real estate

All posts tagged real estate

Real Estate and Christmas – A Killer Combo

Today is the 19th November and we are inching closer to another festive season. The Christmas Pageant has been and gone and department stores are littered with green and red tinsel and baubles, but what does it mean for property sales?

Not good things, unfortunately. Real estate is one of those things that requires people to be around. It demands one’s full attention and decisions are not made lightly, so with the distraction of family, friends and travel, not much gets done.

Traditionally, this “shut down” will happen at some point towards mid-December, and I tend to use the second weekend in December as the last useful weekend for open inspections or auctions.

If you’ve been thinking about selling and want to do something before Christmas 2014 – I’d suggest you get sorted for this weekend or perhaps put the plans on ice until 2015, which begs the question: When do things start getting busy again???

Here there is no hard and fast rule. When are people back from holidays? When are people getting serious about new years plans? The second week in January is a good place to start and anywhere from mid January could be considered a safe time to launch a campaign.

Use your break wisely if you are considering selling in the new year. Agents are usually hard at work until the phone stops ringing and BLOC Property is no different. Get educated about prices, strategy and marketing so that you can get ahead of the competition before a 2015 sale campaign.


James Polacek is an expert on real estate in Adelaide and isn’t afraid to tell the truth about property. If you want to speak with him about selling your property, or maybe you just want some friendly advice, try or his mobile 0403 527 398.

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BLOC Top Tips for Selling

Part of selling real estate is easy. The rest of it, which is the stuff that helps people achieve higher than market prices, low time on market and happy sellers AND buyers, can be tough. Here’s my take on the basics to put you well on the way to a great result.

1. There are things that cannot and will not change.

Don’t stress about them but don’t focus on them. You can’t change the suburb or the street you are in and you can’t change the fact that there is a power station down the road. A good sales person will always be prepared for questions on any detail and will be able to deal with them accordingly.

2. Presentation is crucial.

But don’t go overboard. Pick your market and spend wisely when presenting a home for sale or rent. Staging furniture can yield amazing results in many homes, but in others, using your own furniture that is nearly as nice (or nicer!) will work a treat. De-clutter, de-clutter, and then de-clutter some more!! It’s an easy recipe, right? A fully furnished home with as little in it as possible. Getting the balance right will attract buyers, and please use a professional photographer!

3. Get the marketing right.

Advertise in the right places at the right time. Understand where the buyers are and what they want to see in your ad. Don’t be deceptive but don’t be too forthcoming either, people are less likely to come if they already know everything. Sufficient internet presence is now non-negotiable and the newspaper is dying fast. It can still relevant for unique and high end real estate, just don’t be fooled by 3 year old stats about how useful your local real estate liftout is for your “normal” house – it probably isn’t.

4. Choose the right campaign.

Auction? Private Treaty? Tender? Expression of Interest? Auction and private treaty sales are the most popular in Australia but that doesn’t mean they are right for you. Find out or take advice on what works for your area, your type of property and your goals, because getting this wrong will confuse, mislead and turn away potential buyers.

5. Price your property correctly.

This is the most important ingredient to success and it can make up for mistakes in other areas. If your presentation is horrible and your marketing sucks, it won’t matter if your price is low enough! But that’s not the point. Do your research, seek the proper advice and make sure you are as close as possible, or just below, market value. Accurate pricing will attract genuine interest fast and result in a quicker sale for a good price. Have you ever seen a property start priced too high, sit on the market for ages, then sell for less than what it is worth? Food for thought.

6. Choose the right agent.

A real estate agent has the ability to shape your sale. They could damage your campaign with poor advice, enhance it with brilliant strategy and impressive negotiation, or they might just stand around at open inspections and ask for a fee. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions – how do you negotiate? Why do you recommend this strategy, that price, and others? I find it is always best to ask open ended questions and let them talk. You should find out pretty quickly how committed they are to you and your property, and how qualified they are to help you. Ultimately, you are trusting this person with what is possibly your most valuable asset, so don’t just choose the agent that your friend knows – he or she might cost you tens of thousands of dollars.


James Polacek is a young expert on real estate in Adelaide and isn’t afraid to tell the truth about property. If you want to speak with him about selling your property, or maybe you just want some friendly advice, try or his mobile 0403 527 398.

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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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Adelaide Auctions top the country

The wet weather was out in force over the weekend in Adelaide but it didn’t stop the buyers. Real estate agents across the city would have been breathing a sigh of relief when the sun shone through the clouds after torrential rain early Saturday morning, and their smiles would have gotten wider as the day wore on.

Though auction numbers were down, Adelaide auction clearance rates were the best in Australia at a very impressive 75.6% from 45 reported auctions. The national capital city weighted average was 69.4% which bettered last week at 66.6% and the 65.1% of this time last year.

Auction volumes were down across the country at a total of 1059 auctions and these numbers combined with the excellent results over the weekend are continuing to support our theory that Winter really is a good time to sell in 2014.


*Statistics taken from rpdata.


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June Market Update

Australian and Adelaide real estate has been sitting in somewhat of a holding pattern recently, recording very modest growth and realistically only just keeping pace with inflation, according to the most recent release from RPData Rismark.

May 2014 saw the first drop in capital city prices since May last year, and Adelaide did nothing to help that statistic by falling 1.8%. Despite the fall we don’t suggest cause for concern as the quarterly and annual performance suggests the Adelaide market is quite steady (up 1.8% and 4.3% respectively). The combined capitals are up 10.6% with Sydney leading the charge (16.6% growth year on year).

Housing density has also been a hot topic of late so it may come of interest to some that the year on year growth of houses in Adelaide (4.5%) is currently outstripping that of units (1.2%). Rental yields sit at 4.3% for houses and 4.9% for units across Adelaide, both of which compare favourably with the capital city averages.

You can read the entire report at the link below, or contact BLOC Property to see if market conditions are likely to affect your property plans.

RP Data Rismark May Release