An unusually cold and wet winter has lowered home open numbers and it seems the pre-spring action is taking a little longer to get into full swing. However, a closer look at the stats sees certain opportunities arising. Certainly, with interest rates as low as they are, and prices at their most affordable in over a decade, it’s a great time to trade up.
We’ve finally seen the house median sale price stabilise at $490,000. This is a drop of 18.4% since peaking in July 2014, but no change from last quarter – a relief for our market. Sales activity on the other hand, sits at 6,748 sales - a 12% decrease from last quarter.
This recovery in the Perth property market is underlined by the fact that there are now fewer properties listed for sale, compared to this time last year and this reduction in listings bodes well for our city, suggesting that supply has finally peaked.
We are still seeing upgraders fairly active in the market as they continue to seize the opportunity to buy a home below replacement cost in many areas of Perth.
We are also finding growing interest by first home buyers in established homes especially in the coastal strip between Mandurah and Rockingham. These first home buyers understand that homes in this coastal location represent excellent value for money compared to building a new home in more inland suburbs such as Baldivis.
Most will understand that timing is everything when selling a home, so it comes as no surprise that owners should list their home for sale during periods when buyers are more active in the real estate market, such as spring. If you are considering upgrading and selling your property in the coming weeks, have a serious chat with your local agent and ask them about the buyer interest in your suburb. Many suburbs in Perth are driving the city's recovery and are in high demand with spring buyers. Notebly, 75 suburbs increased in house median sale price and continue to buck the trend. Top suburbs recording an increase were; Quinns Rocks (6.5%), Nedlands (4.7%) and East Victoria park (3.9%). East Victoria Parks price growth is also complimented with an impressive 68% change in quarterly sales volume!
OUR TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME THIS SPRING...
Finding an agent
When thinking about selling, one of the first tasks is to find the right real estate agent. It’s imperative that you find an agent who you can trust, and who you feel has the right knowledge, experience and marketing abilities to sell your property.
A common mistake many sellers make when comparing agents, is selecting the agent who offers the best price for their home at the appraisal - but this can be a sticky trap to fall into – just because an agent estimates the highest figure, does not mean they will be able to deliver on it.
While an estimate provides a base for what you can expect your property to sell for, it is certainly no guarantee of what the actual sale price will be. In fact, the Perth market has seen a lot of warnings about overpricing and the damage it can cause to the sale of a property.
It’s important to consider the agent’s qualities; including experience, skill, and commission. Look for professional experience in your market. Typically, a real estate agent will have a “farm” area, which they focus and work in. Choosing a real estate agent who knows your area like the back of their hand will make all the difference – they will know exactly what buyers are looking for and the demand for your property type… They could even have a buyer waiting!
Getting your home spring sale ready
Once you have the right agent by your side, it’s time to take a good look at your home and what could be done to improve its appearance. If you were a buyer, what would put you off the property? Make a list, and get ready to make some changes!
This is often difficult to do with your own home as it is most likely filled with possessions that you love and adore, so asking a close friend to help may be a good option.
If you’re selling in the current market, you have some competition with buyers now enjoying the luxury “shopping around” period. But this doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for you; it’s the opportunity to make your property stand out from the crowd!
Don’t let buyers slip away – ensure you take care of the following turn-offs before opening your doors to potential buyers...
- Pets and their pet things – Buyers won’t want to see your cat’s dirty litter box or doggy treats around the place. Make sure your pets are out of the way whilst your home is on the market. They should be away from your home during home opens or if you can, have them stay with a family member the whole time your home is on the market. This will help to eliminate any lingering pet smells.
- Cigarette smoke – This is almost always a deal breaker! Few will want to invest in a new home that smells of cigarette smoke and you will have buyers walking straight back out the door at home opens. If you have been smoking in the house, you may need to remove fabric furniture, steam clean the flooring and even repaint the property! It will be an investment in the short term, but it could make or break the sale.
- Dirty/Messy Bathrooms – Understandably, this is a huge turn off for potential buyers! It is common for bathrooms to become cluttered with makeup, perfumes, and other grooming items, but you will want to ensure this is not the case during a home open. It is important you store everything neatly under the counter, and give the area a once over to ensure it’s clean and free of any hair, grime and toothpaste marks.
- Too many personal belongings – If your shelves and units are cluttered with photos of you and your family, trophies, awards and birthday cards, consider removing some of these items. Don’t get us wrong, having a personal touch is important but it will be difficult for potential buyers to visualise themselves in your home when it screams “you”.
- Clutter – Remove any extra furniture pieces which are cluttering your space. Let the buyer visualise their furniture inside the home – the trick is to make them fall in love, and see the potential.
Pay special attention to how your home is presented, overall. This usually gives the buyer peace of mind as a well maintained property suggests a limited chance of encountering hidden problems once the property is officially theirs. That means fixing any cracks in walls, dripping taps, loose fixtures or broken tiles.
First impressions count
When selling, don’t forget that you are always on show! From the second you list your property for sale, there will be buyers doing a sneaky drive-by, daily. They will be scoping out the property, street and overall neighbourhood. This can often be the decider for the cluey buyer, so don’t give them the opportunity to be put off.
What the property looks like on the outside will determine whether they want to venture inside. Here are some ideas to help you keep your home in top shape:
Make sure your front gardens and lawns are well kept and maintained.
Cut back any over grown plants and weed any messy garden beds.
Remove all junk mail and newspapers from the letterbox and yard.
If possible, park the cars in the garage so they’re out of the way.
Avoid having rubbish out for collection on the verge.
Each night before sunset, turn on all outdoor lights.
Getting the inside looking its best
Your home will be scrutinised from top to bottom, and the little things really can make a big difference:
Replace all dish and hand towels throughout your kitchen and bathrooms with fresh, clean ones.
When it comes to rugs, vacuum and make sure they are secured using rug tape and rubber mats to keep them in their correct position and in the best quality. Rug tape will also help to limit any accidental trips for potential buyers coming through your home.
Use accent lighting for decorative purposes, helping to add ambiance to any room whilst creating visual effects. It draws the eye to ornaments, paintings and feature furniture.
Keep nice smelling hand soap in your bathroom and make sure to wash your hands before your home open begins to infuse the bathroom with a beautiful scent.
Decorate with artwork to limit bare walls. Bare walls often create a cold and unwelcoming feeling, so spice them up with some dramatic artwork.
Think about finishing touches and what little changes will make a huge difference to how your home is presented and viewed by potential buyers. For example, consider purchasing fresh flowers to present as a centrepiece on your dining or coffee table – always a hit!
Taking some or all of these tips on board can put you in a great position come selling time.