Posts

Why Autumn is a Great Time To Sell


Spring is usually suggested the best time of the year to sell property. However for the past 10 years our office finds that the most and best sales are in Autumn and usually coincides with Easter.

Let me explain why.

Timing
By the time Autumn approaches, most people are over the disruption of Christmas, New Year, holidays and getting the kids back to school. Autumn also occurs just before the end of the financial year around Easter. This can prod buyers into looking and preparing for tax concessions and Easter provides some time off work and normal routines to make this happen.

Hot Buyers
Unlike Spring, where open homes can attract curious people wanting to get out into the warmer weather, Autumn attracts a more serious buyer who is focused on a result rather than just filling in time. These buyers have have made the time to research, plan, budget and strategise and are focused on the result.

Less Competitors
Most sellers still believe that Spring is the best time to sell and as a result the market is usually flooded from September onwards which leads to an oversupply of properties resulting in a buyers’ market. So when Autumn rocks around, things tend to settle. With fewer properties on the market this drives buyer competitiveness, maximising the seller’s chance of achieving the best sale price possible. Which is why we strongly recommend selling in Autumn.

Beautiful Weather
Autumn in Newcastle is sensational. Not too hot and not too cold. An ideal time for selling. Your buyers will feel comfortable and feel confident that they won’t have to fight the elements.

Street Appeal
Think about how nature looks and feels in Autumn. The trees are changing colours, and most gardeners are aware that plants are now preparing for winter, becoming dormant and so it’s the perfect time to tidy up the garden with little ongoing maintenance.

Get Ready for an Autumn Sale
An Autumn sale means there will be less maintenance for your weekly open homes oter than raking or blowing fallen leaves. Once you’ve prepared your property for the launch, keeping it tidy is less work for the sellers. The grass and gardens grow slower, there’s not as much rainfall to dirty the windows either. When it comes to the interior, it should be impeccably clean and decluttered with the light on and the blinds and windows open. But also think about bringing in some seasonal accessories like throws, cushions and layering your bed to make buyers feel welcomed and at home.

Don’t Let the Holidays Put You Off
Whilst many potential buyers could leave town for Easter, don’t let this stop you from launching. In fact, it gives you the opportunity to go away too and leave the house beautifully presented for your agent and when buyers are on holidays it gives them more time to find your property online and contact the agent.

Determine if Autumn is Right for You
We know Autumn is the best season to sell but deciding to come to the market will depend on the property, its surroundings and location too. For example, if your home looses light and becomes dark and cold due to it proximity to a large building, tree or hills then Autumn may not be the right time for you to sell. Or you may have to adapt a strategy of opening the mornings only.

The best strategy when selling is to use an experienced real estate agent who identifies and understands your particular situation. At One Agency Pinkerton Properties you are not only getting an experienced agent, you are also getting the owner of the business.

Contact me today to learn more and book an obligation-free property appraisal.

Home Inspection: How to Spot a Genuine Buyer

In a superheated real estate market, a 30-minute open for inspection can attract hundreds of prospective buyers who are checking out a property.

So, the question is: How does your agent weed out the fake from the genuine among these homebuyers?

Here are some of the tell-tale signs:

  1. They have finance

Agents can tell who the genuine buyers are by identifying which of them have prepared their finance and are set to purchase. Those who don’t have a loan approved yet might be weeks or months away from being prepared to buy, or they may not be approved for a loan at all.

Many selling agents consider these buyers a waste of the agents’ time and may treat them differently, however they do provide valuable feedback.  So it’s just a matter of capturing their comments and moving on to the purchasers who are ready. 

  1. They are more inquisitive

Interested buyers will have more questions, specific questions that casual buyers wouldn’t worry about. They will ask about the terms of the contract, if the seller will sell prior and targeted questions about the state of the property.

  1. Showing a more-than-usual disinterest

The oldest negotiation trick in the book is: pretend that you dislike something when it is the opposite.

At open inspections, the buyers who are serious are those who make an effort to call attention to the property’s imperfections.

It’s a type of negotiating tactic. Buyers need leverage when negotiating with the selling agent.

  1. Timing is important

It doesn’t take a genius to know that there isn’t a buyer that is likely to emerge from the large group of people who look at the property for the first time at the last inspection.

However, the timing of their first inspection can indicate their intentions.

When a person is in the market and actively looking, they have their finger on the pulse, so they usually join in the first week of open inspection and return in the second week or ask for a private inspection.  

The first two weeks are crucial in any campaign. Genuine buyers will also spend more time checking out the property at different times of the day or when it’s raining as a fact finding mission.

  1. Ignore contract requests

Requesting a contract of sale is no longer a major sign of someone’s intention to purchase. 

The norm these days is: Many buyers request a copy of a contract of sale and the majority will not even make an offer. Everyone just wants to be nosey or they are just testing the agent to see how the agent interacts with buyers in the event they they are looking for a selling agent for themselves.

If you’re looking to sell your home sometime soon and would like an appraisal, just let me know.

 

 

Upgrade These 5 Areas Before Selling Your Home

If you’re selling your home, there are many ways you can use to boost its sale price. Here are the 5 areas in your home that you should improve to get the biggest impact for the lowest cost.

  1. The walls

First thing on the list is painting because for every dollar you spend on painting, the return is usually well in excess of a thousand. With so many colours available, what should you choose?

Choose neutral but avoid anything stark. For example, there are many variations of white, so the choice will be determined by the light your space has, and the colours of the floors and fixtures.

  1. The floor

It’s not easy to change flooring, but sometimes the existing flooring is totally worn out and drab. If you have a decades-old carpet, an overhaul is in order.

The type of home and who is looking to buy it will determine what new flooring you choose. If you’re trying to attract buyers, rather than investors, then that should be reflected in the flooring. Experts suggest purchasing quality engineered floorboards that can be placed directly on top of the existing floors.

If you’re selling to property investors, choose quality, affordable options like a laminate.

Floating floorboards is one easy way to upgrade your floors. The floorboards easily interlock and are laid over existing foundations, minimising installation time.

For carpets, both buyers and investors still prefer softness underfoot in bedrooms and upstairs spaces. If you are targeting investors who want to rent out the property, choose a low-maintenance, stain-resistant carpet, such as those of synthetic dyed nylon varieties. If you want something more luxurious, a wool blend is the perfect material.

You should also consider the architecture and style of the rest of your home when choosing a colour or flooring style.

  1. Street view

Curb appeal is important because buyers often drive past a house first before they decide if they’ll look inside. Declutter, mulch the garden, put in a new lawn, if budget allows. These are just a few simple things that will earn your house a good price come inspection and sale day.

Additionally, if you’re planning to paint your interiors, you may as well consider painting the outside of your home too.

  1. The kitchen

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. However, before you demolish your kitchen, make sure the improvement will benefit you.

Make sure that the cost of updating your kitchen will be reflected in the sale price. If not, simply tidy it up if it’s messy and add a few select styling items.

If you’re not sure whether to remodel your kitchen, ask your selling agent. They should know the type of buyers your home appeals to and whether or not they would prefer a fully-furnished kitchen or a fixer-upper.

  1. The lighting

Clean your windows, so people can see straight to your garden and establish a connection to the home. Trim the trees that block the view or light. A well-lit home is an important item in most buyers’ checklist.

Check your fittings to see if you need to replace them to allow more light in. 

Annette Pinkerton knows what buyers are looking for in today’s property market place.  If you are looking for an opinion for your home, then ask Annette!

What is a property appraisal?

Ever wondered what a property appraisal is? Why online calculators to determine the value of your home don’t really work? And also, why a Real Estate Agent can’t always provide you with an appraisal on the spot. Understanding the process of how your property’s worth in the current market is determined is important.

A property appraisal is an estimation of what your home may be worth in the current market. It is a free-of-charge service provided by a real estate agent who will produce an educated opinion based on several elements and factors.

In determining a market opinion of your property, agents take into consideration the following factors:

• Recent sale prices of similar properties in the area,
• Location, aspect and outlook of the property,
• The presentation, features, age and condition of the property,
• The current state of the property market.

Most potential sellers will usually request an appraisal from a few agents before making a selection of who will ultimately sell your property. However, beware – it is recommended that you conduct your own research so you can decipher and make an educated decision about whether you agree or disagree with the agents information and marketing proposal.

How is a Property Valuation Different?
A property valuation is usually performed by a Certified Practicing Valuer who will charge a fee for the service.  A valuer will inspect the property, carry out research and provide an analysis into the local market and report on issues affecting the current market value of the property. This type of service is commonly ordered by a bank or financial institution prior to approving a home loan.  Valuers are not real estate agents or associated with any real estate agency.  Some property owners wanting an independent opinion may also require a valuer for family settlements, capital gains tax or even building insurance.

How to Research the Market Yourself
You can do your own research to find out what your property may be worth in the current market.

  • Inspect local homes that are similar to yours. The level of interest from buyers will help you to measure the current market conditions and give you an idea of how your home compares.
  • Study websites like www.domain.com.au, www.realestate.com.au and the agency websites for sales in your area and specifically look for houses like yours.

What is a Seller’s Market and How Can it Affect Your Price?
A seller’s market is when buyer demand outweighs housing supply.  It’s when greater competition inevitably drives property prices up favouring the seller.

What About a Buyer’s Market?  How Does it Affect the Sale Price?
A buyer’s market is when market conditions favour buyers. In a buyer’s market there are usually a greater number of properties for sale and less buyers. This may come about because of rising interest rates, inflation or a slowing economy. In this type of market, sellers need to be competitive with pricing in order to achieve a sale.  The consequence maybe that they just help everyone else sell their home instead!

Property owners love to discuss the market – what’s happened, what’s going to happen, how it will happen and for how long!   Sellers are always debating if they should sell now or wait for something better, and buyers often think that they should hold off buying believing housing prices will drop.

Booking a property appraisal with Annette Pinkerton of One Agency Pinkerton Properties will allow you to discover current market trends and gauge where your property is positioned. To get your free property appraisal simply call Annette on 0418447856 or click here.

 

What Sellers Need to Know About Auctions

Auctions, in real life, are not that complicated but it’s important for sellers to understand everything about this popular sale method.

Here are some tips for sellers on auction day:

Before auction day

Planning your strategy requires work. Here are the things that will happen before the auction.

  1. The marketing campaign

A marketing campaign usually runs for three to four weeks before auction day. A campaign consists of advertising and open homes, working with prospective buyers and delivering contracts.

  1. Set price expectation

The day prior to auction day, you and your agent talk about price expectations. An important part of this process is the feedback received throughout the campaign.

Both parties must also agree on the reserve price, the number at which the auction becomes “on-the-market,” plus any prospective seller bids; a method for encouraging bidding.

  1. The agent explain the auction process

To make the seller fully informed, the agent will go through what will happen on auction day. The location of the auction can either be at the property or offsite, like a boardroom.

Auction Day

The rules that govern auctions vary from state to state.

  1. Final public showing

Normally, the final Open for Inspection happens immediately prior to auction day.

At least 30 minutes prior to the start of the auction, your agent must present certain documents relating to the house and verbally provide information to prospective buyers.

  1. The auctioneer will carry out legal disclosure of information

Here are the rules that must be followed during auctions in NSW:

  • The highest bidder at the fall of the ‘hammer’ is the purchaser
  • The auctioneer can make one bid only on behalf of the seller
  • Prior to the auction, the auctioneer is required to disclose that the auctioneer is entitled to make one bid on behalf of the seller
  • The auctioneer must disclose immediately before, or during the actual bidding, that they are making a seller bid
  • The auctioneer has the right to decline a bid that is disadvantageous to the seller
  • The auctioneer cannot accept a bid after the fall of the ‘hammer’
  • With regards to a disputed bid, only the auctioneer can make a final decision
  • The winning buyer’s name must be submitted to the auctioneer as soon as possible

The rule in most states is that prospective buyers must register before auction day to receive a bidder’s number.

Bidding

This is when the actual bidding commences. The auctioneer will call for an opening bid to commence the auction and then permit succeeding bids.

While the auctioneer can influence the tone of increments, bidders can submit other amounts. A seller’s bid can be utilised to motivate buyers to bid.

It is absolutely against the law for a non-genuine buyer to make a bid, which is called dummy bidding or false bidding.

When the reserve price is reached, the property is deemed to be ‘on-the-market’ and is sold to the buyer with the highest bid. Typically, a 10% deposit is paid up front, with the remaining to be paid on settlement.

If the reserve price is not reached

The property is passed-in if the reserve price is not reached. Commonly, the highest bidder is provided the first opportunity to negotiate with the vendor.

It is your agent’s job to do the work. A property doesn’t necessarily have to be sold at auction. There are circumstances when an auction fails, such as if it rained on the day or the main buyer fell ill.

It is not true that you will get less if your property gets passed-in. Your property can still be sold under auction conditions until 12 midnight on the day of the auction, sold in the following days or at another auction at a later date. 

 

 

Strong Demand, Limited Supply Force Sellers to Delay Sale

An increasing number of vendors are renting back their houses or delaying the settlement period for fear they won’t be able to find another house amidst robust demand for a limited supply of properties on the market on top of delays due to lockdown restrictions and weak rental vacancy rates.

It is now common to see extended settlement periods, leaseback deals ranging from two weeks to six months and other ingenuous clauses that we only have previously seen in the top-end of the market.

A contract settlement period, in general, is 28 to 42 days. Currently, this has become three to six months. Some sellers are requesting  a leaseback arrangement, which means real estate agents need to be aware of both buyer and seller needs and to negotiate more creatively.

Some agents are witnessing leaseback transactions for garages and storage spaces or alternatively deals that offer buyers quick access to those spaces.  

Such options are important to encourage wary homeowners to sell, especially with the downsizer market.  On the flip side, interstate buyers are also asking for extended settlements while borders remained closed.

Here’s hoping that the pressure on buyers and sellers will ease with the ending of the lockdown and that stock levels will expand and make people more confident to transact.  

If you’re thinking of selling anytime within the next 12 months and would like additional information call Annette Pinkerton 0418447856.

Home Selling 101: Get Rid of These 7 Items When Selling Your Home

House hunting is exciting, and that feeling can come from envisioning yourself living in the house you’ve dreamed about for so long. However, it cannot be easy imagining the place to be yours when it still feels like it belongs to another.

Buyers will feel the same when they see your house during open inspections. They can be turned off by clutter and excessive personal belongings, leading to reduced competition and offers.

Most agents, including me, will recommend getting rid of clutter and styling the home using furniture to showcase its most attractive features.

Moving out completely while the house is on the market may not be for everyone, especially sellers who haven’t found their next home yet. But freeing the home of items that might turn off buyers will let a sale happen and ideally result in higher price.

  1. Noticeable Clutter

The first step is decluttering and this should be done weeks before listing the home.

These can be easy tasks like clearing kitchen counters of cumbersome appliances like blenders and microwaves to make the area appear bigger, or emptying the hallways and entryways of coats, shoes and bags to create a sense of space.

  1. Odd homewares

Styling your home sometimes means that your tastes may not fit that of some buyers.

“Keep it vanilla,” is what I recommend. This means anything quirky or odd for the house, any item that makes buyers pause will distract them from the features of the property.

When a property is styled well, it can help sell a property quickly.

  1. Photos and personal belongings

Buyers want to envision themselves living in your house. But that is not easy when your photos are hanging on walls and fridges.

Family photos scattered throughout the home will show too much of your personality to buyers, and this makes it hard for them to establish a connection to the property.

De-personalisation should be implemented in every room of the home. Too many personal items in the bathroom can turn off buyers, so the best thing to do is keep the toothbrushes and medicines away.

  1. Cupboard items

Buyers tend to open wardrobes, linen cupboards and the pantry when viewing a property, which gives a literal meaning to the phrase “open home.” But a wardrobe bursting with clothes and whatnots won’t help sell a home.

To make a property feel more spacious, I suggest using a minimalist strategy while the home is on the market. Imagine that you’re taking a holiday and are living with just the items you can take.  In other words, pack away all the seasonal clothing you are not wearing, books, vases and linen that you want to take to your new home too and store them off site if you have to. 

  1. Pet items

Half of Australians have at least one pet, but it’s still best to keep away of any sign of pet occupancy during open homes. Not all buyers love pets, and pet items can make a property disorganised and distract buyers.

  1. Home offices and studies

A sale price can be impacted by the number of bedrooms. Thus, sellers are advised to convert home offices and studies into bedrooms before sale.

It’s important to make it clear what each room is used for. Buyers might not be able to visualise a room when they see a study.

  1. Backyard junk

It is just as important to declutter your backyard. Left-over construction materials like bricks and timber should be thrown away, while garden tools should be stored properly.

Changing trends means some outdoor features that were once disliked are now popular. Ten years ago, people didn’t like vegetable gardens. Today, they’re a selling point, particularly with younger buyers.

If you are thinking of selling anytime in the next few months and are seeking advise, just ask Annette!

Why Real Estate Won’t Return To Normal Once Lockdowns Lift

Many real estate agents and principals are working in lockdown right now, and even though we are still able to list and sell property (under constrained circumstances), we are finding that the majority of sellers are saying they prefer to wait for restrictions to end and consider listing their properties when real estate returns to normal.

The problem is, when restrictions end, real estate won’t return to normal. In fact, if we take into account what happened last year when Melbourne agents were in an extended lockdown period, it was just the opposite.

The main lesson I learnt from One Agency’s in Victoria last year was that as soon as restrictions lifted and sellers rushed to the market, it lead to high demand for associated service providers like stagers, photographers, pest & building inspectors and conveyancers, causing major waitlists and a huge slowing in the process.

So, the immediate post-lockdown environment will actually be far from normal.  That’s why it’s so important to take steps right now to set yourself up for a successful post-lockdown sale.

 

How to set yourself up for a post-lockdown sale of your property

Styling and staging experienced big bottlenecks in Victoria last year. There are only so many styling professionals and their staging furniture to go around, which means there’s likely to be a big queue for this service when lockdown lifts.

One way to get around this problem is to consider selling right now. This can be a great option, because while there are less properties on the market, buyer numbers are still very strong, which means you are facing less competition than usual and certainly far less than when everyone decides to come to the market post-lockdown.

If you still prefer to wait until lockdown ends, you should try to book styling and staging appointments right now. If appropriate, consider offering to pay a deposit. That way, you can get to the front of what’s likely to be a long queue.

The same logic applies with contracts for sale and pest and building inspections. Demand for conveyancers and inspectors will skyrocket once lockdown ends, but supply of these services remain unchanged. Now might be a good time to go to market, because if you wait until lockdown is over, it might become harder for you to sell your property.  It may take longer and everyone knows that the longer a property is on the market, there’s a higher chance you’ll have to drop your original asking price.

Of course, if you want to wait, that’s your choice. In that case, speak to your favourite conveyancer right now and ask them to draft a contract of sale in readiness so you can get to the front of the long post-lockdown queue.  Remember to book your stylist and contact your agent so they can book your photographer.

These are conversations you need to be having right now because your competition is already doing it!

 

 

Increase Your Sale Price with Simple Home Updates

A complete kitchen overhaul is not needed for you to catch the eye of prospective buyers. All you need for a successful sale is cleanliness, curb appeal, and quality finishes.

First impression is important

What sets the expectation for the entire property is the front of the home. What makes up a first great impression is a verdant lawn, a neat garden, and well-painted exterior.

Fertilize your lawn to make it look really nice and green. Put in new mulch and make the front of the home present well.

You may also need to freshen up the front door and windows with a fresh coat of paint on the door and window ledges. To achieve a neat, uniform look, install plantation shutters across the entire front of the house. Meanwhile, roller blinds are appropriate for the bedrooms and living spaces as they allow light but still provide some privacy.

Linen

It may not be obvious to you that your doona cover has faded over time, but prospective buyers will see it.

Home styling experts suggest white bed linen as it is hotel-like, and crisp white towels and linens give off the feeling of indulgence to buyers. Add high pillows to complete the presentation.

With cushions, they add a dash of colour, and for towels displayed in the bathroom, make sure they are new and unused.

Add a homeliness vibe

Try to achieve a hotel look, but add a feeling of homeliness with fragrances, cleanliness and freshness.

Clean homes give buyers a sense of luxury because people don’t always get to live that way on a daily basis. Buyers need to feel the surreal cleanliness and a trace of freshness with fragrance.

On your kitchen bench, place herbs harvested from your garden as well bowls of fresh lemon. You can also fill a vase with fresh flowers or sprinkle a little cinnamon in the oven on a gentle heat so the fragrance wafts through the home.   

Outdoor spaces

 The concept of using all available spaces has been put on the spotlight this past year. Therefore, outdoor spaces expanding further than a “comfortable” season are major selling points.

For example, putting outdoor blinds on your patio will serve like a mesh. It will block the heat and the brightness of the sun and allow air to flow freely. It will also prevent water from coming in when it rains. And when you put in blinds prospective buyers can effortlessly see a new, liveable space without effort.

And finally, choose matching colour or texture from the interiors of the home with the outdoor living spaces. Cushions, rugs or furniture items can allow the shift from indoors to outdoors smoothly. 

For more great styling tips for your home contact me directly on 0418447856.

Tips to Make Your Open Inspection a Success

We often hear the saying “first impressions matter” but when it comes to open inspections, the motto to remember is “every impression matters.”

The reason is that the way a home is shown for an open home can determine whether prospective buyers are left in awe or dread.  Open inspections are not only impressing potential buyers with a home’s lovely features, but also presenting how well it is cared for and maintained.

Here’s what I recommend sellers pay attention to before starting an open inspection.

 

The General Vibe

Presenting the home in its best possible light is the simplest advice you can follow. Make the property neat, tidy, cool and fresh – all things that buyers check when looking at properties. Open doors, turn on the lights, adjust the temperature and attend to any awful pet smells to satisfy all senses.  I also recommend getting rid of personal items in your home, but it’s a fine line. There is no need to completely depersonalise because you don’t want your home to look and feel sterile. You want prospective buyers to see that your home is loved.

 

Hire Furniture

Hire furniture for the length of the sales campaign. With hire furniture, you can sell the dream of how a buyer would live in your home. A living area is just an open space until you add furniture, and then it transforms into a room where people could see themselves living there.

 

Styling

I always warn against “over-styling” your property. When styling for open, less is more. Make your property feel loved and comfortable and not overdone.

 

Don’t Overlook the Exterior

Focusing only on the interiors of a property is a trap. Outdoors is essential, especially if it’s an area for entertainment. Apply the same level of beauty you do on the interior to the exterior. Arrange tables and chairs and tidy up the gardens, lawns and edges.

 

Getting Ready to Sell

Typically your open home should run for around 30 minutes but sometimes I will recommend a longer open home time for larger homes or for your first open home.   This will depend on the number of active buyers attending viewings or the amount of enquiry coming in on your home.  I may also suggest a weekday open home or VIP Open Home!    The next step is to ensure that you are not present or spying on the property from your car or a neighbours home.  It’s now time to leave your home and let both your buyers feel comfortable and for your agent get to work! 

Thinking of selling this year?  Call me to arrange for an appointment to discuss my ideas to increase the value of your home and to make recommendations specific to your home!