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“You will not find two more hard working and professional real estate agents than Shelley & Mark”

Making the decision to sell your home or investment property is one of life’s major milestones. Whether you are selling to upgrade, relocate to another area, cash up or downsize, it can be an exciting journey or a complex and overwhelming one without the right support and guidance.

At SHELMARK we work hard to ensure the property sale journey is as easy and stress-free for you as possible. We call it the SHELMARK Difference.

Contact us for an accurate, obligation free property appraisal today or to learn more about how we work differently to help you.

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The pros of inner city apartment living

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

20 September 2019

Whether you’re buying your first home, next home or downsizing from the family home, buying an apartment close to the city can bring many benefits, from better health and a more fulfilling lifestyle to saving money and living more sustainably. In fact there are many benefits to an inner-city lifestyle often overlooked.

With the population growing, the Great Australian Dream of the traditional house on a quarter acre block is changing. For starters, with the population of Australia expected to climb 60% to 37.6 million by 2050, smart, responsible urban planning is the future.

Studies have shown that inner city apartment dwellers tend to be healthier, happier, and more active and socially engaged than people living in the suburbs.

Here are 5 reasons why.

  1. AFFORDABILITY – Buying an apartment in a great lifestyle location is usually more affordable than buying a house in the same location. There is also the strong potential to save money living close to the city because so much is accessible by foot, bike or public transport, saving the cost of petrol and upkeep on the car (some decide to ditch the car when they live near the city). This leads to a more sustainable way of life, which is kinder to the planet and the hip pocket.
  2. WALKABLE NEIGHBOURHOOD – Urban living means living within walking distance from entertainment and recreational precincts, schools, work and public transport. All this walking makes urban dwellers more active, which in turn leads to numerous health and well-being benefits. Most urban residential areas these days are also built within close proximity to green open spaces.
  3. LIFESTYLE – There’s always a buzz around urban areas that you don’t typically find in the suburbs. And no matter what you enjoy doing, there’s something close to home to suit all tastes, from dining out and bar hopping to shopping, the theatre, live bands and museums/art galleries. Furthermore, because people work much closer to home, they spend more time at home with their loved ones, leading to greater happiness.
  4. LESS TO MAINTAIN – With a smaller home and only a terrace/balcony garden to look after, urban apartment dwellers spend less time looking after their homes and more time doing what they enjoy.
  5. ACCESS TO ONSITE FACILITIES – Many apartment complexes today include excellent onsite facilities for use by residents and their guests. Facilities may include a pool, gym, sauna, BBQ area and residents lounge area. So not only is there the potential to save a fortune in gym membership fees, but there is also greater incentive to work out when the facilities are right there on your doorstep.

 


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Renovating your kitchen? Consider these 6 tips first.

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

13 September 2019

Most people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home. It’s where family and friends gather to chat, cook, eat and simply enjoy each other’s company. So is it any wonder that it is one of the first rooms people choose to update in the home?

If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, don’t start until you have read the following 6 essential kitchen renovation tips.

1. Create a kitchen that suits how you use it

This point is most important if the purpose of the renovation is for the benefit of you and your family rather than specifically to sell your home. Ask yourself how you like to use the kitchen. Do you love to cook and entertain groups of family and friends? If so, ensure you design a kitchen that complements this. Plan lots of bench space and good quality cooking appliances large enough to cater to the numbers you like to cook for. On the other hand, if cooking is not your passion and you’re less likely to regularly whip up a feast for a crowd, you should consider a kitchen design with more emphasis on appliance storage rather than large ovens and cooktops.

2. Good function and flow

There’s no point having a beautiful looking kitchen if it lacks functionality and flow. When designing your kitchen, ensure your most used elements, such as the fridge, sink, oven and cooktop, are positioned so that you can easily transition between them. For instance, avoid placing the fridge cavity opposite the sink, as they are commonly the two most high traffic areas in the room. Put a high priority on bench space too as insufficient bench space will create challenges when preparing meals. If you are including an island bench in your design ensure you allow sufficient space to move all the way around it and flow from fridge to bench to cooktop to sink.

3. Storage solutions

Even in the smallest space, ample storage is a must in a kitchen. There are clever ways to ensure no space is wasted with the inclusion of customised drawers, cabinets, shelves and even hooks inside the pantry for very compact spaces. Designing to minimise clutter will ensure you end up with a clean, modern, functional kitchen.

4. Ensure you have enough power points

Carefully consider how many power points you will need in the kitchen before it is designed. This will save frustration later when you realise you don’t have enough for all your appliances, not to mention the cost of having to bring the electrician back to fix it.

5. Create sufficient bench space for your favourite and most used appliances 

Many of today’s kitchen appliances are made to be on show as much as they are to be functional. So rather than hiding all your beautiful appliances away, think about where you would like to place them on the bench (close to a power source).

6. Select your major appliances first

Most people who renovate a kitchen want to upgrade their major appliances like the cooktop, oven, dishwasher, fridge and rangehood as well. By selecting your appliances first it will be easier to find cabinets and countertops that fit them rather than the other way around.

Renovating the kitchen of an investment property you intend to flip? 

If you are a property flipper (someone who buys property and renovates it to sell based on a strategic budget) the one thing you shouldn’t scrimp on in the kitchen (and bathrooms), according to house flipping experts, is the aesthetics – things like quality tiles and splashbacks, stone benchtops and quality appliances – because these are things today’s buyers notice and will pay more for.


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What do Perth homebuyers want most in a home?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

06 September 2019

They say there is a buyer for every property but the catch is that it often comes down to price.

If you are thinking about selling and want to know what features would add the most market value to your property you have to think like a buyer. And not just any buyer, but buyers looking for property in your area.

There are a number of features that are typically regarded as being highly desirable by today’s homebuyers in Perth. And because these features are what most buyers want, they will be more inclined to pay more for a home that has them.

While some of these features (like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms) are hard to change without an expensive renovation, others can be adapted to suit or highlighted in the marketing. This list is also good to know if you’re in the market to buy, as homes with these desirable features will tend to hold their value or achieve better capital growth than those that don’t.

Features more buyers in Perth want that add the most market value are (in order of priority):

  1. A 4-bed house or 3-bed apartment

Did you know that the number of bedrooms in the typical Perth home has doubled from 2 to 4 in the last 50 years? This is despite the fact that the size of the average household has reduced. Nonetheless the desire for larger homes remains high because extra bedrooms offer flexibility and savvy buyers are aware of the future re-sale advantage it gives them.

  1. A second bathroom or ensuite

This one really needs no further explanation. Who doesn’t value a two plus bathroom home (unless you’re the one cleaning them)?

  1. Plenty of storage

Our households might be shrinking but we are still managing to accumulate just as much stuff that needs to be stored. Often underrated and under-promoted, storage is a feature you should include in your sales marketing if it is an asset in your home.

  1. Home theatre

In today’s digital world it seems the games/rumpus room of yesterday is today’s home theatre. This is increasingly become a central feature of the home and is highly desired by today’s buyers in Perth. If you have a games room/multipurpose room, you could consider adding some carpet and good light blocking drapes, hanging a flat screen TV on the wall and promoting it as a home theatre to add instant market appeal.

  1. Off-street parking

The perceived value of a lock-up garage varies depending on location. Overall though, parking doesn’t rate as highly as internal living areas.

  1. An alfresco area

Our temperate climate in Perth lends itself to outdoor entertaining. So it’s probably no surprise to you that outdoor entertainment areas, especially those that expand the main living area of the home with good indoor/outdoor flow and connectivity, are on the list and will add market value to your home.

Because every home and every suburb is different, it’s always best to speak to local experienced agents like us who know what buyers in the area will pay more for BEFORE making any changes. Call Shelley on 0411 552 309 or Mark on 0417 963 670 for an obligation free, accurate market appraisal and property consultation.

 


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10 things that could turn buyers off your home

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

29 August 2019

Why do some properties take so much longer to sell than others? While this is a difficult question to answer because every property has its own timeline, there are certain traits that are renowned for turning buyers off a property.

With Perth’s average days on market currently hovering around the 84-day mark in today’s buyers market, it’s never been more important to avoid the following 10 things that could stop buyers making an offer on (or even inspecting) your property.

1. An unclean, messy home

While you might say a buyer should be able to see through all those surface things, a home that doesn’t present well, especially one that is messy and dirty, can give buyers the impression that the owners haven’t looked after it well and that they have something to hide. Listen to your agent’s advice about how to present your home to the market.

2. Unpleasant odours

If your home is dominated by the smell of last night’s curry or your beloved four legged friend it can be a real turn-off for buyers. Always give your home a good airing by opening windows before an open home and remove all pet paraphernalia, such as food, bedding and litter trays. Consider a strategically placed scented candle but leave it up to your agent to determine if it should be lit during the open.

3. Clutter and overcrowding

If your home is cluttered with knickknacks and the furniture is poorly laid out or there are too many pieces, it will give buyers the impression that the space is small and cramped. The more open and minimalist the space looks and feels, the more a buyer will be able to imagine their own belongings and furniture in that space.

4. Being present at the open home

No buyer likes the owners being present during the open home or during any inspection for that matter. It makes them feel uncomfortable about opening cupboards and drawers etc., all things an interested buyer should be doing. Do yourself a favour and make yourself scarce during the opens and inspections and leave the hosting and commentary to your agent.

5. Old, worn out fixtures

This includes things like cracks in wall and ceilings, windows and doors that don’t open and close properly and weathered tapware and handles. These are relatively inexpensive to fix or change but can make a substantial difference to the outcome.

6. An unmaintained garden

They say it only takes seconds to make a good first and last impression and no part of your home does both better than a well maintained front and back garden. As is the case with a messy interior, an untidy, overgrown garden will give buyers the impression that the entire property has been poorly maintained and that it will require a lot of work and money to bring it up to the standard they expect.

7. Too many personal items on show

Buyers have no interest in forming a personal connection with the seller. So to see walls, furniture and the fridge door filled with family photographs and treasured items will distract them from imagining the home as their own.

8. Too warm or too cold

Don’t make the mistake of over-heating or over-cooling your home during the home open. Everyone feels temperature differently and moods can be improved or deteriorated by an uncomfortable internal temperature. Be guided by your agent on the right thermal temperature for the day.

9. Darkness

All buyers love a natural light filled home. Open all blinds and curtains and let as much light in as possible on open day and ensure the agent selects the right time of day when the natural light is at its best for your property. This will depend on the aspect and the weather.

10. An unrealistic price

Nothing will damage the integrity of a sale faster than a property that is unrealistically priced. That’s why a property appraisal conducted by a licensed real estate agent is an important first step when thinking about selling your property. It is different to a property valuation, which doesn’t take into account the current state of the market and recent comparable sales. A property that is unrealistically priced will turn buyers away before they even have the chance to take a look.


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Selling a deceased estate? What you need to know

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

23 August 2019

Selling a deceased estate can be a daunting and complex process. For many people it follows the death of a last surviving parent, making it a very emotional time as well. However the right knowledge and support will help make a challenging time easier to handle.

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions relating to deceased estates in Australia (and specific requirements for WA).

What is probate and how do you apply for it?

Probate is a certificate granted in WA by the Probate Office of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. It means that the deceased’s Will has been proved as valid and registered, and that the executor (the person nominated to administer the Will) has been granted authority to administer the deceased estate. Probate can be applied for at any time after 14 days from the death of your loved one. It generally takes around 4 weeks to come through.

What do you do once probate has been granted?

Once probate has been granted, you (assuming you are the executor of the Will) are responsible for distributing the estate to beneficiaries according to your loved one’s wishes. As executor you are also responsible for hiring deceased estate lawyers and a real estate agent to ensure everything is done legally and with complete transparency.

Can you sell the property before probate is granted?

No. However, many people like to sell as quickly as possible after probate is granted, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries, such as inheriting property with siblings. So it is a good idea to set the wheels in motion by obtaining an appraisal and selecting an agent to work with.

Can a beneficiary buy the house?

If there is a partial distribution of the estate and you are one of the beneficiaries, you can buy the house if you can afford it, as long as none of the other beneficiaries object. It is often not advised however because it can cause disputes between family members and disputes are always best avoided in deceased estate matters.

Do you have to pay Capital Gains Tax on the sale of a deceased estate?

If you sell the property within 2 years you can usually avoid Capital Gains Tax. That’s why selling within that timeframe makes sense to gain maximum value from the inheritance.

Click here for more information on probate from the State Government Public Trustee, which includes a link to the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

If you are selling a property you have inherited, contact us to guide you through the process. Rest assured we will do so with the utmost professionalism and care every step of the way.

 


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6 kitchen presentation mistakes to avoid when selling

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

16 August 2019

We all know the kitchen is the hub and heart of the home. It’s where family and friends gather to share stories and chat about their day. So it won’t surprise you to know that the way a kitchen is presented on the market can make or break a sale. You don’t have to have a brand new, high-end kitchen to appeal to buyers. But you should do everything you can to ensure your kitchen appeals to their senses and emotions.

Here are 6 common kitchen presentation mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

  1. Baking cookies or bread

The old tip of baking cookies, a cake or bread before the open home is just that – old. The best way to appeal to the nose of today’s buyer is to place a subtly fragranced, beautifully styled candle on your bench top. Your agent will decide whether or not it needs to be lit (the last thing you want is an overpowering aroma).

  1. A fridge covered in kids art, menus, magnets and notes

Although a buyer knows you will be taking the fridge with you (unless it’s plumbed in) they don’t need to see all your paraphernalia cluttering up the room. A sparkling clean fridge enhances and opens up the space.

  1. Over-styling

Less is more when it comes to styling a home to sell and this includes the kitchen. While a strategically placed candle and pot plant look elegant, a bench top overloaded with trinkets, teapots and plant life has the opposite effect. Remember to strip back your personal mementos as well. Styling to sell is about finding the right balance between offering new buyers a blank canvas that encourages them to imagine themselves living there and engaging their senses on an emotional level.

  1. Ugly or no stools at the breakfast bar

Select a few stylish new bar stools to put at your breakfast bar or island bench. This way potential buyers can imagine themselves cooking dinner while their loved ones or friends chat to them from their perfectly positioned seats at the bench.

  1. Neglecting to clean and tidy inside the cupboards and drawers

Potential buyers don’t hold back when inspecting a home. They will open cupboards and drawers to check out the storage situation. If a buyer walks through a home without opening a single cupboard it’s a sure sign they are not interested. So don’t make the mistake of just focusing on the outside of your kitchen joinery. If a buyer opens a cupboard to discover a disorganised mess on dirty shelves, they may wonder what else you are hiding.

  1. Not bothering to spruce up an older kitchen

If you have an older kitchen, show it some love to make it shine. Consider investing in new tapware, handles and/or pendant lighting to breathe some new life into a tired space. Just ensure you keep it simple and stylish.

Why not ask us about our professional property styling service. You will be amazed at the before and after shots and the difference it can make in the sales outcome.

 


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Planning a spring sale? Now is the time to prepare

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

02 August 2019

The spring fashion previews that are starting to pop up online and in retail stores are a reminder that we’re on the home stretch of winter. Before we know it, the days will be getting longer and warmer and our gardens will begin to show the first signs of new life.

With more people out and about and gardens looking their best, it’s not hard to see why the warmer months of the year are traditionally the most popular time to buy and sell real estate.  If you have been waiting for spring to list your property, now is the time to start preparing for it.

From the moment a potential buyer drives by your property, you can be certain they will be inspecting every detail from the outside in.  First impressions go a long way and it’s often the simple, inexpensive things you can do now that will make a potential buyer like what they see and want to see more.

  • De-clutter and do a an early spring clean
  • Make minor repairs if required
  • Clean gutters and windows
  • Plan your spring garden and alfresco space
  • Get us involved early

Our free property advisory service will ensure you’re spending money & time on the right things.

At Shelmark we offer an obligation free property advisory service to those who are thinking of listing their home for sale.  We will meet with you at your property and offer suggestions on what you could do to maximise the appeal of your property to the right buyers and increase your chances of selling quickly and profitably.

We will also let you know what we believe would not be worthwhile spending time and money on from a return on investment point of view.  It’s amazing how many people we come across who have spent money on improvements that were unnecessary for achieving their sales objective.

If you don’t have the time or the expertise to do it all yourself, we can put you in touch with the right people for the job.  Our network of trusted local tradespeople and professionals includes painters, handymen, gardeners, electricians, professional cleaners, home stylists, building and pest inspectors and much more. We can even have the property fully staged for you (ask us what this entails).

Remember, spring will be here before we know it, so start planning now. If you’d like us to assess your property and provide you with a free market appraisal call Shelley on 0417 963 670 or Mark on 0411 552 309.


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5 common first homebuyer mistakes to avoid

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

26 July 2019

Whether you are in the market to buy your first home or you have adult kids about to take the plunge, it pays to be mindful of the most common mistakes first homebuyers make – mistakes that can land them in financial stress.

  1. Neglecting to do the necessary research
    It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of buying your first home. It’s a milestone in your life you will never forget. The danger however is to let your heart rule your head. Doing your research is not just restricted to the market. It also means being very clear on your budget, understanding the various loan options available to you and researching the areas you would like to live in, including any future plans for those areas that may affect you.
  1. Acting on impulse
    Some first homebuyers feel pressured into making a swift decision, despite not being 100% sure that they are making the right one. Take your time to find what’s right for you. You will know the right one when you find it. Think very carefully about what you are looking for. Write a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. Your ‘must haves’ are not negotiable. For instance, if you decide your first home must have a fenced backyard with some lawn area because you have a dog, don’t settle for a home with a paved courtyard.
  1. Over-committing
    Borrowing more than you can afford is another pitfall to avoid. Many first homebuyers make the mistake of overextending themselves financially with their first property purchase. The last thing you want is constant stress worrying about how to pay the mortgage repayments each month. Even if a lender is prepared to let you borrow more than you think you need because it looks like you can afford it on paper, don’t be tempted, as you will end up feeling financially insecure and potentially resenting your decision. Establish a firm budget and stick to it.
  1. Forgetting to factor in the extra costs
    Many first homebuyers neglect to factor in the additional costs associated with a home purchase. Costs over and above the sale price can include transfer duty, rates, building inspections, loan application fees, mortgage insurance and moving costs. All of these costs must be factored into your budget.
  1. Failing to read the contract in full
    It is vital to be aware that the contract you will sign when finalising the purchase of your first home is a legally binding contract. That means you can’t change your mind or request certain conditions once signed. So it is extremely important that you read the entire document before signing and ensure you understand all the terms and conditions of the sale. Sit down with the agent selling the property and read through the contract with them, asking questions if there is anything you don’t understand. There is no such thing as a ‘stupid’ question when it comes to finalising something as important as a property purchase.


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The truth about online valuations

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

19 July 2019

Getting an estimate of your property’s worth can be done within seconds these days by jumping online and using one of the many property valuation tools available. Even realestate.com.au has jumped on the instant property valuation bandwagon. But just how accurate are they?

We conducted our own experiment this week by comparing three different online valuations on the same property. We used CoreLogic, ANZ and Westpac and found variations of up to $150,000! Our experiment is validated by others who have done comparisons. In one comparison, a difference of more than $1 million was found.

Why are they so unreliable?

Each estimation provider uses their own methodology to work out the value based on data collected when the house was previously sold or rented.

We decided to take our investigation a step further by reading the waivers on each site. And it was here that the truth was revealed. For instance, below (in italics) is an excerpt of the waiver from CoreLogic:

CoreLogic’s online valuations (as is the case for all online valuation tools) rely on data from an algorithm “without the physical inspection of the subject property, without taking into account any market conditions (including building, planning or economic) and/or without identifying observable features or risks (including adverse environmental issues, state of repair, improvements, renovations, aesthetics, views or aspect) which may together or separately, affect the value.”

What they don’t tell you

Online valuation tools are built on statistical models. A statistical model will never physically inspect a property. So it doesn’t know if the property has been recently renovated, refurbished, landscaped or styled etc. (as confirmed in the waiver above).

Nothing will ever be as accurate as a physical walkthrough of the property. This is important to know for both buyers and sellers. Online tools might be good as a general guide, but you can see from the examples here that they can be enormously inaccurate and therefore misleading.

This misinformation can result in disappointment for sellers who could be misled into thinking their property is worth more than it actually is. Conversely, the property could actually be worth a lot more than an online valuation tool says it is and the owner could incorrectly assume they can’t afford to upgrade based on this misinformation. It can also be misleading for buyers who think they can base their offer or need for finance on an online valuation.

There is a better way

It costs nothing but a few minutes of your time to have a professional property appraisal done. When conducting an appraisal we not only compare your property to similar recently sold properties in the area (comparing apples with apples based on what current buyers are prepared to pay) but we also conduct a physical inspection inside and out to see the current state of the property and all the hidden value an online tool will never see.

If you would like to know what your home is really worth, call Shelley on 0417 963 670 or Mark on 0411 552 309.


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5 jobs you should never attempt DIY

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

12 July 2019

DIY experts, influencers and contestants on home renovation shows like The Block make even the toughest DIY projects look easy. What we don’t see behind the scenes though is the expert advice they receive from trade professionals on the more challenging jobs.

If you don’t know what you are doing, things can quickly go very wrong. Don’t be tempted to have a go to save some dollars because you could in fact find yourself spending far more when things go pear-shaped. Some of these projects are also dangerous (potentially life threatening) when attempted by anyone other than a licensed professional.

Here are 5 DIY projects you should leave to the experts.

1. Removing walls
Sure, open plan living is all the rage today, but that doesn’t mean you should start knocking down walls yourself to achieve the effect. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you could be knocking down a wall that is bearing load and this may not be obvious. If you insist on doing this yourself, at least get in an expert to give it the all clear first.

2. Dealing with power
If you have lights flickering and power shorting out, don’t try and fix this yourself, unless of course you are a licensed electrician. ALWAYS leave anything to do with electricity to a professional. It’s not worth the risk.

3. Mould in the bathroom or on internal walls
You may be surprised by this one. While you can remove the mould yourself easily enough, that is not getting to the cause of the problem. Generally, mould is a sign of moisture build-up or a ventilation issue. This could mean a significant underlying issue that needs to be diagnosed by a licensed professional.

4. Efflorescence on bricks or tiles
Efflorescence is a white chalky residue found on natural stone, masonry or tiling. Much like mould, the root cause of efflorescence is not easy to find by anyone other than an expert. If your external brickwork is starting to show signs of this white chalky residue, it may be coming from your mortar. Speak to a good local builder or bricky to get it sorted.

5. Leaking roof
There is a reason why roofing is a specialist trade. There is also good reason why roofers wear protective gear like harnesses when dealing with heights. Leave anything height-related, like a leaking roof, to a licensed professional. So who should you call? If you have a metal roof, you’ll need a roof plumber; for tiles, you’ll need a roof tiler. If you have a slate roof, you’ll need a slate specialist.


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