Frequently asked real esate questions about selling, buying or renting in Everton Park, Stafford, Stafford Heights, McDowall


The truth is, the best time to sell you home is when you are ready. However there are some months that are better than others.

Watch as Hayden explains which months are best. 


The cardinal rule of pricing is that the selling price of your home is determined by the buyers. 

One of the greatest mistakes vendors can make is putting an inflated price - a hopeful price - on their property in the hope that someone might pay it.

If you put your home on the market for more than buyers perceive it’s worth, it can languish without offers, even in a booming market.

After four weeks, buyer interest tends to tail off quite dramatically so it’s crucial to get the pricing right during the first four weeks of the marketing campaign. If the sale is by auction or tender, it’s even more critical, because you have a limited period in which to establish qualified buyer interest.

What does not determine the price of your home

  • How much you hope you can get
  • How much your neighbours, friends or family think you’ll get
  • How much you need to get to pay off your mortgage, divorce settlement, new home, etc.
  • How much you love your home

It is important for us (the Agent) to be as analytical in these prices as possible so when valuing your property we take into account comparable properties that have recently sold as this is direct evidence as to what buyers have been prepared to pay.

We also use comparable properties that are currently for sale as these properties will be your direct competition.

We need to ensure that your property has a fair chance of attracting buyer interest.


 If you would like an appraisal of your home, give us a call on 07 3355 6845 or Click Here


All appraisals are free and absolutely no obligation to sell. 


This depends on your circumstances. Four bedrooms are obviously better than three but not when it means reducing the size of other rooms or bedrooms. Our advice is to discuss your renovation ideas with someone who understands what buyers want beforehand.

You're more than welcome to speak to us about your renovation plans.

There’s nothing in a sales contract stipulating how clean the home should be after the sale. We recommend sellers leave their homes as if they were planning to move into it themselves as a courtesy to the new owners.

Ask us about finding a reliable professional cleaner or for information on any other property sales-related topic.

Because most of the media companies that we use require their payment up front we require that the funds are paid when listing the property for sale.

Other arrangements may be arranged but this will be determined on a case by case basis. 

It is important to know that as agents, we do not make a single cent from doing the marketing, in fact it actually creates more work for us to do however, we do it because it helps us to SELL YOUR HOUSE!

Families generally do need a bath tub for children and many people still enjoy a soak in the bath. We believe it is okay to remove your tub if you're planning to be in the same home for a long time but it could be a mistake if you’re planning to sell and renovating purely to add value to the property.

Talk to us if you need more information about this or any other renovation-related question.


You’re not required to have a sign, but we do recommend it. We’ve found that signs become your silent salesman, letting everyone know that your property is on the market. Neighbours and people driving past will see the sign and either contact the agent directly or tell friends who might be interested in the property.

Contact us if you have questions about this or any other property sales-related issue.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say. This is especially true of homeowners who might be blind to the faults in their homes. We recommend sellers get their properties inspected by someone with an objective eye to identify faults early on. This can avoid the possibility of discovering faults during buyer inspections, giving them cause to pull out of the sale or renegotiate the price. Our top tip is: a well-prepared property achieves a higher price.

If you need more information on this or any other sales-related issue, why not contact us now?

Selling a property by tender is similar to selling a property at auction, with one major difference.

A lot of buyers and sellers find the whole auction experience very daunting, because of the public nature of the process.

With a tender the buyer can place an offer for the property without the pressure and duress of auction bidding.


Listen to 4BC radio host; Kevin Turner interview Allie Coutts about why the tender process shouldn't be overlooked by sellers. 



Contractually you cannot break with an agent earlier than what is outlined in your agreement with them.

However, if you were our client we'd add a clause stating that we are happy to terminate at any time. 

If you don't have this clause in your current agreement and you are not happy, we advise you to approach your agent and tell them you want to cancel.

If they are obliging (which we hope most would) ask them to release you (IN WRITING) from your current agreement.

Having this in writing will give you proof that the agreement has been officially terminated. 



If you are interviewing potential real estate agents to sell your home make sure you ask them for references from their past clients.  

Here are three essential questions you should ask an agent's reference:


1. Did the agent work for you? 

2. Did the agent communicate with you? 

3. Did you trust them?

4. Would you want to work with this agent again?


For more information on interviewing for real estate agents. Download our free eBook - 11 Critical Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent.

Ask yourself – ‘If I was buying a property today, what would I do, where would I look?’

Chances are, you would have answered with the internet, local paper, magazines, etc.

This is where we need to position your property so it receives full attention and reaches the maximum number of potential buyers.

You can’t sell a secret and no matter how fantastic your home is, if no one knows about it, it will take a while to sell.


Better ads = more enquiries = more inspections = more offers = better sale price $$$

Selling a home is a complex procedure. Whether it’s your first time, or you’re an experienced buyer, it’s very easy to forget things and to feel overwhelmed.

While you should always feel comfortable asking questions, the following “event road map” might help keep you on track.


- Select an Agent
- Sign a listing agreement with your agent


- Agent prepares marketing campaign and advertising materials
- Prepare your house for buyer inspections
- Agent conducts buyer inspections
- Agent negotiates a sale price to your satisfaction


- Offer is accepted
- Agent accepts a deposit from the buyer
- Contracts are exchanged
- Property "Under contract"


- Settlement/SOLD
- Move out

An auction is a public sale by a licensed auctioneer where a property is sold to the highest bidder.

The vendor places a reserve price on the property and it will not be sold until bidding has exceeded this price.

If the bidding doesn’t reach the reserve, the property is passed in and the highest bidder has the first right to negotiate with the vendor.

For in demand property or for strong markets where there’s a reasonable expectation that you can generate more than one buyer to compete for a property at a similar level, auction comes into its own.

Compared to the theatre of a public auction, a sale by private treaty is a less dramatic more discreet selling process.

A private treaty sale allows you time to consider offers by potential buyers.

So it’s a less stressful process than an auction, where vendors are often called on to make snap decisions on auction day.

Because there’s no fixed time frame for the sale, your property may be for sale indefinitely.

This is a bonus if you can afford to wait until someone offers you the price you want, but a big drawback if you want a quick turnaround.

An Open listing is where any agent can sell your home and and no one’s responsibility. 

Open agency is a fairly dated approach to selling real estate.

It came about in the days when there was good reason to believe that, in order to access all buyers, you needed to list your property with a number of agents to give yourself coverage.

Nowadays, with cost effective marketing tools such as the internet, and with more vendors prepared to invest a little bit of money up front for marketing the property, the need to share the listing with multiple agents is gone.

Yes. Buyers have two options when submitting an offer by tender.

  1. You can request that your offer be submitted to the seller straight away.
  2. You can simply place your offer in the tender box and wait for the closing date.

Importantly the seller can close the tender at anytime.

Hence, if the seller receives an offer that they are happy to accept, they can bring the close date forward.



A common question we get asked is "Do I sell my property first then buy or buy first, then sell? The short answer is you can do both. However, we recommended selling first. Watch as Justin explains why. 


You can sell your home without an agent. Selling your home privately has the advantage of saving money on the commission fee, however it also means you need to organise photos, advertising, open homes, manage legal documents and also negotiate with potential buyers. Watch as Justin explains the pro's and con's of selling your home without an agent. 

Everyone knows that you need to present the inside of your home well to assist you with the sale of your property. However, a lot of people don't realise how important it is to ensure that the front of your home (it's curb appeal) is neat and tidy as well. Watch as Hayden explains. 

How to prepare you home for sale - the forgotten step which can cost sellers thousands! There is one step when preparing your home for sale that many of us don't do and that's because it hasn't been necessary until just recently. Today's buyers are very savvy and they want everything legal - including new structures. So before putting your home on the market, make sure you run some council searches to make sure you deck, extension or pool etc are certified. Watch as Madeleine explains.

What costs are involved when selling your home? Generally speaking there are a few categories where costs will be involved - the first one is commission. This can be a set price or a percentage of the sale price, the second is the cost of marketing and every agency prices their marketing packages differently. Watch as Mary Di Marco explains.


As the settlement date approaches everyone tends to be in a euphoric state of mind but buyers should still take a little bit of care. We recommend buyers contact their agent and visit the new property on the day before settlement to make sure it’s in the same condition as when they saw it last. This will give them time to contact their solicitors if anything has changed.

Contact us if you need any more information on this or any other property buying-related issue.


It’s very likely that homes built during the post-war period will contain asbestos because it was common practice in those days. Our top tip is to make sure you allow for an asbestos management program when estimating the cost of renovating a post-war house.

If you need more information on asbestos or any other property buying or renovation-related issue contact us now.

Buyers often want to know if a structure on a property, such as a car port, is council-approved. The added structure could be decades old and the current owner (and sometimes even the council) may have no record of approval. Buyers can opt to go ahead with the sale without knowing if a structure is approved or not. However, we recommend having a discussion with your solicitor. One option is to insert a clause into the sale agreement making the sale dependent on getting council approval for the structure.

If you need more information about council approvals or any other property buying-related issue contact us now.

Buying property is a potential minefield but prospective buyers can make the process much easier by keeping the Three Powerful Ps firmly in mind. They are:

  • Preparation – this includes thoroughly researching the market they are proposing to buy in to get an idea of price and property availability.
  • Pre-approval – finance should always be pre-approved so buyers are able to take advantage of opportunities. It also gives them an edge in negotiations and makes their offers more attractive to the seller because they’re ready to proceed.
  • Price – potential buyers can avoid being gazumped and facing the failure of their planned move by making a fair market-related offer in the first place and not playing games with the seller by starting out with an unrealistically low offer.

If you want to know any more about the Three Powerful Ps or anything else related to buying your next property contact us now.

Buying a property at tender is similar to buying a property at auction, with one major difference.

A lot of buyers and sellers find the whole auction experience very daunting, because of the public nature of the process.

With a tender the buyer can place an offer for the property without the pressure and duress of auction bidding.


Yes. Buyers have two options when submitting an offer by tender.

  1. You can request that your offer be submitted to the seller straight away.
  2. You can simply place your offer in the tender box and wait for the closing date.

Importantly the seller can close the tender at anytime.

Hence, if the seller receives an offer that they are happy to accept, they can bring the close date forward.



Although, you can have conditions such as finance clauses and subject to building inspections, it is advisable to try and submit an offer that is ‘unconditional’, remembering that this status is going to be the most appealing to a seller.



If the seller receives another tender that they are happy to accept, you may not get a second chance to go higher. We encourage you to put your best offer in first, thus giving you the best chance to buy the property.

Alternatively, if the seller rejects all offers at tender, then they may instruct the agent to enquire as to whether buyers want to increase their offer.


As most sellers do their research before putting their home on the market, we encourage buyers to do the same when buying at tender. We will provide you with a list of comparable properties currently on the market.

When deciding on what price to offer, compare other properties you have seen and if you really desire the home put your best offer in first - remember with tender you decide what you are willing to pay.


A sneak peek is an exclusive preview of our upcoming listings shared only with our email subscribers.

These properties have not hit the major real estate websites yet, so it's a great opportunity to get your foot in the door before everyone else does! *pun intended! 

If you are interested in any of these properties, make sure you contact the agent quickly. 

When a buyer signs a contract to purchase a property they must pay their deposit to secure the sale. The deposit cheque is held by your agent in a trust account.

Once a buyer makes an offer on a property and it is accepted by the seller, a 5 business day cooling-off period begins. This means that the buyer can back out of a contract for 'no reason' within these five days, however fees and charges will apply. If you are buying by auction, there is no cooling-off period.

In a contract to purchase a property, a sunset clause allows the buyer a certain number of days to sell their current property, in order to fund and purchase the new property they want to buy. Watch as Justin explains.


Buying your first home is a very exciting time. Here are some tips on how you can get started.


The three most common reasons people want to change property managers are: lack of feedback on property inspections, the property manager’s failure to return calls and the confusion of having to deal with numerous staff. Changing property managers is an easy three-stage process involving appointing a new manager, giving the existing manager written notice of the change and leaving the rest to us here at Madeleine Hicks.

If you would like a template letter to give your old property manager notice, or you need help or advice about any other concerns with your investment property, contact us now.


We recommend being a proactive landlord and visiting your property at least once a year. Remember that your rental property is a major investment and you should make time to accompany your agent to see for yourself that your property is being carefully and professionally managed.

If you need to know more about home inspections or anything else about looking after your investment property contact us now.


There’s no doubt bad landlords do exist. Here are three simple steps you can take to avoid becoming one of them. They are:

  • It may be your property but while it’s rented, it is the tenant’s home, and you must respect their privacy. Entering the property without proper written notice contravenes your lease agreement.
  • Look after your tenants, keep the rent at a fair market rate and don't make large rent increases.
  • Maintain the property to a high standard. Good tenants deserve a well-maintained property and your property won’t deteriorate but will instead grow in value.

For more on how to become a good landlord or anything else about investment property management contact us now.

An exit condition report is an inspection that we do to check the property's condition that the tenants have left the property in.

Exit inspections are mandatory within three days of tenants leaving a rental property.

The purpose is to determine the condition of the property and decide whether deductions for damage are necessary before the tenant’s bond is repaid.

Madeleine Hicks Real Estate provides owners with a copy of the inspection report, including photographs, after the inspection is complete.

For more information about this or any other issue relating to investment property management contact us now.


There are three serious risks that can occur when you leave your rental property vacant for long periods of time. 

1. Security - when your rental property is left empty for weeks or months on end it may become a target for vandalism

2. Cash flow  - you are potentially losing $400 or more a week. Over time, that's a lot of money you are loosing

3. Insurance - Your landlord insurance may not cover you if your property is left vacant after a certain period of time. So much sure you check with your provider and find out whether a claim would be valid if you were to make one.  

It is has been a requirement in Queensland since July 2007 for smoke alarms to be installed in all properties (houses and units).

This includes all owner-occupied and rental properties. Every property listed for sale and/or rented in Queensland must have minimum smoke alarms installed.

Madeleine Hicks Real Estate's property management team will organise for your smoke alarms to be installed, cleaned and certified by a professional before the start or renewal of any tenancy by a professional contractor.

We then receive a 'compliance certificate' from the contractor (which is useful to have for risk management purposes) and send the landlord a copy also.

Short answer is yes - however we strongly recommend that you don't. 

Due to liability risk and complexities surrounding compliance it is recommended by insurers, legal commentators and Madeleine Hicks Real Estate that landlords should not consider installing smoke alarms themselves.

Our property management team have a list on contractors that can supply and install smoke alarms in your rental property. They also provide a certificate of compliance which is useful for risk management purposes. 

There are many factors that tenant value in a rental property. If your investment property includes all or most of these, you will be well on your way to finding a quality tenant in no time.

Tenants want:

  • Value for money
  • Location
  • Air-conditioning & ceiling fans
  • Clean property
  • Wardrobes with shelving
  • Everything working
  • Security
  • Low maintenance
  • Internet access 

At the end of a fixed term tenancy lease (around the 8 - 10 weeks before the lease expires) both tenants and landlords will be contacted about whether they choose to re-new the lease or end it. 

If a new tenancy agreement is not signed and the tenant continues to rent the property, the agreement is called a "periodical agreement" and has no set end date.

Check with your Landlord Insurance provider as to whether you remain covered when a "periodical agreement" is entered into. Sometimes, you may find that you are not covered. 

Every agency will have a different approach when following up rental arrears. Watch as David explains what happens when a Madeleine Hicks Real Estate tenant doesn't pay the rent on time. 

Every year Brisbane is hit with severe weather and thunderstorms. There are a few things you can do as a proactive landlord to protect your investment property from potential damages.

Watch as Erin explains.