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Jul 14, 2021 The ultimate downsizing checklist

Downsizing is incredibly liberating if you feel like you’re rattling around a large family home that once used to be full of noise and laughter but now sits mostly empty because the children have left the nest. While there’s a sadness to these situations, it can be an exciting time in which you’re able to create space in your life for new adventures. As experienced local agents, we’ve helped many couples who have made the decision to downsize and make the most of the current boom in property prices to fund a new, more streamlined lifestyle. Perhaps the most emotional element in the strategy is the need to discard many of the possessions that you’ve accumulated over a lifetime. So below is a downsizing checklist to help remove some of the stress. Take your time – Don’t try to downsize all in one day or weekend. The project will be too big. It’s taken a lifetime to accumulate all of this stuff – make sure your timeframe to cull is realistic. Go room by room – This will help you take on a larger project in bite-size chunks. Always finish one room before moving to the next, otherwise you might quickly become overwhelmed. Think creatively – Not everything needs to be thrown away. You can sell possessions that have value or give items to your family, friends or a favourite charity. You can now also list them with neighbourhood groups on social media and see if your possessions can find someone else who will appreciate them. Create a system – You’ll want a system to decide what you’re going to do with each item, so it’s best to be organised at the start of the project. Create different piles for keep, sell, donate and throw – and be tough when allocating. Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to seek help from family and friends – especially your kids! – but be clear with your instructions for them. Go carefully – It’s easy after a while to become a little careless. And that’s when you might throw away something that you’ll regret later. Put some time if you can between the sorting, and the decision to sell, donate or throw out just so you can revise if you need to. (But that doesn’t mean you keep everything!) Make a floor plan – If you’re in the great position of knowing where you’re moving to, then make a floorplan for each room and make sure you have measurements. This will help you qualify what’s in and out based on size and room allocation. Keep notes – It’s a smart idea to make a note of each item you intend to keep and why. You might add additional information, such as which room it will be kept or stored. The need to justify can help you cull just that little bit harder. Call a removalist – Once you’ve completed this project, get quotes on the cost of moving the items you’re keeping to your new home. This will help you decide whether you need to re-evaluate a few items Call a charity shop – Some charitable organisations offer a pick up service which can be helpful. It will also give you security about the items being useful to them – or if you need to find an alternative solution.

Jul 6, 2021 How to get home buyers in the door

When you’re selling your home, you need to get as many potential buyers as possible to attend your home open-for-inspection days. How you present the exterior of your property has a huge impact on buyers, as it makes your home stand out from other properties for sale in the area. Here’s how to give your home street appeal and ensure maximum attendance at your home inspections. Why street appeal matters You might get sick of hearing it, but first impressions last. Most potential buyers who are interested in your property will drive or walk past it before deciding whether or not to attend a home inspection. You want your home to grab their attention instantly, so you need to ensure the front and visible sides of your property are pristine and well-maintained if you want it to have maximum street appeal. Home improvements to make before selling Many of the most important repairs to make before selling a house are the street appeal solutions. ‘Kerb appeal’ is essential due to the extremely competitive property market; to stand out from the competition, you need to know how to improve the front of your house. There are several details to which you need to pay particular attention if you want to improve the street appeal of your property: 1. Letterbox The letterbox should be fully functional, attractive-looking and in good condition. If necessary, invest in a new, fancy letterbox to catch the eye of passers-by. Finally, make sure it is free of newspapers and mail, so the exterior of your home looks tidy and well cared-for. 2. Windows Windows add immensely to the street appeal of homes, as they offer a view into your property. The windows need to be spotlessly clean, and you can make your home appear more stylish from the outside by having matching blinds at the front of the house. 3. Paintwork Peeling or faded paintwork makes your home look uncared-for, and it’s amazing how much difference a coat of paint can make to your property’s street appeal. Choose a modern colour, and if you want to make a style statement, paint the front door in a contrasting colour so it stands out. Of course, if your paintwork is fine but a bit tired-looking, a good pressure clean will brighten everything without the cost of new paint. 4. Roof Buyers want to see that the roof is in good condition, so make sure any broken or loose tiles are replaced. Then have the roof pressure-cleaned to make it look like new. 5. Garage Make sure the outside of the garage looks clean and tidy, and give the garage door a fresh coat of paint. You should also consider parking your car in the garage instead of on the driveway, as this will make the front of your house look tidier and more attractive. 6. Garden The garden needs to look well-maintained, so you need to get rid of any weeds, dead plants and stray leaves. Keep the lawn mowed and lay new mulch. For maximum street appeal, consider hiring a professional to transform your garden with considered landscaping. Marketing your street appeal Once the exterior of your home is perfect, it’s time to have your photographs taken and put online. Your home will have that ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ street appeal that buyers want to see. This is the best way to get people through the door at your home inspections. Once the outside of your property is presented well enough to convince buyers to check out the inside, your agent can meet them and sell your property to them. More street appeal ideas  We are always happy to help you prepare your home for sale by advising you on how to give your property maximum street appeal for the local market. Please contact us if you would like more advice and support.

Jun 29, 2021 8 key steps for pre-sale home preparation

The season from September to November is generally the most popular time to sell a home. This has a number of advantages for sellers, but it is essential to start preparing your house for sale early if you want it to stand out from the many other properties on the market. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your home ready. Why getting your home ready for the spring market matters Spring is an ideal time to sell your home, for a couple of reasons: Your home will be shown in its best light, as the weather is better and the flowers are starting to bloom. Potential buyers often want to move into a new property before Christmas. However, generally speaking, this does result in more properties on the market than at any other time of year, so it is important to know how to prepare your home for spring if you want it to set the property apart from the competition. Preparing your home for sale checklist By taking care of every little detail and getting your spring cleaning right, you can improve your chances of selling your property quickly and achieving the best possible sale price. Here are our eight essential tips for preparing a house for sale: 1. Sale plan Planning ahead is extremely important, and starting in autumn can vastly increase your chances of a spring sale. There are a number of factors you need to work out before you start preparing your home for sale: Make sure all necessary paperwork is completed. Know where you’ll move to if you are selling your home. Work out when you need the property to be sold by. If the property is an investment, and currently rented, it can help to have an idea of what you will use the money for if you are not purchasing another property. Having everything in place early will leave you free to concentrate on the finer details later. 2. Property appraisal You need to have your property appraised by an experienced real estate agent. This price guide will help you work out approximately how much money you will be able to spend on your next property purchase. 3. Decluttering Home buying is an aspirational process – buyers want to imagine themselves living in your property. For this reason, it is extremely important to declutter every room. All personal items such as photographs should be removed (so the prospective buyer can imagine themselves in your home, rather than you). You need to make sure the cupboards, drawers and bathroom vanities are cleared out and reorganised, as buyers always look! You should also remove all clutter from the shed and garage, so the buyer can imagine the potential of the space. 4. Facelift Your property needs to look well-maintained, cared for and modern. There are a number of things you can do to help tidy it up: Painting: Just one coat can really freshen up your home. Neutral colours are best as they offer a blank canvas on which viewers can project their vision. Floors: Install new floor coverings if yours are worn. Have the carpets deep-cleaned to remove any stains and odours. Preparing the floors doesn’t have to be expensive; they just need to look and smell good. Replace: Cupboard doors, handles, bathroom fittings, to make everything look sparkling and new. The most important thing to do here is to deep clean every room. If you can’t face the thought of doing it yourself, there are cleaning services that will do this for you.   5. Home maintenance Make sure all the minor fixes are taken care of, such as installing new washers in dripping taps and unsticking any stubborn cupboards or drawers. If any major work needs doing, such as installing a new kitchen, make sure you don’t go overboard on the spending, as you want to see a good return on your investment. 6. Garden If you have a garden, it needs to look as well-maintained as the rest of your property. Weeding and removing dead plants are essential. It is also worth getting a team in to trim shrubs, mulch garden beds and keep the lawn mowed. 7. Street/ kerb appeal Think about what potential buyers will see when they drive by your home. Does the letterbox need replacing or the fence need fixing? You can also consider hiring a pressure-washing team to clean the walls, windows and roof. 8. Home styling Home styling is an important part of creating the right impression. A good real estate agent will be able to recommend a home stager who can style your home in a way that buyers will fall in love with. Find out more about preparing your property for sale By following these tips and starting early, you can save yourself a lot of stress when it comes to the spring season. You also need to speak to a good agent – they know what buyers in your area are looking for, and will be able to advise you on all the steps you need to take for the best possible chance of a sale.

Jun 22, 2021 Home improvements on a budget

Is it worth renovating a house before selling? This is a question many home sellers ask, particularly if they are selling a house that needs repairs. Before you start spending, it’s essential to know the right home improvements to make before selling your home. Getting the balance right is crucial if you want to make your money back. The right home improvements don’t need to be expensive to make a huge difference to your home. Here we reveal the best renovations to do before selling if you want to maximise your selling price. How to sell a house that needs updating 1. Talk to an agent The first thing you need to do is talk to a reputable, experienced real estate agent. They will know the market in your area, so they will have the best idea of what local buyers are looking for. There’s no point adding features that simply won’t attract buyers, as the cost of these renovations might not end up being reflected in the sale price. An experienced agent will take a look at your home and advise you of cosmetic changes that will make the most difference and achieve maximum returns on your investment. They will also be able to put you in touch with a professional home stylist who can showcase your property in its best light. 2. Find a team of reputable tradespeople DIY is fine if you’re experienced, but remember all renovation work has to look professional to attract buyers. If you’re not confident doing a job yourself, even if it’s just painting, it’s far better to get an experienced tradesperson to do it. You should always get at least three quotes for every job, but don’t always be tempted to go for the cheapest – their work might not be good quality, so it could cost you more money in the long run as you might not achieve the sales price you’re hoping for. It helps if you can get recommendations first – it’s worth talking to your real estate agent, as they might have a team of trusted tradies they use regularly. 3. Don’t overspend Remember, the most important thing here is to add value to your home. You don’t want to overspend or have to get a loan to fix your house to sell, as you are unlikely to see a return on your investment. In addition, the buyer is unlikely to share your taste. If you spend thousands on a new kitchen or bathroom, they could easily rip it out as soon as the house is sold. This means the most important thing is to concentrate on essential repairs and small cosmetic changes. Selling a house in poor condition is extremely difficult, but you can easily fix the main problems without breaking the bank. What are the most important improvements to make before selling a house? 1. Clean and tidy Make sure your property is completely decluttered and give it a thorough deep clean before making any other improvements. This will give you the best sense of what other work needs to be done if any. 2. Freshen up A coat of paint can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your home. Stick to neutral colours, as buyers want a blank canvas that they can imagine stamping their own personalities onto. Regrouting tiled areas can make them look new, as can simple improvements like changing the handles on cupboard doors and drawers. If your cabinetry looks shabby, simply replace the doors, wherever possible, rather than investing in brand-new cabinets. You should also replace any worn or damaged flooring, but this can be done cheaply – you don’t need to buy the most expensive. It's amazing how much difference a few small cosmetic changes can make. For example: In the bathroom: You can retile a bathroom quite cheaply, particularly if it's relatively small. You can also replace the doors on a vanity, swap old tapware for new, paint the ceiling and you're done. In the kitchen: Replace cupboard doors and handles, paint the walls, put down a new floor covering, replace old tapware and your kitchen will look like new. In the garage: Make sure the space is tidy and ordered, and check the door mechanism works. 3. Make any necessary small repairs Creaking doors, dripping taps or broken tiles are instant turnoffs for buyers, as they suggest there might be other, larger problems with your home. Make sure all these minor issues are fixed. Don’t forget the exterior of the property, either – make sure the roof tiles and fence are in good condition. Whatever changes you decide to make, you should choose budget-friendly, timeless options rather than following the latest trends, and always talk to an agent first. If you would like any advice, we are always here to help.

Jun 15, 2021 3 best home price negotiation strategies

Selling a home is something you can do in a number of ways. In order to achieve the best results and sale price for your individual circumstances, you need to know the different types of methods used for selling property and then work with your agent to choose the right method for you. Here’s what you need to know about the three main methods of sale and what factors influence the choice of method for selling. Methods of sale of property There are three main methods used to sell property: 1. Private treaty This is the traditional method of selling homes. As the vendor, you set the sale price, which should be based on a valuation provided by your real estate agent. Your agent then negotiates privately with each potential buyer on your behalf to achieve a sale price close to or (ideally) above the sale price you have set. Pros: Your property remains available until contracts have been exchanged. If in the meantime someone makes you a higher offer, it is perfectly legal for you to accept this offer. You can take your time considering different offers as there is no definite sale date, unlike with an auction. Cons: The buyer can withdraw their offer at any stage (up until contracts have been exchanged) if they change their mind. In addition, most states in Australia offer a five-day cooling-off period during which a buyer can change his or her mind. You need to get the sale price exactly right – too low and you will lose money, too high and potential buyers might be discouraged. 2. Public auction Property auctions are the same as any other type of auction. Interested bidders gather in a location, usually outside the property itself. Your real estate agent starts the bidding, and when only one bidder remains, that person ‘wins’ the property. There is no sale price set prior to the auction – instead, the agent will usually offer a guide price range. This makes people aware of whether or not they have a chance of winning the property. You also have the option of setting a ‘reserve’ price, which is the lowest amount you’re prepared to accept for your home. As some buyers are discouraged by the public auction process, nowadays some agents prefer to hold a ‘boardroom auction’. This is held in the agent’s office rather than in the street in front of your property, so it is less intimidating and more relaxed. There are no onlookers and everyone there is a serious bidder, so the process is usually quicker than holding an auction in public. Pros: Auctions encourage competition between buyers, which is enhanced by the excitement on the day, potentially pushing the property price up. It gives you a definite date to work towards so you can plan your marketing and open homes effectively. Even if your home doesn’t sell on auction day, most agents negotiate a sale in the following days. Cons: The sale price is public, and if your property ‘passes in’. where it fails to meet the guide price, this will be made public, which can damage its future sales potential. Some buyers dislike the auction process and might be discouraged from attending 3. Blind auction This method is also known as a silent auction, or buying a house by expression of interest. Your agent will advertise the property and the closing date for expressions of interest. Interested parties then make offers for the property without knowing what amounts anyone else is bidding. Pros: You only get to make one expression of interest in real estate so many people will make their highest offer straight away as they don’t want to miss out. You can end up gaining as people offer what they are prepared to pay – they don’t know what other interested parties are offering and they know they can’t try and outbid others later on. Cons: People might not know the market value of the property so they make offers that are far too low. Once the highest bid has been accepted, you are not then allowed to accept any other offers that might be made for your property. Blind auctions can have high marketing costs because you have less time to make sure buyers know about the property and the closing date. What factors influence the choice of method for selling a property? The right method for you will depend entirely on the outcome you want. If you need a quick sale, a public auction is the best way to achieve this. Even if your property passes in, it still has a high chance of being sold on auction day as your agent can negotiate with the highest bidder once the auction has closed. If you don’t want the stress and time constraints of an auction, and you want control over who you sell your property to, a private treaty is the right method for you. However, it isn’t ideal if you need a quick sale as you don’t know when the offers are going to come in. Blind auctions are normally used to sell prestige properties as interested buyers are likely to have more money to offer. However, this is quite an unpredictable process, so you need to be willing to gamble. More information about selling your home The most important thing when you are selling your home is to have a reputable and experienced real estate agent to guide you through the process. They will understand the local market and take the time to establish which method would work best for you in your individual circumstances. If you would like more help and advice about selling your home, please contact us, and we will be happy to help.

Jun 8, 2021 Why property styling gets you the best sales price

When you’re selling your home, professional property styling can help you achieve the best possible price. But what will a home stylist do for you? How much does home staging cost? And how much return can you expect on your investment? We take an in-depth look at home staging, to put you in the picture. Why house staging is important to your sale The property market is on the rise – home for sale are in short supply which his means it’s a seller’s market, so there is less competition. If you want to achieve the best possible sales price, your property needs to stand out from the crowd. This is where a professional home stylist can help. They style your home to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers, often bringing home furnishings with them to highlight key features of your home. This maximises your home’s appeal in a number of ways: It makes your home aspirational Potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home. They like the thought of being able to move straight in without having to do any work to the property. Home staging achieves this by making your home neutral, removing all personal items such as family photographs, and ensuring all the furniture is new and of good quality. This helps buyers to see your home in its best light and picture themselves living there. It gives your home a broader appeal By highlighting the best features of your home and making even dated rooms look more attractive, property styling makes your home appeal to more potential buyers. This ensures you will receive more competing offers, giving you a faster sale and helping you to achieve the best possible sale price. It makes your home look better in photographs A professional home stylist knows exactly what makes a property look good in photographs. As a result, online advertising for your home will generate more interest, leading to more buyers wanting to visit your home in person. How much does home staging cost? Firstly, it is important to see home staging as an investment. Property styling statistics tell us that by having your home professionally styled, you can add between 7.5 and 12.5 per cent onto the final sale price. In every case, you will at the very least make your money back, usually making significantly more. The cost of home styling depends on what you want. It is possible to have a single consultation with a home stylist for between $150 and $500, but you would then have to carry out their recommendations yourself. Most sellers choose property styling packages, which can include a whole variety of services such as decluttering, and cleaning and minor repairs, as well as styling and hiring furniture. The cost of a full property styling package can range from $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment up to $10,000 for a large family home, but this is money well-spent. Should you consider DIY home styling for sale? If you want to style your property yourself, the most important things are to declutter and give your property a thorough clean. Make sure any minor repairs are done and remember that a coat of paint can give the space a much fresher feel. However, if you really want to make a difference, you also have to consider how much it might cost to hire furniture for a house sale unless you can borrow the items you need from family and friends. Most importantly, you need to consult with a reputable real estate agent, who will be able to offer advice on what you need to do. They will also be able to put you in touch with a professional home stylist. If you need any further information and advice, please contact us, and we will be happy to help.

Jun 2, 2021 Marketing your home to stand out from the crowd

The housing market is extremely competitive, so if you want to know how to sell your house, you need to learn how to market it to show buyers exactly what they are looking for. Here we explain what adds value to a house, and what you can do to appeal to potential buyers to ensure you generate maximum interest and get the best possible sale price for your home. Provide ALL the information buyers need Looking for a new home can be extremely time-consuming, not to mention expensive. Buyers look at many properties, so you need to make sure yours is more memorable than others in your area. One of the ways you can do this is by providing potential buyers with as much information as possible to save them spending extra time and money finding the essential things out for themselves. They will remember and thank you for it! Some of the information you can provide them with includes: Building and pest inspection reports When someone is on the market for a new home, they won’t be prepared to spend on building and pest inspection reports for every property they visit – they will do this only for a select few. You can get ahead of the competition by providing them with this information yourself. It can make all the difference, especially for buyers who may already be stretching their budgets to the max to afford your property. Engineer’s report This shows that your property is structurally sound, even if it has cracks or other visible faults. It reassures buyers that they won’t need to have expensive structural work done if they purchase your property. Invoices showing the costs of improvements If you have made improvements to your property, showing potential buyers the invoices demonstrates that they are getting good value. It shows how much you have spent on the property and that you have taken care in maintaining and improving it, so they will not need to have as much work done themselves. Get your presentation right Some of the questions we are commonly asked by home sellers include: What are the best renovations to do before selling? How much value does painting add to a house? Does a front fence add value? The truth is, every home is different, and the renovations you need to make will depend on the condition of your property. The most important things to do are to declutter and give every area of your property a deep clean. You need to remove all your personal items so buyers can see a blank canvas. A good real estate agent will be able to put you in touch with a professional property stylist. They will bring in their own furniture and soft furnishings to present your home in a way that will photograph well and appeal to potential buyers in your area. Create an emotional connection Home buying is an aspirational process. Buyers are looking for a property that they can imagine themselves living in and enjoying the lifestyle it offers. This means you have to make every effort to forge an emotional connection between potential buyers and your property to generate maximum interest and increase your home resale value. To do this, you need to make sure the photographs of your home look as attractive as possible. You then need to make sure these photographs reach as many of your target market as possible through increasing your social media reach. A good agent will ensure your property can be seen by overseas and interstate buyers as well as those in your local area. In addition, you can make the experience more ‘real’ for the buyer by making it easier for them to envisage living in your home. 3D floor plans such as those offered by Diakrit and virtual walk-throughs of the kind Matterport offer enable buyers to ‘revisit’ your property online and imagine how they would use the space. This creates a deeper connection with your property and makes it stand out from the crowd. Find out more about how to add value to your home If you want more tips on how to increase the value of your home and how to market it to appeal to the maximum number of buyers in your area, we are always happy to help. Please contact us for more information.

May 25, 2021 Rightsize your life, whatever your age

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll no doubt be inundated with articles on downsizing. We often talk about downsizing – and the tiny house movement certainly gives the impression that everyone needs to move into a glorified caravan to be happy. However, we like to take a different approach and prefer to talk about ‘rightsizing’ that applies to any age group.   What is rightsizing? Rightsizing is about having the space you need at the age you are that makes you happy and allows you to live comfortably. That might mean that you sell the family home that’s too large for your needs and finding a smaller home elsewhere, either closer in or out of the city. However, if what makes you happy is entertaining, and having family and friends visit, then you might look at a larger property with some acreage.   Downsizing Once the family has left home and you start to change the way you live your life, cleaning a large home might not be your cup of tea (if it ever was). There’s a good reason minimalism took off over the last 10 years; it’s all those homeowners who wanted to make their lives more manageable.  Larger homes with loads of storage space encourage hoarding, and possessions can be a responsibility you might no longer wish to deal with. If this sounds like you, then it might be time to think about finding a smaller home that allows you to live your life the way you want to – without all the cleaning, mowing and repairs.   Upsizing Young couples and first home buyers in this market can generally afford only a modestly sized property. Once children come along, they realise it’s worth investing in a larger home to accommodate a growing family and a more active lifestyle. Older couples, too, might choose to sell the suburban family home in favour of a larger property with a pool or a tennis court, and plenty of room to accommodate visitors and keep the grandkids entertained.   Multigenerational living Especially given property prices and the need for emotional and physical support, there’s a greater tendency these days for several generations to pool resources and live together. While this might sound like each generation would lack the privacy they need, properties such as dual-key homes offer proximity and privacy.  If you aren’t familiar with the dual-key concept, a dual-key home is one with two homes on the same block. They tend to be apartments or townhouse-style, with separate entrances. Owners of dual-key properties can live separately but together, or rent half their property. Dual-key home designs tend to allow for future merging of the two properties into one as family needs change. For those considering a new build for multigenerational living, creative architecture and interior design can also ensure comfort and privacy through zoning, subtle level changes and considered use of materials. Top three tips for rightsizing your ome and upsizing your life While there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, if you follow these tips, you’ll end up in a better place. 1. Make a list of locations You might have lived in the same area your whole life but that’s no reason to stay. Your current home might be out of a good schools catchment area, or far from medical facilities and shopping. Think about what you’ll need for the next ten years. 2.Make a list of must-haves Whatever you’re doing – downsizing or upsizing – to find the right property, you need to be clear about what you want, what possessions you want to keep, and what lifestyle your new home needs to enhance. 3. Audit your finances Rightsizing is about helping you live your best life and you can’t do that if you’re trying to service a mortgage you can’t afford. So take stock of your finances, talk to a mortgage broker you trust, and buy a home you can afford without stress.   Can we help you rightsize your home? Get in touch with us today.