Thursday, December 15, 2011

The final report for the year...and what a ripper it is!

Fantastic and very positive news came from the RP Data "Best of the Best - 2011" report on Wednesday, with Adelaide achieving notable results! We performed right up there with the very best in the Nation. The standouts for South Australia were Brighton and Mitcham, which came in 4th and 7th position in the Top10 highest median price growth list.

I have attached the full report to our InsideStory blog (download here); property people will definitely want to look at the report in its will make your Christmas!

Now you may well ask the question: how does this reconcile with the reported 20% softening in the market this year? Well, the explanation I have is that there have been winners and losers in the market, with Top End properties proving to be the overall standout winners. While first home buyers have been lost for most of 2011, the bonus for property people is that there has been a skew to the activity up the food chain. This has helped hold official median prices at an optimistic level.

Home sellers know how tough it has been, but let's bask in the glory of some really outstanding stats and just enjoy the moment!

So, on the practical side of selling properties this close to Christmas, right now is the time you need to set your 2012 selling strategy. As we pointed out last week, it is imperative that those looking to get a move on with the sale of their property contact one of our team to run through some high energy, new year marketing strategies. We have set up some great initiatives and we're helping with the sale costs in January. So NOW is the time to get on board!

To all our clients and friends of Toop&Toop and to all the Community, a very heart felt THANK YOU for all your support through 2011. To our very special Toop Team, a public thank you to you all, your efforts have been amazing under tough conditions.
Have a happy and safe festive season, then when you are ready to get serious, be sure to give us a call. We are ready to throw every ounce of energy and expertise behind you to support your sale in 2012.

Thank you again, your loyalty and support has been very much appreciated.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop or call 0418 824 188

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Forget a house for Christmas!

Father Christmas has arrived just in time for homebuyers…  that's if your bank passes on the 0.5% savings the Reserve Bank has made in the past 2 months.

Think about this. The reality is that a $700k house you may have bought in 2010, today you can buy that same house for around $650k or less... and there are plenty of examples of this, just ask your neighbours.  Add the savings from the last two interest rate drops – that gives you another say $22k to play with.  Either pocket the savings or buy a better house… either way it's got to be fantastic news.


No one knows? But what we do know is that houses are great value, and if you have a stable job, this is the time to start moving up, or buying up investments. As we said last week, luck alone picks the absolute top, or the absolute bottom and this is seasonally a very good time to be buying...and many informed commentators are predicting that we have already bottomed out in SA.

Last Thursday I recorded an exclusive interview with CommSec's Chief Economist Craig James, where he predicted a 3% rise in property prices in 2012 in this state. To view this half hour interview, simply log on to and click on Fireside Chat – there are some very interesting predictions for property owners in 2012.

Father Christmas delivers to sellers too...

Now sellers of property, we need to hear from you this week! We have a 2012 recessionary marketing initiative that launches in January; a high energy approach to getting your sale. Much of the costs for this once off initiative will be borne by Toop&Toop - we're playing Santa in January.

While competitors play catch up with our online dominance and video marketing, Toop&Toop will reset standards in customer service and communication in 2012. I am so pumped up with what we believe can be achieved as the iPad2 and tablet market takes off, and smart phones dominate. We have been there from the start, and our clients are about to get pay back as we tap into this tidal wave of users. Online is absolutely made for real estate marketing… a gift from heaven in tough times. Video is huge!

Unlike last year, Toop&Toop are prepared for tough selling conditions in 2012. We say bring it on as we have seriously changed things around. I have fast tracked and thrown everything at getting our online marketing and database selling to another level of sophistication.

Sellers will win because Toop&Toop will have the buyers!

Buyers will be like kids in a lolly shop with what we are currently working on and set for release early 2012.

Call right now to sell in January.
Anthony Toop
Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop
or call 0418 824 188

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

³Caveat Emptor²... Buyer Beware

Chewing the fat yesterday with Tim (Thredgold) who has shared 24 years with me in the trenches - and I might add for those pessimists out there, through much worse conditions than now - Tim brought up a great point. Buyers may have forgotten that to buy a property… they have to actually make an offer or bid at the auction. Quite hilarious really, the fact that there are buyers circulating the inspections who just need to say...."We like it", then actually buy it!!

I quote Tim: 'We hear, at our opens, "…there's not much on the market…" and "…oh we think we'll buy in a year or two…" or "…it's a buyers market so we'll just keep looking…"

Tim goes on to advise buyers  'Well it is time to make an offer. Many current sellers are very keen to sell prior to Christmas... but unless you make an offer you'll never know what could have been....We'll then deal with your offer and present it to the owners... give you some feedback ... who knows you may just buy a property and end the drudgery of walking through opens week after week - and have something really special to celebrate this Christmas.'

Most sellers are happy to sell when they get a fair price. The sellers understand where the market is now. Conditions appear to have stabilised.
Over the many years, I've seen buyers put their lives – and the lives of their families - on hold. Always waiting for the end of the boom, the bottom of the market, the freeing up of finance, the drop in interest rates, and so on. There are 101 reasons not to do anything, but unfortunately we only get one crack at life and in these times our lives can simply pass us by.

Buyer beware, don't put your lives on hold, seize the day and make the move. This is a great time for you to get hold of a beautiful piece of real estate and make it your home.

Next week we'll have an end of year wrap. I caught up with Craig James (CommSec's Chief Economist) on Thursday and now have all the latest facts and predictions from those in the know.

Looking to buy or sell? Call or email me, Anthony Toop
0418 824 188
or follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November is now done....sales have really stepped up as buyers seem to have switched on again....hooray.

Some massive auction results last week with another $3+million sale under the hammer and a $2 million sale with 10 registered bidders! There are buyers everywhere, so we need to hear from you if you're selling.

So… what if you need to sell before Christmas?

From this week on we have modified selling strategies and shortened auction campaigns to get sales across the line for our sellers. This is a time of the year that clients really want to see some action and that takes a lot of focus from our end.

Suppliers - like sign writers and printers - are harder to pin down, yet unlike previous years we are gearing up for a busy end to 2011. We sense that the sellers are in the mood to do the deals and buyers recognise that this is as good a time as ever to just get on with their purchase, and are doing just that.

The peak amount of interstate and international activity occurs in January and we want to ensure our clients get access to these buyers....lots of "lucky sales" in January every year.

So.... here at Toop's it's flat out right to the line on Christmas Eve, a few days off through to New Years Eve, and then pedal to the metal making things happen for those wanting sale results with both online and traditional marketing machines running flat out.

Video commercials are absolutely gold for selling online over this period and our Toop.TV crew are busy getting commercials edited and online for this busy time. Our Toop.TV crew are so exhausted that I have insisted they take a couple of weeks off, so ring ASAP to get the video commercial ads done prior to Christmas and online straight away. They're an incredible way to sell property yet help save buyers coming through your home over this period. A great qualifier and buyer filter too.

So make your move now, get organized and get your sale happening. There's a saying, "if it is to be, it is up to me", we just need to make these sales happen for you but we can't do it with out your help. Ring now

Christmas at Toop's is about getting that sale done for our clients.....I hope we can deliver for you.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on
Twitter: @Anthony_Toop
or call 0418 824 188

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Landlords impacted by State Government cut backs....

Massive Delays....Residential Tenancies Tribunal blame cuts in funding for massive delays getting cases heard and bond refunds to Landlords with claims against the tenant.

TRIBUNAL DECISIONS.....The imbalance between outcomes for Landlords verses tenants anecdotally seems to be widening too as decisions coming from Tribunal Hearings often leave landlords shaking their heads in amazement.

The situation has got so bad that Landlords commonly accuse agents of "working for the Tenant" as they are advised of the Tribunal formula's applied to claims, the delays and of the surprise decisions being reached in this tribunal environment. For the novice, it is quite an eye opener where logic and fairness seem to have little to do with reality.

This week on we open up the discussion on some of the weird stuff going on in this space. If you are a landlord, you need to log on and watch this weeks show.

Sales.....yep the year is nearly done and South Australia will end up in a reasonable space to finish 2011.

I was talking to some really smart real estate mates on Tuesday night at a function -  one is deeply involved in Whyalla....he says the predicted demand from the much talked about mining boom is already under way up there, and to move quickly.

At the same function I was getting the inside goss an where those close to market forecasting think things are tracking in property....18 months is the timeframe "smart people" are now honing in on as to the start of the next cycle for South Australia.

If you haven't already done so, you must log on ( click Fireside Chat) and watch my Ralph Norris MD & CEO of Commonwealth Bank interview on his predictions and advice to us. We are following this closely as our market is caught up between Europe's meltdown and our own great infrastructure and mining announcements.

I have got the Gurus booked in for Toop.TV in 2 weeks time so I am very excited about getting a December update on all things property for you all for the end of the year.

Last Friday I was a guest on Your Money Your Call with Chris Gray in Sydney, the night went well where we got great national coverage on the fact Australians should be investing in South Australia. The phones have since been ringing from people around Australia considering investing here....shhhhh, don't tell them about the Residential Tenancies Tribunal, hey!

REMINDER; the year is nearly done.... if you are selling this year, time is almost up. Call us NOW to sell.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on Twitter:
or call 0418 824 188

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Curtain comes down on 2011... has the boom returned?

Last weekend you could have been excused for thinking the market had changed and it was party time again for real estate. Toop&Toop again had an incredible weekend with 7 out of 8 auctions selling, and we were on fire. So has the market  suddenly changed since the rates dropped?

...while on another key matter, do sellers realise that we are only a few weeks away from missing the boat for 2011 sales.
First the market. Yes, Toop&Toop kicked butt last week. A better than boom weekend of auctions backed up with a string of multi million dollar private sales.

BUT no, the market has not fundamentally changed, and is unlikely to for quite a while I expect. What has happened?  Sellers have worked out the advantages are enormous for getting good advice early on in their sale. The days of flippant buyers have well gone and we are operating in a predictable and less emotional market. Good decisions early are making a difference.

Auctions are working in classic style as owners become educated that a well priced property will sell before, at, or straight after auction, and competition is likely if the market is good enough. It is the competition that sorts out the final sale result as witnessed last weekend. The final sale price has been very fair and in recent cases has resulted in a pleasant bonus for auction sellers. The auctions are starting to fire up again.

Buyers are active, and as predicted last week in this column, they are again committing since the rate drop last week.

The curtain is closing on 2011 sales. Sellers, get your skates on. Toop&Toop are launching our special end of year selling campaigns next week to ensure a sale this year. Sellers must get under way urgently if your sale is to be done properly. Selling late December is ok but we do run into issues with some suppliers in getting properties prepared.

We will finish the year on higher sales volumes, while prices appear to have stabilised....this is the return of the balanced market.

Call me or any of the Toop team over this weekend if you want to get things moving, we need more properties urgently.

Anthony Toop
follow me on Twitter:
or call on 0418 824 188

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Rates drop, so will prices rise??

First let's see what the experts say… RP Data provide advice to the Reserve Bank so they have to be listened to when it comes to their views on the property market. We interviewed RP Data live on Toop.TV Wednesday, and if you are selling or buying, you really need to log on to and hear their 'post interest rate drop' predictions first hand.

Here are 5 key points from their latest national market report ....
1. "Australian housing market correction slows in September.... capital city home values had their best result in 7 months (down just -0.2 per cent seasonally-adjusted and raw)"

2. "With home buyers budgeting on 2-3 rate hikes in 2011 that never eventuated, the housing market has been weighed down by concerns about family's future finances. The RBA's apparent switch to an "easing bias" ........"housing market has undergone a controlled correction."

3. "Notwithstanding the extraordinary hysteria whipped about house price bubbles and so forth, the fact is that the gross total return of 0.7 per cent generated by Australian housing in 2011 is very reasonable in the scheme of things. Indeed, it looks positively attractive compared to the extreme volatility, and stunning losses, sharemarket investors have had to endure."

4. The number of homes advertised for sale remains high, which RP Data's Tim Lawless suggests is one of the key explanations for the secular softness.

5."We are counting almost 300,000 homes advertised for sale across Australia, which is more than 30 per cent higher than the same time last year.  The large number of properties available for sale implies buyers will continue to hold the balance-of-power at the negotiation table," he said.

These comments are based on a national perspective and South Australia has been consistently tracking mid ground when you drill down in the reports. Yet again South Australia is steady and one of the least volatile markets in the country, which in turn is one of the most stable in the world, we should be very happy.

What is not apparent to those outside the industry is that volumes of transactions in September 2011 were at an 11 year low. This means less people have sold and purchased while stock levels have ballooned. Ironically the weekend Advertiser last week carried just 2000 opens which is down substantially on last year. This is possibly explained by the dynamic of less new stock being released this spring compared to previous years (sellers put off because prices are not as they were previously), and the fact new releases typically have an initial advertising budget for press, while old unsold stock remains without ongoing advertising budgets and seem to get parked on internet portals like . Many sellers cross their fingers hoping for that miracle buyer who has been in a coma for 12 months.

There are winners and losers in this market.  Winners sell first, then buy. Sellers invariably get caught with optimistic expectations of their own property. This market is sensational for those who sell first. Buying additional property or a first home, you are winners over boom time buyers. When buyers and selling in the same market you are in a neutral position but there are less costs when prices are lower.  

Sellers who understand and adapt to current conditions are getting sales in a short space of time. Buyers are plentiful, they are active and they are buying, but they are ultra discerning.

My predictions based on the rate drop... we will experience an immediate adrenaline rush of activity for a few weeks followed by a progressive return of the first home buyer to the market. Activity and sales volumes will rise for November. Investors will gradually return in search of the relative safety and simplicity of residential property investments.  Lower funding costs and improved rents are attractive. There will be little capital appreciation with possible exceptions such as our underpriced top end and our mining affected markets. The downside risk of SA property has been reduced given our past year's price and volume adjustments. International financial woes will keep sentiment nervous for 2012 while local infrastructure projects will help offset these negative influences in SA.

Steady as we go for an extended period with (what I term) a "boring" market for South Australia, where "boring" will be considered awesome news for the long term property investor.

Invitation... Next Thursday 10th we invite all Golden Grove residents to our community opening of our brand new office. From 5.30pm come along and check out our Historic Golden Grove Homestead at 8 Sandstock Blvd - all GG residents welcome.

Anthony Toop
Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Real Estate Jungle...the best and the worst seems to come out in people when the going get¹s tough.

First, let's start with the Saturday night at 11pm I was on a massive high, having had 100% success rate with my 3 property auctions, 2 huge open inspections, a lightening change into 'tails' and onto auctioning at the PinkYellowBlue Ball for Flinders Medical Centre Foundation. What a night, a record attendance of 730 guests, a record $75,000 paid for a single item with Gordon Pickard's Triple 8 boat! Wow, what a thrill!

At my Rose Park auction on Saturday we had 10 registered bidders and a 40 minute auction ending a long battle - yet with a great outcome for all parties, well over the sure was a battle! Could the boom be back?

The market is as tight as a drum with spring releases down substantially on volumes last year while buyers are generally tough and conservative. There hasn't been an oversupply created so far this spring... which usually occurs at this time of the year. Weird dynamics. There are buyers everywhere - but they're playing it hard. Sellers are frustrated that they're not (generally) getting sales in line with their expectation, and until they meet the new market pricing , they don't receive any offers. Then the twist: buyers are missing out because they're playing hard ball with vendors and are trying to be too tough. How do you figure that?

It isn't actually a buyers market, yet it is tough. But… at the right price, there are plenty of buyers. So the market is actually settling in to a new phase now.

OK… The Jungle - part two of this story. I've been in real estate since 1978. Even in those days, agents had a certain code.  Not the professionalism expected of today's agents, but there was an order. One of the biggest NO NO's was (and still is) to "go behind the sign". This is an industry term for direct soliciting… for attempting to take business away from another agency even though it is obviously listed by that company, and doing so without invitation from the seller.

This Code was important to 1) protect sellers from being harassed, 2) protect seller privacy, 3) show respect for a sellers choice of agent, and 4) show respect to fellow agents. Wednesday, I spoke to "C.W." from a city based franchise office - after having left a message for him a week earlier. His business cards have appeared on the front doors of our clients' houses with what looks like a hand written message saying  "sorry I missed you, please give me a call regarding your property". I was shocked with the conversation that ensued when I spoke to "C.W." The Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) Code of Conduct only applies to members, so be aware, not every one is a REISA member. "C.W." assured me he would continue placing cards on seller's property doors!  Sellers, you have a right to be left alone. You are at liberty to initiate as many invitations and opinions as you wish, but that needs to be your call.

If you're in business, a Commonwealth Bank customer or just interested in the economy, be sure you see Ralph Norris' exclusive interview with me on Fireside Chat at

We need houses to sell, so call me on 0418 824 188.  Time is running out for 2011...

Anthony Toop Twitter: @Anthony_Toop

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Awards Awards Awards really translate to better results for our home sellers and landlords?

To answer that - you need to understand what it is that drives an organisation. What the people inside an organisation think and how they act. I believe awards give clear insight into the culture of a business.

It's no secret that Toop&Toop have a 26 year history of winning awards. It was after several years in business when we began to win our really big awards... including the coveted Australian Customer Service Award.  This was a decade prior to the real estate industry commencing their Awards program in 2005.

An incredible highlight for me was receiving a personal letter of congratulations from the Prime Minister. Last year being awarded the pinnacle of SA awards, the 'Robert Torrens Award', for service to the profession, winning National Agency of the year twice and being first inducted into the Agency Hall of Fame were all very close seconds.

This year, to be inducted into the 'Community Service Hall of Fame', while my brother Lew was awarded the 2011 'Community Service Award' was a special and very proud moment for me too. As a home grown South Aussie, these awards hold a particularly special place.
But how does this all relate to you. What relationship is there between Toop&Toop doing better things and getting better results... and how does that translate for our clients and customers?

It's all about culture. It's about creating an atmosphere where being the best is important. About being proud and motivated to go that extra mile. It's about knowing that every year we choose to put ourselves up against any new or improved competition. It's the only true benchmark we have to judge ourselves against and to drive positive change constantly. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide… the results are the results.

It's about being scrutinized by the judges, leaders in our own Community. It's about bearing all and letting audits be conducted behind all the smoke and mirrors....this is intimidating and revealing for all our team, but they do it willingly.

Claims are easy, reality is tough, and all claims have to be substantiated. The tough stuff… we don't always agree with the judges decisions, but that's the price of being subjected to often subjective assessment.

Sure anyone will admit you can fluke it once in a while. You can maybe win when you are fresh and exciting, you can impress the judges on the day.....BUT....the one thing you can count on, it's just not possible to win these awards year in year out with out running a damn good business.
So, do in fact, awards relate to better results for our home sellers and landlords?

In our case it's a resounding yes. Our culture of performance, our commitment to innovation, our self imposed standards of customer service and our pride are all linked to being the best operators in the Nation and world leaders in Innovation in real estate. We know quickly when we are off the pace, we know when we are kicking goals.

While we have pretty much Hall of Fame'd our way out of our 'FAMOUS' categories in the REISA competition, we still have much work to do.  We need to change our business to win for our clients against the changed market conditions.

2012 we are focused on lifting our service levels to new nights, harnessing new technology and stepping up our training. We are passionate in (& love) achieving results when competitors can not. We are completely absorbed in lifting the bar.....and if we achieve our goals, the awards will follow.

So to all that have had the courage to enter these awards, whether finalists or winners – congratulations you deserve the recognition.

At the end of the day, our greatest judges of all are YOU!

follow me on Twitter @Anthony_Toop or call on 0418 842 188

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Home Owners are back!

What a surprise, this past 2 weeks the first home buyers have come out of hiding and are back at the open inspections and firing up.
It seems that the new market conditions have seen prices soften to such an extent that this group now feel it's time to jump in and get on with things. There may be some logic to it as well.
My view is that people (markets) will only put their lives on hold for a short while… eventually any market acclimatises to the prevailing conditions and then away it all goes again.
There are some other factors too... Spring releases in 2011 have not been as prolific as they could have been, while buyers are currently securing their new homes at around 2005-06 prices. With the next interest rate movement likely to be down.... perhaps the mood has changed indicating here is an opportunity to jump into the market.
Markets are incredible.
How do unrelated buyers act on mass like this, it's as if there is a secret communication system operating out there?   Whatever has happened
– it has been exciting.
As for the rest of the market, it is settling down to a new NORM.  It's really just back to the good old days - where a home must represent good value and where buyers are not rushing around, they are looking around.
Our sales team have (and are still) relearning how to sell - most agents today have never had to do this.  It's all settling down now as reality sets in for all.....buyers, sellers and real estate people are all having to adapt to these new norms or they are getting out of the "game".
Be sure to see our 100th episode of Toop.TV this week, where you can experience first hand one of Adelaide's most incredible homes.  So whether you're a First Home Owner or have done this a couple of times… call me on 0418 824 188 to get you started.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inside Story

Footy Fever V's Real Estate Fever
Toop&Toop have had real estate fever with a huge week of sales, but what impact will the long weekend of sport - including the AFL Grand Final - have on our fragile spring property market?
The obvious impact is the drop in open inspections in the real estate pages this week as weary sellers and real estate agents take the opportunity to have a weekend off.
There is good news. Sales have been amazing so far this spring - which may come as a surprise to some. The one clear difference to market conditions this year compared to conditions in the late 90's is that "we have buyers". We have heaps of buyers!!
I was selling properties when interest rates were 15% and unemployment rates were double digit. Under those conditions we not only had prices in free fall, but there were no buyers and real estate was totally dead. Mortgagee sales were common and things were really tough. So we haven't seen anything yet in 2011.
I commonly hear real estate people say "this is the toughest I've ever seen it". That is clearly because those people have only been in real estate for a decade or so. Those of us who have been through the late 70's, early 80's and late 90's know that this market is a breeze compared to then. We have buyers galore, we have people employed, and we have ridiculously cheap interest stop whinging and get selling is what I say. It's all about relativity.
Sales are a breeze once a seller has decided they are serious about selling and prepared to accept reality.
The bitter pill for all of us is that the prices we can achieve today are sure not the prices we would have achieved at the peak of the market....but then again, what about the "poor" share investors. You don't hear them whinging all the time. Most share investors accept how stock markets operate and work with it.
Property owners have a lot to be thankful for.
In September Toop&Toop have made 1 x $4 million+ sale, 1 x $3million+ sale, 2 x $2million+ sales and  6 x $1million+ sales. In just 3 days and 3 sales last week we sold over $8 million under the hammer.
So for those agents and sellers it is time to stop whinging, stop sooking and accept the reality of the new conditions and work with it. The world has changed, the real estate peak is over and we have a new era of cheaper houses - so enjoy it. Falling real estate prices and share markets are a worldwide phenomena so we are actually not that special here in South Australia. Let's be thankful we are having a better time than most around the globe.
Let's be real. If you are buying and selling in the same market you are saving money in agents commissions and in stamp duty. Providing you sell first, and then buy, this is a great time to be moving. Given competent agency marketing, up to date negotiation skills and correct price expectations....buyers are active and they are buying!
So this long weekend, prepare for real estate fever as the run up to Christmas get's underway next weekend.
Anthony Toop
Note: Be sure to see this weeks episode of Toop.TV -  we have a frank discussion about shares and property.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It’s awards time again... yawn!

Sellers - not so quickly….

Given recent RP Data research showing that South Australians on average hold their homes for just over 7 years, deciding who the best performing real estate agency is at the time you want to sell (or lease) your property is near impossible.

Times change in 7 years - change a great deal.¶

So how do you determine who the best operators are right now?  The top real estate agent in 2004 may not be the best in 2011, and the best agent during the "boom" may not have a clue how to sell in this tough market.

As an insider, it's pretty clear. One of the best benchmarks of a wellrun real estate business is through the rigor and auditing processes associated with business and industry awards. Sure, award wins can sometimes be luck, but luck will only bring about random results. Consistent year-after-year wins of credible and competitive industry-based awards are not possible without ACTUAL excellence - ACTUAL results.

This week our amazing Toop team beat great odds in achieving 10 finalist positions in the Real Estate Institute of SA (REISA) Awards of Excellence - congratulations to all!

Why do we say "beat great odds?"

Because we're literally running out of categories we can compete in. Toop&Toop have been honoured with Hall of Fame in 6 of our strongest award categories - that means we've had 3 wins in 5 years for each of these categories - now that's hard work. As a consequence we can no longer compete in those areas that help make us one of Australia's most respected and highest profile agencies.¶

We have achieved Hall of Fame status in all these categories : Large Residential Agency of  the Year 2010, Sales Person of the Year (Peter Veitch) 2008, Large Property Management Agency of the Year 2010, Innovation 2010, Community Service (Anthony Toop) 2011 and Website of the Year 2010.¶

Such a privilege - yet so tough to no longer be able to check in each year and benchmark our year's performance against the best of the best in Australia.¶

Along with SA awards, we've also been honoured with top awards from the Real Estate Institution of Australia (REIA) - National Large Residential Agency of the Year in 2007 and National Small Agency of the Year (Stirling) 2011. These achievements were career highlights.

Make no mistake that these are pinnacle industry awards. They're almost impossible to win against the big hitters around the nation, and these great achievements show just how good South Australian real estate agents are.¶

For entirely different reasons, this week REISA announcing Toop&Toop's 10 finalist positions has shown a great depth to our team we hadn't previously acknowledged. Congratulations to them all. With winners being announced in the coming weeks, be sure to watch this space!¶

So, if you're not sure where to start in your search for your real estate agent this year, take the safe option. We would be honoured to show what passion and commitment can achieve for you, especially in a tough market.¶

If 2011 is your moving year, it's no yawning matter. Pick up the phone today, NOW is the time to get moving - right now !


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things are a changing.....and don't we know it!

In the online environment, video has become the new 'picture', and social media has taken a leap forward by pushing communication out on a scale that is hard to imagine - online media is steaming ahead, we either adapt to change or we get left behind. Consider this:

How is it that a tweet of mine last week - and I thought I only had about 6 followers - ended up in Friday's edition of The Advertiser as a quote of mine? Yes. I was named, and the quote was correct.

How is it that last month our online live and interactive real estate show - Toop.TV - saw viewers from 30 different countries - most common being the UK, followed by the US?

How is it that this very real estate blog - our weekly InsideStory - reaches not only people locally, but nationally and internationally as well? Since the beginning of the year, InsideStory has had over 400 overseas readers, from over 60 different countries.

And how is it that this week, we sold a house for close to $4 million and not even the neighbours knew about the sale!

How? Because things are changing in a BIG way.

The reach Toop&Toop are getting through the effectiveness of our online video 'sneak peak' promotions for clients and the way we are now able to spread the word about a property was inconceivable only a year ago - 12 months later, look where we're at - it's new, and very valuable territory. We're currently in our final stages of bringing together a dynamic, innovative and future-driven media mix for selling your properties. It will enable us to reach a previously unattainable market and launch us - and your property - into the online media arena, allowing us to engage with consumers like never before. It's extremely exciting and we can't wait to share it with you.

Now that buyers are doing all their real estate homework from the very comfort of their own home, at work and in the coffee shop on their iPad's, it is no surprise that by the time they physically come to an open inspection, they are ready to buy it!!

26 years in business tells me that real estate agents need to now move swiftly into the new place clients are found - if they don't, they'll surely be left behind. We also need to understand some fundamental changes in buying habits, like shortening our auction campaigns. Today, a buyer's first appearance at the house is actually equivalent to their second viewing in the OLD DAYS - and they really ARE the old days. The dynamics and pace of selling real estate have changed - whether we like it or not - and we as industry professionals need to understand this, accept it, embrace it and move forward.

WHY? What has changed so dramatically, so recently? It is the proliferation of smart phones, the arrival of the tablet - especially the iPad - and the fact you can surf the net on high-definition TV screens while relaxing on the couch! For example, this year traffic has increased four-fold on compared with last year; July alone saw 1,933 visits and this month we've seen an increase in usage by 360% - these are some serious statistics - all the more reason to jump and hold on with both hands! All the rules of marketing are shifting, and not just with the young ones either - high powered top end clients are leading the charge, and this is just the tip of the ice berg.

Embrace the new - things are a changing alright!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Winners are grinners....and there was a lot of grinning.

Last Friday night the Toop team got together for our Annual Gala Awards night to celebrate our successes.  It is a great chance to recognise all those who go above and beyond.  As per the Toop tradition - the night was spent enjoying a crazy theme and a huge amount of fun.

In such a challenging market - this year had extra importance for us.  It was a night where partners of the team were also celebrated for their contribution to our business - the business of helping our clients.  Our heart and soul goes into doing a great job and at the moment in particular, the demands are unbelievable.


The consumers and community seem so stressed. Buyers, renters, sellers... pretty much everyone is now needing constant reassurance and support from their real estate agent.


Anyway, I guess Toop&Toop are in a great position - having gone through three of these very tough periods in our 26 years.  We know the changes that need to be made and we need to draw on previous experiences.  It is so different selling in this market - compared to conditions just six months ago or even three months ago.  You really have to be on the ball now and totally committed.  This is not a time for the inexperienced or part time operator.  Everyone is back to basics - yet trained and able to use the very best technologies and tools.

One thing we do know is that buyers always buy, sellers will always sell and people rent…  in all market conditions.  As agents we acknowledge we need to do things differently if we’re to be a part of this.  The three non-negotiables for real estate agents in these conditions - 1.  the ability to fully engage the buyer, 2.  to have an extremely efficient marketing machine and 3. to be great negotiators.   


The reality is that generational profits are made in uncertain times.   As long as you don't over commit - there is an amazing opportunity to upgrade or buy property now and get so much more for your money.  Unlike shares, you can touch and feel property.  Property is rock solid and always has a value. 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Well done to our entire team who just keep making things happen - we sure are passionate about property.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mortgagee Sales....they’ve started !

"Hands up who’s handling properties where the sales instructions are from the bank…", wow - 4 hands went up in just one of our office training sessions. I don’t recall having had that number in the whole of 2010… things sure have changed.

So what do you do if you’re under pressure to sell from a Bank or a Lender??

Step 1 : First of all, take action the minute you know you have a problem. At the first sign of mortgage stress, get on the front foot and start communicating with your lender. Most people we see in serious trouble are those who were in denial and then lost valuable time.

Step 2 : Source one of the many credible financial advisors around - or someone like MyBudget - to help you develop a strategy to deal with the issue.
If you act in time - the Banks will work with you. They are extremely helpful in most instances - as long as you keep them informed and you’re 100% honest with them - and you act early enough. Lenders also tend to be less nervous if they know you’re getting good advice.

Step 3 : If a sale is what you need - let us know. We’ll give you solid advice on how to sell quickly in this market - and importantly, how to get the most money possible for your particular property. We can also help with the communication to your lender - this may take the pressure off a little.
Keep in control of your sale, act early, get the best advice and you’ll save yourself some serious pain - not to mention dollars.

It certainly is tough for those who can’t afford their mortgage commitments, we get that. Don't feel embarrassed - no one can escape the market - we work with it every day and understand it.
Experience and specialised marketing does REALLY count at the moment.

Call me on 0418 824 188… and I’ve just started tweeting so I may be able to help there as well.....Anthony

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Showdown"... the best of the losers!


2011 footy and today's investment game seem to have some common ground? This week we had 'Showdown IV - Property vs Shares' - a funny, yet serious debate on Toop.TV. If you're up for a smile…try watching it rather than this weekend's footy.

The Baker Young Stockbroker team took on REISA and it was gloves off. I'm not sure how many reports will be made, but judges are currently reviewing the Toop podcast - looking for blatant breaches of fair debating and excessive team spin.

Judges Melvin Mansell, Keith Conlon and Snowy (Jason) Carter boldly announced the winners as property - apparently by a small margin! The debate broadcast live at 1pm last Wednesday on Toop.TV including a live public vote. The public's choice - also property - by healthy 32% margin.

The losers picked up the anointed, while winners were crowned in glory - literally. Very funny!

This week, "SA's Finest" showcases an incredible home in Crafers....the video is definitely worth a look.

My IT guy is making me 'tweet', so anyone with a house to sell, tweet me @Anthony_Toop on Twitter!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

38 days to sell…BEWARE OF SPRING

38 days to sell…BEWARE OF SPRING

Yes - it’s 38 days till spring and if you’re thinking of selling - then spring is definitely a time to be wary of. WHY??

Typically - everyone thinks spring is the best time to put their home on the market. The truth is spring - and especially late spring - is when the market is at its most vulnerable. Every year we remind sellers of this. Every year most ignore the warnings and guess what, every year we have to deal with the frustration of long periods on the market and softening demand.

Personally, I believe if the Reserve Bank doesn't work out that we need an urgent interest rate cut - they are completely out of touch. Confidence is teetering on the verge for most and a good old shot of lower interest rates now, would stabilise things in our backyard.

Look at what is happening globally - the Murdoch saga and the collapse of 'News of The World', the international financial turmoil and the Federal Government totally out of touch with Australians - no wonder confidence is on the edge.

The reality is we now have more new buyers starting to look for the perfect property. There is an opportunity to buy well, but there are hardly any properties to buy. Normally this would lead to big price hikes and upward price pressure. Of course, the reverse is occurring - this is a direct consequence of consumer confidence.

What happens then in spring? Suddenly a whole heap of new properties come onto the market and unless interest rates drop, or there is some amazing positive world event, we risk seeing a number of very untidy events in real estate.

And what about the stock market…whew! Property is looking pretty good compared to shares for someone as simple as me. DO NOT miss next weeks SHOWDOWN Property Vs Shares on ToopTV - Wednesday at 1pm. We have a studio debate on this very subject - it will be awesome.

Anyway, all this is irrelevant if you are buying and selling in the same market - and the good news is you will save money on Government taxes and Agents fees. The smart money would get your property sold now, and buy late spring!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soft Property or Volatile Shares

Check this out… Toop&Toop currently have 10,081 registered buyers (as at Wednesday) - slightly up from a long term average just short of 10,000 where it hovered for years. Online buyer visits have not dipped AT ALL. On the other side of the card, latest official figures show there has been a drop of 16% in Lands Title Office settlements, and a drop in median prices.

These indicators show the number of new people enquiring to purchase is stronger now than it was in the better market, while the rate at which the current buyers are purchasing has slowed.

Another forward indicator has been the recent drop in actively advertised properties from over 2000 to 1773. These stock levels are a very big driver of the market. Toop&Toop's forecasting tool - the Toop Market Index (TMI) - compares new buyers entering the market vs active on-market homes and it shows conditions have begun trending back toward equilibrium. This is excellent news for those struggling to sell their homes.

RP Data's report released this week shows rents on the rise which will stimulate more investor activity, while rising rents will ultimately kick start the dormant first home buyers.

We called it two weeks ago... overall we are entering a stable period in the SA property market. Unlike the stock market this week, property remains stable. Sellers and buyers need to just 'get on with it' - stop watching their lives pass by.

The RP Data report on the rental market - released on Monday - is available here at The analyst from RP Data appeared on Toop.TV Wednesday (go to Toop.TV), saying "...the balance is returning!"

Go Property! Ring me now on 0418 824 188 - and let's get the sale of your house moving.

Any comments and questions - email

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Homeless......but cashed up!

Last week’s column was an update on the 2011 market
and we talked about the winners and the losers.
Since then, I’ve been asked to elaborate and explain in more detail who is winning in property and why. To explain this it’s necessary to understand who the losers are and why. Remember there are always plenty of exceptions, but here is the undeniable emerging trend.

First the losers...
We’ve seen some terrible pain from first home buyers who took advantage of the First Home Owners Boost (FHOB) last year. They got caught up in the hype and purchased houses - often before they were financially ready. This unfortunate category was largely swept up into frenzy buying. They eagerly signed up for the huge handouts of $14 to $21k - only to discover 18 months later that their properties are in some cases worth tens of thousands less then what they paid.

The life lessons have been expensive for many FHOB buyers and I only hope that it doesn’t leave these people scarred for life when it comes to property ownership. To add to the woes, rental prices have been soft and it just isn’t a great time for many in this group.

Other losers are those who purchased their properties before selling. There is lots of unhappiness as the price of their new home drops whilst locked into their boom price purchase. Conditions changed, and of course, they remain stuck with their old home which has also dropped in price. In this market property will only sell when it’s adjusted to today’s market.

OUCH! Oh yes and let’s not talk about those who have settled on their new property - they now have 2 houses and a raging mortgage (plus rates/taxes/insurances) on both.
Ok - now for the winners...

This is one of those times to make money in property. The winning buyer categories are 1) First home buyers 2) Upgraders - those upgrading to a more expensive home 3) cashed up buyers who have sold their property first and 4) investors.
First home buyers - you are cashing in on those who bought property in the recent first home buyers hype and can no longer afford the mortgage. Or maybe their circumstances have changed - relationship breakdown maybe - and a sale is required.....often many $1,000s below the purchase price. The $21k government hand out has become irrelevant. The grant got swallowed up in the purchase price through an overstimulated market sector and has since been washed out thanks to changed conditions... that plus more. Demand was insane. Smart first home buyers today however are laughing all the way to the bank.

Upgraders - simple maths. If the market softens from the boom highs by 20%, then a $500k home is now $400k, a $1million home is now $800k. You are $100,000 in front plus all the savings in legal fees and stamp duty. Of course it’s never that simple - but you get the idea.

Cashed up! - in a declining market selling first will lead to a better sale price, while delaying your purchase will improve your buying power. Your cashed up bargaining power increases opportunities, creating even more upside. Go for a long settlement if you wish, it might help get a cash contract and also give you time to look around. If you do happen to end up homeless - you will be cashed up with no mortgage,
so just rent for a while if you have to.

Investors - if you’ve got cash, you’ll buy even better. Investors don’t have to worry about getting emotional - you don’t have to like the property, so you can be opportunistic. Rental demand is a sure bet in tougher times. You can offer the property at a slightly cheaper rent than other landlords who bought at the peak - and entice a better quality of tenant.. buying in this market is so much easier than a boom. You are in a great position.

This is a sensational time to make your real estate move. If you want to know more about taking advantage of this market, send me an email. We can help develop a personal strategy to seize the current opportunity.

I’m at
Let’s get you ready and get you homeless!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The real estate cycle

As real estate agents one of the questions we would have to be asked most is, ‘when is the best time to buy real estate’?

Well I’m going to let you in on a little secret…the time is NOW!

After 26 years in the business we’ve seen property prices fluctuate in what’s known as the 7 year cycle of real estate. We see the market peak, then it slows to a flat period and peaks again.

We’ve certainly entered a reasonable time in South Australia, where as discussed in last week’s inside story, Adelaide is the most affordable mainland capital city to live in.

In fact, the latest RP Data Real Estate Market Update reported the market has been fairly flat since May last year and has weakened even further in recent months where, “during the last quarter property values across the combined capital cities have fallen by 1.3%.”

This is good news for those of you looking to acquire property as we are now in a ‘buyer’s market’. RP Data’s statistics show last month in South Australia there were 4,460 new advertised listings. This is quite an increase compared to the 3,244 new listings, which were advertised at the same time last year. With so much choice around this means there may need to be some adjusting in a vendor’s expected selling price when they’re looking to move on.

Buyers you’re also in luck with numerous beautiful properties coming on to the market in the past week. We have homes available ranging from affordable stylish apartments in the heart of the city all the way through to million dollar mansions in South Australia’s most prestigious suburbs.

Another key indictor of the flat lining market is some of the people we have spotted at our open inspections in the past couple of weeks. This market brings out the players in the property game. From our experience these savvy buyers only look at real estate when the market has nearly bottomed out. And when they lead the rest do follow.

When we caught up with this year’s National Residential Salesperson Winner Tim Heavyside, he discussed the 7 year cycle and had some helpful hints for vendors looking to sell in this particular phase…"price, marketing, exposure and the method of sale…all of these factors have to be right.”

For more details on the cycle of real estate with Tim Heavyside take a look at Wednesday’s episode of Toop.TV. While you’re there you can also find out about the financial checklist for potential property purchasers with Wealth By Design’s Christie Rigg and Tim Rogers. That’s all under Episode 78 at

Buyers this is you’re time so don’t hesitate to dive into the property market as you’re likely to be waiting another 7 years before the real estate market is this good again!

Mandy Wurth, General Manager.
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The March quarter results are in!

The big property news this week… RP Data’s release of the first quarter figures and the RBA’s smart decision to keep interest rates on hold for a little while longer.

There were certainly a lot of property owners breathing a sigh of relief when the announcement of a stay to the cash rate came through on Tuesday. No rushed rise by the Reserve Bank board, despite last week’s higher than expected inflation figures, is a win for the property market. It’s provided another pocket of opportunity to bring down stock levels and improve the housing supply/demand imbalance we’re currently experiencing.

Nationally the number of homes for sale is nearly 30% higher than at the same time last year, according to the newly released March Quarter results from RP Data.

The results paint a realistic, but far from rosy picture. While the rental sector is seeing a gradual improvement in weekly rates, dwelling values recorded a fall in each capital city with the overall average recording a softening of 2.1%.

Annually, to March 2011, Sydney was the highest performer with an increase of 2.1% while at the other end of the scale, Brisbane saw a decline in values of 6.8%.

As always Adelaide has skirted through the peaks and troughs a little better than most. Property values recorded a quarterly decline of 1.6% and a stable past 12 months with 0% change.

Whichever way you look at it, the market is in a partial state of limbo.

The significant drop in first home owners looking to buy property, is causing those selling homes at entry level to step into the next price bracket at a much slower rate than previously experienced. This has created a noticeable stalemate in both the low to middle ends of the market right now, however a change is inevitable.

“With first time buyers now representing a bit less than 15% of all owner occupier housing finance commitments, it is likely that market activity in the first-time buyer market will increase in the medium term,” according to RP Data’s Research Director Tim Lawless.

From what we’re seeing on the frontlines, the news gets a little better. At the Top End of the market it’s far from doom and gloom.

This area has remained out of reach of the first home buyer impact. In fact we’re seeing some great results, with beautiful homes that are priced right being snapped up in a matter of weeks!

We spoke further about the state of the market with RP Data’s Research Analyst Cameron Kusher on Wednesday’s episode of Toop.TV. To hear what he had to say go to Episode 77 at

Adelaide tends to avoid the extreme highs and lows of the market, and while that may seem boring to hard-line investors, we actually think we’re lucky.

Sometimes ‘Boring is Beautiful’.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter, inflation and the market

We may only be four months into the year, but I think it’s safe to say that for most, the five day break was absolute bliss! It’s been an incredibly busy time across all sectors, and the real estate scene has been no exception.

The volume of homes available on the market continues to be at above average levels for this time of year, with lower demand causing days on market to be extended. So, it’s understandable that a lot of sellers chose to have last weekend off and simply enjoy the break.

The beautiful thing about open homes on long weekends is that it sorts the ‘wheat from the chaff’ so to speak. Those who have a tendency to look at homes simply because they enjoy it, or have always wanted to see inside ‘that one on the corner’ tend to steer away from the property scene, leaving the active buyers on the hunt.

Those who took the chance to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and open their property over Easter were rewarded with the attendance of quality buyers, real feedback from the people who are active in the market place, and in some cases, the hard truth around pricing property in line with buyer expectations.

In this softening marketplace, pricing continues to be the biggest hurdle between sellers and buyers. If you were to liken elements of the current market to that around the time of the GFC, you wouldn’t be far off. While not as severe, the market has softened and buyers have developed an incredible nose for knowing when a property is deemed as ‘good value’. Anything above this and the result is little enquiry and a rather lonely open inspection.

Meanwhile it begs the question, are property investors feeling the temptation to get back into the market?

We know they’ve been waiting for the right time, and right financial reasons, to step into the game. Consistently good yields (Adelaide dwelling average at 4.4%), a stable rental market (Toop vacancy rate is just 1.5%) and the return of some affordable investments may be just what they’ve been waiting for!

However the latest inflation rates released just this week may turn out to be the bigger influence and deciding factor. Against economists’ well founded predictions, inflation figures have come out much stronger than the anticipated 0.6-0.7%. With the trimmed mean published at 0.9% and the year-to-year inflation rate brought to 3.3% (way above the RBAs 2.5% target), we may be set for a rate rise as early as May.

The influence this will have on the market? We’ll have to wait and see, but for many it will be far from good news if this comes to fruition.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buying Vs Renting

It’s been debated for years that with the funds needed to buy a home, renting may be the better option… but is it really?

When you delve into the reality of home ownership and the sometimes uncertainty of renting, the pros and cons on both sides meet to form a compelling argument. Add to this the increased costs of living plus lack of affordable housing, and the care free nature of renting becomes an incredibly attractive option, especially to the younger generations.

The idea of fewer financial commitments, lower living costs, no maintenance or upkeep fees and a more flexible lifestyle make renting the number one choice for those moving out of the family home and embarking on their careers. And it’s not only the young ones who enjoy this flexibility.

Some individuals who have been in the workforce for a much longer period choose to ‘free up’ their cash flow and invest the difference between their weekly rent, and what their mortgage would be, into shares or long term deposits. It also allows them to live in an area they may not ordinarily be able to afford to buy in and offers flexibility for future job transfers.

Then there’s the great Australian Dream of home ownership. Given that you’re in a financial position to do so, buying property can offer great long term benefits, security and peace of mind.

There’s no need to look for a new place to live every time your lease expires, your hard earned money goes towards your own asset and, if the last 20 years is anything to go by, over time the property will appreciate quite significantly. In fact historically, Australian homes have seen an average growth of 9% per annum – perhaps not the case if you bought twelve months ago, but when it comes to property the best method is to always ‘buy & hold’.

Over the years as you pay off your home and head towards retirement, the security of having a freehold roof over your head is second to none.

At the end of the day the choice to rent or buy is both a financial and lifestyle decision, and it was debated fiercely this week on ToopTV’s Showdown 3. With ANZ Financier Tony Romano and the ATO’s Dom Romano in the buying corner and Toop&Toop’s Leanne Kuss and Jenny Drew standing strong for renting, the facts and logic made the final decision an incredibly close one. Log on to to see the full debate on Episode 75.

Finally, from the entire team at Toop&Toop, we hope you have a relaxing Easter and ANZAC Day with family and loved ones.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who pushed up the prices?

An online ‘First Home Buyers’ strike has been gaining momentum over the past few weeks in a bid to drive down property prices, instigated by tax reform lobby group, Prosper Australia. Their aim is to pull the First Home Buyer footing out of the market place completely, causing a domino like collapse and instantly creating ‘affordable housing’.

Now buying your first home has always been a challenge. Yes property used to be cheaper, but then wages were lower and interest rates were much higher. Property prices began their upwards climb when buyers increased their activity in the market place. Wage increases and declining interest rates from highs of 18% plus in the 80s allowed them to do this.

Then, in 2008, the GFC hit. In a bid to maintain economic momentum, the First Home Owners Grant Boost was introduced. At the time the Real Estate Institute and industry as a whole aired their concerns that this, combined with record low interest rates, would drive up prices… and it did.

A giant wave of first home buyers entered the market, causing a boom at the entry level of market pricing. Demand outstripped supply and property prices were pushed higher. In 2009, 190,852 buyers (70,000 more than the previous year) took advantage of the boost and jumped into property head first.

Then in 2010 the numbers dropped by almost 50% to 96,201. Why? Because the First Home Buyers who normally would have bought in 2010 and 2011 were ‘pulled forward’ into the 2009 buying boom.

So while some first home buyers are choosing to abstain from buying (largely due to the price increase driven by those previously in their position) and investors are waiting for the ‘right’ time, it’s imperative that sellers stay on the front foot when it comes to presentation, marketing and price.

Get the right advice, listen to the buyer feedback, market your property at a competitive level and be prepared that it may take a little longer to sell than anticipated. Price is ‘king’, if it’s right, it will sell. Toop&Toop started the business in the 80s when the market was at its worst. We have the tools and knowledge to get our clients the best possible results, even when times are tough – when it’s time to get serious, it’s time to get Toop&Toop.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager.
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sell before you buy - the better option

The housing market is a similar type of ‘beast’, regardless of which state you live in. Varying dynamics, resources and economics affect each of the states in different ways – that’s a given. Yet people’s needs to have a roof over their heads, desire to upgrade, downsize or simply live in a different location rings true wherever you are.

In South Australia there’s a noticeable trend amongst consumers that’s quite different to those on the Eastern seaboard. It’s the need to buy first, and then sell.

Perhaps this is well founded in a boom market when property is highly contended, prices are escalating and the good homes are sold in a matter of days. But right now there is certainly no shortage of beautiful homes available and this approach to transacting property makes little sense.

While the knowledge of having a roof over your head may offer much needed security, the financial burden imposed by buying first can be far from comforting for most.

First there’s the real risk of spending more than you have.

People move homes for a multitude of reasons, with the most common being to upgrade and therefore take that next step up the housing price ladder. This often means tightening the budget that little bit more for the first 12 months or so, while you build up the equity in your home. The last thing you want to do is over spend.

When buying first you are virtually ‘guessing’ how much cash you’ll get in your pocket from the sale of your current home. If you find yourself saying “Well if we get an extra $30,000 for our property, we can afford this one – let’s buy it”, then batten down the hatches and cut up the credit card. In a market that’s slowing, getting ‘top dollar’ by boom standards is a lottery ticket you simply can’t rely on. What you can rely on, is the cold hard cash from a completed sale.

Then there’s the topic of bridging finance.

If you’re downgrading, go for it! It’s highly likely that your sale will cover any of the outlaid costs and you’ll still come out better off. When you’re upgrading this exercise can be an additional un-wanted cost on top of an already pricey process. Really, this is a last resort. Like mortgage insurance, if you can avoid it, do!

Now that’s all assuming you buy your new property cash unconditional. If you buy it ‘subject to the sale’ of your own home and your current property doesn’t sell, then you could risk loosing the one you had your heart set on.

Of course there’s a risk to selling first as well, and that’s not being able to find the home you really want. A longer settlement or short term rental can easily solve this problem, plus the added attraction of you being a ‘cash buyer’ will put you at the forefront when making any offers on a new home.

From my view, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to selling first and then buying. What do you think, is the financial risk worth it?

Mandy Wurth, General Manager
© Toop Real Estate Group