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64 Real Estate Tips for Buying or Selling Property

At Ouwens Casserly, our agents are considered some of the best. We’ve gathered their expertise, secrets, and top tips to help you on your real estate buying or selling journey. Read on for your exclusive insight.



Real Estate Selling Tips:


“Regardless of how strong the market is, make sure your property stands out in the pack, with superior presentation – employ a Stylist, take the advice & spend what is recommended, as you only get one chance at a first impression.” – Cynthia Sajkunovic


“Review your prospective agent on Check out their history and read testimonials from past sellers on their experiences with the agent.” – Lincoln Marshall

“Secret Shop your potential agents on the phone, by email and attend opens and see what they are really like.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“Choose your agent wisely, one that is prepared to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, that takes authenticity.” – Nick Van Vliet


“Do your research before listing your property with an agent – invite a few local agents to discuss your plan so you can make an informed decision.” – Mandy Doolan


“Investing in an appropriate marketing campaign can increase buyers which creates a competitive environment, therefore maximising the sale price of the property.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“Get advice and assistance from a professional stylist, followed by quality photographs and marketing to maximise your sale price (when combined with the right agent using the right strategy).” – Damien Willis


“Preparation and commitment to both presentation and process are fundamental your outcomes. Select an agent that can navigate you through both confidently whilst leveraging your efforts.” – Dale Gray


“Selecting the right agent can seriously affect the sale outcome.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“Off-market sales are prevalent in a buoyant marketplace, so your agent may already have buyers ready to purchase a home such as yours prior to embarking on a full marketing campaign if you need to sell quickly.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“First impressions count – your front garden and facade is an area of focus to ensure buyers’ feel welcome.” – Mandy Doolan


“A good agent will call every buyer who comes through your property and work every opportunity. This might be a sellers-market but buyers should still be treated with the same time and respect as they would be in a buyers-market, which a good agent will do.” – Amity Dry


“Presentation of your home is paramount. We as individuals buy with our eyes and engage with what we see. I always strongly advise prospective vendors to engage in using a stylist to help present their property to look its absolute best.” – Lincoln Marshall


“When making improvements, or considering a renovation, ask the advice of your local agent to check on what buyers are looking for. We’re happy to help advise on where to invest.” – Mandy Doolan


“Don’t just rely on the internet to sell your property. We are living in a one newspaper town, so promote your property in The Advertiser & get people talking. The more people who view your property increases the chances of securing a higher sale price. Why risk not advertising in the ‘Real Estate Magazine’ that only sells property?” – Cynthia Sajkunovic


“Don’t renovate for profit, because buyers don’t value it nor necessarily like your style.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“Presentation and marketing of your home will influence your end price, likely increasing by more than your investment in them both combined.” – Damien Willis


“Nothing updates a property like a fresh coat of paint! Think about investing in a paint refresh before you go to market, especially if your interiors are dark or your home is looking tired and dated. You can never go wrong with a Vivid or Natural White, it can make the world of difference.” – Amity Dry

“Engage an agent long before you are ready to place your property on the market. They can help guide you with where to spend funds to maximise profit and prepare your property for the market with a network of trades and stylists.” – Will Fitridge


“Excellent presentation of your property is essential to emotionally connect buyers and create the ‘must have this property’ desire.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“When preparing for sale you should be spending $1 to make $5.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“A ‘cheap’ agent may not equate to a better result.” – Mandy Doolan


“First impressions count! Look at the front of your house through prospective buyers eyes and make sure the garden is neat and tidy, any dead plants are removed and a fresh layer of black mulch is applied. Lots of buyers drive past the home first before deciding whether to go in, so make sure that impression is a good one.” – Amity Dry


“Check for reviews when selecting an agent, past performance is the best gauge for future performance.” – Nick Van Vliet


“Invest in a stylist. Having a professional stylist decorate your home can add tens of thousands of dollars to your sale price, so is absolutely worth the money. It’s very rare that we sell a place without styling it these days so if yours isn’t done, it will stand out (and not in a good way!)” – Amity Dry


“Select the agent who you believe has the experience to extract the last available dollar in your negotiation.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, the profit is in the presentation.” – Nick Van Vliet


“Be advised by your chosen agent, who will work with you to find the best method of sale for your particular property in the current market conditions.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“When you’re looking for an agent, ask to see their testimonials and look for reviews that are extra glowing, as it shows they went the extra mile for their vendor. Don’t just go for the lowest commission, cheapest isn’t always best. An agent who gets you a higher price will be worth a little more of a percentage share in the long run!” – Amity Dry


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Real Estate Buying Tips:


“Do your research, but remember, happy relationships result from compromise, same goes for your next home. Don’t expect to tick all the boxes, otherwise, your search will never end, and you might miss the boat.” – Nick Van Vliet


“When you’re bidding at auction, be confident! Know your limit and then bid with confidence until you get there. It will show the auctioneer and the rest of the bidders you mean business.” – Amity Dry

“Be bold with your bidding. As soon as the auctioneer calls to know your bid, put your hand up with the paddle and be the first to bid.” – Bernie Altschwager


“Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“If you are looking to buy, the secret is to engage an agent to set you up on their off-market and buyer alert system. At Ouwens Casserly we can set you up on OC first for all off-market properties and set up your requirements in our CRM system.” – Will Fitridge


“Know the agent: All agents work to a unique “signature” or way of doing things. Get to know them and how they operate to maximise your outcomes”. – Dale Gray


“Make a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-be-nice’ features. This will be helpful when setting your budget for a particular property.” – Mandy Doolan


“Be prepared. Have your pre-approval ready and let your Agent know if you are prepared to go unconditional and waive cooling off rights.” – Joanna Manolakos


“Mention that you have pre-approved finance and whether you may be willing to waive your right to a cooling off period to show you are serious.” – Tim Gu


“Be prepared is the name of the game! Confidently put in your best & final offer should there be a pre-auction offer or an early offer in a private treaty situation. That way, if you get the property, you are very happy & if you miss it, you know that you would not have been willing to pay any more for that property.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“Better to pay a little too much for a home you love, than buy a bargain you hate living in.” – Nick Van Vliet


“Be honest and upfront with the sales agent, this isn’t the market to be holding your cards close to your chest. If you’re interested in a property let them know straight away and ask to be kept in the loop if they’re looking at offers. An agent can only help you if you give them the information they need, so work with them rather than treating them as the enemy and they will then keep you in mind the next time a suitable property comes up.” – Amity Dry


“Before the auction starts, place yourself in line of the auctioneer so they can see you clearly during the process.” – Bernie Altschwager


“Ask the agent to speak to your bank or broker contact to confirm the status of your pre-approval to assist with presenting your offer to the vendor. When faced with 2 offers at the same level a vendor will naturally go for the unconditional offer over one that is subject to finance due to the added certainty.” – Damien Willis


“Spend time in the area you are looking to buy in – the local shops and cafes will provide a good guide of the local community vibe.” – Mandy Doolan


“Always ask to see a Form 1 before you make an offer or bid at auction, to make sure there is nothing you need to know about the property beforehand.” – Amity Dry

“Start small and work your way up to the dream. Don’t expect grandeur with your first purchase. Instead of a house you really can’t afford, perhaps start with a single storey unit in a small group you can add some touches to, in a blue-chip eastern suburbs location.” – Cynthia Sajkunovic


“The best way to establish your best & final offer is to imagine yourself bidding at an auction where there is spirited bidding & the bids have come down to small increments, then decide at what point you would be willing to miss the property if another bidder offered $100 more!” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“Once you have purchased, live in the home for 4 seasons before calling in the builders for major changes, you’ll be better informed on taking advantage of aspect.” – Nick Van Vliet


“Always make sure you don’t leave $500 in your pocket at auction. There’s nothing worse than leaving an auction, going in the car and going home knowing you had another $500 or $1000 to spend and you could’ve won the property and had your weekend back.” – Bernie Altschwager


“You will never know the top or the bottom of the market, real estate is the easiest long term investment you can ever make.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“Before inspecting a property ensure you speak with a broker to be informed of all your options.” – Mandy Doolan


“Get your finance pre-approved before making offers. Being able to purchase ‘unconditionally’ may be the difference between you securing your dream home and missing out.” – Damien Willis


“Have an auction bidding plan and know what your bidding increments should be depending on what the auctioneer places the increments at as well.” – Bernie Altschwager


“Décor can be changed, but the location can’t unless you’re in a motorhome. Buy where you want to live, you can always make changes later.” – Nick Van Vliet


“Make sure you have your finances and pre-approval organised before you start seriously looking, so you can move quickly when you find a home you like. This is a fast-moving market (and banks are notoriously slow-moving) so have that in place beforehand, so you’re ready to make an unconditional offer or bid at auction when your perfect property comes up.” – Amity Dry


“Rule number 1, have your finance sorted.” – Michael and Angela Stentiford


“When you find the property that suits your needs, let the agent know you are interested & prepare yourself by establishing the maximum price you are willing to pay.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


“Always introduce yourself to the agent and the auctioneer. Make it really clear to them you intend to bid on the day and bid strongly.” – Bernie Altschwager


“Sort out your finances before you start shopping around at open inspections. Being organised puts you in a better buying position, allowing you to buy with all sale methods, e.g auction, best offers, etc.” – Cynthia Sajkunovic


“When it comes to making offers and knowing what price to put, think about what your limit would be if you were bidding at auction and write that down. Everyone is always worried about paying too much but the fact is, no one is getting a bargain in this market! So put down the price that you would be prepared to walk away at on auction day. And then if you miss out at least you know that was your limit.” – Amity Dry


“Take the stress out of bidding at auction by setting yourself a budget but allow yourself a little bit of room to move if you’re very close to buying the home.” – Bernie Altschwager


“Be proactive from day one by having your pre-approved finance organised in advance.” – Victoria McGregor-Reid


If you are thinking of buying, join our buyer database by registering your contact details and your property requirements. You will then be alerted to new properties that fit your criteria as soon as they are listed. Sign up for our property alerts – click here

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