For better or worse, the current Australian home real estate market really is a minefield. Young Australians are paying the highest prices ever witnessed for their first home. Cashed up foreign investors are willing to pay very high prices for a slice of the lifestyle in our capital cities. Other home owners are selling the family nest decades after making it their home, all to fund a retirement or top up their superannuation.
The current real estate market is highly competitive, especially for buyers who must outwit and outbid each other at the local weekend auction. However, competition among sellers is rife. This is often realised too late or many years down the track when a home either won’t sell, or sells for far less than expected
Many Australians are ruining the value of their property without even trying. Worse still, they are completely unaware of their role in this devaluation. Here is what you need to do around your home to keep your property value high, whether you plan to live there short term or long term.
Be DIY- & Reno-Savvy
The lime green carpet in your bathroom may be the hero piece of your bathroom renovation, but it will not appeal to the masses. Consider a “seller’s reno,” where you tone down or neutralise any of your quirky style choices.
Become a Garden Guru
Most Australian homeowners love nothing more than getting outside for weekends of garden DIY. But, a garden style that does not match your home is a complete turn-off to potential buyers.
Think Balinese resort garden meets Federation-era façade. The dollars needed to reverse your tastes probably won’t be parted with by potential buyers. Greville Pabst, CEO of property valuers WBP Property, states, “If outdoor renovations don’t match the character and design of the house, they can be a waste of money.”
Au De Dogue, not so Vogue
Your dogs and cats mean the world to you, but if they live or spend a lot of time indoors, their natural aromas can very quickly penetrate even the cleanest homes. Many owners do not even notice these smells, as they become immune to them over time. Regular and thorough carpet cleaning is a must. Consider switching your pets sleep space to an outdoor area (depending on the weather where you live). You may even want to have them out and away from the house during inspections.
Don’t Go Under the Radar
Many Australians make the unwise choice of illegal additions or renovations to their homes, without thinking of the consequences come sale time. Experts constantly warn buyers to be on the lookout for illegal building work. The South Australian Government states “any illegal building work, including additions and alterations, will become the buyer’s legal responsibility if they buy the property.” You may find the value of your property going down during negotiations, to compensate the buyer in any potential sale.
Kerb Appeal is Crucial
Those first glimpses of your home as seen by potential buyers make a critical first impression. Unusual paint choices, unruly lawns, rusty gates and rotten fencing will all scream “replace me,” not “buy me!”
Avoid Clutter Chaos
Even those who prefer a minimalist style will admit certain areas of their home are dumping grounds for clutter. Not only do these areas look messy and dirty, ruining your home’s appeal for buyers, they can actually be creating a problem far worse. Clutter is a magnet for mice, spiders and cockroaches. When buyers see inhabitants other than humans and pets, they will naturally start thinking about dirt and damage they cannot see. It certainly won’t make your home appear valuable.
Aim for a Superior Interior
You home does not need to have state-of-the-art design to be appealing to the public. However, a few key elements can quickly make your home feel “cheaper” or worth less money. These elements include lighting, dust, mould, paint and flooring. A quick audit of your home, room to room, will reveal what needs a good scrub, a new lick of paint, some repairs and some brightening.
Ensure Everything Works
Buyers are extremely thorough these days, testing and inspecting even the smallest of fixtures and features. Check your hot water. How’s the speed and pressure? Check all your doors and windows for proper hardware and locks. Is anything loose or missing? Clean high and low when it comes to damp in your home and don’t assume that painting over damp will hide the problem. Buyers are being advised to look out for fresh paint as potential damp cover up. Also check all the electrical outlets and light switches are working.