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Does smell really sell?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

28 October 2016

Acclaimed chef and MasterChef co-host and judge Gary Mehigan was asked by realestate.com.au to test the theory that filling your home with a beautiful aroma will increase its value by appealing to the senses of buyers. Gary was joined by Scent Specialist, Dr Megan Thornton to ensure there would be an element of science attached to the experiment. The pair called the experiment ‘science vs cooking’.

How was the experiment run?

Six separate groups of people walked through the one home on different days. Each group was subjected to a different scent in the air. Every individual within each group was then asked to estimate how much they felt the home was worth.

So what were the scents wafting through the home? Along with the obligatory freshly baked bread, Gary baked chocolate brownies, a roast chicken and made a pot of freshly brewed coffee, while Dr Thornton put out an infuser, which exuded a special fresh citrus blend she had created. Each group was subjected to a different aroma, with one group even subjected to the scent of smelly socks lingering in the air.

Group 1 – Freshly baked bread

Group 2 – Freshly brewed coffee

Group 3 – Smelly socks

Group 4 – Roast chicken

Group 5 – Dr Thornton’s special citrus blend

Group 6 – Chocolate brownies

Which sent do you think came out on top? Or perhaps you think scent had no impact at all. Click on the link to view the short video and find out for yourself.


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What do Aussie homebuyers really want?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

21 October 2016

If we were to ask you what you think today’s buyers want most, many of you would no doubt respond with things like quality inclusions, a nice kitchen and bathroom and built-ins to all bedrooms. However new research has shown that buyers today are willing to sacrifice quality for location and some other key desirable attributes.

The Westpac 2016 Home Ownership Report showed that today’s buyers want the following, in order of priority:

1. Affordability (80% of respondents)
2. A safe neighbourhood (66% of respondents)
3. A backyard (51% of respondents)

The results were based on a survey of 1,119 homeowners and first time buyers.

This latest research indicates that today’s budget conscious homebuyers are seriously thinking about the type of lifestyle a home could deliver over and above the inclusions in the home itself.

When selecting a neighbourhood, safety was rated number 1 on the list of important factors (66%) followed by peace and quiet (55%) and access to public transport (39%).

Interestingly the desire for features such as a modern kitchen dropped 9% in the past year showing that, while still desirable, a new kitchen is no longer considered an essential attribute.

REA Group Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee said, “People are willing to sacrifice quality, to get perhaps the location they want. So if they want somewhere quiet, safe, with good public transport they are willing to sacrifice getting a really good bathroom or the really good kitchen in the short-term to get that.”

The report also found that people want different things according to their current stage of life. Those planning a family most value an affordable home within budget (84%) and the property’s potential for future capital gain (66%), while those approaching retirement are more interested in off-street parking (70%) and a property that is ready to move into and enjoy as is (38%).

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Do you know what you are paying for?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

15 October 2016

Our blog this week highlights the need to pay close attention to the details in your conveyancer’s fee schedule to ensure you you know exactly what you are paying for.

The recent deregulation of fees in the conveyancing industry has increased competition in what was already a competitive market. On the back of the deregulation, some conveyancing companies began advertising that they charge a ‘flat fee’ for their conveyancing service, with many promising a temptingly low figure.

Problems began to arise when people starting looking at the ‘fine print’ within the Product Disclosure statement, which showed all the extras that weren’t included in the advertised fee.

So what should you look out for? Firstly, the saying, ‘if it looks too good to be true it probably is’ rings trues here. In other words, if it looks too cheap, there’s likely to be hidden catches.

You should also look for what you are being charged as a ‘Settlement Fee’ when comparing conveyancing quotes, paying careful attention to whether the fee is quoted as a single fee or broken down. The main thing to be aware of is that there is a difference between the Statutory Cost (which cannot be negotiated) and the settlement fee, which is the conveyancer’s fee for service on matters relating to settlement and can be discounted.

Other items you could be up for on your conveyancing bill, that may or may not be highlighted without looking at the fine print include:

• Lodging the contract for OSR assessment
• Payment of Stamp Duty 7 days before settlement
• Identification in the office
• Banking the proceeds of sale
• Attending to rent adjustment
• Assisting parties to prepare an Offer & Acceptance
• Longer than 20 minutes of consultation
• Rebooking & attending settlement up to 3 times

So just remember, the cheapest isn’t always the best, nor will it necessarily end up being the cheapest once all the fees are broken down.

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New Code of Conduct for Agents

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

08 October 2016

All real estate agents in Western Australia have two months before they must comply with a new Code of Conduct that took effect on October 5.

During the two-month transition period, which ends December 5, agents must at least comply with the old Code. Agents have been given this time to educate themselves and their staff on the changes and revisit their business practices and processes to ensure they comply with the new Code.

From December 5 onwards, agents will be seen to be in breach of the Code if they fail to comply with the new one.

The changes to the Code of Conduct followed a review of the old Code, which has been in place since 2011. The changes bring the Code in line with modern legislative requirements.

The new Code includes rules that require real estate agents to:

  • Disclose to the purchaser if they are related to the seller.
  • Where an agent gives an opinion as to a property’s current market price, the agent must provide information supporting that opinion.
  • Communicate all offers including verbal offers to their client.
  • Comply with their fiduciary obligations (act in the best interest of their client).

For more information, click on the link to go to the WA Department of Commerce’s FAQs page on the new Code of Conduct.

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Tips to prepare for bushfire season

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

01 October 2016

While we’re not quite in the middle of spring yet, summer will be here before we know it and with it, bushfire season. In WA we experience long dry summers and soaring temperatures, a combination that makes our state very susceptible to the threat of bushfire.

As bushfires can be unpredictable in that they can flare up suddenly and without warning, it’s vital to prepare now before the mercury rises.

The Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) says it’s vital for all homeowners, landlords and tenants to take action now to ensure their property and all family members are prepared.

DFES recommends the following to protect both your property and your family.

Steps to prepare your property

• Take a walk around the perimeter of your property and your home, imagining that a bushfire is heading towards you. Look for items that would be quick to burn and also places where embers could start a fire in your home such as gaps in the roof and walls, evaporative air conditioners and gutters and downpipes.

• Install mesh over your evaporative air-conditioners and metal fly screens on windows and vents to prevent sparks and embers from entering the home.

• Create a 20m circle of safety around your home – this means clearing any overgrown vegetation and rubbish from around all buildings on your property (to a circumference of around 20m).

• Store any firewood well away from your home.

• Check any gas bottles on the property and ensure they are secured and positioned in such a way that they will vent away from the building.

Click on the link for a detailed checklist.

Steps to prepare and protect your family

Spring is also the time to sit down with the family or any housemates to discuss a fire evacuation plan.

DFES also recommends that people prepare a Bushfire Emergency Risk Kit, especially if they live in high risk areas (within 100m of the bush).

The kit should include:

• A radio,
• A torch,
• Spare batteries,
• A first aid kit,
• A woollen blanket,
• Water, and
• Non-perishable food.

For more information visit the DFES website.

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