Property is something Veronica Morgan, host of Location Location Location Australia, instinctively understands and she relishes the contact it gives her with people from all walks of life.
Veronica answered some fantastic questions from LifeStyle viewers via our Facebook page and she was able to hand out some helpful advice.
What is the most important quality that makes a good buyer's agent?
VM: A critical eye, an honest willingness to get the right property for your client, of course sharp negotiation skills and an ability to read people and situations and react accordingly.
What are your thoughts on a DIY house sale? Surely having the middle man where negotiating is involved is a good idea?
VM: I think the DIY sale is fraught with problems. I know real estate agents often get a bad rap but there are loads of very professional ones who really add value to the sale process. It is so hard to negotiate your own home and buyers often prefer to deal with an agent over the owner.
We live in a rural area with a relatively depressed housing market. What is your opinion on spending money on the property to make it more desirable and saleable? In a depressed market does it matter?
VM: I think the best person to give you advice is a trusted local agent who will know what features buyers in that area demands. Depending on where you are it can be normal for property to sit on the market for some time until the "right" buyer comes along and you don't want to throw good money after bad. So you are right to be cautious.
What are your top tips for a vendor when preparing a house to go on the market?
VM: I truly believe the best thing is to find an agent you trust and take their advice! Look for personal recommendations and someone that sells a lot in your area.
My property manager has had my property advertised for a month with no applications, no feedback and now they haven't even replied to my emails. Is there anything you can suggest when dealing with Property Managers or how I can get mine to get results without ignoring me?
VM: That's intolerable. Sack them and get a new one fast. The thing is, you have to get a professional one then take their advice. There is always something to be done if there are no applications. It is probably a price issue but there could be maintenance issues too. If you can't trust the agent you will never take their advice, so look for the most active one in the area!
If you were looking to buy an investment home (as cheap as possible - under $150K if possible), with maximum rental return, where would you recommend buying?
VM: That is a lot of money if you are buying shares but not much if you are buying property. I am not a fan of positive cash flow property, but that's what you'd be looking at with that budget. And with that comes loads of risk, I'd recommend talking to a financial planner about all the options available to you before deciding on property.
I am about to put a townhouse on the market. With it being a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom and only 20kms north of Brisbane CBD, who would be the best type of people to angle it towards?
VM: With your townhouse I recommend getting in some active local agents and taking their advice. They deal with buyers all day long and want an easy sale so they will point you in the right direction
What do you think is better for investment (for a first home buyer) - buying a house a bit further out, or an apartment close to the city?
VM: I am a true believer of apartments close to the city.
My son is looking to buy in Inner Melbourne and I was wondering if now is a good time or should he wait. Do you think the market will drop more? The economy seems to still be edgy.
VM: Bryce Holdaway is probably the best person to answer this (as he is based in Melbourne) but I know that Inner Melbourne is a great area to buy into and now is a great time. The only way you will know it is the bottom of the market is when prices start to move and by then it will be too late.