Dream Team
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To create your dream renovation team you need access to the best professional help you can find. So far we have looked at real estate agents, mortgage brokers, land surveyors, house inspectors and lawyers. To round your dream team out you need trades people!

Finding good, reliable trades people is a must for your business and can be one of the main challenges that you will face. Some trades people don’t answer your calls, some don’t bother to turn up, some charge the earth for poor quality work – you don’t want all your profits to be eaten up by unreliable and poor-quality trades people.

You need a special type of trades person who will turn up on time, work well with other tradies in small spaces, deliver superior workmanship on a tight dead line – and be someone you can trust.

Ask your friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Check with your insurer as they have a database of trades people and ask at your DIY stores for reliable tradies in the area.

When recruiting to your dream team – ask the following questions:

  • Are they licensed and insured? Ask to see a certificate of currency for public liability insurance. If they are not insured they can sue you for injuries sustained whilst on your property. Also ask for their license number as you are liable for their work for six years – even when the house is sold.
  • Ask to see a portfolio of their work and at least three references.
  • Ask for an honest and fair rate and a detailed quote that covers all costs. The lowest bid may not necessarily provide the best workmanship.
  • Can they inspect the property at a time that you nominate? Being told they will be there in the next few days to inspect the property for a quote ties up your time.
  • Are they available between your start and completion date? If they can’t fit in with your schedule then find another tradie.
  • Can Sasha deBretton explains how to find the right trades people for your dream team.they be on site at a time you state – every day? Turning up whenever it suits them, means they are either unreliable or doing work for someone else. You do not need unreliable workers or those with other work commitments. You have a completion date and need workers to turn up on time. Can they work to a deadline with other workers? It is important that they can work alongside other tradies.
  • Are they flexible if the schedule changes? You may need to move the completion date forward – are they happy to pull out all stops to help?

Make sure that itemised quotes are given to you fast – within 48 hours and compare costs and services between companies. Also educate yourself on the building regulations in your area.

Lastly, pay your trades people on time. If you do this, they are far more likely to remain happy and on your dream team!

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


So far we have looked at real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Today we are going to look at selecting the right lawyer, land surveyor and house inspector for your dream renovation team.


Buying and selling property is a complicated business and trying to do it all yourself, in particular dealing with the legal aspects involved – is a big job! There are mortgage taxes as well as building codes and regulations – so you need someone who understands all these different requirements and who can assist you through the process.

A good lawyer will protect your business, ensuring that you are not being taken advantage of and that the buying and selling process goes smoothly. They will be up-to-date on laws regarding property sales and acquisitions – but they are not cheap.

So make sure that you compare services and prices between different lawyers and also make sure that they specialise in property. Selecting the right lawyer for your business is important, so ask for recommendations from friends or colleges – but also make sure that you feel comfortable with them and that you feel confident with their abilities.

Land Surveyors

Subdividing a property is the ultimate find for a renovator! A land surveyor can help you gain Council approval – and increase the value of your property in an instant!

A good land surveyor can sort out any small problems raised by council – there is always a workable solution! So ask the following questions when you are looking for a good land surveyor:

  • Are they a registered land surveyor? Each State or Territory has their own registration board, so a surveyor must be registered in the State or Territory in which they are working.
  • Are they a member of any professional organisations? For example, the Institute of Surveyors in Victoria or the International Federation of Surveyors. Being a member of a professional organisation indicates that they keep themselves up-to-date with their profession and take an interest in the wider surveying community. All good indicators of a reliable land surveyor.
  • Ask them what surveys they have conducted in the area and for what purpose. This indicates how busy they are and also whether their skills are in line with your needs.

Sasha deBretton explains how to select House Inspectors and Land Surveyors for your dream team.

Make sure you compare prices between surveyors but also make sure you feel comfortable with their experience and track record in your area.

House Inspectors

A good house inspector is invaluable to your business. The last thing you need is to buy a property that has so much wrong with it that it will not turn a profit or won’t sell. A good house inspector will make sure that there are no nasty surprises – and you can make an informed decision on whether you want to buy the property or not.

To select the best house inspector for your business, ask the following questions:

  • Do they give a written guarantee of their work? No guarantee means no confidence!
  • Are their inspections insured? Does their insurance cover any defects they miss?
  • How much experience do they have? Whilst length of experience does not always indicate quality service – it is a good indicator. If they are new to the work, ask them about their training.
  • How do they remain up-to-date? It is good if they are committed to updating their knowledge and continuing their education.
  • Do they have references they can give you? Testimonials and references are always good to check – you want to feel confident in their professional ability.
  • Do they recommend remedies as well as identify faults? Having a background in construction is a huge bonus as they can suggest repairs that may be needed.

Next week we will look at how to find the right trades people for your dream renovation team.

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


At the moment we are looking at how you can put together your property dream team to help you renovate your way to wealth!

Last week we looked at real estate agents – why you need one and what qualities you should look for in an agent. This week we are looking at the second person you need on your dream team – a mortgage broker. Just how do you select the right mortgage broker for your dream team?

Mortgage Brokers

Most of us don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars just waiting around to be invested in property – so we need a loan. This is where a mortgage broker comes in – they greatly increase your chances of obtaining the right mortgage for you – if they are good at their job.

A good mortgage broker is well-connected and has access to hundreds of lenders and loan packages. They will negotiate on your behalf, saving you the trouble of researching all the loan products yourself. The right mortgage broker is a must for any serious renovator!

A mortgage broker will be paid by the loan institution that finances your loan – you do not pay the broker any money yourself. When you are ready to select a mortgage broker, keep in mind the following questions:

  • Are they a member of the Mortgage Industry Association of Australia? This holds them accountable and provides a formal process for resolution to you.
  • Ask for references. If they were recommended by a friend it is still a good idea to ask for customer testimonials as well as references from real estate agents they have worked with previously.
  • Do they charge a fee to you for their services? If they do – find another broker because their fee should be paid by the loan institution and not by you.
  • How many lenders do they have a relationship with? The more loan institutions they can contact for you – the better.
  • Do they have a relationship with your preferred lender (if you have one!). If you have already applied for a bank loan and had it rejected – sometimes a mortgage broker can push it over the line for you and the bank approves the loan!
  • How much commission does the broker receive from different loan institutions? If they receive more from certain banks – they may be more inclined to approach those institutions Sasha deBretton explains how to find the right mortgage broker for you dream teamrather than others.
  • What process do they use to find the right loan for you? A good broker will have a system in place.
  • Is there a fee for settling the loan early? This is important because as a renovator you want to sell quickly, take your profit and move onto the next property.

Ensure that you compare the costs of each loan prior to signing. If you are not comfortable with a loan selected by your broker, ask them to find you one with better conditions that suit your needs.

Ensure that you compare the costs of each loan prior to signing. If you are not comfortable with a loan selected by your broker, ask them to find you one with better conditions that suit your needs.

You can find listings of mortgage brokers at the Mortgage Industry Association, on real estate websites or simply Google them in your local area.

Next week we will look at Lawyers, Land Surveyors and House Inspectors.

Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!


This week we are going to take a look at one of the most, if not the most important aspect of renovating – finding the right people to help you. In other words – finding your dream team.

Too many people try and do everything themselves and come unstuck in one way or another pretty quickly. The reason they fail is because no single person can wear so many hats – none of us can do everything and do it well. Sometimes, we just have to bite the bullet and ask for help.

So who do you need on your dream team?

Real Estate Agent

The two main functions of your real estate agent is to help you buy a property at below market cost and then sell it for a profit, after your renovation. Local real estate agents have a wealth of information about the properties on their lists and the values in their areas. You can even use a buyer’s agent who can source the right property for you.

You want an experienced real estate agent who has the following qualities:

  • Personal experience with renovating properties – If they have renovated a property themselves or have previously sold properties for renovators, then they know what you have to do to make a profit with a property.
  • Specialist knowledge – They must be up-to-date with current market values and have an exhaustive knowledge of the local area. Being aware of properties that have not yet listed can be a huge bonus for you.
  • Available at all times – Obviously this is within reasonable hours, but there is nothing worse than trying to contact your agent during normal working hours and they are unavailable and even worse – do not return your call. Make sure that the agent you select provides their office and mobile numbers as well as their email. And make sure they respond to your calls promptly.
  • Proactive – If properties become available that match your criteria your agent should be calling you – not waiting for you to call them!
  • Advertises online – Many real estate agents do not update their websites regularly. I am sure that you have asked about a property advertised online just to be told it has sold, or is under contract. Even worse is when new listings are not advertised online in a timely fashion. Quite often the properties they have available are quite different to those on their website. Make sure your agent’s website is kept up-to-date.
  • Confidence – Your agent must be bold enough to make low offers for you. Many agents will not put in low offers to their own or other agent’s clients. Make sure that ySasha deBretton explains how to select your dream teamour agent is on your side and works for you!

Once you have selected the right real estate agent for your business offer them the incentive of future listings with them – only if they put their best foot forward helping you buy and sell this property.

Next week we will look at how to find the right mortgage broker for your dream team!


Be sure to check out Sasha’s TV channel and see how she transforms Drab in Fab!