group of buyers looking for a home in January 2015.

Image from realestate.com.au

Image from realestate.com.au

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Do you think the property market will burst in 2015?

sydney

One of the most real estate obsessed cities in the world

This is a question real estate agents get asked a lot as we head into the final month of selling. It’s a dangerous question because really we don’t know the answer and no one else does either.

According to SQM Research, the median house price in Sydney’s inner fringe has now surpassed $1million. To many that seems absurd, we dreamed years ago about our homes being worth a million dollars and somehow our dreams have become reality, even if that millionaire reality is a far from palatial home we imagined many years ago.

SOLD $1,280,000 - 3/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

SOLD $1,280,000 – 3/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

In Cronulla it is now very difficult to find an entry level house on a small block of land for $1.3mil.  If you are thinking of buying an apartment in Cronulla, it is just as difficult to find something under a million dollars. Last month a 2 bedroom apartment with superb ocean views and only a single garage sold for $1.4mil.

If you are not in the market already, how do you get into a market where you have to be a millionaire to buy a basic home? Parents are panicking for their children, 30 and 40 year olds are becoming first home buyers.

Should we take the plunge in November 2014 or should we wait and see till February 2015?

SOLD $1,118,000 16 Targo Rd, Beverley Park

SOLD $1,118,000 – 16 Targo Rd, Beverley Park

This is the dilemma now facing many buyers. Sure, interest rates are low but when you have to borrow the bulk of a $1 million dollars plus stamp duty then the mortgage you end up with is not cheap.

The Reserve Bank has been recently warning us to stop getting carried away, to stop borrowing too much money, but so far this has not had too much of an effect on an insatiable Sydney market.

Anything can happen as shown with the Global Financial Crisis and we now live in a very interconnected world, where something that happens in another country, on the other side of the world can affect us here very quickly.

SOLD $1,570,000 - 5 Cook St, Caringbah South

SOLD $1,570,000 – 5 Cook St, Caringbah South

Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball but I did win the Melbourne Cup this year so if I had to have a punt on which way the property market was going to go next year I would say upwards, but not at the same intensity as this year.

NSW is now the economic locomotive of Australia and Sydney the most desirable city to live in. Property sales off the plan are booming which means the residential construction industry will also stay robust. Also the NSW government has embarked on huge infrastructure projects which will support thousands of jobs into the medium term.

A steady increase, then a plateau is my guess but full disclaimer here, I have really no idea, just 18 years of being a real estate agent in one of the most real estate obsessed cities in the world…

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Spring Real Estate Update

IMG_0928After a sensational long weekend of great weather and football entertainment vendors and buyers are into the final mad dash to sell and buy before Christmas 2014.

It seems unlikely that a rate rise will be seen this year after the Reserve Bank met this week and left the official cash rate on hold for October. However the RBA has been more vocal in recent months about the housing market and is doing its best to cool the heels of buyers, worried prices have increased at an unstable rate.

Certainly we have seen dramatic price increases in the Sutherland Shire especially in the first 6 months of this year. As I see it though while the shortage of listings continues, the pressure on prices will remain. Buyers listening to the RBA’s warnings seem not as desperate to purchase as earlier in the year. What hit home for me recently was the figures showing that first home buyers are generally in their 30’s or 40’s.

Sydney is definitely an internationally priced real estate city!

Some of our new Spring listings below.

If you’re thinking of selling this year, please give us a call today.

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Spring Selling 2014 Begins

10559905_816347761730745_4324784745026281604_nIn just a few days we will be in Spring, traditionally one of the most popular periods for those thinking of selling to take the plunge.

August was the wettest month in 16 years but September is supposed to be dry with above average temperatures. This should see a noticeable increase in the amount of properties for sale.

IMG_0928Talk to any agent about the conditions of winter 2014 in the real estate market in Sydney and they will tell you that it was characterised by very few properties for sale and lots of buyers, creating a climate where competition amongst buyers was fierce and days on market very few.

Beach & Bay Realty averaged 2 week sales campaigns throughout winter. While we enjoy fast, above vendor expectation sale prices, we also enjoy having more properties to sell!

If you are thinking of making a move please give us a call now so we can have you on the market in just a few short weeks!

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Don’t Overpay On Advertising When Selling Your Home

Real estate advertising has come so far since I first started in the industry. I remember as the salesperson, having to take the photos on a camera using film, then walk up to the local chemist to have them developed, $15 and an hour later we would realise the photos were not all that good and needed a second take but having to meet a print deadline we would have to pick the best of a bad bunch.

Web_18

14 Randell Ave, Lilli Pilli

Now we have such sophisticated technology for marketing at our fingertips with specialists for every step of that process, whether it is the photographer or stylist, I would not dare to pick up a camera to photograph a vendor’s property. At the same time, the cost of advertising has decreased significantly as print media falls by the wayside.

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

At Beach & Bay Realty we have taken a simple approach to marketing that encompasses a substantial online presence, including social media, with print media including brochures and signboards to reinforce the online experience.  We have designed our marketing packages to be best value for money without compromising on the quality of the advertising. It is no longer necessary to spend $10,000 on a marketing campaign.

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

Buyers are busy people, they want the information at their fingertips and this is why real estate websites have become the norm for finding buyers. Print media advertising such as our local paper is great for a coffee table read but if you are actively looking for a home or investment property, by the time that property is advertised in the paper, the agent is exchanging contracts with the buyer who found it online.

We have also sold several homes from our local  social media marketing, including the “I love Cronulla” Facebook page and Beach & Bay’s Instagram page (instagram @beachandbayrealty). With 8000 followers on Facebook, people know we know the area and check our updates daily.

15 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

15 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

If a vendor would like to advertise in newsprint the option is always there but we like to encourage our vendors to spend their money where it is best going to seen by active buyers. We look at it from the angle that if we were selling our own home or investment property where would we spend our money on advertising?

This is what we stand by, it works, it works fast and we have done it ourselves:

  • Professional photography – we believe our photographer is the best in the area
  • Floorplan
  • Virtual Floorplan or video
  • Websites – as many as you can be on
  • Colour brochure with floorplan
  • Signboard
  • Social media
  • 17 Bass St, Port Hacking

    17 Bass St, Port Hacking

    On-site Auctioneer if market and property suitable

This can all be done for less than $3000.

Happy Selling!

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Spotlight on local business: idtagit

Introducing Jo – by day the friendliest Cronulla postie you could ever meet, and in her spare time, a budding entrepreneur with her husband Tim.

DSC_8619Who are the masterminds behind the idtagit idea?
Look, Tim (my husband) had the bare bones of the initial idea, then between us, we’ve jointly shaped it into the working product people use all over the world today.

How did idtagit come about and how long has it been in the making?
Both Tim & I noticed that the problem of “lost & found” had been around since forever, but wondered why in this day and age it had never been tackled as a topic. Timeline wise it’s taken several long years and heaps of knock backs to get our ideas off the ground and it’s now great to sit back and look how far we travelled with it, since we started drafting the basic concept on a napkin back in 2010.

1505407_757478364275838_573918965_nHow does idtagit work?
With us both coming from a Baby Boomer generation when life was very simple compared to these days, we elected idtagit had to be easy to use and implement for everybody. Add to these two ingredients, our other goal of a “low cost to adopt factor” of less than $3 retail price for each tag we made, we’re proud to say we think we got the combination just right.

We sell a small & discrete hardwearing tag (40mm x 18mm x 1.3mm thick) you can either stick or hang on any of your belongings, and we mean “anything”. We’ve had customers put them on slightly unusual stuff like USB’s, lunch boxes, flippers and football boots, as well as all the standard things you’d expect people to lose frequently.

Each tag has a unique code engraved into it and links via idtagit database to your email address and mobile number. So when a stranger tells us at idtagit they’ve found your lost property, you’re immediately notified via text message as well as an email of the finders contact details, wherever in the world you are. One of the biggest attractions that our tags offer is that they don’t highlight anything about you (i.e. your name, address and so on), which in these days of identity fraud is a great asset to have when marking your belongings.

Before you invented idtagit, what was the most important possession you’ve ever lost?
Good question as it takes me back to my childhood when I lost a small toy doll from my pram whilst being pushed around by my mother in Miranda Fair. The thing (doll) was only worth a few dollars, but I recall vividly the sadness parting from it, demonstrating that sometimes it’s the emotional value of things we lose that are irreplaceable, not always the mundane things like keys & mobile phones that end up in the lost property office.

Some amazing facts on lost property from here in our own back yard show that Sydney Ferry Service collect 150 items every day and on average 250+ phones are lost in NSW each and every day.

We’re most likely to lose our stuff when we travel via air as we’re often stressed, tired and disorientated, meaning more things like carry-on luggage and camera’s never make it to the right destination than you would care to imagine.

1962608_754698827887125_2085948560_n

We bet you have heard some stories since starting this business. Are there any good or bad stories that stand out?
The constant theme we see daily and that always shines through via idtagit is the kindness of strangers from all walks of life around the world. People on the whole are more than happy to help each other and we’ve heard of individuals delighted that a person they’ve never met, sometimes in different country, has contacted them via idtagit just to say “Hey, I’ve found your lost property and want to give it back”. It’s this fact that makes Tim & I very proud in our business idea as it shows that humanity is a fuel there is an abundance of, no matter where you are.

10441228_779490428749812_5358400830304504148_nWhere do we buy the product?
At this stage we sell directly online via our website www.idtagit.com. Here you can purchase either a pack of 5 or 10 tags for $23 or $29 respectively, with delivery to your postal address in no more than a 5 working days.

Finish this sentence – I Love Cronulla because…..
As a born and bred Aussie, it’s got all my family and all I would ever want from life, it’s just magic!

How do we find you?
Our website address is www.idtagit.com and you can find us on Facebook here.

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Great Time To Buy

soldhouseIt’s a great time to buy real estate, right now

Now you wouldn’t have heard this from me a month ago and you probably won’t hear this from me in a month’s time but, today, this week, and this weekend, if you are in the position to buy a property then go out there and give it your best shot. ASAP.

The property market in Sydney has been going crazy and prices have increased dramatically in this first half of the year but several, very recent factors are coming into play right now which have created a little pocket of opportunity for buyers.

10348231_10152459011644312_7862929635639049698_nHave you noticed that the auction clearance rates have dropped significantly in the last 3 weeks?  It won’t last and let’s face it, the clearance rate is still quite good compared to previous years. It’s a short term phenomenon.

The things that have changed in the last few weeks:

Firstly and possibly most importantly buyers who have been looking this year and have been thus far unsuccessful are now jaded, tired, fed up, cranky and many have taken a month off to refresh, i.e. they are not going to open houses, instead they have decided to take a real estate break and get their lives back for a few weeks, gone away for a weekend, gone to see the kids play soccer etc instead of going from one open house to the next, all day Saturday.

1911606_10152289518374312_646615506_nSecondly, the media has now been reporting for a few months that things have been selling for $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 in excess of the reserve and painting the picture that buyers will pay whatever to get into the market. The media is usually several months behind reality too but buyers have started to feel completely ripped off and are taking a step back to consider what they are paying.

1264281_10151917506959312_1923611023_oThirdly, vendors expectations have been going up and up and up as each sale achieves a new benchmark sale price.

Fourthly, the budget announcement, again this is just short term jitters but it’s to do with confidence, confidence in the economy, in our government, in securing employment to keep paying that mortgage.

So now is not the time to give up, some vendors have bought and need to sell so they must quickly meet market expectations, the budget will iron itself out and buyer confidence will be back. Then you will be again competing with too many buyers and not enough sellers as is normally the case in the winter months in a great market. So, don’t stop looking now buyers, get out there and secure that property before it’s on the move again, and I think you only have a couple of weeks! Good luck!

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