Andrew Winter is one of Australia's best-known property experts, and he has some advice for people selling their houses - as well as a dire warning for real estate agents.
While Mel didn't pass up the chance to get some personalised advice for her mum, Andrew also gave some winning tips on finding the right real estate agent, and what Australians should be looking for when it comes to their perfect home.
One of these tips was to stop being 'size-ist' when it comes to owning a property.
"We're very size-ist here," Andrew pointed out. "We want big and we don't really need it."
Basically, Andrew thinks that, unless you're hanging on to a family home, building a space significantly larger than your needs is a waste. Instead, you should consider saving that money or spending it on another area of your property or lifestyle.
Here are some of the other gems we learned from Andrew's podcast.
1. How do you find the best real estate agent?
Andrew agrees many real estate agents are “sharks in the water”, but he did have some helpful tips on finding a good one!
Firstly, he cautioned against employing the services of aggregators that claim to find you the best real estate agent. These services often aren't independent as agents pay for their listings, therefore you could be missing the best agent in your town.
Instead, Andrew suggests using free websites that rank real estate agents and show their past sales. His best advice is to always look for an agent that has had success selling houses like the one you are trying to sell.
For example, if you live in a riverfront mansion, there's no point enlisting the services of an agent that is great at selling inner-city apartments.
2. If you are a real estate agent... you probably need to make some changes
Andrew also addressed the other side of the coin: real estate agents themselves. Andrew predicts online services are set to revolutionise the way we currently sell houses, and agencies will need to compete on cost.
For example, Andrew says agencies need to look at packaging their services.
“So, maybe, [clients can have] the full service, but maybe you just want [the real estate agent] to conduct the open [house] and the negotiations," he suggested.
"You might want to write the adverts or deal with the advertising and the promotion, you might want to field the calls. You might want to do the negotiations at the end, but not do the opens. Or you might want to do all of it, but not the negotiations."
3. 'Do I go a few suburbs out and get more bang for my buck, or do I buy something smaller but closer to the city?'
"It depends on you," Andrew insists. "It depends on your outlook on life and what you think you're going to be planning, long term."
In summary, if you love city life - stay in the city!
4. What are the worst mistakes you can make as a seller?
For Andrew, the answer was simple:
"Presuming your property will sell easily and presuming it will get a price you have in mind, because you want or need to get it."
Don't assume that because you put in a new pool or kitchen, your final property value will equal or profit from your investment. As it turns out, you can't control the property market and the value of your home will be defined by several factors - both within an beyond your control.
Listen to Andrew Winter's episode of Can't Live Without below, or on iTunes: