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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.


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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Why selling in winter can work in your favour

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

04 July 2019

While gardens look their best in spring and more people are out and about in the warmer months of the year, there are some definite advantages for bucking the trend and selling in winter. For starters if you choose to sell in spring you will be competing against everyone with the same idea.

The shortfall of stock in winter makes it a prime opportunity for sellers. After all, people are always moving no matter what the weather is like. There are always buyers either looking to buy their first home or seeking a new place to call home.

Ask yourself, would you rather be up against multiple similar properties on the market or just a handful? Probably the number one advantage of a winter sale is far fewer competitors. This gives you a unique opportunity to get the best possible price for your home. It’s like retailers. When there are several of the same type of store located along the one shopping strip you will find price wars occurring in a bid to attract customers. But if a unique store were to move in, the owner could establish a fair price knowing there’s no competition.

Buyers also tend to be more serious and committed in winter. On the other hand, people attending open homes in the warmer months are often just browsing. So, while there may be fewer potential buyers out there, the ones who are looking in winter tend to be ready, willing and able to commit when they find a property they love.

It all comes down to timing. If you’re ready to move now, here are some tips to make the most of your winter sale.

Showcase your home’s best winter assets – If you have a fireplace, central heating, or an outdoor fire pit make sure they’re obvious during your open homes. While the fire pit will likely go with you when you move, simply showcasing it in a welcoming alfresco setting will speak to a buyer’s emotions.

Make it cosy – Think cushions and throws, candles, mood lighting and keeping the space comfortably warm (but not stifling).

Don’t neglect your roadside appeal – While the gardens probably don’t look their best, mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, pruning overgrown bushes and perhaps adding some nice potted plants will do wonders.

Let it breathe – Windows are often kept shut during winter to prevent internal warmth from escaping. Ensure you open up your windows to let the fresh air in and the stale air out before your open home. Then, about 30 minutes before the open, close them and turn your heating on to remove the chill.

Let there be light – Buyers love a home that is bathed in natural light. So open your curtains and blinds and clean your windows to invite as much light in as you can. Try to arrange your open homes for the time of the day when the light is best for your property.

We are working with many qualified buyers who are keen to find the right home now. Contact us if you would like to learn more or for a free property appraisal.

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