Hutchinson & Harlow Real Estate ARMIDALE'S ONLY SALES SPECIALISTS
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The Minimalist Makeover

The Minimalist Makeover

  • 20 Nov 2017
  • Meg Georkas

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately professing the advantages of a minimalist lifestyle. Some ideas I get and I even agree with, but some ideas are way too extreme, even for me. I like my books and my cushions and my art work and my candles! But it has made me look at my own home with fresh eyes, which is exactly what you need to do when you’re selling.

The space we live in has a big impact on how we feel and how we interact with others. It also has a big impact on our selling price and how quickly a property can sell. The endless stream of TV programs such as The Block, Grand Designs Australia, Love It or List It, Selling Houses Australia, The Living Room  etc  all promise that a great home will mean a great life and the show hosts continually inspire us with their amazing (and sometimes not so amazing) room makeovers.

The trouble most of us face is deciding where to start and working out what can be achieved within a time frame and budg...

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What Should I Look For In An Agent?

What Should I Look For In An Agent?

  • 06 Nov 2017
  • Meg Georkas

The team at Hutchinson & Harlow Real Estate – Armidale’s ONLY Sales Specialists have all the answers to your real estate questions.  When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, trust plays an important role in the relationship between you. Most successful sales are negotiated in an environment of trust.  Never underestimate the importance of trust in any negotiating situation.  After all the vendor is employing the agent and the agent must act in the best interests of the vendor. 

 Let’s answer some typical questions:

1. If you can’t sell my property, what will it cost me?

The HH team are upfront with the costs involved and you are given a written undertaking confirming what has been agreed.  Our comprehensive listing kit is a well written and easy to understand booklet setting out costs relating to your sale.  We also provide an informative guide to listing and marketing op...

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All I Want For Christmas

All I Want For Christmas

  • 23 Oct 2017
  • Meg Georkas

 

Is a new home!!! Now before you say bah humbug, Christmas decorations have been in the shops since August so it’s not too early to have this conversation. In fact, if you want to set up your Christmas tree at a different address, you’d better get to it. Times ticking and it’s getting to the last days for a purchase and transaction to happen that will allow you to move in before Christmas.

Let’s look at what’s needed…..

FIRST - find the house of your dreams. Easy right?  We have so many properties to choose from starting at $195,000 right up to $1,270 000 and every price point in between. As wonderful as it is buying a home that is completely finished, there’s something about buying a renovator at Christmas when you’ve usually got time off work and long summer days to get stuck into it. Come and talk to the HH Team. Let us know what you’re looking for. Just because you can’t see it on ...

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Are Mission Statements Still Relevant?

Are Mission Statements Still Relevant?

  • 03 Oct 2017
  • Meg Georkas

I recently read an article about Mission / Vision Statements and whether they’re still relevant to modern business. The article discussed whether your company’s mission, vision and values influence how you actually do your work every day? It got me thinking that I haven’t read my company statement lately and when I did read it, I was pleased to see it’s still very relevant to the way we “do” business.

It’s easy to dismiss the real value of mission statements. After all, most companies have one, and they all say the right things about management’s concern for customers and employees etc. But in the daily grind to meet business targets and respond to competitors within our industry, it’s easy to get bogged down and forget to check in with what we do best.

I’ve included the HH Real Estate statement below. It was written about 18 years ago when Peter first came into the company. When we became a part of this ...

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Food - Shelter - Clothing

Food - Shelter - Clothing

  • 25 Sep 2017
  • Meg Georkas

The traditional list of basic needs is food, shelter and clothing, but when did these three “needs” become an extension of ourselves? We are now defined by our choices. At any time, on any day, you can turn on the TV or open a magazine and find a show or article that is specifically about food – what should you be eating, clothing – what should you be wearing or housing - designing and/or decorating.

I have to admit I am slightly obsessed with the British TV show Grand Designs and all of its offshoots. Kevin McCloud is one of my favourite celebrities. I have all the DVDs, I subscribe to the monthly magazine and will stop whatever I’m doing to watch any repeats if they come on TV.

There are so many reasons I love this show.  The main reason is I get to live vicariously through other people whilst they create their home. I experience their highs and lows, sympathise their disappointments, budget blow-outs and failures and celebrate...

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Working in a Team Office

Working in a Team Office

  • 11 Sep 2017
  • Meg Georkas

You may have noticed that I seem to go on all the time about the “HH Team”! We take team photos, we list and sell our properties as a team and the entire team is rewarded financially when the sales come through. But what does working in a team really mean?

Everyone in our team has their particular strengths; it’s what defines us. Our team strengths are diverse and include having an amazing eye for detail and writing great advertising script. It is having an almost photographic memory for names and places and it is also being able to stay positive when everything is falling apart.

We work in an industry dictated by both emotion and fact. We see the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We see people at their greatest and people at their worst. We all have an ability to work independently and quite often do but the satisfaction realised for everyone when we join forces is outstanding.

For me, working in a team environment means that even...

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Living in a Rental Property Being Sold

Living in a Rental Property Being Sold

  • 28 Aug 2017
  • Meg Georkas

First things first – don’t panic!

Just because the owner is putting the property on the market, it doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to find a new place to live in. The reality is that many owners buy rental properties as an investment and, like any investor, if there is an opportune moment to sell, they will want to take it.

So what do you need to know?

  1. Agent arranges a pre-listing inspection of the property with the Tenant in anticipation of the listing.
  2. Property gets listed by Agent. Landlord / Selling Agent notify the Tenant (in writing) giving the Tenant the required 14 days notice before any marketing commences.
  3. Agent and Tenant agree on inspection times allowing for the required 48 hours notice. (Agreements should be documented and signed by both parties).
  4. Tenant is required to prepare the property for photography removing any items they do not wish to have photographed and put on the internet...

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It's Time To Sell

It's Time To Sell

  • 14 Aug 2017
  • Meg Georkas

In a competitive market, the way you present your home for sale can make all the difference. A well-presented home will stand out from the rest and increase the probability of a quick sale.

When you’ve lived in the same home for several years, you won’t immediately notice things that other people do. It helps to take a fresh look and pretend that you're the prospective buyer coming to inspect.  Of course, you don’t want to spend truckloads of money getting things ready but there are simple things you can do to maximize your chances of a quick sale at the best possible price.

Take some photos for yourself – often what stands out in a photo is not what you see. Have a trusted friend or family member to come to your home and look at it as a buyer would. Ask them for an honest opinion (don’t get offended!) about first impressions, smells, furniture etc.

Browse lifestyle magazines for ideas on dressing your home to look its be...

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The Devil is in the Detail

The Devil is in the Detail

  • 31 Jul 2017
  • Meg Georkas

You can fall in love with a property very quickly. You can even fall in love over the internet looking at your new house on a real estate site whilst lying in bed before you even turn up for an open house inspection. However, to make a good decision you need to consider everything about the property you are looking to buy.

Go and inspect the property on several occasions formally and informally at different times of the day, including on a weekend, and on a week night. Think about parking, noise, aircraft, neighbours, trees, dogs, floods and any planned council developments and building projects. Look for anything that is going to need to be repaired as you'll need to budget for that. If you let your love for a property cloud your analysis, you might not see what others see and that is going to cost you.

Formal Property Inspections

The property looks sound and solid so do you still need an expensive building inspection? The answer is Continue reading

Buying a Home in Winter

Buying a Home in Winter

  • 17 Jul 2017
  • Meg Georkas

I have written about SELLING your home in the colder months, but what if you are looking to BUY your dream home? Well, winter may provide some hidden benefits for you also.

The cooler months often see less homes for sale but this also means that there could be less buyers (meaning less competition for you) and more motivated vendors. Some buyers may be hibernating through the winter season, and some vendors may have missed out on a sale during the final summer selling season, which offers a big opportunity for those keen to get the home of their dreams.

One of the benefits of buying a home in the cooler months is you are generally seeing the property at its most unflattering time and when the garden is usually bare. This means homes that provide good natural light and are well insulated and heated properly tend to stand out. It also allows the buyer the opportunity to see any potential views from the home while the trees are bare.

The importance of a prope...

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Selling in the Colder Months

Selling in the Colder Months

  • 03 Jul 2017
  • Meg Georkas

Selling your home in Armidale during the colder months means making sure you highlight your homes warmth factor. Our freezing, zero temperature nights mean gorgeous clear, blue sky days.

If you have a wood fire, get the chimney cleaned to ensure its burning at its hottest and make sure the fire itself is clean – trust me buyers are going to be looking at it. Invest in a really nice wood basket and keep the area spotless.

Wash everything to do with windows – curtains, blinds, outside screens and the window panes. It’s important to allow as much light into your home as possible during winter months.

Dress your home for winter with rugs, blankets and cushions. It’s the equivalent of putting on a warm jumper for your home and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Many of the larger discount stores have great decorating items for not outlay.

Trim back any dead wood in the garden and prune all the summer plants ready for spring. ...

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When is it the “Right” Time to Move?

When is it the “Right” Time to Move?

  • 19 Jun 2017
  • Meg Georkas

We’ve all had the feeling of outstaying our welcome. Maybe at a sleepover or a weekend visit with friends. Staying with family over Christmas can be interesting or even as a young adult and getting the not so subtle hint that it’s time to find your own place to live.

Sometimes you can even feel like this in your own home. Home owners and renters alike know the feeling of “I think it’s time to move on”. There may not be a tangible reason; just an inkling that maybe something better, newer, bigger, smaller, easier or even harder (think renovation) could be around the corner or across the state.

So how do you know if you really need to move? Well let’s think about the obvious.

Have you run out of room? Could this problem be fixed by having a good clean up and a garage sale? Do you love your neighbourhood? Is it worth extending?

Is the house too big? When the kids have grown up and moved out and the bedrooms are empt...

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A Complete and worthy agent. - 02 May 2017

Peter Georkas did not hesitate to take our home into his office. I rang asking him if he would do an appraisal on the home, and he responded immediately and came and assessed the home the same day, dedication to the profession. He then explained the whole process we needed to follow if we selected him as our agent and any pitfalls that can slow any sale down. He asked if we needed him to just call. So I responded after talking with my family and an appointment was made for the following day. Listing was organised and he and office staff kept me informed of any matters arising for the sale. A buyer was found and the sale was complete in three months. Cannot ask for service better than that. Thanks Peter and staff.

- Ken (Vendor)
Armidale

Relaxed and professional agent. - 13 Jun 2017

Ali has always been easy to contact and communicate with. She helped with all my queries and while she was very friendly and approachable, she was always highly professional.

- Anna (Buyer)
Armidale

Excellent agent to work with - 07 Jun 2017

Peter is a great agent. He has exceptional local knowledge, and a really good understanding of what factors may affect the market. He tried hard to get the best possible price for us, rather than just on making the sale. We trusted him 100%, and would do it again. His communication was excellent, and his negotiation skills are great. The people at his office are extremely helpful. We would use him again if we were ever selling again in that market.

- Brian & Natalie (Vendor)
Armidale

Fantastic Agent! - 29 Mar 2017

Ali was fantastic. She answered all of our questions and made the whole process enjoyable and easy. She was up front about any issues that may concern us with the property and gave great advice. It felt like Ali was available to answer our queries, and was always prompt at getting back to us.

- Ben & Amy (Buyer)
Armidale