Tools, tips, industry knowledge & market trends.

by Neil Jenman

Every day, after he finishes work, Conrad Joseph stops briefly at a five-star hotel. Striding up to the reception desk, he hands over his credit card and books a room for the night. 

And then he gets back into his car and drives home. 

The hotel room - for which Conrad gets a special rate because he's a regular - is never used. It's in darkness all night. 

Why, you may ask, would someone behave in such a strange manner? How odd.

It's not just sellers who suffer because of open-for-inspections, it's tenants too.

We were renting a property that was being sold and we were told that we could not refuse an open-for-inspection being conducted every week, as well as frequent inspections in the evenings. 

So much for quiet enjoyment of the property. 

When I voiced my concerns about the possibility of theft, the agent told me he had never heard of robberies being committed during 'opens'. Ever. 

Suggestions from a financial planner. 

By Travis Morien, Financial Adviser.

Disclosure: I am a fee-for-service financial planner. These are my sincere opinions.

I'm not sure I agree with Neil Jenman about recommending people get independent legal advice every time they get financial advice.

Lawyers do not have the qualifications to give financial advice; and, also, this would result in a doubling of the fees everyone has to pay for financial advice.

Ignore the evidence, criticise Neil Jenman. 

UPDATE January 31, 2007: Sydney detectives have arrested and charged a 54-year-old Sydney woman with stealing a home. She will appear in court early next month (February 2007). 

Perhaps her lawyers will ask the president of the real estate institute (REI) to tell the court that, in his opinion, homes cannot be stolen. 

5 for Sellers and 5 for Buyers. 

Most sellers and buyers get their real estate knowledge and experience at a hefty financial price. They are so busy earning money that they don't have the time to research and save money.

These few brief hints, in today's fast-paced world, may save you several thousand dollars if you are buying or selling today.


Part One - A simple explanation of the charge. 

by Neil Jenman 

Notorious property spruiker, Henry Kaye, was yesterday committed to stand trial on a charge of obtaining a financial advantage by deception. 

Kaye has pleaded not guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court. 

The charge against Kaye follows allegations by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) that he deceptively obtained a credit facility of almost $18 million from St George Bank to fund the development of an apartment complex.

Be a smart investor, not a grubby predator. 

by Neil Jenman 

Back in 2004, while driving with a friend from Melbourne to Sydney, I stayed overnight on a farm at Wangaratta. 

During dinner the farmer mentioned he had received a letter from someone who wanted to purchase his shares. All he had to do was sign an acceptance of the offer and place it in the reply-paid envelope. He would then receive $35,700.00. 

He would also have been ripped off.

A good home or a good price? Both, if possible. 

by Neil Jenman 

If I were a spruiker, I'd charge several thousand dollars for the information that's about to follow. 

I'd write a multi-page screed peppered with metaphoric drum rolls and trumpets about how this "secret information" is only available to a "limited few" but it can be yours if you pay me a mere fraction of what I can make for you.

By Terry Ryder


Big rent rises in all of Australia's major city markets have lifted gross returns on investment properties over the past year.

Australian Property Monitors' September quarter Rental Report indicates that Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and the Sunshine Coast all recorded rent rises of 10% or better over the year to September 2007.

By Terry Ryder 

Home buyers and investors are being warned to avoid online auctions or risk falling victim to dummy bidding. 

The biggest risk associated with those who choose to bid online would be the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not there were genuine bidders at the other end, according to Real Estate Buyers' Agents Association of Australia president Scott McGeever. 

He warns those lured by the prospect of a "stress free" auction without intervention from a third party may quickly find themselves in uncharted territory. 

A simple solution to a great frustration.

by Neil Jenman

For thousands of wanna-be home-buyers another frustrating weekend is over. Or, as many buyers call it, another "lost weekend".

They've seen homes sell for thousands more than the price quoted by the agents. They've traipsed from one home to another asking questions and getting a mix of cliches and lies in response. "We don't know what the owners want. The market sets the price. This is a good location. There's lots of interest. Make sure you come to the auction." 

There is one excellent way to know what your home is truly worth: Before you call an agent, call a valuer. 

A valuer is not biased about your home because a valuer has no financial interest in the value. You are naturally biased because you want the best price. The agents are biased because they want to be selected as your agent. And the buyers are biased because they want to buy for the best price. Valuers are the only people who are not biased - they get paid no matter how much your home is worth.