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10 common home presentation faux pas when selling

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

20 July 2017

When you are selling your home and getting it inspection-ready, it is important that you assess your home with an objective mindset. In this regard, it is not dissimilar to purchasing an investment property.

Whether you’re buying a property that needs to appeal to tenants or selling a property that needs to appeal to buyers, it’s important to make decisions with the head, not the heart and ensure you appeal to the widest possible cross section of your target market.

According to leading property stylists, the following are the 10 most common mistakes people make when presenting their home for the market:

1. Not having a house number prominently displayed – it may seem trivial to you, but to a prospective buyer, it’s essential! The last thing you want is a frustrated buyer who couldn’t find your home and ended up buying one down the road from you.

2. Loud, non-neutral bed linen on display – again this may seem trivial, but because the bed is generally the most prominent feature in a bedroom, anything but classic neutral decor on the bed is distracting and can make the room look smaller and less appealing. Make sure your linen is neutral and mainstream.

3. Overcrowded rooms – Having too much furniture in the house will make it look smaller. If you have this issue at home, consider removing some furniture while the home is on the market. Remember to allow for foot traffic and good flow from one room to the next.

4. Pet odours -this can be a real and instant turn-off for buyers. When you live with your pet on a daily basis it can be difficult to detect any unpleasant odour yourself because you get used to it. Ask a friend who doesn’t have any pets (or your agent) to walk through your home and be brutally honest with you. Putting your pet outside on inspection days, opening windows and lighting a few scented candles can work wonders to eradicate and mask any unpleasant smells.

5. Heavy window treatments – Leaving heavy window treatments like drapes and curtains in place can make your home look dark, cluttered and old-fashioned. If the window and outlook permits, it may be best to remove them altogether.

6. Lack of cleanliness – contrary to what some people think, buyers find it hard to ignore unswept floors and a dirty kitchen and bathroom. To buyers, uncleanliness is a sign of a home that has not been well-maintained. Make sure your home is spotless for your home opens.

7. An empty house – believe it or not, but empty rooms actually feel smaller than rooms in which furniture is well placed. As a seller, you want buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your home and they find it hard to do so when the home is empty. If you have already moved out, property staging is highly recommended.

8. Over de-cluttering – some sellers take the suggestion to de-clutter their home to the opposite extreme, de-cluttering it to the point where it is devoid of warmth and ambience. Find the right balance between space and style and heart and soul.

9. Over-staging – by this we mean doing things like setting the table, complete with linen, fine china and glassware. Setting the table is where creating that inviting, lived in look crosses the line. You don’t want your beautifully set table to be the last impression a buyer leaves your home with.

10. Roadside collection – while buyers understand that you’re getting ready to move house, it doesn’t look good when they arrive and the first thing they see is a mountain of discarded items out the front of your property. Remember, first impressions count.

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New financial year, new rules

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

06 July 2017

It’s a new financial year and as is usually the case come July 1, certain new legislations have come into effect.

We outline the changes that could affect you in terms of your real estate related decisions and actions below.

First Home Super Saver Scheme

Individuals can now make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total, to their superannuation account to purchase a first home. These contributions, which are taxed at 15 per cent along with deemed earnings, can be withdrawn for a deposit on a first home from 1 July 2018. Withdrawals will be taxed at marginal tax rates less a 30 per cent offset.

For most people, the First Home Super Saver Scheme could boost the savings they can put towards a deposit by at least 30 per cent compared with saving through a standard deposit account. This is due to the concessional tax treatment and the higher rate of earnings often realised within superannuation.

Many employees will be able to take advantage of salary sacrifice arrangements to make pre-tax contributions.

LRBA (Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement) & Transfer Balance Caps

As at 1 July 2017, any loan taken out within an SMSF will be added back to a member’s balance for the purposes of the $1.6m Transfer Balance Cap.

Therefore a single member SMSF for example with $2m in assets and a $1m loan will still be considered to have a member balance of $2m for the purposes of the Transfer Balance Cap. Importantly this restricts a member under these conditions from being able to make non-concessional contributions to their SMSF where they would ordinarily have been allowed to if the net position of the member’s balance was considered.

The rationale behind this decision was to prevent those impacted by the $1.6m Transfer Balance Cap from using LRBA’s to reduce their member balances.

Negative Gearing

While negative gearing remains in place, certain rules have been tightened around what can be claimed; specifically travel expenses and depreciation deductions.

Under new rules, which came into effect on 1 July 2017, depreciation deductions for plant and equipment items such as washing machines and ceiling fans will only be allowed if the investor actually purchased those items.

Investors are also no longer eligible to claim tax deductions for travel expenses related to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for a residential rental property.

Residential Tenancies Act

Changes, which are said to deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings, include:

• A simplified process for when a lessor is required to issue a notice of proposed entry to the tenant.
• Notices and documents can now be issued electronically.
• Notices of abandoned goods no longer need to be advertised in a state-wide newspaper.

All sellers must now apply for a Clearance Certificate from the ATO when selling a property for $750k or more

The Foreign Residents Capital Gains Withholding regime changed on 1 July 2017.
The changes include:

• The threshold has been lowered from $2 million to $750,000.
• The withholding percentage has been raised from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
• All sellers will now have to apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a Clearance Certificate when the purchase price of their property is $750,000 or more.
• Where the buyer at settlement has not been given an ATO Clearance Certificate by the seller, the buyer must withhold 12.5 per cent of the purchase price and pay that amount to the ATO.

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