How sellers can prepare their home to secure maximum sale value
As Winston holds the nation’s hopes in his hands, the end of election-induced uncertainty is near and savvy sellers are maximising the daylight hours in preparation for the traditional spring peak in sales activity.
While wetter-than-usual weather has combined with changes in investment policy to create tentative market confidence across Auckland’s residential property sector, it is evident that change is coming.
New listings are at their lowest levels since 2014, however competition for quality homes has seen residential property continue to secure attractive prices and Bayleys’ auction team proudly reports a clearance rate around 70 percent for the year.
A testament to selling smarter – not harder, along with the greener grasses and warmer spring weather, we too are starting to see signs of life as seller’s wake up to the traditional fourth-quarter lift in sales.
Historical sales data shows that spring is one of the busiest listing periods on the real estate calendar. While buyers enjoy some newfound wiggle-room during negotiations, sellers should look to capitalise on stirring activity to better prepare property for sale, in order to secure maximum value and ensure nothing is left on the table when it comes to sale day.
Appealing to a varied audience is part psychology, part fortune-telling and part market insight, so the first and most important task at hand is identifying who is the buyer for your property?
Be it first home buyers, retirees or a family on their third home, distinguishing the market for your property will ensure a smooth sale preparation process with all renovation and staging decisions wisely planned with the buyer in mind.
The second, and perhaps equally as important is to put together a budget for pre-sale renovations which is relative to the value of your home. Your local sales expert will have the most recent, comparable market sales on hand to assist with this task.
Taking a look at the bigger picture; the estimated sale range of your property, the likely buyer and local community demographics will simplify the daunting task of pre-sale renovations, after all – first home buyers might be impressed by that expensive outdoor fireplace but ultimately it is an unnecessary expense for the penny-conscious.
For those lean on time and revenue, adding value pre-sale needn’t be a grand design and attention is best paid in kitchens, bathrooms and the view from the street.
Starting with street appeal, research has shown buyers will typically have formed a lasting impression of the property within the first 20 seconds of walking through the door – and that doesn’t count the several times they may have driven by last Sunday.
Boosting the salability of your property starts here, so look to tidy up edgeways, trim trees, resurface the cracked driveway, repave the footpath or even add off-street parking. The old adage, a little goes a long way rings true here and even a new letter-box or house number complimenting the aesthetic of your home can make a sophisticated impact.
As the heart of the modern family home, outward enhancements can make all the difference in kitchens, so look to relatively inexpensive surface improvements to add value. Bench-tops, tapware, cabinet handles and splash-backs can easily update the space to create a contemporary, luxurious feel.
With buyers increasingly looking to points of difference for value, conveniences such as water filtration systems, built-in rubbish bins and soft-close cabinetry can add impact, however a more dollar-productive activity is creating space – which is always in style.
Buyers will typically have formed a lasting impression of the property within the first 20 seconds.
Look to create cohesive living spaces by establishing a clear line of sight. If removing non-structural walls isn’t your thing, matching flooring finishes throughout the kitchen and living room can add instant consistency, making the space feel larger and more unified.
Buyers expect tidy bathrooms in a neutral colour palette, with two toilets emerging as a real benefit. Look to a new vanity, clean grouting and replaced toilet seats for instant impact or eco-friendly taps and shower fittings for something extra.
Residential real estate unlike any other class of property involves emotions and attachment, with time and energy best spent creating an atmosphere which will help the buyer to envisage their life at your home.
Dubbed the ‘fauxvation’, adding value pre-sale can certainly be completed on a budget with many of the most important factors hinging on appealing to the buyers’ subconscious.
Trained real estate professionals have a firm understanding of the features atop specific buyers’ check-lists and the coming months have provided the perfect platform for sellers looking to maximise the value of their assets.
In the current market with sales value growth lower than it has been in previous years, salespeople are doing their thorough homework, checking-in with potential bidders and carrying out their own research into local buyer ‘non-negotiables’. During open-homes and viewings salespeople will emerge with an even clearer indication of a price achievable come game day, with regular reporting all the more important to ensure seller and salesperson are working toward the same goal.
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