It’s an exciting time in life when you decide to get involved in the property market, but it can also be mentally exhausting. Most people find that the minute they want to buy or sell a house, suddenly everyone they know has an opinion and new found real estate expertise.
Between the news, your friends, family and all the real estate agents leaving notes in your letter box it’s hard to know where to start and whose opinion you can trust. In this article we’ve pulled together a few pointers to help you along the way, so that you can make the right decision for you and your family.
First of all do your research by looking online and at your friend’s houses, this can help you figure out what you really want from a home. How many rooms do you need, is off street parking important, what suburb do you want to be in etc? Take a similar approach if you plan on selling your home; do your research online and find a few real estate agents that have strong reviews and that can get the best possible price for your home. Figure all of this out before getting other people involved in the process as they may confuse and overwhelm you. Once this is done you can take the next step and ask for advice on where to buy or alternatively who you should use to sell your home. The key when buying or selling a house, is to get the right mix of advice and opinions. Advice is based on facts and years of experience, while opinion tends to be more anecdotal and guided by emotions and more one off experiences. Think about the industry you work in, for example building, accounting, marketing or teaching. Now consider all the opinions you’ve heard from non-experts over the years on how your industry could perform better and compare that to the professional knowledge you have. The same thing goes for the property market, those with the professional experience can help you to achieve professional results, whereas ad hoc input from family and friends can sometimes have the opposite effect.
That being said both professionals and non-professionals have their pros and cons. Real estate agents make a commission so have an incentive to tell you what you want to hear and make a quick sale, as a result trusting them can sometimes be difficult. On the other hand real estate agents have years of experience on which to base their advice, up to date knowledge of the market and also know exactly where to search for your dream home or how to pitch it to the right buyers. With friends and family, their experience tends to be limited to buying/selling only one or two homes over their life time, this experience is also likely to be out dated. In addition for every piece of ‘advice’ you get from one friend, you will likely get contradictory ‘advice’ from another, which can make decision making difficult. That being said friends and family only want what is best for you and their judgement isn’t clouded by a monetary commission. So while their experience may be limited, their intentions are pure.
Opinions from friends and family are great for reinforcing whether or not you are making the right decision, and for making sure you’ve taken all factors into consideration. Advice from people like real estate agents, mortgage brokers and builders is fundamental to making sound business decisions. Consequently we recommend taking both advice and opinions into account when making your decisions. Professional advice however, should be taken with a little more weight than that of the opinion of friends, as purchasing/selling a home has significant monetary risk and implications. If you’re looking at buying or selling your home and are ready to take things to the next step, use our Find Your Top Local Agent tool to help get the ball rolling.