Ten Common Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home isn’t something that you do every day-unless you’re a real estate agent. Over the years I’ve honed my skills in learning what works when it comes to selling your home, as well as what doesn’t.

Fortunately, other people have made these mistakes so that you don’t have to!

1. Ignoring an estate agent’s style tips

We all develop personal connections to our homes, but sometimes those connections mean that it’s hard to see our home through the eyes of a potential buyer. An experienced agent should know how to present your home in a way that will maximise your home’s selling potential.

2. Underestimating the importance of street appeal

First impressions matter, and potential buyers driving past or inspecting your home will take notice of your property’s exterior. In my experience, people buy in the first five seconds and justify throughout the inspection. Make a good impression from the outset and keep up to date with the mowing and weeding!

3 Under-investing in marketing

A targeted, wide-ranging marketing campaign designed to reach as much as possible of your buying audience is essential. Buyers fall into different groups and demographics, and a high quality marketing campaign will reach out effectively to all of these.

4. Not being switched on about going online

In our office, it’s where about 90% of our buyer enquiry comes from. The more you invest here the better. Only a small percentage of buyers look beyond the first page of property search results!

5. Being afraid to commit to a sale price

Committing to a sale price isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that should be a much easier decision when you consider that almost half of all potential buyers will pass over properties with no listed price. Why? It seems too hard, or worse, they fear it will be out of their range. Take the plunge and name a figure.

6. Holding out for a better price

Though it can be tempting to wait for a better offer, the property market doesn’t play by the rules of Who Dares Wins, so think twice before rejecting that initial offer. In my experience, often the first offer is the highest we’ll receive, and almost every record price we achieve comes from an offer made within the first thirty days.

7. Taking offers personally

A low offer on your property is not a reflection on you, or even on your home. Instead, they’re representative of a willingness to commit to opening negotiations. I always encourage vendors to see a low offer as a starting point rather than a final figure.

8. Opting for appointment-only viewings

Although there is the odd exception, for the most part opening your home for inspection is essential to ensure it’s seen by as many potential buyers as possible. We get around 10 times the buyer traffic if it’s open for inspection as opposed to by appointment viewings.

9. Cutting costs when choosing a real estate agent

If you think the best agent is expensive, try hiring the second best & see how much that costs you!

10. Failing to keep up with property maintenance

It’s almost always cheaper to do it yourself than to let the buyer use it as leverage for a price reduction.

I recently sold a home in Aspley where the building and pest report identified multiple maintenance issues at an estimated repair cost of $15k! As expected, the buyer tired for a $15k price reduction. I intervened & re-quoted with a local trusted trade and they seller got the job done for $3k. Fortunately, I managed to salvage the deal without a price reduction. However this could have been avoided or worse the deal could have fallen through.

So call that plumper you’ve been avoiding! For real estate Aspley, contact Justin Watt of Watt Realty today.

How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

Anywhere on Earth, whether it is a Presidential, State, Federal or Local Council election, your mailbox will groan with the weight of materials aimed at getting your vote. It might be the electronic age, but it seems that a piece of paper in your letterbox is still considered the most efficient way of getting a message across.

While an informed electorate is crucial to the democratic process, there appears to be huge over-sending of junk mail for political purposes – and no clear way on how to stop this. What’s worse, the content of most of the political flyers is simply mudslinging about their opponents with no intellectual substance. Is anyone else reminded of children in the playground?

How can you help stop this frivolous waste of paper? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, electricity and transport of the materials. Grab a cup of tea or your water bottle and let’s get down to it.

We know in Australia that material deemed to be political, educational, religious and charitable is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards developed by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being dumped in your letterbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of things you don’t really need. It is probably the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
Much of your mail may be addressed to former occupants of the house. You need to “return this to sender” with the note “no longer at this address”.

Step 2. Contact every political party or politician that is mailing you
There is no central database so you will need to call the office of each individual sender and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Remember to be polite! You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Step 3. National Standard to stop political junk mail
Write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to implement a National Standard to limit the volume of pieces each political party is allowed to put in each household’s letterbox.

Step 4. Polling day
Don’t forget to recycle any materials you are given on the day – often the Greens Party has a box at the booths for such materials on polling day!

Written by Tracey Bailey, Director of Biome Eco Stores in Brisbane, specialists in water bottles and eco friendly, reusable choices for your home, body and lifestyle.

The challenges of Anger Management

Anger is the natural emotion humans feel in responding to a perceived threat, frustration, assault or obstruction to our humanity and who we are.
For men, anger is their most common and immediate reaction to the experience of physical or emotional pain and fear.

Often anger will show up most in a man’s relationship with his partner, and this can develop into violence toward her.

For a partner over time she becomes sick of living with fear, intimidation and humiliation, and usually in time, finds the strength to give him an ultimatum “You get fixed or I’ll get out”.

There needs to be a distinction between anger and violence. Anger is an emotion. Violence is what some people might do when they are angry, or even when they are not. Violence can be physical, emotional or spiritual.

For many men their softer emotions of fear and sadness have been covered or not expressed. They have been taught “Be a man. Be strong. Take control of your life – even if you fail. But don’t show your true feelings – especially your pain and fear”. They only have access to their anger. Anger can cover so much of a man’s personal pain.

The good news is that you can solve your anger problem. Not by berating yourself as sick or sinful, but by recognizing yourself as a human being with an emotional life experience as well as a rational one.

The challenge is not really to work against your anger, but to become aware of where it comes from. To take control of your anger and direct what you do with it.
Anger is not about control. It is about loss of control. For most men losing control is painful and fearful. You can feel vulnerable and feel like you’ve failed. Sometime men fear the consequences of losing control more than just about anything else. The pain of failure and the fear of losing control drives much of men’s anger.

The Hart Centre Australia has around 50 Psychologists in centres around Australia ready to help you manage your anger in individual anger management sessions. Contact the Hart Centre Phone 1300830552 for more details anger management and anger counselling.

Styles of Yoga

Yoga originated in ancient India, and is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “union”, its primary goal is to help the student achieve union with the divine by way of specific poses (asanas), breath (pranayama), and meditation to achieve a state of spiritual liberation. Though yoga in the Western world focuses on health and fitness, it is important to appreciate yoga’s long history as a vital component of the Hindu philosophical and theological system.
As one of the most popular of natural therapies in the West, there are many types of yoga available for those seeking health and wellness. The following covers the more popular yoga styles in the West, and helps you have a clearer understanding of the basics of each yoga style so that you can choose one which best suits you and your needs.

Hatha
Hatha yoga is a generic title which describes any yoga style, and most yoga classes advertised in the West will be hatha yoga, unless otherwise stated. When a yoga class is advertised as hatha, it usually refers to a slow-paced and gentle introduction to yoga, incorporating basis poses and simple breathing exercises. Before attending a hatha yoga class, it is wise to ask the yoga teacher where he/she trained and what the class will consist of, e.g. yoga poses, pace, meditation and mantras etc. This will help to to decide if the yoga class will be beneficial for you.

Vinyasa
Vinyasa yoga is perhaps the most common for those wanting yoga purely for fitness. This form of yoga combines a sequence of flowing poses with rhythmic breathing, and is designed as an intense body-mind workout. As a generic term for any form of yoga that involves poses synchronised to the breath (where there is a flow as the poses run together), Vinyasa yoga is also used to describe yoga styles that have derived from it, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga.

Ashtanga
As mentioned, Ashtanga is a form of yoga that has derived from the concept of Vinyasa yoga. It is fast-paced and based on six series of poses that increase in difficulty as each series moves through one to the next without stopping. As there is no time for adjustments, once a series of yogic poses and breathing are underway the student is encouraged to move through the series of movements without stopping, making for an ideal full body work-out that will stimulate and improve circulation and detoxification, and get that heart rate pumping!
Power Yoga
Another form of yoga derived from Vinyasa, Power yoga is a Western product based on the fundamentals of yoga tradition. More likely to be part of a gym curriculum, Power yoga weaves common yoga poses and breathe techniques to a rigorous exercise workout, designed to strengthen the body and promote flexibility. Power yoga is great as part of your training and fitness routine, but rarely addresses the philosophical aspects of yoga.

Bikram yoga
Designed by Bikram Choudhury, this form of yoga is better known for its use of sauna-like conditions to promote detoxification of the body through sweat. Bikram yoga classes are held in studios designed to replicate India’s climate, mimicking a hot and humid temperature. Here students work through a series of 26 traditional yoga poses (usually slow-paced and gentle) as they sweat and, as a result, promote fresh blood and oxygen to circulate throughout the body. This form of yoga is ideal as a detoxifying exercise to boost the immune system.

Sivananda
For those seeking a more philosophical approach to their yoga, Sivananda yoga is based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda and his five principles:
1. Proper exercise
2. Proper breathing
3. Proper relaxation
4. Proper diet
5. Positive thinking/meditation

Sivananda yoga classes work through twelve basic poses. As a slow-paced form of yoga, the emphasis is on the full exploration of each pose so that the eventual mastering of each pose is achieved as part of an overall philosophical approach.

Iyengar
Iyengar yoga is based on the teaching of B.K.S Iyengar, one of the most influential yogis of all time. This form of yoga focuses on the subtleties of each pose, which are held much longer than traditional forms of yoga. Focussing on the physical alignment of the body in the poses, students are encouraged to attain perfect poses through consistent practice. This is based on the philosophical belief that once the body is in perfect balance by means of mastering each pose, the mind with reflect this balance. In addition, unlike other forms of yoga, Iyengar also uses props such as belts or chairs to accommodate any needs or structural imbalances in the body, which makes it a good option for those with poor mobility.
Anusara
Anusara means “to step into the current of divine will” and is a modern form of yoga created by American John Friend, with its origins derived from Iyengar yoga. Its practice focusses on three key areas:
• Attitude – by opening to grace one can awaken his/her true nature.
• Alignment – integrated awareness of the different
• Action – pose as expression of the heart and inner freedom.
This form of yoga reintroduces traditional Hindi elements of yoga, however is primary health orientated as it focuses on inner and outer body alignment.
Kundalini
Considered the most comprehensive of yogas, Kundalini is derived from the tantra yoga tradition and refers to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within us. Incorporating poses and dynamic breathing techniques, combined with specific mantra chanting and chakra awakening, Kundalini yoga acts as a holistic philosophy that keeps the body and mind strong and flexible in times of stress and conflict. This yoga style is suited for those wanting a holistic approach to their yoga practice.

There are many other forms of yoga available, with more yoga traditions and styles being introduced into the West every year. Like all things, however, it is best to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from yoga and then find a style that best suits that. Happy yoga practicing from Radiant Heart Yoga Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

What are Aluminium Extrusions?

Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile, of solid round, square or rectangular shapes, to L shapes and T shapes, tubes and many other different types. Metal is pushed through a die of the desired shape using either a mechanical or hydraulic press, resulting in the finished product. The cavity in which the raw material is pressed is lined with a wear resistant material which can withstand the pressure that is created when the material is pushed through, making extrusion possible without deforming or tearing the metal.

Aluminium extrusion is generally used in the manufacture of windows, doors and balustrades, but is also found in thousands of other items like vehicle parts, truck trays, boats and other marine products and refrigeration, etc to name a few.

Two advantages of this technique over other manufacturing processes are its ability to create very complex cross-sections, plus being able to work materials that are brittle, because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses. It also forms finished parts with an excellent surface finish. Extrusions often minimise the need for secondary machining. They are not of the same dimensional accuracy or surface finish as machined parts, however, the process produces a wide variety of cross-sections that are hard to produce cost-effectively using other methods.

Extrusion may be continuous (producing indefinitely long material), or semi-continuous (producing many pieces). The minimum thickness of steel is about 3mm, whereas aluminum and magnesium is about 1mm. The extrusion process can be done with the material hot or cold.

Metals that are commonly extruded:

* Aluminium is the most commonly extruded material and can be hot or cold extruded
* Brass is used to extrude corrosion free rods, automobile parts, pipe fittings, engineering parts
* Copper pipe, wire, rods, bars, tubes, and welding electrodes
* Lead and tin pipes, wire, tubes, and cable sheathing
* Magnesium is used in aircraft parts and nuclear industry parts, and is about as extrudable as aluminum
* Zinc rods, bars, tubes, hardware components, fittings and handrails
* Steel rods and tracks -Usually plain carbon steel is extruded, but alloy steel and stainless steel can also be extruded
* Titanium is often used in aircraft components including seat tracks, engine rings, and other structural parts.

Clean Metals for Recycling

The cleaner that a metal is when it’s taken into a scrap metal yard to sell, the better price it will fetch per kilo, as foreign matter is costly to clean off, so this product will always be penalised accordingly in terms of the price. By this we mean no concrete, screws, glass, paper or any other foreign material attached.

All the metal we buy is processed by cleaning any non-metallic off it as required, cutting it into smaller pieces, and then it is put through a baling press to maximise the weights for export to South East Asia, where it will be melted down and manufactured into new products.

The Extrusion Process

The process begins by heating the material (for hot or warm extrusion). It is then loaded into the container for pressing. A dummy block is placed behind it where the ram then presses the material to push it out of the die. Afterward, the extrusion is stretched in order to straighten it. If higher quality properties are required then it may be heat treated or cold worked.

Cold extrusion is done at or near room temperature. Advantages of this over hot extrusion are the lack of oxidation, higher strength due to cold working, closer tolerances, good surface finish, and fast extrusion speeds if the material is subject to heat for a short period.

If you are looking for aluminium extrustion recyclers in Brisbane, make sure you visit Frog Metals.