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9 things that turn buyers off

There are lots of different objections buyers have when inspecting properties, some of these are often things that can be avoided or easily changed. Know what they are and you can avoid them when it’s your turn to sell.

Dirt

Walking into a property that’s not well presented can cost you a sale. Buyers will walk away if they’re inundated with dust, dirt or other muck. Make an effort, and hire a professional cleaner, home stager, or both if you need a hand.

Thoroughly clean the entire property, including all those areas you think no one notices. Living areas, backyards, bathrooms and toilets should get extra attention.

You can’t really overdo cleaning when it comes to selling – properties that just look neat and acceptable might not be enough, especially if you’re commanding top dollar.

Kitchen

Your home should shine as much as it possibly can.

Smells

Ah, the good ol’ nose, always ruining things. Actually, we should be glad we’re so sensitive to smell, and that smells can have a big impact on our property buying process.

Setting up your place for sale can involved creating a set of inviting smells. But it should also involve getting rid of the unappealing ones.

Top of buyers turn off lists are pet smells. Even if we love our own animals, we don’t really want to smell other people’s, especially when it’s in an environment we’re trying to imagine kicking back and relaxing in.

Other smell turn offs are cigarette smoke, mustiness, food and overpowering perfumes or incense (if you’re dressing your home for sale, less is more).

Clutter

If your property is for sale, you usually need to do a little more than a quick spruce (unless you keep an amazing home all year round). Declutter strategically and systematically, starting with those areas that will interest most buyers when they inspect your home, and the areas they’ll do most of their living in.

A cluttered living room is harder to explain away than a cluttered garage, for example.

Even organised clutter can be unattractive to potential buyers.

Even organised clutter can be unattractive to potential buyers.

Getting a professional organiser in to help you out can be a great idea, especially if you’re overwhelmed with all the other business involved in selling a home – not to mention living your life around it.

A pro can look at your clutter objectively and take quick, decisive action to remove the excess and store the rest out of sight.

Temperature

Call it the Goldilocks effect.

If a property is too hot or too cold your buyers will bristle. Though it mightn’t be a deal breaker it does invite pointy questions – does the heating or cooling work as it should? With such high ceilings, it is expensive to heat?

Buyers get turned off it they can’t experience your home at its optimal comfort levels.

No price

Fewer things will frustrate a buyer more than looking at an advertised property with no price.

Your listing is usually the first time your possible buyer will see your home. If the required detail isn’t there, it’ll have be something truly unique to get them to dig deeper, rather than just scrolling past to the next property that meets their criteria.

Man on laptop

Price is often the first thing buyers will look for when house hunting.

Budget is all important for a buyer. It’s not always possible to pin down a finite dollar figure, but if your property advertising doesn’t at least have a range listed, it’s a top turn off for buyers, who probably think they’re in for a nasty shock (even if the home is reasonably priced).

Help them marry their budget to your property and be upfront.

No address

Buyers want and deserve to know where their investment is located. Sometimes the suburb alone isn’t enough; surrounding streets and amenities can often make or break a sale.

Make sure your agent includes the full address you have available so it’s easy for buyers to do their homework on your property.

Not including information can be seen as a way to hide less than desirable details, whether or not it’s the case. And hiding doesn’t help anyone. Don’t put them off before they’re even in your door.

No photos

Would you buy a product sight unseen?

Photos are the single most powerful tool to inspire a potential buyer to inspect a home, or make an enquiry. People need to imagine their lives in your property, or get an authentic impression of how it will stand up as an investment.

Work with your agent to create a series of photos or video that shows your home in its best possible light.

Your agent

Just as your agent can make your sale, they might also break it if buyers are finding them hard to reach, or difficult to deal with.

Your agent is working for you, so make sure they’re treating buyers with respect and professionalism. Most agents are great at this and you should be able to ferret out their personality when you meet, greet and decide to appoint them.

Avoid these traps and you won’t sabotage your sale before you even start. It always helps to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.

Would you buy a home with insufficient information listed, or one that looked messy, chaotic or smelt funky when you went for an inspection?

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Posted in Hints and Tips

Tips for moving with the kids

Moving house, unsurprisingly, is one of the major stresses many people experience in life.

Often more than once. It’s an even more stressful experience for children, who may have never gone through it before.

Don’t neglect the little tackers. Nor the big kids. It’s an equally, if not more stressful situation for their developing minds to comprehend.

They’ll be forced to say goodbye to favourite pastimes, much loved playtime haunts and well-known neighbours and friends.

Then they’ll have to front up to a new school, seek out new comrades and bond all over again.

Kids

Remember to try to keep the experience a positive one where possible.

It’s a human instinct to seek counsel when in stressful times so make sure you’re on-hand to help your kids through this unsettling time.

Many child and family psychologists have said moving house can be as stressful as death and divorce.

Don’t let that be the case. Preparing kids for the emotional side of moving should be a priority, as with relocating the pets. Don’t let these important factors be overlooked or put off.

Most of all, share the fresh start with your children and let them in on the excitement.

A fresh start: how to cope

The big move is often associated with stress and uncertainty, especially when moving far away from your previous home. Starting a new life is very exciting but the thought of new schools, making new friends and losing old mates are things that may play on a child’s mind.

kids

Exploring the surroundings can help put a positive spin on the big move.

How do you approach this?

Ensure open, honest communication. Talk about the move before, during and after. No-one likes surprises so keep the kids in the loop

Explain what will happen on move day. Kids like to know what’s going on. Arrange a babysitter that they’re familiar with. Assign tasks to make them feel included and important

Have a collection of kid’s toys and ‘special’ items on-hand. Make these items easily accessible. This go-to box will come in handy and make everyone feel at home quicker

Let the kids explore the new neighbourhood. Getting to know new surrounds is the best form of familiarity – parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities

Read all about it

Books

A good book can smooth the way towards a happy transition.

Books are a great way for parents to begin the communication process. There are hundreds on the market.

A few of my favourites

What About My Goldfish?

Written by Jennifer Plecas, illustrated by Pamela D. Greenwood

Moving House

Written by Anne Civardi and Michelle Bates, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright

Boomers Big Day

Written by Constance W. McGeorge, illustrated by Mary Whyte

Big Ernie’s New Home: A Story For Young Children Who Are Moving

Written by Teresa and Whitney Martin

The Berenstein Bears Moving Day

Written by Stan and Jan Berenstein

 

Shout out the positives

Make sure to make a note of all of the fun and exciting things to come. This will help children to transition more easily.

You could let them choose their own room (this may end up in tantrums and sibling rivalry though), but it might also help to adjust and accept change more easily.

Don’t forget the furry kids

Dog

Moving can be stressful for pets too.

Pets are an important part of the family. But do you know how to keep a pet’s stress levels to a bare minimum while you’re moving their world?

Some reputable removalist companies will offer Pet Relocation services to help ease the moving pains with pets. These services include door-to-door transportation and added features like boarding services.

Settle in to your new surrounds

The big move is a turning point in everyone’s life. A chance to turn over a new leaf and try something new. Let the positives outweigh the negatives and allow the kids to join in and get excited about the new chapter of your lives. It’ll make it easier on everyone in the long run.

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Posted in Hints and Tips

How to sell your property remotely

There are many reasons you might need to sell a property that’s not near where you reside – maybe it’s a loved one’s estate or you need to move for an immediate work transfer overseas. Perhaps you’re losing money renting an investment property in another state and just want it off your hands.

There are distinct challenges of selling a property remotely, but there are also things sellers can do to minimise the hassle. Selling a home remotely is no small feat, but an experienced agent can definitely help make the process easier.

First of all, does it make sense to sell?

Unless you’ve already written off renting out the property, consider holding onto it as an investment. Not every area is conducive to renting, but you might find that you can actually make money (and avoid the sales process) by keeping the property as a rental. This is also a great option if you’re moving quickly (hence the remote sale), but may come back at some point. Going overseas for a few years? Renting the property while you’re away can earn you money and ensure you’ve got somewhere to come home to.

Of course, being a landlord is no small job, so you’ll need to hire a property manager who can look after the investment in your absence. Not all property mangers are created equal, however, so make sure you hire an experienced and involved property management company who will run your home like a successful business.

Get your head around the local market

You most likely won’t know much about the real estate in another state, city or country. You can research the market extensively before determining your sale price, but no matter how much information you find, it will be difficult to truly gauge where a particular market is going without local knowledge. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to get in touch with the right agent straight away.

What can the right agent do?

The right agent will facilitate the selling process from start to finish. Any real estate agent can go through the general motions of selling a property, but when you’re not on the ground, you need an agent who can proficiently:

  • Conduct a property appraisal and set a reasonable price you’ll be happy with
  • Advertise the property, prepare the home (including cleaning and necessary repairs), and conduct inspections for you
  • Keep you in the loop about all progress through regular check ins
  • Negotiate fairly and openly on your behalf

Working with the right agent when you sell your home remotely will give you much needed piece of mind. To work with experts who are driven to sell your property, reach out to the Dave Williams Team. We’re glad to help you every step of the way, no matter your unique circumstances.

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Posted in Hints and Tips

How to: Prepare your home for a winter sale

Serious buyers are always looking for the right property, even in the cooler months of the year. In fact, when there are less properties on the market buyers tend to act quicker and pay more! 

Here are some specific considerations to keep in mind if you’re looking to sell your home this winter.

Lights

Winter days can be overcast, so you need to make sure that you maximise the light in your home – both natural and artificial.

Try these tricks:

  • Adjust your window furnishings to maximise natural light.
  • Make sure your blinds are open and curtains are drawn.
  • Turn on all the ceiling lights and lamps in your home.
  • Remove any obscuring objects.

Clean windows will let in more light.

Clean windows will let in more light.

Make sure all windows are extra clean, as they will let in more light than grubby ones.

Also be sure to choose your home open house times carefully, basing them around the amount of natural light available.

Climate control

You want potential buyers to feel instantly at ease and there’s nothing like the embrace of a warm, cosy home.

A cranking fire will create ambience at an OFI.

A warm home will create the right atmosphere.

Make sure your home is at a comfortable temperature during your open house inspection.

If you have an open fire, put it to good use – a roaring fire is emotive, heats the space and adds atmosphere.

Soft furnishings

Lightening up the colours of your soft furnishings will reflect the cooler seasons.

To keep your home feeling warm and welcoming, increase the textures and depth of your accent colours by replacing a few cushion covers.

Middle Park home, cat peering out of window

Mix up your cushion covers with different textures to create warmth.

Place textured throws and blankets around the lounge areas.

Consider adding a rug which can be great for creating zones within an open-plan space.

Drains & gutter maintenance

The last thing you want is embarrassing pools of water forming in front of potential buyers.

Make sure you have all your drains and gutters cleaned so that if there is a sudden downpour, storm water will wash away quickly.

You should be really conscious of moisture and dampness inside your home too which can be a red flag to a potential buyer.

If you’d like more information on preparing your house for sale, or the best time to sell in the Peregian marketplace, call your local property expert Dave Williams on 0488 88 4573.

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How to: Set a price for your home

Setting a price is one of the most important decisions vendors have to make when selling their home. It’s also one of the most complex.

With a constantly shifting market and substantial sums of money at play, setting a price can tricky.

Vendors have two basic choices; work with a reputable real estate agent to set a price or pay an independent valuer.

sale scents

Often vendors price their own homes based on what they need to repay debts or buy a new house.

In real terms, that sort of price bears no relation to the home’s actual market value. Sadly, that’s just not how it works.

Vendors often also compare their home to nearby properties to come up with a price, but unavoidable personal bias can creep in. Of course when it’s your house, you’re going to think yours is better, more valuable. It’s difficult for vendors to be dispassionate.

Ascertaining an independent value is harder than it seems, though..

Most people get three real estate agents to come in, looking for three valuations on their home, but in reality, what they’re getting is three pitches for business.

It is important to be wary of inflated valuations, as they may not accurately reflect the market.

The agent with the highest valuation is not necessarily the best choose.

A reputable agent, with experience in the local area, will work with a vendor to arrive at a reasonable price, understanding all the relevant market forces. By looking at other properties in the area that have sold and comparing them to yours should give a good indication on where the value should be. Of course a good agent will recommend an asking price based on these comparable sales, and any other properties currently on the market that you will be in competition with.

The price is just as much of a marketing tool as the photos or the signboard, it is essential to getting buyers to attend the property. If you price a property too high the right buyers with a suitable budget won’t come and look at it, and the buyers that do with a higher budget will see more value in other properties of the same price range. If the price is too low then you will get numerous buyers inspecting the property, and lots of low offers from buyers with a low budget. Buyers with the right budget could even think there is something wrong with it by comparison to others they have seen,

The agent’s job is do their research and understand the local market, and also understand the vendors’ expectations, to reach a price that is reasonable, with a willing seller and willing buyer.

For just a few hundred dollars, vendors can also get a sworn valuation from a qualified valuer.

Vendors can get a basic valuation for a few hundred dollars – less than a building inspection – on then it’s all there on a couple of pages.

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Posted in Hints and Tips

Why banks & agents value your home differently

Have you ever wondered why a home can be listed for one price, valued at another, lender-valued at yet another price and then sold for a figure that leaves everyone scratching their heads?

How can one property have umpteen different prices? How do you know which price is right? Let’s walk through a hypothetical home and see if we can shine a light on the price confusion.

A tale of five prices

Meet the Smith family. They own a home in Peregian Springs, but want to up-size to something bigger, possibly on the golf course.

They call their bank to arrange refinancing their home so they can release money to pay for a deposit on their next home.

They also phone their local real estate agent and ask for a price appraisal before deciding to take their home to market. It sells in not time thanks to the quality marketing and video prepared by their agent. Meanwhile their local council rates notice arrives in the mail and they must pay it before leaving their residence.

Mrs Smith is packing boxes for moving day when she realises her family home has five different ‘prices’, including her personal assessment of its real value. She wonders if she somehow sold for the wrong price.

Why do these variations exist?

OFI

A bank valuation is generally more conservative.

The bank value

If your home is or will be mortgaged, your lender will almost certainly need to value it. This gives the lender confidence your asset offers ample security against the borrowed amount if, for some reason, you cannot pay your mortgage and the lender must sell the property to recoup its debt.

It is therefore unsurprising that a bank valuation will usually be conservative, sometimes 10%-20% less than the current selling prices of comparable homes.

A bank valuation will usually be conservative.

In this case, the Smiths’ bank assesses their home and decides its value is $500,000.

The selling agent’s price appraisal

Real estate agents are commonly asked to assess the market value of your property. This will often help a vendor decide who to engage to sell their home.

Before being chosen to act on a vendor’s behalf an agent will typically inspect the home and research comparable sales in the local suburb or town before producing written feedback and a sale price estimation such as “between $X and $X” or “from $X”.

This price guide is useful to a vendor when deciding what price to advertise.

The Smiths’ agent conducts his inspection of their home and, based on current strong demand for four-bedroom modern homes in walking distance to Peregian SPrings State School, estimates it will sell between $560,000 and $600,000.

The sale price

Regardless of whether the property is sold via private sale or auction, the price the successful buyer is prepared to pay, and the vendor is willing to accept, on the day the contract is signed is the property’s legally binding sale price.

Hot markets, high demand in the area and the quality of presentation can all have an effect on the final sale price for a property.

In our scenario there were three buyers interested in the property in the first couple of days of marketing, price quickly surpasses even the agent’s optimistic appraisal. It ends up selling for $630,000.

The local council’s valuation

Every year when a property owner gets their local municipal rates bill they will see on the notice a Capital Improved Value (CIV), site value, net annual value (NAV) and/or gross rental value (GRV).

These figures are calculated using varied methodology including comparable sales data and the bi-annual figures from the State Valuer-General’s offices.

Councils, and water and fire authorities, use these figures to work out how much homeowners owe them for using their infrastructure and services.

According to the Smiths’ rates notice, their property has a CIV of $480,000 – the value of the land and any capital additions such as a house – and a Site Value of $280,000 – land value excluding buildings.

The homeowners’ price

Every property owner will have a ‘wish price’ in their minds when they come to sell.

They usually also have a ‘this-is-the-lowest-I-will-go’ price and usually both of these price points are based on a home’s location, aspect and features, but sometimes vendor price expectations are also influenced by emotion rather than facts.

Mr and Mrs Smith really didn’t know how to price their much-loved family home when they came to selling it.

Every property owner will have a wish price in their minds when they come to sell.

They had been studying price data for their neighbourhood, which showed a median price of $545,000 for four-bedroom houses in their suburb over the past 12 months.

Mrs Smith thought their home’s sale price should reflect the median price figure, but Mr Smith thought the new pool they’d installed last year should add at least another $50,000 to their home’s sale price.

In the end the market will usually decide a property’s value by what a buyer is willing to pay for it.

If you would like an update on the value of your property in the Peregian area, give Dave Williams from Ray White a call on 0488 884 573 for a realistic market value estimate. Dave works with more buyers looking in the local are and has an excellent knowledge of what properties are selling for.

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9 common home presentation mistakes

Though your house may look and feel good to you, it won’t necessarily to others, regardless of what your friends tell you. Here’s 10 of the most common mistakes people make when presenting their home for the market.

Sometimes it’s the details that let you down, other times, it’s so obvious you simply can’t see it yourself.

Remember it’s essential to appeal to the widest possible cross-section of your target market, and don’t fall into these simple, very common traps.

1. No house number

This seems like such a minor detail, but it’s essential!

Not only should you make sure you have a house number, it should be easily visible, in good repair and in keeping with the feel of the home.

The last thing you want is a buyer’s experience of your property starting in frustration because they were unable to locate it.

House number

If you want your friends to find the place come housewarming time, you’ll need a prominent house number.

2. Polarising linen

In a bedroom, the bed is generally the largest piece of furniture and the focal point of the space. Hence the linen and the dressing of the bed can have a huge impact on the way people feel about that room.

Make sure that your linen is neutral and mainstream.

Bed

Classic white bed linen is always a winner.

3. Too much furniture

It is essential to remember that when a home is open for inspection, in many case there are multiple parties viewing the property at any one time.

Too much furniture will make a room feel smaller than it is. Space furniture out, and remove it temporarily if you have to.

Allow for lots of foot traffic, good flow through the house for potential buyers, and walk common paths to check for obstacles.

4. Pet smells

Research tells us that one of the biggest factors that impact negatively on a potential buyer are pet smells and mess.

Many property owners do work very hard on removing all smells and evidence of furry friends, however it is difficult to completely eradicate when you are accustomed to the smell on a daily basis.

Ideally you need to get a friend who does not own pets to inspect your property and be brutally honest with you!

Dog

They may look cute, but dogs and cats can give off an obvious odour, especially to non-pet owners.

5. Heavy window coverings

Heavy window coverage can turn buyers off. Leaving heavy window coverings in place can make a room feel dark and cluttered.

I often see older homes with multiple heavy drapes that contribute directly to making the room feel small, dark and cold. In these cases they have to go, if the window condition and outlook permits.

Getting the balance right between privacy, style, mood and light is important.

6. Cleanliness

Another huge mistake by sellers is assuming that the buyers can look past an unswept floor or dirty bathroom.

When the mess and dirt is not their own, many buyers find it to be an extreme turn-off.

Remember you’re used to the way your property looks, but others will be seeing it for the very first time. You may have long since stopped seeing how much dirt is around. Get someone other than yourself to give it a once over.

7. Selling a house empty

Empty rooms appear smaller and are uninviting to the potential buyer.

The only thing you want to leave for the buyer to imagine is themselves in the home. Take control over how your property is viewed and perceived and add thought starters to help buyers see themselves there, living the life they want.

8. Over-decluttering

There is a fine line between a well staged home and a home that has been decluttered to the point of being vast and empty.

Once the line has been crossed, the space is no longer inviting and appealing, instead it is cold and sterile.

We’re all working so hard to declutter, that sometimes we can take it too far. Again, get a hand from someone who can cast an objective eye.

You want your property to portray an ideal lifestyle that a buyer aspires to, and that includes a bit of heart and soul.

9. Setting the table

Setting the table with a full dinner setting passes over that fine line of styled and goes into the overstaged look.

It runs the risk of turning the buyer off and the table setting being the most memorable aspect of the property; certainly not what a successfully staged home wants!

There are so many more subtle ways to create a welcoming and “lived in” feel. Potential buyers shouldn’t feel pressure to take their seats.

Table setting

An overly formal dining setting can look a bit ridiculous at an open house.

Feel free to contact me anytime for some additional tips on getting your home ready for sale and presenting it for your first inspections. Your best buyers will come early in the campaign, its important to get it right the first time.

Source: realestate.com.au

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How to: Move on a hot day

Moving is a tough job at the best of times – let alone on a stinking hot day like some of the ones we have had recently! 

But with a little preparation, you can avoid getting hot under the collar.

moving

Planning can ease the issues created by moving on a hot day.

 

Ensure the power is connected and any air-conditioning is working at the new place. Before the move!

Organise for pets and kids to be somewhere else on moving day.

“This will make your job easier,”

“In the lead-up to moving day, pack as much as you can into boxes, saving time on the big day.”

“Try to get your removalist to give you the first time slot of the day.”

moving

Don’t expose boxes with electrical items to direct sunlight.

They usually start at 7.30am or earlier, and you want to be moving at full speed by then, so you can avoid as much of the 11am-3pm period, the hottest part of the day,”

“Make sure you have all your boxes in the front room before moving day arrives, so you or the movers can be as efficient as possible,”

“Ensure the power is connected and any air-conditioning is working at the new place.”

On moving day

Hydration is important.

“Water is ideal, but electrolytic beverages are great too. Avoid energy drinks, cola and too much coffee, as they don’t help much with hydration and are diuretic as well,” he says. “Save the alcohol for when you’re all moved in!”

“Pre-hydrate with a few cups of water, eat a big breakfast, a light lunch and snack throughout the day,”

“Also have some nuts and fruit on hand. This way, you keep your tank full and avoid the post-lunch lull.”

Get started early and plan to take a break during the hottest part of the day, Christie says.

“Even if you use removalists, make sure you move a couple of boxes yourself with essentials, such as a change of clothes, toiletries, important documents and some drinking water, so you have them on hand.”

Ensure boxes with electronics are not left in direct sunlight for a long time.

“Get some fans set up in your new home first thing,”

Use shade, like trees and canopies, to help to stay out of direct sunlight when moving, he says. Wear a vented hat and don’t forget sunscreen.

“Choose lightweight clothing made from organic materials such as cotton, as they breathe better than synthetic material.”

Enjoy an ice-cold beverage when it’s all done 🙂

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Ultimate property sellers’ checklist

Selling a house can be a complex task.

Here is a look at what vendors need to think about when selling.

1. Find the right agent

Couple-with-agent-2000x1500

It’s important to find the right agent to help you sell your property.

Finding a real estate agent is the first order of business for vendors. The role of an agent is to sell a home for the best price possible, as quickly as possible.

Agents deliver a range of crucial services including:
– advising how much vendors can expect for their property and whether to sell by private treaty or at auction;
– marketing the property;
– showing the house to potential buyers, through booked appointments or open for inspections;
– negotiating the selling price; and
–  facilitating the sale of the property and signing of contracts.

When choosing an agent, vendors should check if they are a member of the REIQ, the REIA says. Real estate institute members have a “commitment to service and professional standards and are bound by strict codes of conduct.”

2. Set a price

 

The agent’s job is to do their research and understand the local market, and also understand the vendors’ expectations, to reach a price that is reasonable, with a willing seller and willing buyer.

For just a few hundred dollars, vendors can also get a sworn valuation from a qualified valuer.

3. Map out a marketing plan

Vendors have to cover the cost of marketing their property.

The agent will recommend a campaign, which might include a board out the front of the house, listing on realestate.com.au, photography for the listing, the creation of a floor plan, copy-writing and press advertising.

Each listing is unique, and depending on budget, campaigns are adjusted.

4. Decide on method of sale

Vendors work with their agent to decide which approach is best for the property – private treaty or auction. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages and the decision is influenced by many factors, including current market and area trends.

5. Prepare your house for sale

Buyers drive by to check out a property as soon it goes on the market.

repairs

Before you sell is the perfect time to make any repairs.

Vendors should take a “long, hard look” inside and outside of their property to work out how to make it as appealing as possible.

Consider the following to prepare a house for sale:

Outside:
– High-pressure washing.
– Painting.
– Cleaning and tidying driveways and paths.
– General garden tidy-up.
– New plants to freshen up garden beds.
– Trimming trees.
– Fixing fencing.
– General maintenance.
– Installing LEDs to show off the property at night.

Inside:
– Steam cleaning carpets.
– General tidy-up, including inside wardrobes.
– Hiring furniture and artwork.
– Decluttering mess, like taking magnets off the fridge.
– Painting in neutral tones.
– Removing personal items, like photos.

For open for inspections:
– Burn candles.
– Open windows.
– Put out vases of fresh flowers.
– Open curtains to show space.
– Play classical music.

6. Get paperwork in order

Conveyancing is the process of transferring legal ownership of a property from one person to another and is required in every real estate purchase. It can be done by licensed conveyancers and solicitors.

The agent or solicitor prepares a contract of sale for the property, which includes details of the owners, title, settlement dates, all conditions, what’s included in it, as well as the zoning certificate and sewer diagrams.

The vendor and buyer each sign a the sale contract, making the contract legally binding. Cooling off periods can apply.

Settlement is the final stage of the sale, when the buyer completes the payment of the contract price to the vendor and takes legal possession of the property.

Young woman creating personal budget.

It’s important to get the paperwork in order with the sale of your property. Picture: Getty Images

7. Moving on

Once the settlement is completed, the buyer owns the property. All keys should be left with the selling real estate agent for the buyer to collect.

The property should be left in accordance with the contract of sale, ie: leaving behind what was included in the sale.

Before leaving, vendors should arrange disconnection of the electricity, water, gas, phone, internet and any other connections, re-direct mail, and cancel any deliveries.

source: realestate.com.au

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Tax depreciation tips for property investors this tax time

propertydepreciation

The end of financial year is almost here and with it, property investors will be readying themselves to visit their accountant to complete their annual income tax return.

Every year the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) encourages property investors to be vigilant with their claims. It is therefore important for investors to seek expert advice on the deductions available.

A large percentage of investors fail to maximise depreciation deductions or make mistakes by not claiming the deductions for capital works or plant and equipment items correctly.

To ensure deductions are claimed appropriately, a tax depreciation schedule should be obtained from a specialist quantity surveyor. Below are some tips to help investors ensure they get the most from their depreciation schedules and improve the cash flow they earn from their investment property in the process.

Request a site inspection so no items are missed

A site inspection is perhaps one of the most important processes involved in arranging a tax depreciation schedule for a property. Not all depreciation schedule providers include one, so when you are calling to enquire about getting a report, make sure to ask if the property will be visited.

During the site inspection, a depreciation expert will take photographic records of all of the depreciable items found within the property as well as take detailed notes regarding structural items. This allows every item to be accounted for when the schedule is processed and your quantity surveyor should list depreciation deductions for each item individually as well as provide a total for each year over the effective life of the asset.

Depreciation for structural items (capital works deductions) should be outlined separately in the schedule to make it easier for an accountant to apply a claim correctly.

Claim depreciation no matter how old the property is

Owners of older properties often assume they are ineligible to claim depreciation deductions. This is in part due to restrictions the ATO place on claims for the capital works component of the property. Although legislation states that only the owners of properties in which construction commenced after the 15 September 1987 can claim capital works allowance, these restrictions do not apply to plant and equipment assets.

Older properties also have often experienced a renovation or had some of the items contained updated over time. Even if these renovations or improvements have been completed by a previous owner of the property, the new owner may be entitled to claim deductions so long as these changes were made within the ATO legislated dates.

Ensure the schedule is up to date to include any recent capital improvements

If you already have a depreciation schedule, ensure it is kept up to date if you make any changes to the property. Repairs to fix damage or maintenance to prevent deterioration of items in a property can be claimed as an immediate 100% deduction in the year the expense has occurred.

Be careful, however, as if an item has been improved beyond its original state at the time of purchase, this will be considered a capital improvement by the ATO and must be classified as either capital works deductions or plant and equipment and depreciated over time.

An investor should contact their specialist quantity surveyor before completing any renovations that involve removing existing structures or plant and equipment assets. This is because there may be remaining depreciation deductions available for these items which can be written off. A process called ‘scrapping’ allows investors to write-off any remaining depreciable value for items in the year the item is removed.

An updated schedule should always be obtained after completing renovations or improvements to ensure that any new items are included for future depreciation claims.

Ask your Accountant to help you apply for a Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding variation

Did you know that you don’t need to wait all year to take advantage of depreciation deductions? A Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding variation allows individuals to vary the amount of tax withheld by their employer in each pay to anticipate their tax liabilities. This means investors can take advantage of deductions regularly, rather than waiting until the end of financial year for their tax refund.

To apply for a PAYG withholding variation, investors should speak with their accountant. They will provide advice on whether a PAYG withholding variation is suitable for an individual’s circumstances. They will then submit estimated financial information to the ATO. An investor can use a depreciation schedule provided by their quantity surveyor to support a PAYG withholding variation application. The additional cash flow that can be claimed from depreciation can reduce the tax an individual needs to have taken out of their pay.

Once the PAYG application has been processed, a property investor’s expected tax refund for the financial year will be estimated, allowing their employer to take less tax out of their wages. This allows the additional cash flow from depreciation deductions to be used regularly as needed, which can be quite handy when repairs and maintenance costs arise or to help reduce loan liabilities.

Seek advice from a specialist quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyors are one of a few select professionals recognised by the ATO under Tax Ruling 97/25 with the expertise necessary to estimate construction costs for depreciation purposes. Calculating deductions correctly without the help of a quantity surveyor can be extremely difficult, particularly as depreciation legislation is complex an often changing.

Using their affiliations with industry regulating bodies, quantity surveyors gain access to the latest information and resources. Check to ensure your quantity surveyor is an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If you haven’t yet engaged a specialist quantity surveyor, it is definitely worth a quick call to see how you can benefit from claiming tax depreciation on your investment property.

The cost of a depreciation schedule is 100% tax deductible and investors can also claim back two years’ worth of missed depreciation deductions if they have not been maximising or making a claim. I am not an accountant, so please tax this advice generally and definitely discuss your tax deductions with a professional accountant.

Please leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you would like any further information on the market, or would like some advice on what your property options might be, feel free to contact me anytime on 0488 884 573.

Your Sunshine Coast Property Specialist, Dave Williams.

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Selling with a ‘problem’ neighbour

problemneighbour
Neighbours are like family: you can’t choose them, but you do have to live with them. And when you’re trying to sell your home you might wish they weren’t there at all.

So, how do you convince a potential buyer that they’re not a problem?

Well, that depends how big or small your problem is.

Perhaps they practice the trombone each afternoon on the porch, have never ending renovations, or are compulsive hoarders with a junkyard encroaching on your garden.

Maybe it’s far worse – websites like neighborsfromhell.com document some pretty extreme cases!

Here are our tips on how to work around some common neighbour problems when selling:

Talk it over

Your first port of call in resolving any neighbourhood problems should be to talk it over and try to reach a solution that suits you both.

While you might want to seek legal advice about your rights and how to go about fixing the situation, the Queensland Law Society says that going to court can be both expensive and leave the parties bitterly antagonistic towards each other. Always consider mediation and pursue legal action as a last resort.

If you’re trying to sell, pay the neighbours a visit or slip them a note explaining the issue and tactfully suggest how they could help. If they’re owners, remind them that getting a good price for your home will mean a better price for them down the track.

Remember: unless you’ve approached them before they might have no idea that their behaviour is impacting on you, and there might be a reason for it. Maybe their yard is messy because they’re suffering a long term illness or caring for a relative? Try and see it from their perspective.

Is it legal?

Are your neighbour’s problem activities illegal?

There are the really obvious ones: drugs, domestic violence or harassment. But did you know that burning off is illegal? Trespassing without authority on your land is also illegal.

However, you usually have no legal right to privacy, unless it comes with intimidation or harassment. Check with your local police or council if you’re unsure.

Stop that noise!

One of the most common problems is noisy neighbours: loud music, parties, power tools and wooden floors in the unit above to name just a few. Check your local council’s guidelines on noise, the Environment Protection Agency, or the strata bylaws if you’re in a body corporate community.

Let your neighbours know in advance when your home will be open for inspection, and ask nicely if they’d mind keeping the noise down during that time.

If it’s an ongoing problem and you don’t think this would work (maybe you live next door to a piano teacher with regular Saturday classes) work around it with your agent by scheduling open homes at times that are quietest.

Give us some privacy

If privacy is an issue there are many cheap remedies.

Install curtains or blinds on windows, plant a hedge, strategically place some pot plants, build a higher fence, install a privacy screen or ask the neighbour to stop standing on that milk crate and popping their head over the fence every five minutes…

Parking disputes

In some smaller street in residential areas parking is often contentious, with the street becoming a battleground. Maybe your neighbour has a boat, skip or trailer parked on a permanent basis. Can they store it elsewhere while your home is on the market?

Make sure your own car is not in front of your house – or driveway – on open day. And the agent can let prospective buyers know its ok to park in your regular car space.

Call your strata manager

Living a body corporate community can give you an edge: you can approach your strata manager if there is a specific problem – after all, it probably impacts on other unit owners and the value of their units will be determined in part by a good sale of yours.

Common strata problems are noise and smoke drift. Let your neighbours know when open home is scheduled and ask if they’d mind removing their shoes, turning the stereo down and refraining from smoking in the yard or out the front while it’s on. A little box of chocolates might help sweeten the deal.

Set your boundaries 

A top cause of neighbourhood disputes are boundary problems – specifically trees and fences.

Trees can overhang fences, disrupt views, and their roots can cause damage to paths and pipes on surrounding properties. If you have these problems check with your local council for their regulations in the first instance.

While there’s no legal obligation to have a fence, most people like a little something between them and their neighbour, and most buyers want it to be in good condition.

The cost of installing or repairing a fence is typically shared by both parties. If a fence is not on the legal boundary disputes can arise, particularly when selling. The onus is on the buyer to have a survey.

Presentation incentives

While you can’t do anything about the colour or design of your neighbour’s home, you might be able to tidy it up a little.

As a selling agent we offer incentives to adjoining properties to make them motivated to present their yards better.

When we list a property we always say hello to the neighbours, its part of our due diligence.

I also note any potential issues at the neighbour’s house that could turn off buyers. Presentation is everything so I have had rubbish removed, including vehicles, and sent gardeners round. I’ve also cut deals with neighbours who weren’t on good terms with client’s, so that they wouldn’t hurt a sale.

Be a good neighbour yourself

What goes around comes around. If you’re looking for good karma from your neighbours you might want to give them some love too. Getting to know your neighbours can be one way to prevent troubles further down the track.

What do you need to let your buyer know?

Short answer: nothing, unless they ask. The onus is on the prospective buyer to do their research, which, if you’re a buyer, is why a good conveyancer or lawyer is so important.

Problem neighbours are very subjective. What might be considered annoying by one homeowner might be considered delightful by the next.

You’ll know instinctively (and your agent will confirm) whether you’ve got an issue on your hands. With their help, and the above gameplan, you should get through unscathed, and move on to new neighbours.

Please leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you would like any further information on the market, or would like some advice on what your property options might be, feel free to contact me anytime on 0488 884 573.

Your Sunshine Coast Property Specialist, Dave Williams.

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4 things people forget when buying a house

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding your dream home but there’s much more to think about than just your loan.

Here’s a list of four important things to always consider when buying property.

1. Getting legal advice

Throughout your life you’ll be faced with different contracts. Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll likely make, so before you sign on the dotted line it’s best to talk to a lawyer.

Having a qualified solicitor review your contract will help you understand if there are any potential issues and what further investigations into the property you might need before signing. This could include:

  • Building approvals for additions, renovations or even the house itself.
  • Proposals for acquiring any part of the land for roads or infrastructure.
  • For strata or community living – the relevant rules and costs.

2. Doing a valuation

There are different ways to get a valuation done so you know you are paying the right price for the property. Having an expert involved in the valuation can help ensure you negotiate the best price possible for the property

Having an expert valuation can help you get the best price.

Having a professional property valuer who is independent of the sale or the seller can give you a much clearer view of the value for a property. They will also give you a written report explaining how they reached their valuation.

While your lender may want a valuation to decide whether to offer you a loan, you should consider getting one to make sure you are paying the right amount.

photo-real-estate-market

3. Building and other property inspections

Unless you’re an experienced builder, you probably won’t know whether that small gap in the brickwork is simply a cosmetic concern or a catastrophe to come.

Even if everything looks perfect to you, without knowing the telltale signs or where to look you could end up buying a property with problems that can be very costly to fix.

Get a building inspector to give the place a thorough once over so you know more about the condition of the property. While inspections will cost a little, they could save you a lot.

While inspections will cost a little, they can save you a lot.

There may be other aspects of the property you want to check depending on how important they are to you, such as whether the property is energy efficient, or low maintenance.

4. Conveyancing

Don’t leave your conveyancing as an afterthought. Using an experienced conveyancer or solicitor when you’re buying or selling property will ensure you get the advice you need.

A conveyancer will help navigate through any problems that arise during the process of transferring the title of the property into your name, and will help manage the process from start to finish.

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Along with securing finance, there are many important details to consider when buying property. To ensure that your transaction goes as smoothly as possible, it’s important to seek advice from an industry professional.

Because laws vary from state to state, be sure to contact a professional in your area like Dave Williams. Call him anytime on 0488 88 4573 for advice.

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8 expert qualities that make a good real estate agent

Good real estate agents can be difficult to find if you don’t know the qualities to look for.

According to the industry experts, these are the things you should be looking for when scouting around for the perfect agent.

Qualities of a good agent

1. They communicate

As a house seller or buyer it can be stressful dealing with an agent who’s not a great communicator. The real estate market is time sensitive, so you need an agent who will let you know quickly where you stand with your current buying or selling situation so you can move on quickly to another property or potential buyer.

I have found one of the biggest frustrations for people is a lack of communication from their agent.

“It’s so important that agents stay in constant contact with their clients and customers. What seems like insignificant information to an agent who’s been in the business for years can be really important to clients who are new to real estate.”

2. They’re proactive

A good agent should be proactively calling potential buyers, communicating with existing customers and constantly chasing new leads. The key element of being proactive is keeping the client well informed.

“If your clients keep calling you, you’re not giving them enough information”

The key element of being proactive is keeping the client well informed.

3. They listen

Most good agents will tell you to be wary of an agent who talks too much.

If you can’t get a word in when communicating with your agent, then you’ve got a problem.

“As a client or customer, you’re the one who should be doing most of the talking and making sure that your agent understands your special requests and needs. A good agent should be asking all the questions not the other way around.”

aginginplace

4. They’re client motivated

Put  simply, if the customer gets a good a deal, the agent gets a good deal, which is why it ‘s so important to choose an agent who puts their vendors first.

A good agent will always have their clients needs as their top priority.

“Buying and selling houses can be stressful and it’s important for the agent to make sure that the client is feeling supported and happy.”

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5. They can adapt to their clients needs

It’s also important for an agent to be able to ‘read’ their client.

“Some clients like to communicate via email, some prefer a quick text message and others like to receive a phone call so they can have a chat about what’s happening with their sale.”

“It’s the responsibility of a good agent to suss out the clients preferred method of communication so they don’t feel either ignored by silence or pressured by too much communication.”

6. They know their clients time frame

Timing awareness is essential to a good client/agent relationship.

“You need to know if the client is in a hurry to sell. If they need to settle soon, the agent should know this and should be working to a tighter time frame. If the client isn’t in a rush the agent can shop around and advise the client to wait for a better market so they can get a decent price on their house.”

movingquickly

7. They know their customers selling motivation

A good agent always knows why their clients are selling and will ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is your customer selling to buy?
  • Is this an investment property?
  • Are they moving to be in a differnt location?

“These are all things that good agents need to think about. It also helps to know if there’s a sentimental attachment to a home. A client who’s selling one of five investment properties will have very different needs to a client who’s selling their family home. A good agent will know the difference and will adapt accordingly.”

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8. They have a number of past client testimonials available

The best way to get a good agent is use their past clients as references.

“If you’ve lined up a new agent and you want to make sure that they’re the best fit for you, ask them for testimonials or statements from their past clients.. A good agent should be able to give you a positive reference from any of their past clients.”

For more information on selecting an good real estate agent feel free to contact Dave Williams for a chat anytime on 0488 884 573.

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A groundbreaking way for parents to help their children

conveyancing

There are more and more headlines in the media supporting the view that first home buyers are finding it difficult to break into the housing market.

As a result, more and more parents are providing financial assistance (via loans or guarantees) to their children. Whilst this is an admirable thing for parents to do, just about everyone knows the danger of lending money to family. Sadly, I have seen the ugly a few times before.

I’ve also seen the nervous look in a parent’s eyes when they put their own home on the line to guarantee their children’s debts.

The only thing riskier than lending to family is lending to complete strangers. However, the banks do this thousands of times every day.

The banks worked out how to protect themselves from this risk centuries ago. They place a mortgage on the borrower’s title.

If only parents could do the same as the banks. If only parents could place a mortgage on the children’s home to secure their risk. 

Well, now they CAN.

A very innovative bank has now developed a home loan where the parents can also place a mortgage on the children’s property as long as it is a free standing house.

The children end up with two home loans. One from the bank (up to 90% of house value) and the other from the parents (minimum 10% of the value).

The bank manages the repayments, security and paperwork for the parent’s loan. The children make repayments to both loans.

The more I look at this product the better it appears.

I found this video that goes into a bit more detail about how it works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7eJmfRQg-M

Whilst parents may have been very reluctant to provide financial assistance in the past, they should feel far more comfortable knowing they have security over the children’s property.

Please let me know if you would like me to put you in contact with a good mortgage broker who can go into more detail and discuss if this might be an option for you?

If you would like any further information on the market, or would like some advice on what your property options might be, feel free to contact me anytimeon 0488 88 4573.

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9 ways to learn a new neighbourhood

neighbourhood
Moving house can be a very disorienting experience, one that’s often made worse if you’re moving miles away from your familiar suburb where your local barista knows your daily order and your dog has a favourite digging spot at the park down the road.

The only way to overcome this is to throw yourself in head first and make the effort to fall in love with your new suburb. The aim is to feel truly at home in your new digs and the best place to start is with the surrounding streets.

Here’s some ways to uncover an urban hood and shake that newbie feeling.

Hit the footpath

There’s no better way to check out your new suburb than to strap on your walking shoes and pound the pavement. Don’t play it safe. Walk around all the back streets to discover beautiful architecture, out of the way cafes or a stunning mountain walk with a view.

Try it on a Saturday to get a true feel for the neighbourhood. Weekends are when primary schools become second hand markets, town halls become book fairs and local parks become outdoor yoga classes. Find the closest farmer’s market and score great food, new friends and more local knowledge. Also try cycling if you can; you can cover more distance that way.

Ask your neighbours

When you see your fellow suburb buddies with a cardboard coffee cup or a plastic bag of takeaway containers, ask them where they got it from. They’ll probably be only too delighted to tell you it’s from the amazing Sushi restauraunt or the hidden away cafe. Word of mouth recommendations are always the best, so don’t be too shy to ask for them.

Pay attention to posters

How often do you walk past telegraph poles or walls that are plastered with posters and you barely raise an eyebrow? Start paying attention to the advertisements in your local area. You could find the perfect Pilates course around the corner from your house or an underground film festival at your local bar. The poles are where it’s happening.

Shop around

Most people find the closest supermarket to their house and shop there exclusively, but a great way to get to know your neighbourhood is to mix it up. Buy your herbs from the green grocer, get your bread from the nearby bakery. Be careful not to fall into lazy habits too quickly or you might never discover the amazing fresh produse at the local cafe or the perfect pork sausages at the butcher down the road.

Ask your agent

It’s literally their job to sell that suburb, so pick their brains for information. Agents are likely to live locally or at least spend a large percentage of time in the areas they sell for. They’ll know the best places to get brunch, have a business shirt dry cleaned and which park is the best for a Sunday afternoon picnic with family and friends.

Give it a go

Make a rule that when you eat out, you aren’t allowed to eat at the same place twice for a while. Try a different cuisine on a regular basis and you’re certain to discover new tastes, sights and services. Make a different rule to try a new thing once a week (or once a month if you’re too busy). Check those posters for ideas.

Scope out the essentials

Find your closest hospital, doctor, police station, vet and 24 hour chemist. There’s something comforting and homely about knowing where to go if you need midnight cold and flu relief or a place to take your sick pet. You may never use the dentist that’s right across the road but knowing that it’s there will make you feel right at home.

Follow a crowd

If I’m in a foreign place and there’s a crowd moving towards something, I’ll follow to see what’s going on. I found a movie screening under the stars doing this as well as a swing band pop up performance on the beach. Note: If the crowd are all dressed the same just be warned that you may end up at a football game with teams you don’t follow or a Cosplay convention.

Hit online reviews

Tap the tribal mind and hit up places like UrbanspoonYelp or Foursquare for reviews and recommendations in your area. You can download the apps on your smartphone and browse for points of interest within a desired distance from your new place.

In short, act like a tourist until you feel like a local. Spend your weekends sight seeing and Googling events in the local area. Attend all the gatherings – street parties, markets, fetes – and commit to making your new suburb your home, rather than a place where your property just happens to be.

Anything you need to know about the area, or if your just keen to find out what the locals get up to, call Dave Williams on 0488 884 573 and he can give you a run down.

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Posted in Hints and Tips

Decluttering tips to help you sell

If you’re intending on selling your home you’ll want to invest some time into decluttering – mess and chaos is one the top turn offs for buyers.
We accumulate a lot of things moving through life. Many outlive their usefulness (and if we’re being honest, some didn’t have much use to begin with). But we’re human and stuff sticks to us, which is why it’s important we shed some layers every now and then to maintain order and harmony.girlspacking1. Ask for guidance from those you trust to be honest. Your agent will be impartial, and truly great friends often will be too. Check with them to gauge the full extent of your clutter and where you should focus your efforts. You may only have one room that requires a true work over.

2. Look beyond what the eye can see. Clutter likes to hide in corners, on shelves and under beds. Hunt it down and don’t just stop with the most obvious areas. A prospective buyer will open cupboards and snoop into nooks and crannies to check out storage and other features. Make sure they get the best impression.

3. Sort things into three categories. Things moving with you. Things to donate. Things to toss. Many charities can benefit from goods and clothing you no longer need. Have a garage sale for items you’ve culled that are in great shape and still worth something, Enough gold coin donations and you could convert mess into a bit of extra money to buy something you need in your new home, or treat yourself to a fancy dinner because you sold so much!

antiqueclutter

4. Get a jump start on packing for your new place. Stack those trinkets away and you’ll be ready to invite buyers through your home before you know it. Personal items should be stowed first, keeping any lovely items of neutral decor till last (they could save you having to invest in furniture or accessories for home staging).

5. Create space in the kitchen by clearing surfaces. Let the buyer see your counter tops, walls, even the fridge door. Don’t just shove items into another cupboard. Apply the same rigor to removing that clutter as you would any other room, and sort ready for packing, donating or tossing.

6. Leave some space in cupboards. Even if their contents are impeccably neat, buyers will want them to feel spacious, and be able to picture their own things in there.

7. The kids aren’t immune. Children’s toys and teenage posters aren’t usually effective property marketing. Cull ruthlessly and store things out of sight.

8. Store boxes you’ve packed until that SOLD sign goes up. Make sure they’re not visible to people inspecting your home.

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9. Get some help! Enlist family members, friends – whoever can lend a hand to make the process less frustrating and time consuming. Pop on a favourite playlist while you clean and sort and before you know it, your place looks like new. If you’re really struggling, or don’t have access to an extra pair of hands, you can explore the services of a professional organiser to give you a road map and set you on the right track.

10. Start small (but start). Remember the clutter didn’t arrive in your home all at once. It won’t leave that way either. Pick a room or an area and make a start – you’re on your way!

 

We often advise out clients on the best way to prepare for potential buyers inspecting their home, and de-cluttering is one of the main ones. IF you would like some advice around what to keep and what needs to go, feel free to give Dave a call anytime on 0488 88 4573.

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Median house price – what does it mean?

medianhouseprice
Although a common term used by media when commenting on real estate, the median house or unit price is a handy measurement for buyers, sellers and investors to fully understand.

Not only can the median give you a good idea of the price of real estate in a certain area, it can also give you a feeling for how an area has been performing over recent months, years or decades.
Like most facts and figures, median prices need to be considered against what else may be happening in an area to get an accurate and complete picture. And remember, the median price may not necessarily give you an accurate assumption of market trends for a certain area.
However, before getting into the complexities of median house or unit prices, we need to understand exactly what the term means.
The median house price is the midway point of all the houses/units sold at market price (or sold amount) over a set period (monthly, yearly, quarterly, etc.). That is, if there were 101 houses sold during the month, the median house price would be the house price in the middle i.e., that has 50 house prices above it and 50 house prices below it.

This differs to the mean price, which equates to the average price—adding the sold prices together and then dividing this by the number of sales.
The reason the median price is used rather than the mean is mainly because it is a more accurate indicator of the market, as it reflects the sample size being used.
One of the problems with using the median, however, is that it reflects if there has been a large amount of more expensive or less expensive homes sold in any given period. In these circumstances, you can often notice large differences in the median price of a certain area from month to month.
For this reason, it is often better to view median prices over periods of time and monitor the trends, rather than looking at one month’s figures in isolation.
realestate.com.au has the median house prices for most areas in its suburb profiles. These median prices cover a 10-year period and the graph, as well as table display of results, makes it easy to spot trends.

Benefits of using median

  • It gives buyers and sellers a better indication of market trends, consumer sentiment and market conditions.
  • It is widely used to estimate the listing price of a property.
  • If you are new to an area, the median price could give you an indication if the suburb is in your price range.

What to watch for when using medians for buying and selling

  • The median is only one factor that sellers and buyers should consider. All properties are different so it is important to talk to your real estate agent and find out comparable sales in your area.
  • Watch that the figures represent an accurate account due. There can be rogue months due to the limited numbers of properties sold, making medians either oddly high or low.
  • Setting accurate sales prices is difficult, discuss with your agent options for selling including, tender, listing price, auction.
  • Median house prices include houses, apartments and townhouses (these are properties with dwellings that are detached).
  • Most data providers have different methods to calculate median prices. Make sure that you use the same supplier’s information if you are monitoring trends.
  • Some properties could be well above the median for a number of reasons, including block size, dwelling size, water views, location.

Reasons why mean or average prices aren’t used

  • An average can be skewed by a large number in the high or low range.
  • Houses aren’t all the same and are unique to time, location and house features. Averages don’t allow for this.

Please leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you would like any further information on the market, or would like some advice on what your property options might be, feel free to contact Dave Williams on 04888 88 4573 anytime.

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5 ways to an energy efficient home

One of the big benefits of building a new home is that they are more energy efficient, which means you can enjoy big ongoing savings on your running costs.

While all new homes must meet a minimum level of energy efficiency under the Building Code of Australia, some builders are now offering 7-star and 8-star energy efficient homes – and it doesn’t mean you have to add unnecessary expense, or sacrifice the look and feel of a traditional family home.

Constructing an 8-star home will generally only add around 3.6% to the total cost of your build, but it could potentially save you more than 40% in heating and cooling costs. You will also have a more comfortable lifestyle, with a home that is warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

If you’re renovating an older home, it’s also possible to retro-fit many energy efficient features, such as ceiling insulation, water-efficient shower heads, and LED or compact fluorescent lights.

Whether you’re building new or wanting to make your existing home a little greener, here are five simple ways to make your place more efficient:

1. Make sure your home is well insulated

Insulating the ceiling will help reduce the amount of heat entering your home when it’s hot, and trap the warmth inside when it’s cold.

There are many insulation options to choose from depending on your circumstances or preferences. Some of the most popular choices are wool, loose fill, reflective foil and batts.

Glass fibre batts are an environmentally friendly option because they’re made from 80% recycled material. You can further reduce heat build-up in the ceiling cavity by installing a whirly bird on the roof.

whirly bird house roof

2. Ensure you have cross ventilation

Don’t just open one window or door. A house will cool down more quickly if the airflow can enter at one point and exit at another.

ventilation

 

The best cross ventilation is achieved by opening windows or doors on opposite sides of your home, so the breeze can flow freely. In new homes, higher ceilings, wide entry halls, and sliding stacker doors or bi-folds also provide a greater volume of space for air to circulate.

3. Include plenty of ceiling fans

It’s a good idea to install ceiling fans in your living room, dining room and each bedroom, as they are much cheaper to run than air conditioners. Depending on what electricity tariff you’re on, the running cost of a fan is around two cents per hour compared to 52 cents per hour for an air conditioner*.

ceiling fan house interior

4. Install efficient fittings

Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme makes it easy to compare the water efficiency of different products.

Read more: Appliance star energy ratings explained

When choosing your toilet, appliances, shower heads, and mixers, look for fittings that have a high WELS rating. A 3-star rated shower head only uses around 6-7 litres of water per minute, while regular shower heads can use up to 25 litres per minute**.

Light fittings should also be compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs.

Read more: Getting lighting right: How to light a room

 

5. Reduce exposure to the sun

An easy way to reduce heat intrusion on the western side of your home is to install an exterior shade structure. If you are building a new home, another option worth considering is extended eaves.

shade_550

 

Homes should also be correctly oriented on the block to minimise sun from the east and west.

 

There are a few quality builders on the Sunshine Coast who specialise in energy efficient – Contact Dave Williams on 0488 88 4573 and he can point you in the right direction.

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Call Dave on 0488 88 4573
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