Make your property shine in spring!

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Spring is definitely in the air with lots more blue sky and fine days to be enjoyed.

At this time of the year we do experience more activity with more property coming onto the market, so I thought I’d share with potential sellers some of our team’s ideas to get your property sparkling in preparation for your first open home.

Steam clean

If you’re contemplating re-carpeting your home, consider giving it a serious steam clean to freshen up the colour first. If you’re time poor, you can hire a professional to do this for you. However if you’re trying to save money, you can easily hire a steam cleaner and do the work yourself.

Tidy up

No one likes to see a messy or overgrown garden, it’s simply not appealing. Take some time to trim branches, rake leaves and plant some spring flowers.

Fresh coat

If you haven’t repainted your walls in a while, the warm spring-time weather is great for getting painting projects completed. You may want to consider repainting any brightly coloured feature walls in a neutral colour to make the room appear larger.

First impressions

If your front door is looking a bit drab, give it a new coat of paint too. It’s the first thing people will see when they enter your property, so make sure it looks clean and inviting.

Minor kitchen makeover

Make some minor improvements such as changing all of the handles on drawers and cupboards to something more modern and clean looking.

Re-finish

Re-finishing your outdoor deck every few years will help minimise annoying cracks and splinters, as well as keeping it looking good. While you are sanding, stripping back, and re-staining the deck, consider re-staining your stairs and some of your wooden furniture too. You could choose a completely different furniture stain colour for a new and updated look.

Clean windows

Wash down your windows with soapy water to get rid of built up dust and cobwebs. It will allow more natural light in, as well as giving off the appearance of a well maintained home.

Upgrade lights

If you haven’t replaced your lighting fixtures in the last decade, it might be time to replace them with something new. Head to your local lighting store and purchase some lighting fixtures which are more modern and elegant, to boost the appeal of your home.

Pressure clean

Concrete driveways or footpaths around the home can look really tired and dirty after a few years. Make it look brand new by using a pressure cleaner to wash away years of built up dirt and grime.

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

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Property Investment 101

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When it comes to property, there’s no shortage of information available about what investors should do in order to succeed. But more importantly are the pitfalls to avoid so you don’t become a statistic of the property game.

Many people get into property investment hoping to become overnight millionaires. But expecting a ‘get rich quick’ scenario may navigate you towards reckless investment options. Some would-be investors have been caught-out by property development salespersons who will happily tell you of the overnight success you’re likely to achieve overturning a property you buy off the plan.

The safer option is to look at obtaining a property in an area that’s proven to be high performing, and that will grow reliably over the long term. Do your research, and determine a wish list for the ideal investment property – keeping in mind, the property needs to appeal to a wide range of potential tenants and not your own personal tastes. Discuss your requirements with your agent who can help you find investment properties that fit your criteria.

Understanding the market takes time and getting to grips with the cyclical nature of real estate is something that even evades many experts.

You need to gain knowledge of the suburb you intend to invest in. Make yourself familiar with the area by hitting the road and talking to locals, real estate agents and property managers. Find out about the amenities, vacancy rates and historical values of local properties.

Attending open homes and auctions can be a great way to get a feel for the area of interest and the prices of the property your desired area commands. These days, a lot of this information can also be found online, and for a minimal fee, an even greater, detailed amount of suburb and property data can be found.

Understanding the costs involved in purchasing and holding property can be difficult. You need to make sure you can afford to hold onto any property you buy, including times when you might be left without tenants, or when interest rates increase. In other words, how much income will your investment generate and will it be enough to cover your expenses?

When it comes to financing your investment property, seek help from a qualified, professional mortgage broker. Going it alone can be daunting and time-consuming and obtaining the right type of finance can save you thousands in the long run.

When it comes to heading down the path of property investment, the best way to avoid the most common mistakes is to do your research, beware of any scenarios that sound too good to be true, understand the area you wish to invest in and think long term. Good luck!

If I can assist you to source or sell an investment property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Why selling in winter is a great idea

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Winter is typically a slow time of year for real estate sales due to the misconception that it’s best to sell in spring, but selling property in winter offers unique opportunities that would otherwise be missed in the busy warmer months.

In fact, selling property in winter often provides a high sale price as buyer demand is still steady and with fewer properties to choose from, the seller has less competition.

Less homes to compete with = more attention
Because most people think they shouldn’t list their property in winter, there are very few homes to buy during the colder months. However, potential buyers are still on the prowl. With a lot less competition it means a lot more interest in your property; more than you would get in a saturated market.

More motivated buyers
With winter open homes, you are more likely to get motivated buyers, who are actively looking for property. Fewer tyre kickers means a better experience for the qualified buyers, with the likely outcome being they are more willing to pull the trigger and submit an offer.

Stable property value
With less property on the market, yet with stable demand, the rules of supply and demand come into play. With less competition on the market, property owners are able to hold their prices, without having to succumb to competition pressure.

Selling property in winter is a good idea. There are always people looking for real estate at any time of year, and it could work to your advantage.

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

The Dangers of DIY Real Estate

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There seems to be a bit of a trend towards people ‘going it alone’ these days and wanting to sell their own property without the help of an agent. After all, there’s a wealth of ‘how-to’ information online when it comes to real estate.

People are generally hesitant to DIY their own car repairs, even hair styling is usually the domain of a professional – yet it’s interesting that many are willing to take a gamble on their biggest asset.

I’m sure there are cases where this can be handled successfully, but I’ve heard many other stories that have not had happy endings and have turned out costly and time-consuming for all involved.

Professional real estate agents understand the intricacies of selling property better than anyone. We have the qualifications, experience and expertise to market and sell properties and to help vendors get the best possible price and we can also help you find your new property at the same time.

There are many other good reasons to work with an agent.

Agents act as a buffer between you and the marketplace, saving you time and stress and filtering all enquiries while sorting serious buyers from the merely curious.

Agents also possess intimate knowledge about your neighbourhood. We can quickly and efficiently identify comparable local sales and supply important information on schools, shopping, transport and other demographics.

An experienced agent will do all we can to help property vendors settle on a realistic price and will then guide and manage negotiations – this is an extremely delicate and important process and one that’s incredibly difficult and stressful for the home owner to manage alone.

Agents, unlike most buyers and sellers are removed from the emotional aspects of the transaction. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. We are professionals who are trained to represent their client’s best interests.

Real estate agents are across the true market conditions and the climate in which you are selling and buying. There’s little value on relying on armchair experts, your best friend’s views or even media reports.

Not only are agents immersed in the sector every day, many agents also network with other professionals and will share useful market information.

Then there’s all the paperwork. There’s a lot to keep track of and small oversights or mistakes can end up being costly and messy to sort out.

It’s also worth remembering that referrals are the basis for an agent’s success. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. Agents understand the importance of ‘word of mouth’ as one of the most powerful forms of marketing available, and this gives us a strong incentive to make sure our clients are happy.

Saving on advertising costs and the agent’s commission is the main reason most people consider marketing and selling their own property. But are these relatively small savings really worth it when considering the time, energy, stress, difficulty in negotiating a superior price and the potential costs should things go wrong when handling the sale on your own?

If I can assist you regarding the sale of your property, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Common Signs That It May Be Time To Move

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Some people like moving house as it gives them the feeling of having a “fresh start” every few years. But for most of us, moving is a stressful experience we prefer to put off as long as possible.

Sometimes it is necessary though, and there are certain definite signs that the time has come for you to start looking for a new home.

The most common of these is that your family has outgrown your current home. As children get older they need more space, such as their own bedrooms, and their own work/ recreation areas. They also don’t necessarily leave home these days as soon as they’ve finished studying, and if you also need to accommodate ageing parents, it is very likely that you will need a bigger home.

Similarly, if you were single but are now part of a couple, you will probably want to move soon from your smaller house or unit to something bigger. New marriages and partnerships are another major reason for people to move home.

Alternatively, you could be in a situation now where your family has grown and gone off to set up their own homes and you suddenly have too much house – that is, rooms you don’t even use and a big garden that is troublesome to maintain. And if you are about to retire or have already done so, you may feel even more strongly that the time has come to sell and move to a new place that gives you more security, better weather, and more freedom to do what you want.

Some people love home improvement and DIY, but if you want to spend your weekends doing something other than mowing the lawn or retiling and repainting, it could be that you need to move to a newer home with less maintenance required. Or you may just want a more energy efficient, “green”, home that will save you money on utilities.

Century 21 Hills & Country has a range of properties to match a variety of lifestyle and investment needs and would be happy to help you take advantage of the market conditions throughout the year.

If I can assist you to find a more suitable home please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Turning Renovations into Profit 

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Australian’s spend billions of dollars each year on renovating, but what if you could turn these costs into profits? Hundreds of amateur property developers are turning their hard work into cash by following a few simple tips and tricks.

Calculate the initial cost of the property, plus the cost of renovations and the possible sale price to see if the potential profit is worth it – a 15 to 20 per cent return on investment is generally considered ideal.

Research the property’s location before you start designing your renovation – determine who lives there, the local culture and overall demographics, then tailor your renovation to suit that market. If your suburb attracts retirees, designing a six bedroom family home is probably not suitable.

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so make sure these areas are perfectly renovated with top quality fittings and fixtures.

Analyse the property’s floor plan to assess where value can be added – adding extra bedrooms and bathrooms, for example, can add significant value to a property.

Adding a parking space if there is little or no on-street parking available and creating outdoor living areas will also add value to the property.

Tie the look of the whole property together – aim for a clean, co-ordinated and modern look throughout the property. See what display homes in the area are doing and follow their formula.

Presentation is everything – keep the interiors free of clutter and any personal items, and keep walkways and gardens tidy.

Remember, the main goal is to make money, not to live in the house yourself, so ensure that you decorate using neutral shades without too many bold colours and eclectic design features.

I’d be happy to discuss your renovation project and provide guidance to ensure you don’t overcapitalise based on your home’s current value and the characteristics and growth trend in your local area. If I can assist, please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au

Readiness (not season) should guide when you sell

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When should I sell my property? It’s one of the most common questions we hear in the real estate industry, with spring usually highlighted as the ideal season for real estate sales. But do we place too much emphasis on the season instead of when we’re actually ready to buy or sell?

A joint study by Monash, Griffith and Swinburne Universities found there were five key measures that affected property buying patterns between 1995 and 2015. The weather was certainly one factor, but others included the new school year, the start of public service contracts, tax time and holiday periods.

The extent of these influences differed from city to city, but in Adelaide, April was subsequently deemed the best month of the year to sell a house, while July was deemed the best month to buy.

Statistics like this definitely make for interesting reading, but at the end of the day there will always be pros and cons to whatever time of year you are considering a property decision.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, my advice is to base your decision on when you feel ready; when market conditions favour your needs and when you find the property you want at a price that meets your budget.

To that end, always start by doing your research. Get a feel for the market by reviewing relevant property listings in your area, chat to real estate agents at open inspections and keep tabs on sale prices. And be sure to talk to your bank as well to ensure your finances are in order before you make your move.

By doing your homework and then presenting your property appropriately, you’ll always maximise your chances of a better sale – no matter what the season!

If I can assist you in making this decision please contact me: phone 0400 221 592 or email Jamie.hershman@century21.com.au