More Money. Less Stress.

Setting new standards in Adelaide Real Estate
  • "Dear James, I just wanted to thank you for all your help and advice when you sold my family home. To know you have to sell your family home is a very emotional time and you were very kind to me. You are a great fellow. You know your business and you know your calling. Nothing was too much trouble and to sell my home for a great price before auction and after only 3 open inspections was fantastic! Many thanks for all your help."

    Marion Walton – Millswood
  • "James, I would like to thank you for your outstanding services to me when selling a property at Seaton. Your professionalism and excellent industry knowledge gave me outcome in a very short time. You always contacted me with updates and kept me fully informed. Your professional service was second to none. I would recommend you to any person thinking of selling their home because at all times you were working in my best interest, not just for a quick sale."

    Margaret R – Seaton
  • "James was extremely professional and helpful from the first point of contact to the final letting of our property. His professional and hardworking attitude mixed with his down to earth personality made us feel very comfortable. Even before James knew whether he would obtain our business he was happy to answer numerous questions and make sure that we knew exactly what would be involved with the rental arrangement. After comparing offerings from numerous other agents it was easily clear to us that James was the best man for the job. James screened and secured great tenants for us and ensured that all parties were 100% across all the ins and outs of the agreement."

    Tim H – Goodwood

“BLOC Property is a boutique Adelaide real estate agency offering a full suite of property related services. We have equipped ourselves with world best technology, marketing and systems to ensure world best results to match. Talk to us today to find out how we can not only save you money, but make you money as well.”

“Our property management is truly personal and our aim is to guide you on your way to achieving wealth through property. Our property management department is fully licensed and can discuss market conditions across Adelaide and Australia, property values and strategies. You just don’t see that any more… we strive to be your partner in all things property and we are here to stay.”

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Confused about government housing and construction grants?

The first home owners grant (FHOG) was famously of great assistance to rookie buyers in SA for some time, but the FHOG (for established homes) has now gone, potentially forever. There are still grants available but I am constantly asked how much or who is eligible, so hopefully I can help clarify the situation for some, and point everyone else in the right direction for clarification.

Firstly, RevenueSA administers these grants, so if you are still confused even after reading this, refer to their website HERE.

In short, the FHOG still exists, but only for new homes. If you are buying an existing home that has been lived in previously, unfortunately you’ve missed out. This opportunity closed at the end of June this year. The FHOG that DOES exist is $15,000 on offer for first time purchasers who are buying a home that has not previously been occupied or sold as a place of residence. Interestingly, there are circumstances where the government will consider a substantially renovated home to be “new” and as such will still offer the grant. This definition is a little more in depth and will not affect most people, but please feel free to contact me privately for an elaboration.

The housing construction grant (HCG) was $8500 on offer to any person or company purchasing or building a new home up to the value of $450,000, where the contract for that home had been signed prior to 31 December 2013. The home didn’t need to be finished prior to that date and the claim for the HCG can still be lodged up until 12 months after the completion of the eligibile transaction. The new home, in many cases, can be completed any time before 30 June 2015, so even though no purchasers will be newly eligible for this grant, you may be eligible to lodge a claim despite not realising it at the time.

The seniors housing grant (SHG) is a new grant that began on 1 July 2014, and is available to all people aged 60 years and over that will be using the house as their principle place of residence. The grant is capped at homes valued at $450,000 and begins phasing out for homes above $400,000. It is set to run until 30 June 2016.

For those that are interested in the off-the-plan stamp duty concession, it expired as a full concession in June this year, but continues as a partial concession until 30 June 2016. The calculation is not overly complex but is explained best on the RevenueSA website HERE.

Hopefully you’ve found out about some grants that you, a friend or family member might be able to take advantage of that you weren’t previously aware of!

If you need any more assistance I always welcome enquiries and would love to help.

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A better way to sell?

What is the best way to sell?

It is an age old question which will never die, because each property is different, will attract different buyers, different types of people and be found in different ways – so how does one decide how to sell their home??

Many of us will rely on an agent to provide us the best advice on the type of campaign to run and in a perfect world this is the best option. In that same perfect world every agent is skilled in their field, has done the appropriate research and knows their market well enough to know which campaign to recommend.

Unfortunately, some agents aren’t quite as skilled as they make out – many will spruik auctions/private treaty/tender as the “ONLY way to sell a home”, which seems rather unprofessional to someone like me. What if that home is in an area that attracts very few buyers and the vendor has extremely high expectations? All an auction will do is disappoint them, perhaps embarrass them, and damage their ability to maximise their return on their property. All a tender campaign will do is confuse people. What is particularly scary is that some agents will suggest an auction to deliberately shame their vendors and force them into reducing their price! Hardly sounds like working in your best interests…

The best campaigns are actually structured entirely towards the buyer – what would THEY think is a reasonable enough price to come to one of our opens? What type of selling method are THEY most likely to feel comfortable in? (to encourage the maximum participation rate) How would THEY like to be negotiated with?

It is no surprise that a potential purchaser is more likely to put their best price forward if they are comfortable in a transparent process in which they know what they are getting and trust the other people involved.

Put yourself in the buyers shoes, let them embrace the process while you embrace their money.

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Bad agents cost money – choose wisely.

Although this is a biased viewpoint (as a real estate agent myself) I just can’t stand bad real estate agents! It frustrates me that innocent, and likely quite lovely, people are going to lose out on potentially tens (or even hundreds in some cases!) of thousands of dollars by making a bad choice of sales representative when selling their home.

Sometimes you can spot them a mile away, and sometimes you need to get really close to find out what they are truly like. Unfortunately these things cannot be spotted by simply checking to see if they are “cheap” or what they have sold in the area. You’ll need to dig a little deeper.

Ask questions like:

“How did you sell that property?”

“Why did you recommend that method of sale and did it eventuate as you expected?”

“Can you elaborate on how you managed the negotiation process?”

A brief or flippant answer is NEVER a good sign.

A good agent will be a nice person. Naturally they need to be approachable to win business, but there are millions of nice people in this world, you’ll need to be quite probing when interviewing potential sales people.

An agent MUST give you their opinion on the value of your home – it is illegal (in South Australia) for them not to (there is a section in their agency agreement for this)! Ask them to justify it and compare your property accurately with other sales in the area and/or with similar attributes. Don’t be turned off just because their opinion is lower than what you want – the importance is that they have justified their opinion and have displayed a great knowledge of the market at this point. How they are willing to work for you comes later.

If they pass this test, you’ll want to start to start talking strategy. Try not to indicate how you’d like to sell your property, and ask them for a recommendation. Then ask them why they’ve made that recommendation. An answer of “well it seems to work better” is not satisfactory! An agent who knows how buyers behave will know why certain campaigns work better, why they appeal to different demographics, and why different campaigns suit different properties better than others.

You might want to reveal your goals at this point (they’ve already asked you a few times but stay tight lipped until now), because it’s important how willing the sales person is to work for you. You’ve seen the stats and heard their expert opinion and so by now you might realise that you actually want $20,000 more (or less!) than what your property might be worth, but how they respond is important. A lazy agent will love a low expectation, they see an easy commission and a quick sale! The same lazy agent will see your high price and might groan at the low likelihood of success… both very average responses and not the sort of agent you want working for you.

A good agent won’t really mind what your goals are – their job is to keep you informed at all stages and to make the best recommendation possible. A good agent will help you realise that you can sell for more than you thought originally, but also suggest that just because the statistics indicate otherwise, your ambitious sale price is not out of the question and should not be given up on just yet. A good balance of accurate advice and positivity is important.

Lastly I’ll touch on fees. Fees are forever being debated and are a continuous topic of contention. A high fee does not always mean a better agent just as a low fee does not mean a lesser agent. Professional fees for real estate agents in Adelaide will range from 1.1% all the way up to 3.3% depending on the area, type of campaign, and value of the property in question.

I am a big proponent of choosing the agent first, THEN negotiating the fee with them. The first figure out of their mouth is not likely the best they can do, and if you are impressed with their job of negotiating their own fee, they are probably a good person to have negotiating on your behalf when a buyer comes along! (If they immediately drop their fee at the slightest sign of doubt, you would be wise to walk away… imagine how quickly they will let the buyer pay less!)

I will elaborate further on the selling process and negotiation, stay tuned to the BLOC Property facebook page or this website for updates.

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