property reports

Property Reports 101: Who To Buy From and How Much?

by Chris Lang on April 8, 2010
Property Reports 101: Who To Buy From and How Much?

And now, when you’re all back from your Easter holidays and are house-hunting again, finally we get to the most interesting part. This post, in fact, will save you the “price shopping”, as it lines up all the major property report providers and compares their products and prices. There are 3 big report providers to […]

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Property Reports 101: What is “Postcode Sales History Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 26, 2010
Property Reports 101:  What is "Postcode Sales History Report"?

Suburb View Those of you who had a look at the property reports websites know that some of them call it a “Postcode Report”. You could also have noticed that there’s another similar report, named “Suburb report”.

In case you were wondering, yes, there is a difference between “Suburb report” and “Postcode report”, and the reason why “Suburb report” is normally cheaper is because it can have less data than “Postcode Report”. In many cases Postcode report includes quite a few suburbs, all sharing the same postcode, whereas Suburb report will include only one suburb.

For example Postcode Report for 3196 will include suburbs Bonbeach, Chelsea, Chelsea Heights and Edithvale because they all share the same postcode. But if you were to buy a report for Chelsea, it would not include even the adjacent suburb Chelsea Heights.

I recon that for the $10 difference Postcode report is a better buy, because it will give you a bigger and clearer picture. You might even see that there are better opportunities in another suburb nearby that you didn’t consider before.

What’s inside?

First, there are 2 kinds of Postcode reports – 12 and 24 months of data – and, of course, the price is higher when more data is included.

Property-specific information

You will find a list of all the sales in the last 12 or 24 months, specifying:

– Property address (just a street name, not even a house number in Victoria)
– Type of the house / land (detached, semi-detached, hobby farm, etc)
– Sale price
– Sale date (just month and year for Victoria, not the full date)
– Estimated area (land)

Some providers will include information about the number of bedrooms / bathrooms / parking spaces in each sold house, others won’t. In some reports you will find whether the houses were sold by auction / private sale.

What can I do with this information?

If you are too busy to be to gathering this data on your own, looking through the latest auction results, this report saves you time. Or if there are no auctions in the suburb of your choice, this is your only way of knowing prices of the houses that were sold via private sales. Although some information about private sales is available online for free, it is very limited and won’t give you a clear picture.

Having the list of real sales figures in the suburb/postcode you can work out the gap between the asking price and the sale price, and therefore estimate how much you will REALLY have to spend, as advertised prices can be under-quoted or over-quoted.

You can see what locations / suburbs are more expensive than the others, and direct your search towards areas you can afford. This will save you time, money and your search will be focused (as opposed to you looking for properties all over the place and feeling overwhelmed).

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Property Reports 101: What is “Street Sales History Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 19, 2010
Property Reports 101: What is "Street Sales History Report"?

You will find this report available at different providers’ websites under the names of “Street Sales History Report”, “Street History Report” or just “Street Report” – but they all are essentially the same. What’s inside? Property-specific information For all the sold houses on that particular street you will get the following: – Property address (just […]

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Property Reports 101: What is “Individual Property Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 10, 2010
Property Reports 101:  What is "Individual Property Report"?

It’s the same story with any range of similar products: when you first look at them and there are more than just 2, it’s easy to get lost. There was a sales study I heard about, where they put 6 kinds of jam on the supermarket shelf and 30 percent of the people bought a […]

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Property Reports 101: Why use them?

by Chris Lang on March 3, 2010
Property Reports 101: Why use them?

House in the airThis post is the beginning of a new series “Property Reports 101″. There will be 3 posts in the series, talking about the reasons to use property reports, about the various report types and their purpose, and about the various report providers with their respective pricing.

My goal for this series is to help you understand whether you need to buy a property report, what kind of report will be right for you and how much you should spend on it.

Let’s begin.

If I had to name just one reason to purchase property reports when considering buying or selling a house, it would be time saving. If I had to name one more – it would be the peace of mind from the knowledge that you’re getting or paying the right price for your house.

Property reports will save you time that you’d have to spend searching for free sources of property sales data. Many real estate websites will display a small number of sold houses with prices in almost any area, but to gather this information and put it together in an orderly manner will take a lot of time and patience (speaking from experience).

Before we move on to detailed comparison of various property report types, let me explain more about WHY you would need a property report for your street, suburb or area and how it can help with your decision on a price and timing of the purchase or the sale.

Home buyers – 3 more reasons to purchase a property report

1. If you’ve already decided on a suburb you want to buy in, there are more expensive and less expensive areas within the same suburb. Looking at your property report you can map those areas and see what is within your price range and what isn’t.

2. If you’ve already decided on a street or an area within a suburb, using a property report you can see what would be a reasonable price for a house in that street.

You could choose similar houses in the same street (with the same number of bedrooms / bathrooms and similar features) and compare their prices to the asking price on your house to see whether the asking price is fair.

If the house is being sold via auction, you can use the highest sale price in that street as your “stop limit” when bidding to avoid over-paying.

3. Property report will be a useful tool in the negotiation process, if you want to negotiate the price down – it will show the agent that you’ve done your homework and can’t be fooled.

Home sellers – why purchase a property report

You can use the sales data to set a reasonable price-range for your house. Why not just listen to your estate agent? Well, to win your listing an agent might give you a much higher estimate for your house price than what you’d get eventually.

But if you have a list of comparable houses in your area with the prices they were sold for, you would be able to double-check what your agent says – which, in turn, would help you choose an honest agent!

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