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Christmas

Understanding the Christmas Listing Period

Christmas can really throw out the listing cycle when it comes to selling a property. Understanding this will help you to list your property for sale at the right time, and will create an opportunity for you if you are a buyer. Here’s what normally happens when an agent lists a property.

The Typical Listing Cycle
When a real estate agent lists a property for sale, they are granted a 90 day exclusive agency period (this time may vary). The first week of this is taken up by communicating with the owner about advertising and inspections, etc. In a lot of cases it is at least one week after a property is listed that it is first advertised.

The property will be new on the agent’s website, may feature in print media, and potential buyers are contacted. By this stage the agent has already used up around about 35 to 40 days of their exclusive period. They don’t really have long to go and without any fresh marketing, the agent may become desperate.

Now, Lets Throw in a Curve Ball- Christmas
Statistics show that the volume of both enquiries and sales always drops off in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This occurs no matter what the state of the market is.

So for probably 2 to 3 weeks before Christmas there is reduced level of enquiries, and then for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year there is next to no enquiry.

Put this into context with the 60 day listing period and things become very interesting. A vendor needs to list their property with an agent no later than mid to late October to have an honest and full blown crack at selling their property. List any later than this and your sales campaign will be compromised.

People think it is just those that list in December that will have it bad, but think about if you were to list in mid to late October. Remember it takes about a week before you property to be first advertised, which means the first 4 weeks of advertising will be run through the quietest time of the year, and may not even make 4 weeks before Christmas comes.

So if you ever plan on selling your home at this time of year, ask yourself whether you can wait until the New Year, which is seasonally when property enquiry is at its highest. Perhaps get everything in place: interview agents, arrange appraisals and spend your Christmas break readying your house and gardens. Sign up an agent in the first week of January and hit the ground running!

Tourism News is Positive

There has been positive news for the Sapphire Coast’s tourism industry. According to Tourism Research Australia National and International Visitor Surveys data for March to June 2011 the March-June 2011 quarter was up in all domestic categories on the September-December 2010. Domestic overnight visitors experienced a 6 per cent increase, domestic visitor nights a 7 per cent increase, and domestic day visitors are up 2.5 per cent. This summer is going to be a busier one!

‘Tis the Season for Managing Your Mortgage

Top tips to saving more this Christmas:
As households prepare their budgets for festive season shopping splurges, now is an ideal time to unwrap the financial strategies that help borrowers gain greater control over their home loan situation. Ensure Christmas costs don’t hamper your ability to meet home loan and/or other debt commitments, by proactively managing your money.

Staying on top of financial obligations, in conjunction with careful pre and post silly season budgeting and planning, will without a doubt put you in a better position to achieve your property goals sooner. It should also give you more confidence to properly enjoy the festive season.

Here are five tips to help improve your mortgage management in the countdown to Christmas:

Tis the season to bring budgeting back on track- Get your Christmas and new year budget underway if you haven’t already. Be sure to include seasonal spending estimates for gifts, treats, catch ups, celebrations and other holiday outings

‘Tis the season for a home loan health check- Are you making the most of your loan? There may be features attached to it you are not utilising or are paying a premium for. A regular home loan health check is a great way to see if you are making the most of your existing loan or if you are better suited to a different lender and/or product. Before switching, carefully weigh up the pros and cons by comparing loan features, rate, repayment type and frequency, accessibility, fees and more.

‘Tis the season to keep repayments steady, despite recent rate cuts- If your loan’s interest rate has recently dropped, get ahead by continuing to repay at the original, higher rate. For example, take a loan of $300,000 at 7% over 30 years. If your rate reduces by 0.25% to 6.75% and you keep repaying your loan as if the interest rate was still 7%, you could shave over two and a half years off your loan term and save more than $54,000 in interest owed.

‘Tis the season to go one step further and round up repayments- If the monthly repayments on the above mentioned loan maintained at the higher rate are rounded up from $1,996 to $2,100 from day one, it is possible to cut a further three years and seven months off the loan term and save an additional $55,000 in interest owed (if all loan aspects remained the same). The total savings would equal $109,000 in interest and a reduction in the loan term to 24 years and 8 months.

‘Tis the season to turn up the frequency of repayments- Depending on your loan and lender, dividing your monthly minimum repayment in two and making fortnightly repayments instead may also save you interest owed and reduce the loan term. There are 12 months and 26 fortnights in one calendar year; by paying fortnightly, you make the equivalent of 13 monthly repayments. The savings on the above mentioned loan equal almost $100,000 in interest and almost six years off the loan term.