5 tips to pass your house inspection – from a Property Manager

5 tips to pass your house inspection - from a Property Manager

5 tips to pass your house inspection – from a Property Manager

5 tips to pass your house inspection - from a Property Manager

Property inspections can be a daunting experience, but it is important to remember that agents must complete inspections as part of their obligations to the owners.

Often this is not a pass or fail, but an overview of the property, what maintenance is required, what items should be considered for replacement or renovating and if you are meeting your obligations as per the tenancy agreement.

The tenants’ obligations formally state;

Essential Terms and Conditions of General Tenancy Agreement As per Part 2 – STANDARD TERMS – Section 26 – Tenant’s obligations Section 188 (2) and (3) ** The Tenant must keep the premises clean, having regard to their condition at the start of the tenancy. ** The Tenant must not maliciously damage, or allow someone else to maliciously damage, the premises.

This being said, the agents are checking to ensure you are mowing the lawns regularly and taking care of the property. Often regular cleaning can help stop the 24-hour inspection rush that many tenants do.

These 5 concerns are the most common issues found at inspections.

Mould build up – Regularly cleaning the showers and any spots on walls and ceiling will prevent a large clean up for the inspection. You do need to tell your Property Manager if mould is around a water mark (such as on the ceiling) as this could indicate a water leak.

Lawns not mowed – Mow the lawn regularly to keep the lawns green and lush. Leaving long grass then mowing can kill the underside of the grass making it unsightly and often killing the lawn. Weeding and minor shrub trimming will also keep the exterior looking well loved.

Appliances in poor condition – A clean of the filters in the air conditioner and rangehoods, as well as a quick wipe out of the oven and cooktop, will prove to the agents that you are house proud and looking after the property well. A regular clean of the air conditioning unit may help it run more economically, which may reduce your electricity bills.

Smoke Alarms missing – Many tenants will remove a smoke alarm because it needs new batteries or it went off recently. Removing a smoke alarm is a breach of the tenancy and agents can take action by engaging a smoke alarm tradesman to inspect and attend to the smoke alarm. This would be at the tenants’ expense. Don’t remove smoke alarms unless you are changing the batteries and replace it immediately.

Damage – Accidents do happen. Property Managers will understand if accidental damage has occurred. It is never a good idea to cover up or try to hide any damage that has occurred. While the agents will most likely insist the damage be repaired within 7 days, they can also assist you with preferred tradespeople, generally at a lower cost, or approach the owner if the damage can be claimed on insurance.

An inspection is also the time to show how great you are as a tenant. Clearing benches and making beds is not a requirement but will make the property look great. Often agents are required to report back to owner, via photos, so if the property is well presented and neat, you will look like the tenant of the year!

And if all else fails – bribe your Property Manager with chocolate! #joking


How to sell your home and regain freedom after separation or divorce

How to Sell Your Home and Regain Freedom After Separation or Divorce

How to sell your home and regain freedom after separation or divorce

How to sell your home and regain freedom after separation or divorce

Are you dreaming of the day you can move on with your life and not have any financial ties to your Ex? Is selling your home part of that plan, but your Ex isn’t cooperating?

I’m sure by now you’ve tried talking to them and they just won’t budge. Mediation was a waste of time and energy. Your solicitors don’t seem to be getting anywhere and the bills are starting to strain your finances.

Short of hiring a hitman (ha ha), maybe a different approach is required. A neutral third party that doesn’t know the history between the two of you. Someone who is focused on the future might just be the answer.

This might sound a bit crazy, but a real estate agent could just be the person for the job. How so you ask? Let me explain just 3 reasons why.


1. We deal with every type of personality

Narcissistic control freaks, those that never have a kind thing to say, and ones that just want to bury their head in the sand and pretend it’s all OK are just some of the personality types we deal with regularly. As a real estate agent, challenging personalities make our life interesting and although we don’t usually have formal qualifications in psychology it sometimes feels like a pre-requisite for the job. The more experienced agents have seen it all and dealt with people from all walks of life. There’s no attitude or excuse that will put us off.

2. We’re results focussed and a “win-win” is our win

A real estate agent loves nothing more than helping two or more parties negotiate to achieve an acceptable outcome. Negotiations are generally between the seller and buyer, but sometimes we need to facilitate negotiations between two sellers. Patience is required and we need to determine what the key motivator is for each party so we can talk their language. We can help facilitate little wins along the way for each of you and work towards the ultimate goal of selling your home and putting all the drama behind you.

3. No need to pay us unless the job is done

Real estate agents are not paid by the minute like your solicitor or even by the hour like your mediator. Our fee is performance based and we’re only paid when we successfully sell your home. There can, of course, be marketing fees for the property but these would be discussed up-front and agreed on so each party is aware of the costs before they are incurred. There is even the opportunity to sell your home with complete privacy and discretion, avoiding the nosy neighbours, friends or family in your personal life.

Selling your home at any time can be stressful. Selling your home with the added anxiety of a separation or divorce, an uncooperative ex-partner, mortgages and changes to living arrangements can make it totally overwhelming. Forced change is hard to accept and this is why resistance is met. A fresh approach and a fresh face can make the world of difference.

If you’re looking to sell your home and regain your freedom then text “freedom” to 0400 824 634 to organise a confidential chat with Simone or email simone@blackbirdandfinch.com.au.

5 Things You Must Do Before Signing A Contract On An Investment Property

5 Things You Must Do Before Signing A Contract On An Investment Property

Are you looking to buy an investment property or just about to make an offer on one? Once you have narrowed down the list and chosen the property you need to make an offer and sign a contract. Before you do that, our 5 tips will help ensure that your investment is a success by minimising your expenses and maximising your cash flow from the first day you own it.

1. Obtain an independent rental appraisal

The appraisal supplied to you by the selling agent may not have the most accurate information. Has the estimated weekly rent figure been provided by a sales agent or a property manager? Property managers work day in, day out leasing properties and are likely to give a more accurate figure.

Overly optimistic rent appraisals could mean that your property could sit on the market vacant for a considerable period of time, costing you money. You should obtain a separate independent appraisal to ensure you are buying a sound investment. Alternatively, you could ask for the quoted rental figure to be added to the Special Conditions of the Contract if the selling agent is going to be your managing agent which would keep their appraised figure realistic.

2. Ensure you receive a written report on the surrounding area

If you are not a local of the area you are buying in or haven’t lived there before then get your agent to help you learn about the area. A good agent will advise you on the details of the surrounding properties. A great agent will provide you with a full comprehensive report on the local surrounding areas, school catchment areas, median rental yields and market values in your chosen suburb.

3. Compliance can be costly so be aware of what you are buying

During contract negotiations, purchasers can overlook the need for the property to meet certain standards when tenanted. In Queensland, contracts disclose whether or not the property contains compliant safety switches, has compliant smoke alarms and also whether there is a pool safety certificate.

If the property is currently a rental property the agent should be able to provide you with a copy of the compliance certificates. If the property is owner occupied yes the property may have smoke alarms and safety switches but when were they last checked? Smoke alarms have expiry dates and batteries need to be changed annually.

A property can be sold without compliant smoke alarms, safety switches or a pool safety certificate, however, the purchaser will need to ensure compliance before a tenant moves into the property. Cord blind legislation is another compliance area to be aware of however this has not been added to Queensland contracts yet.  If you discover that the contract states that the property is compliant in one of these areas but it isn’t, either the real estate agent or the sellers should pay to have this rectified.

4. “Clean” is a very subjective word

Clean to one person can be dirty to another. When a tenant moves into a property the property should be to a “bond clean” standard. This means that carpets should be professionally cleaned, sprayed for fleas if there were inside pets and the yard should also be sprayed for fleas. Other items that can sometimes be missed by the sellers are curtains washed, blinds and window tracks should all be clean and air conditioning filters washed.

Ensuring the owner attends to these items before settlement occurs can all be written into your contract and can form part of negotiations to make sure your property meets these requirements at handover. This can save you hundreds of dollars in preparation for the new tenants.

5. Ensure you have access to property before settlement

Your new investment property needs to be working for you from the moment cheques are exchanged at settlement. As part of the negotiation process, we recommend that you ask for access to the property from when the Contract becomes unconditional. Access can be for the purpose of showing prospective tenants through the property or obtaining quotes for any work that may need to be done.

Knowledge is power when it comes to buying property so ask questions and don’t be afraid to walk away from the purchase if it doesn’t meet your criteria.

If you need help at all with the purchase of an investment property give us a call on 07 4642 0007. We can also recommend to you some great building and pest inspectors to ensure your new purchase is a safe one that doesn’t have any hidden problems.