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Is it best to sell furnished or unfurnished?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

19 April 2018

If you were looking for a new home, would you prefer to inspect an empty home to assess the space available for your own furniture? Or would you prefer to see a furnished home?

Some people argue that an empty home lacks character and visual appeal, while others argue that styling an empty home is not worth it.

So, do houses sell better unfurnished or furnished? The truth is, there are pros and cons for both.

Pros of selling a house unfurnished

  • An unfurnished home is always uninhabited, meaning it can be shown at the last minute. This can equate to more viewings, potentially leading to a faster sale.
  • It creates a ‘blank canvas’ for buyers to use their imagination. Some buyers say an unfurnished home allows them to imagine themselves living there more readily than a furnished home.

Cons of selling a house unfurnished

  • As hard as it may be to believe, an empty house can actually appear smaller than a furnished home.
  • Empty houses can give the impression of being abandoned, prompting some buyers to question why the owners were in such a hurry to leave and sell.
  • An empty house emphasises all imperfections. Even small marks on the walls and floors are more visible without furniture and decorative touches in the room.

Pros of selling a house furnished 

  • It shows the buyer how the space can be used. Cleverly positioned furniture will actually make the space appear larger and more versatile.
  • It speaks to a buyer’s emotions, not just their logic and most homebuyers buy on emotion. A furnished, well-decorated (not cluttered) house makes it feel more like a home.
  • It is more likely to create a lasting first impression.

Cons of selling a house furnished

  • If you are in a hurry to move out, it can be an inconvenience to keep the house furnished or have furniture brought in.
  • Unless it is well furnished and styled, it can actually reduce the appeal of your home and the value of the property in the buyer’s mind.
  • Over furnishing a room may crowd it, making it seem smaller than it is.

We offer a professional styling service and have had great success with it in terms of increased property value and speed of sale. Contact us to learn more.


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Going up to downsize

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

15 April 2018

If there is one thing we know about Melville it is that the suburb is full of large family-style homes and almost totally built-out (unlike neighbouring Cockburn).

In fact, Melville has more 5-bedroom + houses than almost any other suburb in Perth.

However, to cope with Perth’s rising population, Melville is required by State Government to make way for an additional:

• 11,000 dwellings by 2031 and
• 18,000 dwellings by 2050

So how can Melville keep its rapidly increasing aging population in place when there are few smaller homes in the suburb to downsize to and cope with the anticipated increase in population?

The Council has come up with a strategy that they believe could help solve the issue. And it involves going up.

The City of Melville’s new Local Housing Strategy focuses on increasing its limited housing stock by increasing apartment and townhouse construction around six activity centres and transport corridors, avoiding the suburbs, where council hopes to preserve the low-density R25 zoning as much as possible.

What do Melville residents want?

A survey to all Melville residents found that there is a strong desire to live near shops, restaurants and public transport, but little desire to live near work, a clear indication of the number of retirees or people approaching retirement currently living in the area.

Also high on the preference list was:

• Low maintenance
• Close to parks and nature

While there was limited support for apartment blocks above four storeys, it is believed that respondents may have been swayed by the current poor examples in Melville, which date back to the 1960s and 70s.

Data also showed that the rate of home ownership among seniors is dropping, due to the high cost of land in the area.

While nothing can be done by local government about the price of land, higher density housing around transport hubs and the town centre is a very effective solution.

Council will also keep a watchful eye on how Fremantle’s ‘Tiny Homes’ policy (granny flats in backyards) pans out, but is unlikely to follow Fremantle’s lead, at least not for now.


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Going up to downsize

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

29 March 2018

If there is one thing we know about Melville it is that the suburb is full of large family-style homes and almost totally built-out (unlike neighbouring Cockburn).

In fact, Melville has more 5-bedroom + houses than almost any other suburb in Perth.

However, to cope with Perth’s rising population, Melville is required by State Government to make way for an additional:

  • 11,000 dwellings by 2031 and
  • 18,000 dwellings by 2050

So how can Melville keep its rapidly increasing aging population in place when there are few smaller homes in the suburb to downsize to and cope with the anticipated increase in population?

The Council has come up with a strategy that they believe could help solve the issue. And it involves going up.

The City of Melville’s new Local Housing Strategy focuses on increasing its limited housing stock by increasing apartment and townhouse construction around six activity centres and transport corridors, avoiding the suburbs, where council hopes to preserve the low-density R25 zoning as much as possible.

What do Melville residents want?

A survey to all Melville residents found that there is a strong desire to live near shops, restaurants and public transport, but little desire to live near work, a clear indication of the number of retirees or people approaching retirement currently living in the area.

Also high on the preference list was:

  • Low maintenance
  • Close to parks and nature

While there was limited support for apartment blocks above four storeys, it is believed that respondents may have been swayed by the current poor examples in Melville, which date back to the 1960s and 70s.

Data also showed that the rate of home ownership among seniors is dropping, due to the high cost of land in the area.

While nothing can be done by local government about the price of land, higher density housing around transport hubs and the town centre is a very effective solution.

Council will also keep a watchful eye on how Fremantle’s ‘Tiny Homes’ policy (granny flats in backyards) pans out, but is unlikely to follow Fremantle’s lead, at least not for now.

 


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Linen Closet Hacks – because presentation of every part of your home matters when selling

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

23 March 2018

We all know presentation matters when you’ve got your home listed for sale. But there’s one area many sellers neglect to think about when preparing their home for sale and the all-important Home Opens – their cupboards, most notably one that is often the messiest, most disorganised cupboard in the house – the linen closet.

Storage is seen as a high value benefit

Most people who attend an Open Home open cupboards and drawers – with a focus on kitchen and bathroom cupboards, wardrobes and linen closets. This is because storage space in a home is seen as a high value benefit to most buyers.

Be honest. Is your linen closet a dumping ground for every single set of sheets and towels you’ve ever owned?

Do you struggle to find matching sheets and fold them neatly (especially the dreaded fitted sheets)?

Even if your linen closet space is not the largest, there are ways to make it appear far more spacious than it is by trying the following simple tips (as first shared on realestate.com.au by professional organiser, Robyn Amott).

7 tips to organise your linen closet into the functional space it’s meant to be

  1. Keep like with like items together, e.g. kids’ doona sets with single sheet sets, adult doona sets with queen/king sized sheet sets, etc.
  2. Separate each category into ‘zones’ by inserting extra shelves and/or dividers into the linen closet.
  3. Use very part of the space – the depth and height of your linen closet rather than just the width.
  4. Get rid of worn, ripped, stained or unwanted linen.
  5. Store items in sets and ‘envelope’ matching pillows inside the main doona or flat sheet. See the folding hack.
  6. Store away out-of-season linen or start packing linen into boxes ready for your move (but don’t be tempted to pack it all away – a well-sorted linen closet presents better to buyers than an empty one).
  7. Free up space in your linen cupboard by relocating towels into the bathrooms in which they are utilised.

Click here for a folding hack to show you how to neatly fold those sheet sets once and for all.

 


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Buying property with family – the do’s & don’ts

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

15 March 2018

No matter how close you are to your parents, siblings or cousins and how well you get along, when you throw money and property into the mix, it can sometimes be a recipe for disaster. But that does not mean that buying with family should never be considered.

The fact is, there are some very attractive reasons for buying property with family, the most obvious being affordability.

By pooling your resources, you have the opportunity to either:

• Enter the property market for the first time when you couldn’t do it on your own, OR
• Invest in a better property in a better location and save on the ongoing costs of owning a property.

You just have to know the risks associated with buying property with family and how to avoid them. There are also some key considerations you need to know about.

The risks and how to avoid them

Look at your family objectively and ask the following questions (then discuss these concerns openly and honestly with each party):

1. Is there agreement amongst the members who want in on the purchase about the type of property and the budget involved in the purchase?
2. How will the family deal with the management of an investment property or a permanent place of residence?
3. If it is to be a permanent place of residence, how will the living arrangements work?
4. How open are the lines of communication? Open communication is key to successfully buying property with family.

The key considerations

1. Type of loan – Property Share Loan or Family Trust?
2. Management of the property – who will act as project manager of the investment?
3. The legal stuff – an official co-ownership agreement is a must.
4. Differing opinions – there are a number of things all parties must come to an agreement on if the shared investment is going to be successful.

Click here for the detail related to each of the above key considerations.


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Choosing an agent

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

09 March 2018

According to a recent survey conducted by leading independent market research company, Roy Morgan on how people selected their real estate agent, the majority of sellers polled said they would interview more agents next time they sell.

  • 38% of respondents to the survey said they interviewed just one agent before making their decision on who to use,
  • 55% chose to interview two or three agents before making their decision, and
  • 8% interviewed more than three agents.

When asked to choose which influences had helped them decide on their agent, 58% said they were influenced by seeing an agent successfully sell a local property while 36% relied on recommendation by friends.

Other influences were:

  • Newspaper advertising – 5%
  • Seeing the agent’s website/listing on a real estate portal – 18%
  • Local signboards – 12%

Interestingly (given the popularity of social media these days) only 3% of vendors said they had been influenced by an agent through their
 social media.

The approach vendors took to selecting an agent was an insight into the disconnect between some vendor expectations, their behaviour and their experience with real estate agents.

Given that the sale of a home is one of the most important financial transactions many of us will ever undertake (in many cases more than once in a lifetime) it makes sense to take the process of selecting someone to sell that important asset very seriously.

Here are some questions we think you should ask during agents during the selection process:

  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.

  1. How do you calculate what my property is worth and 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.

  1. 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 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’).

  1. Can you show me the results and 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?

  1. 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.


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Upside of selling your home in Autumn

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

01 March 2018

Who would have thought that Autumn would ever surpass Spring as the most popular season to buy and sell property?

Based on the average number of sales by month and season over the last 30 years, data from Corelogic has Autumn coming out on top – but only just.

Around 27% of all sales in Australia over the last 30 years have transacted in March, April and May. Of those three months, the most popular is March. Why?

For two primary reasons:
1. The climate in March.
2. New Years resolutions being realised once things have settled after the festive season.

The second most popular season to buy and sell residential property is Spring with around 26% of sales happening in September, October and November (a fraction behind Autumn). This was followed by Winter (25%) and Summer (22%). Perhaps not surprisingly, January is the least popular month to list a home for sale, due to the holiday season.

3 reasons why now is a great time to buy and sell residential property

1. Historically low interest rates. 

2. Cooler weather – March, April and May are considered the milder, more temperate months of the year. Not only does this make it easier to get out into the garden and get your property looking inspection-ready, but it generally also means there are more buyers out and about, attending Home Opens.

3. New Years Resolutions – upsizing, downsizing or moving to a more desirable location are common New Years resolutions. People who have made a resolution to move are generally more active in the first few months of the year, particularly from March.

Tips to make the most of your Autumn sale

Pack away your high summer decorative items and decorate your home with an Autumn theme – think warm and inviting colours and textures for throws and cushions as the days begin to cool.

As the days begin to get shorter, ensure your Home Opens are conducted at a time when your home receives maximum natural light.

Gardens can look spectacular in Autumn. If you are planning to put your home on the market in the next couple of months, consider planting shrubs that flower in Autumn now.

If you have a pool and a garden with deciduous trees, consider investing in a pool blanket to catch the leaves as they fall. That will save you an enormous amount of time on your Home Open days. Simply roll back the blanket to reveal a clean, inviting pool.

Call Shelley on 0417 963 670 or Mark on 0411 552 309 for an obligation-free market appraisal of your home and to learn more about the benefits of an Autumn sale and how you can make your property shine at this time.


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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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