Can You Sell Your Own Home Using The Art of The Headline?

If you are reading this, my headline and accompanying image did their job…

After writing and editing, at an educated guess, over 3,000 property ads (and many for other types of business marketing), I can say that the art of the headline is generally ignored, as is the impact it can have on its intended reader.

For those of you looking to sell your own property – and Agents – here is a piece of advertising advice that can make all the difference to your marketing;

“Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90% of your money.”

This comes from one of the most successful and insightful Advertising minds of the 20th Century, David Ogilvy, who’s career and philosophies can be read in his book – “Ogilvy on Advertising”.

Ogilvy’s, and the man he looked up to, Claude Hopkin’s, research, campaigns and successes for some of the biggest names in business, are still the primary drivers for what works in advertising today.

“Those headlines which work best are those which promise the reader a benefit.”

It is this statement alone that has been the cornerstone of creation of the vast majority of the headlines, and copy, I have written.

You need to make it your cornerstone as well.

For me every great piece of copy – and by great, I mean it invokes the right emotion in the right reader, so that reader (potential buyer/client) takes more than a passing interest in what is being said and sold – to the point of taking an action.

In today’s “I want it all and I want it now” environment, most buyers look at just a few things on any property advertisement, The Big Rocks; and they are;

  • Location
  • Main Picture
  • # of Beds, Baths, Cars
  • Price guide
  • Headline

Let’s face it, so many of us are time poor (or so we think) or maybe we’re just getting lazier, so the main copy (description) in a property ad might not even get read – especially if the BIG ROCKS don’t add up or the headline is weak.

And when I say weak, it doesn’t offer a hook (benefit) that makes the buyer/client want to read on.

In my experience owners selling a house and some agents place too much emphasis on crafting copy that is as long as War and Peace (an epic Russian novel), describing and listing everything, I mean EVERYTHING, the property has to offer – yawn!

And that’s what buyers do – start nodding off by the time they reach the third paragraph describing the strategically placed birdbath in the backyard.

To prevent this, they almost need to have an idea of what the main benefit is of buying this property as opposed to another.

Here, I have to digress for a moment.

To understand the difference between a benefit and a feature when promoting anything is critical and I’ll cover this in more detail in another post, but in brief:

A Feature is something the product/property has; e.g. Double Garage, Ensuite, Outdoor area

A Benefit is what the product/property will do for you, how it will make your life easier/better, how it will make you feel.

People like to think they buy with logic, but almost all buy with their emotions.

My experience tells me that features become important when the benefits are clear to the buyer and they invoke an emotion.

Here is an example of two headlines – each promoting the same property.

  1. Amazing Value – Five Minute Walk to Cafes and Transport
  2. Spacious Three Bed Home in Great Location

Which one expresses a clear benefit (or two)?

If you said ‘1’, you get a gold star!

Two clear benefits: This home could be a bargain, and who doesn’t love a bargain? And a clearly stated benefit of how close you are to important amenities.

Sometimes its not JUST about the property, its what is in store for the buyer when they buy it.

Always take a little more time crafting your headline with a buyer targeted benefit, then your description will be much easier to write with the buyers’ emotions and needs in mind.


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DIY Conveyancing: What can go wrong?

The actual process to sell your own home, from listing to agreeing on a deal, is not necessarily dictated by a library full of legal requirements and obligations.

To sell your own property involves; preparation, promotion, realistic pricing, talking to buyers, showing buyers (inspections) and some negotiation to seal the deal. As long as you act fairly in all your dealings with any potential buyer, during the actual sale process, and your home is offered to the market in good condition (and in good faith), there are few definitive legal requirements you need to adhere to.

Each State and Territory in Australia differs  when it comes to the legal obligations of home sellers before, during and after the actual marketing and sale process, but they are easily navigated and dealt with. For more detailed information about these obligations, check out our guide to property legislation in Australian States and Territories.

The question I am asked the most by potential sellers who wish to sell their own home or property is, “What about the legals?” or “Who does the contract when I get a deal?”

The answer is very simple. Just before or at the time you list your home for sale, talk to a local settlement agent, solicitor or conveyancer and put them on standby to put together a contract when you strike a deal with a buyer.

Be aware that in some States, particularly NSW and Vic, a contract needs to be in place before you go to market. Regardless, once you have shaken hands with a buyer and a deal done; contact your legal representative, give them the details of your buyer and the price/terms etc and they will put it all together and then execute the contract.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well I saved a bundle selling my own home, maybe I could save a few more bucks by doing my own legals.”

Yes, there are DIY Conveyancing kits which can be purchased online, or you may know someone who purports to have some legal experience to assist, but the carriage of a contract and the adherence to the terms and conditions, through to settlement, by the buyer and seller is not something I would recommend be taken on by a legal novice, or yourself for that matter.

This is also the view of the state government bodies responsible for real estate transactions (click relevant state for advice: NSWVicQLDWASATasACT & NT) who all advise the use of a conveyancer, lawyer or settlement agent. Although, Consumer Affairs Victoria do offer a DIY conveyancing kit available in their bookstore.

Sure, marketing, engaging buyers and selling your home is a serious, yet very doable undertaking, but the legal ramifications of that process are less onerous compared to transacting real property; contractual obligations, the transfer of titles, discharge of mortgages, searches and everything else that has to be ticked off in a legal sense after you have shaken hands with the lucky buyer.

If you asked me whether or not you should handle your own legal processes, I would say; unless you have a solid background in Property Conveyancing – DON’T!

Even when it came time to sell my own home I employed the services of a reputable conveyancer to look after the contracts.

As a traditional Agent of almost 16 years, I cringe if I hear one of my sellers/clients say that they will be handling their own legals and the carriage of the contract.

Although not the majority, each time, as the completion of the contract was nigh (the settlement) you can back it in that something had been overlooked and the deal may be delayed with the potential for penalties and time sensitive delays.

It got real messy and stressful there for a while.

I remember one afternoon, a property was due to settle at say, 3pm, and five minutes before settlement, the ‘self acting’ sellers came bursting through the door of my office saying, “We’re not sure how much they are supposed to give us and what we have to pay out?” After a few minutes of calm mathematics, they regained their composure and trudged off to complete the Big Deal…it got real messy and stressful for a while.

Property Law is written and enacted for a reason, to protect the interests of both sides of the deal – sellers and buyers.

Compared to an Agent’s commission on the sale of a property, legal fees on the final transaction of the average Australian residential property are minor, and can range between $500 – $2,000 dependent upon the complexity and conditions of the contract.

That is a fairly small price to pay to ensure the sale (or purchase) of your asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions, completes to your satisfaction and all parties leave the table, and move on or in, with a smile on their face.

Always seek the services of an expert in the field.

The risks of DIY conveyencing are real and can prove costly.


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To Price or Not to Price to Sell Your Own Home – Let’s Go Fishing.

Honestly, I could write a book on this subject alone.

But, in today’s “Give it to me now – and quick” environment I’ll do my best to cut to the chase.

The schools of thought around pricing a property for sale are as varied as they are numerous.

So, I’ll offer you a measured perspective from my 16 years of front-line property marketing and sales experience.

Generally, sellers’ (and their agent’s) perceptions about what price strategy to employ to attract buyers depends on the type of market that prevails at the time of offering a property for sale.

In simple terms there are three types of market:

  • Hot (Sellers hold the aces)
  • Even (Sellers and Buyers both hold good hands)
  • Cool/Soft (Buyers have the trump card)

The market has cooled, but is not cold or overly soft.

When the market hots up (buyers are plentiful and willing to compete), as it has been 2014-early 2018, many sellers, aided and abetted by agents who only know this type of market, go with a ‘no price’ campaign or auction – especially in the bigger Sydney and Melbourne markets.

Buyers, whose confidence is high, are willing to accept this type of pricing strategy and will research a little deeper to determine value and even be willing to go above their findings and sentiments on price to secure a property.

Heading to the other end of the scale – a Cool/Soft market (buyers are less in numbers and less confident) – some sellers/agents will hold onto the ‘no price’ type of campaign strategy, but the buyers who are still in the market are seeking bargains and immediately want to see the price expectation of the seller with a clear price or at least a price range.

In other words, buyer want something to aim at!

The cooler market sees sellers competing with other sellers (more stock to choose from), and the hotter market sees buyers competing with other buyers (less stock).

What about an even market?

I left this until last, as this is what we are operating in, in a general sense, today (Mid 2018).

The market has cooled, but is not cold or overly soft.

Buyers are still sniffing about, however, they have drawn a line in the sand and won’t chase prices or compete blindly against other buyers and risk paying ‘overs’ for the property they are keen on.

Pricing a property is no different to fishing.

Sellers are slowly realising that the premium price they expected may not be there right now, but a fair price is very achievable.

Do private house sales, or those employing a traditional agent, employ a covert pricing strategy (no price, POA…) or give buyers an indication of their expectations with a transparent strategy (list price, range…)?

Here’s a little bit of property psychology 101.

Pricing a property is no different to fishing.

You stick a healthy (but dead) prawn (bait) on the end of the line and drop it in, optimistically hoping that the biggest fattest fish in the water will quickly latch on, swallow the prawn and your hook – then you reel him in to your great delight.

Your pricing strategy is the bait and the hook.

At the moment I am seeing quite a few sellers dropping the hook in with nothing on it.

The fish in the water are the market – the people you want to attract to buy your property or home.

  • Do you remove the bait and just drop the hook in hoping the less savvy fish bite it anyway?
  • Do you put the prawn on and wait it out until time rolls on and you realise the fish keep swimming past it?
  • Do you put something more appetising and juicy on the hook to really attract the fish and get some serious bites?

At the moment I am seeing quite a few sellers dropping the hook in with nothing on it.

They get a few nibbles, but the fish (buyers) keep asking, “Where’s the bait?”  They are a little interested but not enough to take a big bite.

When there are less fish, and they are more fussy, I strongly advise today’s fishermen/women (sellers) to get fat and juicy early.

Get some delicious bait on that hook and be prepared to change it if no-one is biting.

Buyers’ sentiment can change quickly.

You must adapt to those changes and be prepared to adjust your expectations and strategy to ensure you snare the biggest fish.

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It’s All Location, Location, Location For Private House Sales – Is It?

IN the language of Real Estate, we hear it all the time – buying is all about location, location, location.

It is true, but location does not necessarily make up for 100% of any buying decision.

If you look at the habits of property buyers, the first thing they key into any on-line platform when searching for their next property is, you guessed it, the location (suburb or town) that best suits their need for proximity to employment, schooling, medical facilities, access to public transport (particularly rail), required uses for the land, peace and quiet…the list of locational requirements is as long as it is wide.

Then they key in the type of property (house, acreage, apartment, land), number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces – then maybe the size of land and other filters – depending on their very specific requirements.

And then the all important PRICE range.

However, it is the BIG ROCKS they take in first – Location, Price, Type of Property, Beds-Bath-Cars.

This is how the vast majority of buyers determine their VALUE ESTIMATE before they even pick up a phone, send an email or attend an open home.

This four to seven second determination is a subject unto itself when it comes down to REALLY understanding how buyers think and act.

That is an another subject in itself for discussion at a later date.

Let’s stick to location.

IN a recent study of 1,000 prospective home buyers;

54% were open to broadening their search criteria to take in suburbs outside their locational wish list to find the perfect home

26% were determined not to budge and would only consider finding their dream home in their dream suburb.

From my experience it confirms what I have seen for the last 16 years.

Whether you are trying to sell your own home or using an agent, your competition (other similar homes for sale) is not confined to your immediate suburb or town.  A solid proportion of buyers will spread their search in order to find the best value and best fit.

That figure of 54% of buyers who are willing to compromise and look further afield sounds about right, and in my experience could even be a little higher.

I have dealt with buyers who search a particular area, see every home or property within their price range – then buy 20km away in another suburb.

The one-in-four buyers who won’t compromise on location are usually unyielding because of a certain school zone, proximity to loved ones, workplace or status (sometimes called ‘postcode prejudice’).

Whilst location remains THE key factor in any buying decision, be aware that buyers WILL compromise to obtain the best value and the property that meets their particular set of needs.


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The Key to Success When You Sell Your Own Home – Ask.

Telling is not selling.

Hands up if you have ever heard that one before?

The power of selling anything – private house sales, your car online, a lounge on a local community site – is all about asking, listening and answering.

Now some of you may not like what I am about to say, but it has to be said…

We are, in general, selfish creatures who sometimes don’t know when to shut up.

How do I know?

Fourteen years as an undercover, surveillance and investigative Detective and another twenty-two years as a business builder and owner has provided me with the equivalent of a Masters in Human Behaviour.

When the time comes for one person to influence or persuade another, the default is to almost talk someone into doing or buying that thing that may advantage the seller (influencer) or relieve them of a problem.

That is a sure fire method for failure.

Recently I visited the property of a dog carer, as I was in between selling and buying my own home and I needed somewhere for my pooches to stay.

When I arrived, the lady dog carer introduced herself and asked the names of my two fur babies.  The nano-second after I told her, off she went.

She did not draw breath for the next 15-20 minutes, telling me everything from who her neighbours were, to who is about to subdivide their land, how busy she is, where she came from…on and on.

And this was after she had to postpone our meeting by an hour.

Basically, her interest in me, why my dogs needed boarding, what their needs were – was almost non-existent.

It was all about her.

Did she make me feel comfortable? No.

Did she make me feel comfortable about leaving my dogs? No.

Did she make me feel comfortable about parting with my hard earned? No.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want her to gush over me and my dogs, however a little bit of engagement would have gone a long way.

Ask, listen, answer.

“So, you have just sold, is that right?”

“I’m sure your dogs are very important to you.  Is there anything I need to know or that you need from us to make them comfortable?”

Suffice to say, we made alternative arrangements for our fur babies and Mrs Have-a-chat missed out on about $1,000 in cold hard!

What is it that your buyer (client) really needs?

They are only interested in what you can do for them – solve their problem or satisfy their need.

This is THE foundation of influencing or persuading anyone.

Asking relevant questions

Listening with intent and interest

Answering questions truthfully without bloody waffling!

When you engage a potential buyer when you sell your own home, don’t just start telling them the ins and outs of a duck’s arse.

Build a little rapport and ask a relevant question.

“Hi, this is Craig, you enquired about my house at 10 Smith Street.  What would you like to know about it?”

Listen – Respond to any questions.

“So, you have already sold, or…?”

Get the buyer to talk about their situation.

People love to talk about one subject more than anything else – themselves or their situation.

And by allowing them to do that, you learn far more about their intentions than if you just start telling.

My pseudo Masters in Human Behaviour came from one skill – asking, shutting up and listening; then providing the answer(s) to help my clients to make an informed decision.

Great influencers know how to listen and provide answers.

It is NOT about having the gift of the gab.

Questions are the most powerful tool in the ‘influence’ armoury.

You won’t believe what people are willing to tell you when you ask the right questions.



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There’s So Much Doom and Gloom – Should I Sell My House (or not)?

If you been following main stream TV, radio, print or on-line news, there appears to be a common theme at the moment –

“It’s all about to come crashing down.”

Most analysts who get some airtime through any of these aforementioned media outlets are leaning toward ‘Economic Shitsville’, in the not too distant future.

Now when I say analysts, these are people who spend their days poring over mounds of data, graphs, numbers, and hanging on the words of no-more-smarter-than-you-and-me politicians and hand-in-the-cookie-jar bureaucrats.

I liken them to Horse Race Form ‘experts’, the type I used to listen to in my days of punting on 500kg hay burners, with corruptible midgets sitting in the middle of their backs running around a track at 80kmh hoping to be first past the post.

My form guide of choice was ‘Best Bets’ and, I would study it from Thursday to Saturday, to find hidden gems (horses) that might win at healthy odds. (Much like investors in other markets)

These ‘Form Experts’, had basically the same information at hand as me, but they had the opportunity to talk to industry ‘insiders’ which may have given them an edge…yet very few bragged about or even mentioned their ‘strike-rate’ of winning tips.

Ultimately, I did my own research and made my own decisions.  And like nearly every ‘mug punter’, I lost a bit more than I won.

Thankfully I saw that it was a dead-end game and put my energies and resources into honing my craft and passion – marketing and selling property.

Market analysts (and investors) are no different to the Form Experts and punters who follow them.

They study form guides and data for whatever market they are most interested in: Property, Stocks, Commodities – then they make ‘predictions’ based on their interpretation of that data and pass it onto us (the punters), who lap it up and make decisions based on the ‘expert’ analysis.

But there is one thing that very few, if anyone, can predict, and how it affects any market – the human emotion factor.

All markets live and die based on two things: Fear and Greed.

Recent corrections on the stock market show that some investors are a bit fearful and are selling certain stocks based on announcements from politicians and the like.

The best and most recent example is ‘The Donald’s’ swipe at Amazon.

He believes Amazon is avoiding tax, underpaying the US postal service and killing off traditional retailers.

Investors became worried (fearful) and sold off a chunk of Amazon stock, and it lost $60 Billion of its value – which was actually a very small percentage of its overall value.

Yet that affects the value of the stock market as whole, as that sell off ripples through to other investors who think the end is nigh and sell off their stock, not just in Amazon, but in other industries as well.

Fear can have a quick and sometimes nasty snowball effect.

It is no different in the property market.

Yes, the property boom driven by Sydney and Melbourne is softening.

Greed is being replaced by, not so much fear, but a cooling of buyer confidence, which for about 3 or 4 years has been red-hot.

Buyers are no longer willing to chase prices and have basically drawn a line in the sand.

“We won’t be paying ‘overs’ for your home.”

This means we are moving to an even market – enough active buyers to purchase the stock that is available at reasonable prices.

However, if you read, listen to or watch the headlines, you would think that the arse is about to fall out of everything.

The analysts promoting Armageddon are getting plenty of air time and it is making many of us jittery.

Not me.


I base my observations and decisions on the actions and behaviours of the market (buyers), and currently the volume of buyer enquiry and willingness to deal shows me that confidence is still the underlying emotion driving the property market.

If you want to sell your own home, or hire an agent, I would ignore the ‘doom and gloomers’ and do three things to ensure a reasonably quick and rewarding sale:

  1. Present it to impress buyers

  2. Promote it to where buyers are searching for property

  3. Price it to attract those buyers.

As you can see, simplicity is the most effective form of action.

Don’t let over-educated ‘experts’ over-complicate your decision-making process.

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What do Mercury and Selling Real Estate have in common?

Everything – apparently.

Note that today is the 23nd of March, 2018.

And for the next couple of weeks we could be in for a fun ride.

“I just want to sell my house.  What does another planet have to do with it?”

Let me explain…

Walking through the door of my home a few nights ago, my wife greeted me with the always loving and romantic question, “Do you want dinner?”

After a long lingering pause for thought, I replied, “Not hungry, what a shit of a day!”

“What happened?” asked the (potential) cook.

“Mobile site decided to wig out, scanner on the printer went on strike, our chat system wouldn’t reply to clients…and I’ve been hounding the techs all day to get it all sorted.”

She just stared at me with that, “Well don’t you know, stupid?” kind of look.

“Mercury is about to go into retrograde,” she said with what I could have sworn was an almost Fatty Vautin-like head wobble. “My phone wouldn’t answer calls, and about half a dozen emails just disappeared.”

The boss/cook/knower of all things (who needs Google) had mentioned something like this a few years back, but I just nodded and continued watching the replay.

“So, Mercury is f***ing stuff up?”

“And this one is apparently going to be a doozy, and it doesn’t really start until the 22nd!”

I try to be as open minded as I can, and I believe we are probably a mixture of space dust and alien DNA, but one planet having a direct effect on another?

We are part of a massive intergalactic web with energy and vibrations from all over the cosmos affecting our moods, actions and behaviours; but our technology?!

Maybe it was just a co-incidence?

As of this morning, I am almost convinced it is not!

One website I needed to do some business on simply froze and didn’t want to play ball.

I tried to log on to do some online banking and the bank’s site told me it was simply unavailable, then my wife told me that she had gone to the local branch and their systems were down.

My office manager’s computer hard drive heated up and sounded like it was about to explode and to top it off…

The remote for my car decided it didn’t want me to drive this morning.

Our little real estate empire was being provided with challenges all at once.

But we have taken a deep breath, filled the swear jar and pressed on.

Darn you Mercury – do your worst!

What about you?

Any blips, switch offs or delays in your world?

PS: And don’t worry if you are trying to sell your own home, buyers will still be out and about, albeit with just a little Mercury influencing their actions and behaviours – so embrace the moment and go with the flow.



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I am Selling My House – Well, Maybe Not if I Listen to The Media!

WARNING: The prophets of doom have had a sniff and they are ready to scare the pants off everyone!

Since the recent stock market ‘correction’ the media and the usual suspects have put the bit between their teeth and galloped headlong into the ‘End is Nigh’ fray.

As I have been right in the thick of the property market for the last 15 years, I like to see what other people (see self-appointed gurus) are thinking to try and get a few different perspectives a see what they think about the ‘mood of the market’.

The ‘Mood’?

Yep, the Mood!

EVERY market is driven by fear and greed.

And it is SO easy to feed either of them.

Right as we speak, fear is being fed lashings of fast, fatty food through mainstream media and some alt-media types.

As I mentioned, I subscribe to a couple of newsletters from market watchers and financial types and their ‘doom’ narrative has amped up since the corrections in early February.

Emails with these headlines have populated my inbox over the last 7-10 days;

Get Ready, Here it Comes…

Crash Alert!

How to Avoid the Worst of The Coming Crash

 …and so on.

Sure, I read the content, but ultimately, it’s written to get me (and you) to download or join up for the author’s foolproof book or course in surviving the economic Armageddon that is almost upon us.

Offering to alleviate a person’s pain or fear is one of the quickest ways to make a dollar – that is marketing 101 – but if you put enough people in fear, the whole thing becomes a self-created certainty.

And now the mainstream media are jumping in on the act with scary headlines on widely read online news platforms.

They are probably sprouting the same line on the TV bulletins but thankfully I stopped watching or listening to any sort of mainstream news about 13 years ago…try it and watch how your outlook on life changes – for the better.

Here is what flashed onto my screen this morning as I was looking for the latest sports updates…


These are the sort of headlines that feed the fear and send people scurrying under rocks and worrying about their immediate future and plans.

Yes, price growth in the biggest property market in Australia, Sydney, has slowed.  I’ll repeat that, PRICE GROWTH HAS SLOWED IN SYDNEY.

Where in any of the most recent property market stats does it say prices are plunging?

My last post only a week ago, clearly shows a property market that is in general good health.  Buyers still want to buy in just about every city and regional area.

Just because Sydney buyers are catching their breath and have basically said, “We aren’t chasing silly prices for a little while,” doesn’t mean the whole market has turned to sh%t – have a look at the growth in Hobart and Melbourne alone!

This might help explain it a little better…

Hey, I was born and bred in Southern Sydney but realised there were loads of opportunities outside of the Harbour City.  It just may not be the centre of the universe after all!

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I would like to close by saying that despite the best efforts of the media, it is quite safe to stay in the game of buying and selling property.

To stay ahead of the curve, it’s not about wondering ‘if’ the wheels are going to fall, it’s about knowing ‘when’ the wheels are about to fall off.

And that ‘when’ is definitely not ‘here and now’.

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THE MARKET! Is it the right time to sell my home?

Ah!  The $64,000 question that I am asked every day- more than once; is it the right time to sell my home?

The best time to sell your home or property is when you need to, have to or want to.

Great answer Craig, you Wally!  Isn’t there a foolproof method of determining when the best time is to sell?

Not really.

The majority of Australian property owners live in their biggest asset their own home, however about 1 in 5 Australians own an investment property, with around 72% of that number owning JUST ONE investment property and the remainder TWO OR MORE.

Basically, you could say that Australians have a voracious appetite for buying and selling property, with anywhere between 400,000 and 500,000 properties turning over each year.

Depending on who you listen to, the current ‘good times’ might be coming to an end; OR ARE THEY?!

What are the good times?

  • Historically low interest rates
  • Banks willing to lend money
  • Strong employment
  • Low Inflation
  • Strengthening stock markets
  • General consumer confidence

If you listen to the incessant chatter of story hungry news cycles, you might believe some of those ‘good times’ indicators are looking a bit shaky.

The main items being thrown out there to scare the life out of everyone is the threat of increased interest rates, stock market jitters and Sydney home prices waning.

To be quite honest I say “Pfft” to any talk of crashes, corrections or bursting bubbles at this time.

Why would cashed up International Financing Groups buy into Australian Lending Companies in the last few months if things were about to go pear-shaped?

China and America are about to unleash TRILLIONS of dollars into massive infrastructure projects.

Tax cuts in America are seeing major companies hire more people and pay the people who already work for them more money in wages and bonuses.

This sort of confidence spreads and ensures banks keep lending, companies hiring and, hopefully, central banks sitting on the sidelines with their fingers well away from the interest rate ‘trigger’.

So, is it a good time to sell?

As we are about half way through the current 14 year ‘upcycle’, and buyer confidence still pretty strong, it’s more than likely a good time to sell if you need to, have to or want to.

Also, historically, more properties change hands in March – strange, but true.

To give you an idea of what the market is up to, here is the most recent Capital City Data we could get our hands on, and some of the numbers are quite surprising.

In a nutshell:

Sydney prices have stabilised.

Melbourne continues to bubble along

Brisbane is pretty much Even-Stevens and still great value

Adelaide is steady

Perth is showing signs of having bottomed out and pushing ahead with increasing buyer activity

Canberra is rolling along nicely

Darwin – a mixed bag, but struggling somewhat

And…little old Hobart is killing it – seeing the best price growth of all the capital cities.

The following Table and Graph is from the Domain ‘State of the Market Report’ End of Dec Quarter 2017

time to sell - house prices december 2017 -


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What’s The Four Letter Word I Must Avoid When I Sell My House?

My wife is adamant that I taught her to swear.

Ok. Guilty your Honour.

Fourteen years as a front-line cop honed my skills in that regard down to a fine art.

The cook and I met on a blind date and we truly fell in love at first sight.

Yeah, f***ing romantic isn’t it?!  Oops, see!

Now as a professional Real Estate Agent, I am very careful.

Meeting with and speaking to clients, in person and over the phone, I have to switch off ‘knock about, don’t s**t me’ Craig, and switch on ‘butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth’ Craig.

I believe swearing is a vital timing and relevance component of any language; used sparingly and with the right emphasis, it can enhance any story, explanation or response.

As the legendary Billy Connolly said, “A lot of people say that it’s a lack of vocabulary that makes you swear. Rubbish. I know thousands of words but I still prefer ‘f—.'”

But there is one word in the world of real estate that draws huge guffaws, WTF’s; has caused women to faint, men to reach for the nearest weapon and others to run straight for the medicine cabinet.

Any guesses what it is?


This filthy four-letter word usually comes from the mouth of an agent after he has given the seller(s) the price in the first place and, as a result, enquiry from buyers has been a little light on.

“Um, Bill and Mary, it’s a bit quiet around your place, so we might have to DROP the price.”

“Bill,” Mary shrieks “put down the knife.”

I can swear with the best of them. Actually, I think I would be gold medal status, but the one word that never enters my real estate vocabulary is DROP.

For clients who have taken the sell my own home path, there can come that time when they realise they might have ‘overshot the runway’ on price – buyers are staying away in droves.

I usually get asked, “Should we DROP the price.”

My response is always,  “Please don’t swear at me.  No need to use the ‘D’ word.  You may look to consider your value beliefs to those of the market, and then meet the market, with a price adjustment.”

Much nicer don’t you think?!

Much to my wife’s displeasure, the only time you will hear me use the word DROP is when I yell, “How could you DROP that you silly f***ing d***head!” when watching my beloved Sharks play.

So let’s keep it clean from now on and drop the “D” word form our real estate vocab.

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