RESEARCH is the key to successful buying in the real estate market.

And with market conditions tipped to change in 2016, doing your homework has never been more important, according to property lecturer and author Peter Koulizos.

‘Once you have done your research on the area and on the property, you are in a much stronger position to negotiate,’ Mr Koulizos said.

And for those considering selling, Mr Koulizos recommends his ‘five Ps’ formula of preparation, presentation, people, performance and price.

See his tips below:

TOP FIVE TIPS FOR BUYERS ???????????????????????? Research the location

Is this the right suburb for you? Is the area full of young families or is it a great area for retirees?

Are the houses in the neighbourhood old but well-kept or are they old and run down?

If the surrounding properties are not of a good standard, it can give you an indication of the demographic in the area and it can also limit future capital growth.

????????????????????????Research the amenities

If you have a young family, are there schools nearby?

If there are a number of drivers in the household but only one car, is public transport easily accessible?

Do you need to be close to medical facilities?

????????????????????????Research the property

There are many aspects of the property that are within view but there are some that are not so obvious.

Is the building, especially its electrical and plumbing connections, of a good standard? If you are not sure, get a building inspection.

If the property is a character or period home, it could be heritage-listed. How do you find out? Check the paper work.

????????????????????????Research the price

You don’t want to be paying too much for the property so you need to find out what the market value is.

The best way to do this is to compare the prices of similar properties that have sold over the Past few months. By similar, I mean in a similar location (preferably the same suburb), similar sized allotment, similar sized home and in a similar condition.

Once you have found at least five comparable properties, you can calculate an approximate value of the property you want to buy by determining whether the other comparable properties are better/worse than the property you want to buy.


Knowing the selling price of comparable properties gives you the edge, as you can back up your offer with recent sales.

This will help ensure you don’t pay too much and it will also show the agent and owner that you are an educated and informed buyer who is prepared to buy at the right price.



As soon as you decide to sell your home, you need to prepare.

Make sure all the searches and documents are organised well in advance so that if you are lucky enough to get an offer you are satisfied with in the first week or so, the papers are ready for the buyer to sign straight away.

The longer you leave the signing of the paperwork, the greater the chance the purchaser will cool off.


This is critical. The best chances of selling your property are in the first few weeks of being on the market.

You want to not only attract potential purchasers to your property but you also want to include the ‘wow’ factor so that they return for a second look.

Make sure the property is clean, tidy and uncluttered.


You need to select the right person to sell your property. I suggest you contact three local agents and ask them for an appraisal.

Do not necessarily appoint the agent that promises they can sell your property for the highest price. Some real estate agents will say that to entice you to list with them.

Look for the best performing agent (see next point).


A good performing agent should be well dressed. Their promotional materials, including signs and brochures, should be professional and encourage potential buyers to take the next step.

One of the most important measures of a good agent is one that responds in a timely manner. If they are returning your calls and responding to your emails promptly, they are probably doing the same to the potential buyers.


In the end, it comes down to price. If you haven’t presented your property well, you can expect a lower price. If you have selected the best agent for the job, you will expect them to get the best price for you.

A common mistake is to set the initial asking price too high. This could result in the property staying on the market for a long time. The longer it is on the market, the less likely you are to sell it at that price.

You are better off advertising the property for just a little more than it’s worth and giving yourself some room for negotiation rather than asking for a ridiculously high price and dream that someone will come along and buy it.

Posted by Christine de Sliva – News Limited Australia Network on 22nd January, 2016