Tag Archives: realestate

Selling in winter: everything you need to know

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Year after year, we encounter home owners who are hesitant to put their property on the market during winter due to the common misconception that the market cools down just as much as the temperature. Whilst birds may flock South for the winter, buyers do not!

With the vast majority of home owners being under the impression that the warmer months are the best time to sell your property, what we tend to see is an oversupply of property during summer and spring which means one thing: increased competition. By taking advantage of the fact there are typically less properties for sale during winter, you are inevitably going to capture a larger pool of buyers.

If you are worried that the cold weather and rainy days will keep the buyers away, fear not. A wintery day is not enough to keep serious buyers away which leads us to our next point – quality over quantity. You can be fairly certain that the prospective buyers who do attend your open for inspection on a cold, grizzly day are genuinely motivated and more likely to be in the decision making phase of their property journey.

When selling in winter, it is important that you take presentation into consideration. Creating an atmosphere which is warm, cozy and inviting is highly beneficial during the cooler months and allows you to showcase the feel of your home. Our top tips for holding an open for inspection during winter:

  1. Make up for the lack of natural light – open all window coverings and switch your light globes over to a warm tone and ensure all lights and lamps are working
  2. Turn the heating on well ahead of your inspection
  3. Set the scene and make it cozy – throw rugs, cushions and candles are great tools to create ambiance
  4. Leave spare towels near the front and back doors for those wet shoes trapesing in and out unless buyers are required to remove their footwear
  5. Provide an umbrella stand next to the front door
  6. Keep the gardens as tidy as possible, especially in relation to loose leaves
  7. Be prepared – unless weather conditions are unsafe, we never recommend cancelling an inspection. Remember our earlier point about serious buyers!
  8. Tackle any maintenance issues before putting your property on the market or as they arise, cold weather and rain are more likely to draw attention to damp odors or water damage

 

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SELLING YOUR HOME AT CHRISTMAS

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Let’s be honest, Christmas can be a lot more stressful than merry for the average adult and that’s before you even contemplate trying to sell your home during the festive season!

Stress less, we have a few jolly good (pun intended) tips to make preparing your home for sale and surviving the festivities a little easier.

  1. Advertising photos

If possible, have your property photographed prior to putting up the tree and all the directions. Not only can decorations detract from the features of your home in photos, if your property is still on the market come next year, it will be painfully obvious to prospective purchasers how long your property has been on the market for.

  1. Timing

‘Tis the season to avoid time wasters! Traditionally, most sellers opt to launch their property campaign after Christmas and New Year celebrations are out of the way as popular opinion is that if buyers can’t be in their new home before Christmas, they would rather wait until the new year. Sure, the average buyer would love to be in prior to Christmas but if they haven’t found what they’re looking for, it doesn’t mean they are going to stop looking! Any buyer who is out and about during the holiday season searching for a home is likely to be a serious buyer. It’s also worth noting that your competition is significantly reduced during this period which can make your property stand out from the crowd. The lack of available properties can also be in your favour when it comes to negotiating sale price and contract terms.

  1. Online advertising

Don’t be afraid to upgrade your online advert on platforms such as realestate.com.au, reiwa.com.au and domain.com.au – if you are trying to sell during the holidays, take advantage of the fact you will have less competition and upgrade your advert to the top of the suburb search field.

  1. Presentation

Don’t go overboard with the Christmas decorations if you’re planning on having property inspections, the home itself should be the main feature – it’s great to get into the Christmas spirit, just try and keep things simple and tasteful. Similarly, we recommend that you avoid placing those wrapped gifts under the tree until you’ve completed your last inspection prior to Christmas day!

  1. Inspections

If you won’t be allowing property inspections to take place during the festive season, you may want to consider waiting until the landmark celebrations are out of the way before launching your campaign. If you are open to inspections, let your agent know your availability to avoid last minute stress with unplanned inspections and frantic cleaning. Keep in mind Christmas in Perth is HOT – make sure your cooling system is in good order before any inspections take place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can a great garden really boost the sale price of your home?

Everyone knows the importance of first impressions, especially when it comes to real estate.

It has often been said that a garden makes a house a home, so never underestimate the importance of outdoor areas when it comes to selling.

Make a bad one and you’ve lost a buyer immediately, however a positive first look can pave the way for a quick and easy sale and potentially add thousands to the price of your home.

You don’t necessarily need a garden worthy of the Chelsea Flower Show, according to Abel McGrath Property Consultant Genevieve Carrier, however landscaping is the first thing that potential buyers see, so it’s well worth investing in ‘greening up’ your outdoors if you’re thinking of heading to sale.

Ms Carrier says it may sound obvious but street appeal is still extremely important so getting your garden in order should be a top priority.

“Research has shown that lifestyle changes and work commitments have meant the allure of a large garden may not be what it once was,

“While buyers like having plenty of outdoor space, they don’t always relish a garden that requires a lot of maintenance,” Ms Carrier says.

“Prospective home owners might gaze admiringly at your borders, lawns and trimmed hedges, but they’ll also be mentally toting up the man-hours.

“It’s safe to assume that for most buyers, a house with a garden is more attractive than one without, as long as it comes with an equally attractive reticulation system.”
She says although a good looking garden is important, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive landscaping – it can be as simple as pruning, weeding and putting some top-up mulch on your garden beds and mowing the lawn.

Ms Carrier says the importance placed on gardens and outdoor areas can also be swayed by location.

“If you’re close to parklands or minutes to then each, then the outdoor areas and gardens become less of a necessity,” she adds.

“However, if you are a significant distance from attractive parklands or nature reserves then the outdoor areas and gardens will become of prime importance.”

Here are some expert tips on preparing gardens and outdoor areas for sale:

  • You don’t have to spend a fortune – it’s advisable to improve on an established garden rather than putting in a brand new one.
  • If you need to add to the garden, choose plants that complement the style of your home.
  • Plant some potted bloomers for instant cheer and choose some plants with a bit of fragrance particularly at the entrance.
  • Fix any broken or rusted garden lights or fixtures in the garden
  • Mend fences, make sure gates are fixed and in working order so the home doesn’t appear neglected – prying open a garden gate in front of buyers does not look good and these are important things that buyers look at.
  • Ensure that any uneven brick paving is fixed and driveways and paved areas are cleaned with a high pressure hose
  • Invest in some good outdoor lighting so the yard looks as good at night as it does during the day and consider spot or strip lighting or illuminated water features.

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Why it’s important to listen to what the market tells you

It’s no secret that the West Coast property market is experiencing one of its most challenging periods in recent years.

While markets in Sydney and Melbourne have continued to experience record growth and seemingly continued unmet spiralling demand, the market here has softened considerably in the wake of the resources slow down.

This has impacted not just sellers, but landlords also, who have been forced to readjust their expectations around expected return on their investment.

While at the height of the boom, landlords might have had the luxury of choosing between a plethora of competitive offers, these days, tenants have a lot more bargaining power.

Abel McGrath Property Manager, Samantha Withnell, says although the market is definitely tough in many respects, there are still ways landlords can ensure they get the best out of their investment property.

“Being realistic and listening to good advice is really the key to achieving a decent rental return in a quieter market,” Ms Withnell says.

She says landlords are in general more realistic and are also willing to listen to good quality advice.

“If we educate our landlords on the amount of rent they may lose by keeping their property advertised at the wrong price, they can usually see that the potential long term gain outweighs any short term loss,” Ms Withnell says.

She says although a reasonable rental rate is always imperative for landlords, it is equally important to secure the right tenant.

“Therefore we do find that our landlords are often open to renegotiating to ensure they hang on to or attract a quality tenant.”She says there are a number of ways landlords or investors can ensure a rental property stands out in a softer market.

“Having professional photographs taken for advertising purposes is essential in a competitive market.

“Ensuring the property is clean and tidy and the garden is well maintained, even if a property is vacant, is also extremely important.”

She says it’s also a good idea to look at the rental rate on comparable properties in the same area to give you a guide as to what to expect.

“However the rental rate should stay in line with the current market and it shouldn’t be necessary to reduce the rent below this.”

Ms Withnell says some landlords currently offer extras such as a week’s free rent or gift vouchers to entice good quality tenants and ensure their property stands out from the crowd.

“Enticements such as including pool or garden maintenance, or being a bit more flexible around the issue of pets, can all help to put your property ahead of its competitors.”

She says the Perth market appears to have stabilised at this point with minimal movement up or down expected in the next 12 months.

“And while we understand that in challenging economic times everyone is trying to save money where they can, ensuring you have a good property manager on your side will be far more beneficial in the long run”.