Enlist the help of experts when looking to buy or sell

Utilise their skills: Speaking with your agent about what kind of property you're after is the most important stage of buying.
Utilise their skills: Speaking with your agent about what kind of property you're after is the most important stage of buying.

If youre looking to buy or sell the most important thing to do is tap into the expertise of real estate agents.

PRDnationwide agent Michelle Wilcox has been a real estate agent for the past seven years and has helped hundreds of her clients buy or sell their property in that time. Her advice for potential buyers is to talk to as many agents as possible.

Talk to a lot of agents and let them know what youre looking for, she said. One of my clients bought their last house before it was on the market and they are now back in touch to try and do that again. You can beat the competition getting in before it hits the market.

However, knowing what you want depends on what you want to achieve with the property. If youre looking to renovate and sell you need to ensure the home is in a big growth area and has the potential to turn a profit.

Whereas if youre looking for a rental property you should take into account what services are nearby like shops, transport and parks plus the potential return on investment from renting.

If youre looking to live in the home for the long term, the demographic of the area will be important. Agents can provide reports on each suburb, what the growth is like down to the age and demographic of people living there, Ms Wilcox said.

When youre ready to put in an offer there are a lot of things to take into account before you settle on a figure. It depends on how much competition is on a house, Ms Wilcox said.

If you know something is going to be hugely popular dont go in too low, be confident with the offer because if there's competition and you low ball, even if youre willing to come up, the owners could get offended and move on to the next buyer and youll miss out. If the house has been on the market for a while and theres not much competition, you could try and give it a shot lower as you can always go up from there.

On the other end of the spectrum when youre looking to sell Ms Wilcox offers this sound advice. Most people think summer or spring are the best times to sell, she said. I believe that all year round is a good time to sell. Houses that go on the market in winter get the genuine buyers through, buyers are there all year round there is just not as much on the market so less competition. Maintain lawns and gardens as best you can. The street presence is the first thing buyers see.

Declutter. If people can walk in and fall in love and think oh wow I can live here theyre going to pay more for it. If they think theres work to do they might offer lower to take that into account.