Real Estate with Chris Koch, Laing+Simmons Port Macquarie

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Local real estate knowledge and experience is a valuable commodity in this changing property market. Chris Koch gives Port Macquarie locals his insights.

For locals looking to get into the housing market for the first time as owners, what are some of the key considerations when choosing a property?

 We’re spoilt for choice in Port. There’s some wonderful established properties, as well as newer estates, and you can choose between locations close to the CBD or beach. It’s a good idea for buyers to be clear about the lifestyle they desire.

Then there’s other considerations based on the individual’s circumstances, like school zones, access to public transport, proximity to the shops and the like. Importantly, there are options for buyers of all demographics and stages of life.

It’s also a good idea to have your house in order, so to speak, when you begin your search for a property. That means knowing your budget, having your finance approved and ready to go, and your team assembled, including solicitor or conveyancer.

What types of properties are your current buyers looking for?

With more homes coming on the market, buyers have the benefit of choice at the moment, and we’re finding that all sectors of the market are active, from affordable apartments through to larger homes.

We’re also seeing an increase in demand from tenants. Typically, peak rental season is either side of Christmas, but people are looking for rental accommodation in greater numbers much earlier this year, which brings more investors into the buying picture.

How much of what we hear on the news about property markets and prices nationally should we take note of?

The media is obsessed with property, but the skew towards the capital city markets can be confusing. Growing regional markets like Port Macquarie march to the beat of their own drum. In Port, our market is influenced by different factors than the Sydney market is, for instance.

Nevertheless, we have seen a shift in the local market over the past three to six months. It has become a lot easier for buyers to enter the market, with more choice and flexibility. For vendors, this means working with agents with lots of local experience to help them draw out and focus on the factors that make their property stand out from the crowd.

Working out what buyers will love about your property, then communicating that to the market in the best possible way, makes all the difference.

What is the current local market delivering in terms of results for buyers and sellers?

In markets like this when buyers have more choice, it’s a matter of vendors setting realistic price expectations. This doesn’t mean settling for less, but it does mean doing more homework when selecting an agent and listing your home.

What’s interesting about the market at the moment is the amount of interest in high-end properties such luxury apartments and waterfront homes. Also, there is a lot of interest from developers for larger parcels of land, development sites and commercial-zoned properties. It’s all consistent with the continued growth we’re experiencing in Port Macquarie.

Unfortunately, some people get sold a dream when listing their home, and this can end up costing them more. 

Selling your home can be a daunting time for owners. How does Laing+Simmons couple experience and service to help their sellers?

We pride ourselves on being a one stop shop, with the ability to tailor our service to meet each individual customer’s needs. One stop shop doesn’t mean one size fits all, so we start by listening to you and developing a bespoke strategy from there, including marketing.

And we don’t charge for marketing. We view this function as a necessary part of the sale campaign, which we feel privileged to take responsibility for.

We can ensure your home is presented in the best possible light, whether it requires a makeover, de-clutter or staging. Among our team we have decades of local knowledge and experience, and we draw on this to prepare your property to maximise its appeal.

Having an agent that understands your needs is important; what tips can you give for selecting the right one?

Do your research. Ask friends for recommendations, and check out reviews on agent websites and Facebook. See what others have to say.

Local experience and knowledge is critical, especially in regional markets like Port where the best agents have a real understanding of what makes the local market – and local people – tick.

And finally, if you sit down with an agent, you should feel comfortable and be able to see their confidence. They should be able to confidently explain the campaign strategy to you in a way that makes sense. They’ll have a plan A, B and C. If they’re not confident in their own ability to sell your property, why should you be confident in them?

Thanks Chris.

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