Humans are naturally lazy. This statement may be somewhat confronting particularly for those of you who are self-motivated and hard working. But underlying all that, the preference, as a species, would be to do a lot less.
Back in the day the ability to retain food stores meant survival during times of shortage. These days, food is available all day every day. Recent development in the supply of pre-prepared meals such as WOOP (world on a plate) and services such as UBEReats means we have a vast array of food at our fingertips. It wasn’t even five years ago that if I wanted most takeaways I would have to get in the car, drive down to my chosen restaurant, order, wait, drive home and eat. Now it’s as simple as picking up my phone and answering the door.
So, what does home delivery have to do with real estate?
When it comes to buying and selling you would be best advised to avoid taking the easy route. A well prepared, well presented home which leaves little room for objection is the best way to drive competition. This will ultimately achieve the seller a premium price. Here are a few points of consideration which will give you the best chance of success in the Wellington market.
Selling property in the Wellington market
Building report or no building report? Understanding your property warts and all
The best defense when it comes to selling a home is offence. Knowing everything about your home, and potential issues, prior to coming to the market is your best form of protection when selling. The easy route would be to leave the due diligence to the buyers. But in most cases, a bit of money invested upfront, research, disclosure and problem solving is all it takes to overcome potentially deal crashing situations. It’s when underlying defects are uncovered by potential purchasers that things get tricky; in many cases the outcome of which will be a reduction in the purchase price or a no deal.
The most popular home on the market
The buyers who are the most active in the market will likely view your property online first; so for vendors, passing the ‘virtual inspection’ is an absolute necessity. When you’re presenting your home for sale you need to think ‘mass market’ not ‘your market’. It’s very easy to convince yourself that buyers will be happy with your home as it is and therefore give little consideration to your premarket preparation. But decor is just like fashion, it changes, so ensuring your styling fits with the mass market taste of today’s buyer will ensure you attract good numbers through the door.
- Identifying the target market for your home – The target market is the group of people that your property is most suited to. It is these buyers who are likely to pay you the most money. Consider; when you brought your home were you a professional couple? Then, in most instances, that is likely to be the target market for your home upon resale; provided you haven’t made any significant changes. Just because you have had children whilst owning the home, it doesn’t mean your target market is families. If you’re unsure your real estate agent will be able to guide you.
- Sell the lifestyle dream! – When thinking about how to configure your home for sale, consider what your target market value most. For example, professional couples might value a guest room and an office. Whilst families put a lot of emphasis on a second living room and a great outdoor space. Now set about selling the dream through your presentation. This can be achieved for example by turning underutilized spaces into a rumpus room or man cave or creating a study nook on a landing or under an unused stair well. Desirable, saleable spaces which add value, sell a lifestyle and drive a premium result.
- What’s the best way to present my home for sale? The power of phaffery (as Amanda likes to call it). The easy thing to do would be to bring your property to the market with the existing décor in place. But with a small amount of effort you can create neutral, clutter free spaces. You want to allow people to walk around easily if you finish this with a small amount of on-trend décor, you’ll have the buyers enquiring in their droves. And with the availability of partial staging to supplement existing décor this is as easy said as it is done! Our advice, some well-considered investment in your presentation upfront will really pay off when it comes to Tender day!
Free advertising; can you complain about a free lunch?
It’s hard to complain about something you didn’t pay for, so consider the implications of choosing an agent based on the FREEBIES. Will you really have a say in how your property is advertised for sale and what are your obligations if you choose to accept?
Interestingly, my brother is looking to bring his partially renovated property to the market in Melbourne and has been offered a significant investment in the cosmetic improvements required to ready the property ready for sale. My advice, ask yourself:
‘Freebies aside and all things (commission etc) being equal, is this the agent you would choose to represent your home?’ The answer was no. ‘
Our advice is don’t take the easiest or the cheapest route. Agent skill and experience varies significantly so choose the one you feel will do the best job of representing your home. Partner them to ensure you feel well advised and supported in all aspects of the sale. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so choose the agent who:
– can provide cost effect tips and tricks to get your home ready for market
– will pitch an advertising package tailored to your buyers, not tailored to winning your listing
– will consider your input in the process.
Buying property in the Wellington market
Look beyond the fancy styling!
As a buyer, don’t dismiss the properties which don’t look like they should feature on the pages of Your Home and Garden. We meet so many buyers who said they looked at a property and decided not to view based on poor presentation and sloppy advertising. On the flip side of our advice to vendors, take the time to view the homes which have the potential to meet your requirements based on bedrooms and location. Just because the owners of these homes haven’t done enough, underneath it all it may still be your perfect home. The easy route is to buy a home which is perfectly presented, but the smart route would be to consider them all. And chances are, if you have dismissed the property it’s highly likely others have too, which will mean less competition and a potentially lower purchase price.
Take time to know your market and get your ducks in a row!
Making good real estate decisions comes from good market knowledge. This takes time and maybe a little sacrifice. Weekends will be spent on the open home circuit, following up agents, meeting with your mortgage broker or seeking advice from other industry professionals. But it will be worth it in the long run. When the time is right to start offering you will have built a good market knowledge and know exactly what it takes to offer successfully in any given market. For example, in a boom market, it will be near on impossible to offer conditionally or without a premium being paid. But in a more balanced market, conditional offers and a more predictable pattern of outcomes are the norm.
Pay for independent advice
Avoid taking the easy route and relying on online assessments or other easy ways to obtain advice. Engage independent professionals to spot the things you can’t see. Its very easy to get tunnel vision when you fall in love with a property, but independent parties can help you identify your blind spots. This may come in the form of a knowledgeable and experienced property lawyer, valuer, engineer or architect. Some buyers engage friends and family to act as their second set of eyes. What I have noticed on many an occasion, is that despite trying to help, they can end up being overprotective and crashing the deal. Yes, it may cost a little more upfront, but you get what you pay for, and often professional advice will come with considerable liability. This means you can assume they will do their best to get it right up-front and you can offer with confidence on Tender day.
The Wellington Market
The market is unseasonably busy at the moment, in fact there are more buyers per property than at the beginning of the year. In addition, as I mentioned last month, the investors are back. Add that to a larger pool of owner occupiers looking to make the move and currently our open home attendance is through the roof. It goes without saying this change in events is excellent news for anyone selling, not so great for the buyers among you. Insert low interest rates and a strong local economy and affordability hasn’t been better in recent times. This of course further bolsters interest levels.
The next key indicator will be the new stock levels over the coming months. Listings have been seasonally low over winter and should we see stock levels remaining low, we are likely to see continued growth in the Wellington market.
WELLINGTON MARKET QUICK FACTS
Average sale price by Ward:
What’s on this August in Wellington:
My Fair Lady, Te Auaha, NZ Institute of Creativity, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington
By: Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe
Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion.
Directed by: Michael Stebbings
Musical direction by: Sue Windsor
Choreography by: Shereen Capper and India Loveday
The Wellington Footlights Society is delighted to present its first production for 2019, Lerner and Loewe’s beloved classic, My Fair Lady, the award-winning story of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady.
New Zealand International Film Festival Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Terrace, Mt Victoria, Wellington
The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) is a celebration of film on the finest screens in New Zealand. The event is the cultural highlight of winter in 13 towns and cities and is one of the longest running annual festivals in the country. NZIFF makes a great occasion out of movie-going by presenting the latest and best films from around the world.
Live Rust Concert Tour, The Opera House, 111 – 113 Manners Street, Wellington
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Neil Young’s 1979 Live Rust album that captured the best of his Rust Never Sleeps Tour, a super group of New Zealand artists will come together to perform live in concert, the album in its entirety, track-by-track.
From Comes a Time, After the Gold Rush and The Needle and the Damage Done to the thunderous exhilaration of Like A Hurricane, Cinnamon Girl and Cortez the Killer, this is the best of Neil Young at the peak of his powers being performed by some of our most passionate and accomplished artists and musicians.
If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from a considered market assessment by Wellington’s only licensed agent and registered property valuer, please do not hesitate to call. We are always happy to help.