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Licensed Real Estate Agents Shelley and Mark are renowned for their exceptional customer service, strong local knowledge and high ethical standards. 

 
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The ‘Silent Sell’ – what is it & why would you do it?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

22 February 2018

Have you ever missed out on buying a property that sold before it was advertised for sale (including on the Internet)? We often hear buyers tell us how surprised they were to see a SOLD sign go up in front of a house that they would have loved to buy themselves had they known about it.

Known as the ‘Silent Sell’ (sometimes also referred to as the ‘Undercover’ or ‘Discreet’ Sale) this type of listing is becoming an increasingly popular choice by sellers for a variety of reasons. In fact, at any given time there are many great properties available for sale that sell before they’re advertised on the open market.

Why do people choose to sell silently?

There are two main reasons why people would choose the Silent Sell method:

Busy lives – Sellers may not be quite ready to go to market for a variety of work/health/personal reasons. Or perhaps they are about to go on holidays for a period of time, and a full marketing campaign with weekly Home Opens may not be possible at the time. However they often say to us, “We wouldn’t want to miss out on a genuine buyer in the meantime”. So if we have genuine buyers on our database or buyers we have met in our other real estate related activities, including home opens, we may introduce them to the property.

Not wanting their property to ‘stagnate’ on the market – By putting a property onto real estate websites before the sellers are fully ready, it can appear to be on the market for an extended period of time without a sale, thereby giving buyers the impression that it has gone stale. Often this leads to an assumption that there is something wrong with the property.

How does it work?

The Silent Sell method focuses on the process and the strategy. As the leading agents in the area with a large database of active buyers, we have secured many successful sales for clients using the Silent Sell method.

Every day we talk to buyers who are looking for their dream home. By cross matching the seller’s property with people in our buyer database (which currently holds the contact details of around 9,700 potential buyers categorised according to price range and the area they are looking to buy in), we actively look for as many good matches as we can find.

We then contact those buyers to let them know about the property we have just listed silently.

It can also work the other way around. Buyers can approach us with their specific needs and we then assess all our listed (silent and advertised) properties to find a suitable match. This is why it is so important to let us know if you are in the market to buy.

Either way, it’s a process of cross matching and connecting.

The Shelmark Silent Sell process in more detail

• We start by having professional photos, text and floor plans created and develop a Web Book (a beautifully presented digital brochure) for the property. Click here to view an example.
• We then send a text message containing this Web Book link to all potential buyers in the database whose criteria match the property.
• We feature the property on our Facebook page and boost the posts.
• We follow up with phone calls to set up appointments to view the property (no home opens, no curious neighbours).
• If the property ends up going to market, it appears as a brand new listing.

At the same time, when conducting other home opens, if the property a buyer has come through isn’t suitable for them, we direct them to the Web Book of the Silent Sell property (if it matches their criteria) and suggest they drive by the property to see if it appeals to them. We then follow up those buyers to set up an appointment to view the property if they are interested.

This is how we recently sold 13 Blackman Road, Mount Pleasant and another one on The Promenade, Mount Pleasant last week.

Contact us if you would like to explore the Silent Sell option further.


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When is the right time to downsize?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

02 February 2018

To sell or not to sell?
When it comes to the family home, this question can be one of the toughest to answer. And arguably at no time is the decision to sell the family home harder to make than when your kids have moved out and you find yourself (whether it’s just you or you and your partner) in an ’empty nest’ situation.

There are two main constraints when it comes to selling the family home – emotional constraints and financial constraints.

Emotional constraints
For most of us the family home is filled with memories. Every wall has an abundance of tales to tell. Is it any wonder then that we become emotional at the thought of leaving all that behind? Packing and sorting through a lifetime of possessions isn’t easy. Some find this so challenging in fact that they wait until the financial constraints kick in before they do anything about it.

Many older people also worry about moving away from family, friends and the area they are familiar with.

Financial constraints
For older Australians who are no longer working, there can be some major financial hurdles that deter them from even thinking about selling the family home and moving. For instance, after selling, pensioners may lose some (or all) of their age pension as the family home is exempt from the pension assets test. The equity unlocked on the other hand is not. Furthermore, pensioners are taxed for the cash released upon selling the house.

The good news
The 2017 Federal Budget announcement last year to change Superannuation rules will open up more opportunities for retirees.

Why?

Because from July 1, 2018 (when the changes come into effect) people over the age of 65 will be able to put the proceeds of the sale of the family home (as long as the property has been owned for at least 10 years) into super, at a maximum of $300,000 per person.

That means that a couple could put $600,000 into super. As a result, it eases the tax headaches that currently go hand in hand with selling a home at such a financially crucial stage of your life.

If you are interested in exploring this option, now is a good time to start planning in advance.

We can help you put a plan in place now for selling your property when this new ruling comes into effect by doing the following:

  • Prepare a Comparative Market Appraisal on the value of your property.
  • Give you ample time and advice on downsizing your belongings if you anticipate moving to a smaller home.
  • Give you advice on how to present your property for sale to achieve the best result.
  • Provide details of tradespeople to help with any painting, electrical, gardening or other odd jobs to prepare your home for sale.
  • Use our 19+ years’ experience as one of the top selling agents in the region to provide you with a comprehensive marketing strategy for your home in order to achieve the highest price.

If this service is of interest to you, contact us and we will be more than happy to call out and see you at a time that suits you (all at no obligation whatsoever).


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Top 8 interior design trends for 2018

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

29 January 2018

If you are in the process of designing a new home or a renovation to your existing home, it can be quite overwhelming when trying to keep up with the latest design trends. Researching interiors can lead you to an almost endless array of styles and choices.

Thanks to Pinterest, lifestyle magazine editors and design bloggers are able to stay abreast with the key trends interior designers from around the world are searching.

While minimalism has been in vogue for some time, the numbers are stacking in favour of maximalism this year.

From resort-inspired bathrooms to statement doors and statement ceilings, there is no shortage of inspiration and trends begging your participation if you’re planning to build, renovate or modernise your home.

If staying on point is important to you, you will love this concise overview of eight of the top interior design trends for 2018 (as featured in the latest edition of Vogue Living). Here they are, in no particular order: 

  1. Resort-inspired bathrooms– Think spa baths, rattan furniture and rustic, recycled timber features.
  2. Big, bold art pieces– Searches for the term ‘big wall art’ are up a whopping 637 per cent.
  3. Terrazzo– They say ‘what goes around comes around’, and clearly the same is true for interior design trends. Regulated to office flooring in the 2000s after losing its popularity as residential flooring in the 80s and 90s, Terrazzo is officially back in vogue. But don’t expect to see it looking like the concrete original from its heyday in the ‘70s. In 2018, we will see Terrazzo used not only in flooring but also in statement furniture pieces like occasional and coffee tables.
  4. Patterned plants– The popularity of indoor plants has been on the rise for the past couple of years, not only for their obvious beauty, but also for their proven health and wellbeing  Now we’re moving beyond the standard green with searches for ‘patterned plants’ (patterned foliage with splashes of colour) up by more than 500 per cent.
  5. Statement doors– You know what they say about making a great first impression. Nothing does this like a fabulous statement door. Is it any wonder that searches for interesting, intriguing and colourful entryways are on the rise?
  6. French floors– Commonly found in chic Parisian apartments, French wooden floors are characterised by their interesting herringbone design.
  7. Metallics– Mixed metals have been in vogue for the last few years and it’s clear they are not going anywhere based on global Pinterest search results.
  8. Statement ceilings– No longer relegated to basic ‘ceiling white’, ceilings are now being given a new lease of life and the predictions are that this trend will be huge this year. Think graphic patterns and colourful prints using wallpaper, painted patterns, exposed beams, sleek textures, and even custom ceiling coverings like timber.

 


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How to find the best agent

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

19 January 2018

Last week we shared tips on how NOT to find your agent. So this week we thought we’d turn the tables and share a list of questions to ask the agents on your shortlist. If you think that sounds like you’re conducting a job interview, you would be correct. Finding the right agent to sell your most significant financial asset should be taken as seriously as finding the right person for a job if you owned a business or was responsible for hiring at your work.

6 questions to ask your shortlisted agent

1. How will you target the right buyers for my property?
There’s more to targeting buyers than advertising alone. While a professionally prepared tailored marketing campaign that targets the right buyers is vital, your agent should also be actively contacting buyers looking for a property like yours. Unfortunately too many agents wait for a buyer to come to them.

2. How do you calculate what my property’s worth & can you substantiate the figure?
Many people are lured by the promise of a high price without being told how that price was calculated and how it will be achieved. Ask an agent to explain how they arrived at a figure when appraising your home to ensure it’s not simply a number designed to draw you in. Nothing will damage the integrity of a sale faster than a home that’s unrealistically priced. It’s important to ensure your agent prices your property in line with current market values to avoid it becoming stale on the market.

3. How will you achieve the best sales result for me?
When it comes to achieving the best possible price there are 3 key factors to look for – attention to detail (on everything from property presentation, marketing and local knowledge to follow-up communication); highly skilled negotiation skills (why not put the agent to the test by role playing a negotiation with them); and last but not least, friendly, professional service, without the pressure (buyers see straight through the ‘pushy salesperson spiel’).

4. Can you show me the results & testimonials from your last 3 sales?
If an agent can’t show you recent sales results and testimonials (not results from 3 years ago) then how can you be sure they have what it takes to achieve top dollar in the current market?

5. How often will I hear from you? And how do you communicate with prospective buyers?
There’s nothing more frustrating than an agent that fails to keep you fully informed during the sales campaign. You should never have to ask for information. Ask each prospective agent how he or she intends to communicate with you and with prospective buyers of your property. You may be surprised to learn how many buyers fail to be contacted after an inspection, even in a tough market!

6. How many properties do you look after at any one time?
How can you expect to receive personalised attention and 100% commitment from an agent who juggles a huge number of listings at any one time? You don’t want to be seen as simply a means to achieving a sales target for the month!

We feel confident we tick all these boxes and would be more than happy to sit down with you to answer these and any other questions you may have. Contact us for an obligation free chat any time.

 


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How NOT to choose your agent

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

12 January 2018

If you owned a business and needed to fill an important role, you wouldn’t simply hire the first applicant that walked through the door would you?If you owned a business and needed to fill an important role, you wouldn’t simply hire the first applicant that walked through the door would you?

Finding the right real estate agent to sell your greatest financial asset should be no different to hiring the best person for a job.

Many sellers head to the Internet these days to help shortlist agents to meet their needs. However, according to Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) President and Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Deputy President, Hayden Groves, the old fashioned methods of choosing your agent are still best.

“Well established methods of choosing your agent such as re-employing an agent previously used, adverts in the Herald, recommendations from friends and relatives or visiting Home Opens to meet agents remain effective methods,” said Mr Groves.

However if you want a credible online source to find a reputable agent, Mr Groves said it is vital that the source be independent.

REIWA’s Agent Finder tool is an independent, credible source for finding professional agents.

Mr Groves warns of the many commercial operators that claim to ‘find the best agent near you’.

The following is what he had to say to support his argument of how NOT to choose your agent…

“Conducting a Google search of “Real Estate Agents Fremantle” for example will throw up paid for adverts for:

http://www.localagentfinder.com.au,
http://www.whichrealestateagent.com.au,
http://www.openagent.com.au
http://www.agentselect.com.au

These ‘intermediaries’ claim they can find you the best agent. The truth is they merely run a portal and a call centre whereby they contact local agents offering them a lead for a property listing in exchange for about 20% of their sales commission. The consumer then contacts the participating agents, chooses one from the list and is astonished to find the agent will be paying a referral fee to the intermediary. Suddenly, the vendor’s confidence in their agent – one prepared to give up a portion of their fee to obtain a lead – is undermined.”

Now working for less money, how hard do you think that agent would work for you?

The best agents don’t need to use intermediary services as they get their business based on their merit, which leads to word-of-mouth referral.

“Consumers need to know that in using these sites, they’re simply not getting access to the best agents, just the cheapest and most desperate,” said Mr Groves.

Not all agents are the same

Remember, an agent works for YOU. Your needs must be their top priority. If they’re not the right person for the job, it can cost you dearly.


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10 tips to secure your home over the festive season

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

22 December 2017

When you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing break away from home over the festive season, the last thing you want to be worrying about is the security of your house while you’re away.

By taking a few simple precautions, you can significantly reduce your chance of coming home to a nasty surprise.

Here are 10 simple and practical ways to secure your home while you’re away on holidays.

Don’t post it – As tempting as it is to tell all your Facebook and Instagram friends about the wonderful holiday you’re going on, it’s best to keep it under wraps. This includes posting holidays snaps while you’re away (save it for your return). You never know who else is watching. In fact, a recent survey conducted by a team of security experts revealed that 78% of ex-thieves interviewed said they strongly believed social media platforms are being trolled by today’s thieves to help determine which properties to target.

Tidy the garden before you go – Nothing says vacant house like unkempt lawns and nothing pleases burglars more than a home shrouded in overgrown shrubs to hide their activities.

Timed lights and motion detectors – Light timers are a cost effective addition to your household security at all times, not just while you’re away. To conserve energy, attach the timer to one or two lights at the front and rear of the home. It is also a good idea to install a motion detector to a light near your front door to deter unwanted guests.

Ask a neighbour or a friend to collect your mail and bring in your rubbish bins – An overflowing mailbox and empty bins by the roadside for days are a real giveaway that there’s nobody home. It’s also a good idea to leave a key with a friend or trusted neighbour in case of emergencies.

Ensure your garage is secure – If your garage is one that automatically opens by remote control, it is a good idea to switch off the power source so it can’t be opened by a thief with a universal remote control device. Many garages have internal access into the house so garages that are easy to enter are a burglar’s dream as it allows them easy undisturbed and unseen access.

Secure all windows and doors – Windows and screen doors are a favourite access point for home thieves, so make sure yours have good locks. Fit security screens where you can and consider placing a wooden rod or metal bar in the track of your sliding windows and doors, so that even if the locks are picked, the thief still can’t slide them open.

Lock up your storage shed – most sheds contain a number of items that a thief would love to get their hands on, even if only to give them some tools to help break into the house.

Consider installing a home security system – there are some very advanced home security systems on the market these days. If you live in a high risk area, a home security system is well worth the investment.

Put away your hidden spare keys – Many people hide a spare house key in the garden or under a mat. But thieves know all the spots and are very good at locating even the best hidden spare key.

Check your contents insurance policy – Taking precautions to secure your house can make a big difference. However, if the worst happens, you need to be prepared! Check your policy to ensure it is valid and that your cover is sufficient.

Now go and have fun!

 


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Perth parents going to extremes for their kids’ schooling

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

15 December 2017

You may notice that we almost always highlight the school zoning in the marketing for properties we list for sale. There’s good reason for this.

Many parents will go to great lengths to live in a suburb or even a particular section of a suburb to be in the school zone of their choice.

A recent article in PerthNow highlighted how some Perth parents are exploiting loopholes in the system so their kids can attend one of WA’s most popular state high schools.

Some of the methods parents are reportedly attempting are:

  • Buying and leaving vacant homes in their desired catchment area.
  • Producing fraudulent documents, such as using a grandparent’s address on the enrolment form.
  • Stipulating bills and utilities be sent to rental properties which are then used as false evidence of address.

Some are even going so far as to move into a rental property within the high school zone of choice and leasing out the family home while their children attend high school.

We have a number of very popular and high performing state schools in and around the City of Melville, including Applecross & Rossmoyne Senior High Schools, and often get requests from buyers looking to purchase a home within the zone for one of both of these schools.

If you have a property to sell within a popular state school precinct like Applecross or Rossmoyne High, let us know, as we have registered buyers on our books right now keen to get a foot in the door in time for the new school year.

To read the full PerthNow article, click on the link.

 


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What is an exclusive listing & why does it make a difference?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

07 December 2017

When you decide to sell your home you naturally want to get the best price within a reasonable timeframe, right? Some people believe that it makes sense to enlist the help of more than one real estate agent to increase their chances of achieving these goals.

While this makes sense in theory, there are a number of benefits for signing an Exclusive Agency Agreement. For starters, it simplifies the sales process for you and gives your campaign a more dedicated and focused approach.

What is an Exclusive Agency Agreement?

An Exclusive Agency Agreement occurs between a seller and their chosen real estate agent or agency. It excludes all other agents from representing your property for the contract period and means you have one central point of contact for the sale of your property.

What is an Open Agency Agreement?

This is the opposite of an Exclusive Agency Agreement. The Open Agency Agreement leaves you free to list your home with multiple real estate agents. While this may appear attractive as you will presumably have access to more buyers, the downside is that none of the agents are likely to give your property their full commitment.

The pros and cons of an Exclusive listing

The overriding benefit is as the name implies – exclusivity. It means you will have the agent’s total commitment to your property and the return they receive is entirely dependent on the result they achieve.

The only downside is if you end up with a ‘bad agent’. Then you’re limited in how much control you have over improving the situation if things aren’t going well.

The bottom line

An agent’s income is earned from sales, not listings. If an agent has the exclusive responsibility to sell your property, they will work hard to achieve a result you are happy with. That way it will be celebrations all round once the property is settled.

Contact us if you’re still confused and would like more information.

 


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We’re moving! How to break the news to your kids

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

30 November 2017

Moving house can be stressful and unsettling time for all of us. But it can be especially tough on children. Because of this, some people try to keep it a secret from their children for as long as possible. But this really does more harm than good.

If you are about to move house, it is really important to keep your kids informed and included in the process. There’s a lot to do to get ready and you will achieve so much more if the smallest (and loudest) members of your house on your side!

Here are our top 5 tips for telling the kids:

1. Don’t hide it from them – Your kids will pick up on the fact that something is going on. It’s far better to be open with them than have them worry what all the whispers and anxious faces could be about.
2. Be honest about why you’re moving (even if it’s for a less than ideal reason) and be very clear about what happens next.
3. Try to maintain your normal day to day routine as much as possible in the lead up to the move.
4. Explore the new neighbourhood together – Perhaps a play in the local park, a treat at the local cafe or a visit to check out their new school.
5. Give them responsibilities to ensure they are involved in the process – Ask them to help you make a to-do list. Give older children a box and tell them they are responsible for packing the games etc.

If your child is really anxious about the move, try diverting their attention away from themselves and onto the family pet or a younger sibling. Explain how the pet or baby brother/sister may get scared during the move so you need them to take extra special care of their dog/cat or baby brother/sister on the day. This becomes a project for the child to focus on and gives them a sense of responsibility and pride.

 


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The upside of downsizing for non-retirees

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

23 November 2017

Real estate writer for CoreLogic, Cameron Kusher and his wife recently sold their five-bedroom house in the suburbs and moved, with their dog, to a three-bedroom ground floor apartment in the inner-city.

Nothing unusual there, except for the fact that Cameron and his wife are not empty-nesters or retirees; to the contrary they plan to have kids one day.

So why did this couple and their dog opt for apartment living at this stage of their lives?

Below are the key points Cameron wrote in his blog about why they made the move …

• When two people and a dog live in a five-bedroom house, it’s a lot of work and there are also a lot of costs associated with maintaining a house of that size.
• They found themselves closing off unused rooms in the house.
• Neither Cameron nor his wife particularly enjoy gardening, so they found maintaining a garden tiresome.
• Cameron travels interstate for work quite often, meaning most of the housework needs to be done on the weekend “when quite honestly, I would rather be doing almost anything else”.

The benefits of downsizing & inner city living according to Cameron:

• Close to all amenities and they can walk everywhere.
• They have an array of restaurants, clubs, bars and cafes on their doorstep.
• They are close to work, meaning they are home much earlier and have more time to enjoy leisure time.

So what about when they decide to start a family?

Cameron writes, “Think of how many families live in the larger European and American cities. You see very few houses anywhere near the city centre.  We chose a unit of a good size, in a building which is predominately lived in by owner occupiers with onsite amenities and directly adjacent to parks and the river and nearby to schools.”

In conclusion, there is no reason why apartment living should not be seen as a viable alternative to detached houses, especially given that it generally comes at a much more affordable price point. This is particularly true for apartment complexes that have been designed with liveability in mind – in terms of product type, product size, local amenities and location.


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