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Licensed Real Estate Agents Shelley and Mark are renowned for their exceptional customer service, strong local knowledge and high ethical standards.

The unique combination of Shelley and Mark’s team-based way of working and proven business philosophies, presence and marketing tools is your winning formula for success and the reason so much of their business results from word-of-mouth referral and people who keep coming back.


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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Tips to help you find your perfect home

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

28 June 2019

For most people, the purchase of a home is the most significant financial asset they will ever purchase. So it pays to be well prepared. Whether you are looking to buy your first home, upgrade, upsize or downsize, the following ten points will help ensure your choice is the right one for you. Without considering these points, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of an auction or at an open home. Many people have ended up buying the wrong property because they didn’t do their research first to hone in on what they really need and want.

1. Define – When it comes to home buying one size definitely does not fit all. One person’s definition of the perfect home will be very different to another person’s. Start by defining your home-buying parameters. It is a good idea to write them down. Create 3 columns on a sheet of paper – your must-haves, the nice-to haves and the things that aren’t important for you. Use this as a guide when doing your research to narrow down your search.

2. Budget – Work out a realistic budget and speak with your lender or mortgage broker to obtain approval in principle on a loan if you need one. This will enable you to narrow down the number of homes to inspect and ensure you don’t spend beyond your means. It will also allow you to make a firm offer rather than risk losing the perfect home to another buyer because you haven’t organised your finances early.

3. Size – Make a note of the size of the home you need to suit your current circumstances and then consider what will happen if those circumstances change, for instance if your family grows or if one of your children moves out. From there you can determine the size of home (number of bedrooms and bathrooms etc.) you require.

4. Do you want to renovate? Are you looking for a home that requires no work or would you be happy to renovate? If the latter is true, ensure you have allocated a large enough budget over and above the purchase price to complete the renovations, including a buffer for those inevitable hidden costs.

5. Look beyond the surface – When you inspect a home, look beyond the colours on the wall, the floor and window coverings and the decor. These are all things that can be changed to suit your taste for relatively minimal cost.

6. Location – Take a drive around the area at different times of the day. Consider the schools, amenities, open spaces and how long it will take you to get to and from work. Does the location suit your lifestyle at this stage of your life?

7. Neighbours – Great neighbours are worth their weight in gold. Consider knocking on the doors of a few of the closest neighbours to chat about the area and get a feel for the people who live there. If you have a young family, it’s great to be surrounded by other young families too.

8. Building & pest inspection – For the cost of a few hundred dollars, a pest and building inspection could potentially save you thousands if there is something wrong with the property. It will also indicate the property’s true value and give you ammunition for negotiation if you find a defect that you decide is worth fixing if you purchase the property for the right amount.

9. Visualise – Imagine you and your family living in the home. Is there enough storage for all your things? Will your furniture work in the home? Can you see yourself being happy in this home?

10. Trust your gut – Never underestimate the value of a gut feeling. Is your inner voice telling you ‘this is the one’? Or is it urging you to walk away and keep looking? Pay attention to that voice or you may live to regret your final decision.

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Property title explained in plain English

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

20 June 2019

We recently appraised a property with a Survey Strata title, which prompted us to wonder how many people know the difference between one land title and another. So this week we decided to share what each means in plain English.

As a property owner or purchaser, this information is important to know because the type of title a property falls under can affect your right of use.

If you are buying an established property or building on vacant land, it will usually fall under one of 4 categories of Property Title:

Green Title – this is land that generally has no common areas that need to be shared (unless otherwise indicated on the Certificate of Title). Most land sold in WA is Green Title. A Green Title lot will generally house a freestanding dwelling.

Purple Title – After World War II we saw an increase in the number of multi-storey residential dwellings being built. But at the time there was no legal system in place to create separate titles for each individual dwelling. To overcome this issue the ownership was transferred to a company. The holders of company shares were then entitled to occupy specified parts of the building. So ownership was secured as a shareholding. This type of ownership is referred to as ‘Purple Title’. Purple Title properties are rare these days but some new developments, particularly retirement villages, are being created under this title.

Strata Title – The owner of a strata lot typically has sole ownership of a cubic space and a common ownership of the land and buildings on which the cubic space is located. If you are an owner of a strata lot, you will also be allowed to use parts of the property that are deemed to be ‘common property’. This is a shared space that you would co-use with other property owners who have rights to the same space. Of all the types of titles, Strata Titles come with the most rules and responsibilities. There are a number of duties and restrictions that apply to most Strata Title properties such as being subject to rules of the strata company and the need to pay levies to administer the strata scheme and look after the common property.

Survey Strata Title – This title is generally used for single level developments where lots are side by side. It usually involves an existing large Green Title lot that has been formally surveyed into smaller subdivided lots with distinct boundaries. The rights and obligations of Survey Strata Title are essentially the same as those that apply to Green Title. Some Survey Strata developments have a commonly owned driveway and all owners in the survey scheme would need to share in the cost of insurance and maintenance of that common property. Survey Strata Title incurs less rules and obligations than Strata Title.

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5 things you shouldn’t do when buying property

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

14 June 2019

Having an offer accepted on a property you love is exciting, no matter if it’s your first, your second or even your tenth property purchase.

However getting to that point isn’t always easy, especially if you make one or more of the following mistakes.

Here are 5 things to avoid when buying property:

1. Submitting a low offer without justification.

While it’s natural for all buyers to want to secure the property they wish to buy at the lowest possible price, submitting an unreasonably low offer won’t do you any favours. All it does is show that you have not done your research and that you are not a genuine, serious buyer. Of course if you have good reason to submit a low offer, ensure you communicate how you arrived at that figure with the agent. As long as you qualify your offer, you will be taken seriously and you will have a greater chance of arriving at a mutually agreeable outcome with the seller through the negotiation process.

2. Failing to listen to the selling agent.

Just because the agent has been engaged by the seller doesn’t mean they don’t care about your needs and wants as the buyer. To the contrary, a professional real estate agent knows that it is in their client’s best interest to look after buyers well and listen carefully to their needs, wants and questions. If an agent fails to listen to what the buyers want and shows them properties that don’t match their requirements they won’t do their sellers any favours because that is not the way to make a sale. Remember, the agent is close to the seller and understands their motives to sell. Pay attention to what they have to say as it may help guide your decision-making process.

3. Constantly changing your mind.

While you are entitled to change your mind as a buyer (after all, buying property is likely to be the greatest financial decision you will ever make), changing your mind constantly should be avoided. Why? If you constantly change your mind about what you are looking for in a home, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the location and your budget, the selling agent will struggle to show you the right properties. This will extend the time it takes to buy and put you at risk of missing out on properties that would have been perfect for you.

4. Focusing on the trivial things.

In order to buy strategically, it is important to differentiate between the important and the trivial matters. Trivial matters are things like the aesthetics of the property – how it is styled, the colour of the walls etc. These are things that can easily be changed for little financial outlay and effort. Focus instead on things like the location, the neighbourhood, the structure of the property, the size of the block, the floor plan, the renovation potential etc.

5. Disappearing.

If you work with an agent for some time and then suddenly disappear off the radar, refusing to answer calls or emails, you are not only being disrespectful to the agent who has been helping you but you are also not doing yourself any favours. Why? Because if are still in the market to buy, ghosting the agent won’t allow them to let you know of any new properties about to be launched on the market that match your criteria. If you have decided to stop looking or you would prefer to work with another agent, be honest with the agent who has been helping you. Not only is this common courtesy, but it would also allow them to keep you in the loop to ensure you don’t miss out on the perfect property should it become available.

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Winter is here! Which window treatments lower your energy bills?

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

07 June 2019

Winter has been a long time coming to Perth but temperatures are expected to plummet by the end of the week.

So it’s time to get cosy, bring out the heaters and switch the air conditioner to the heating setting.

At times like this though many people start to worry about their energy consumption at home, and with good reason given the rising costs of electricity and gas.

With this in mind, we thought it timely to share some expert advice on which window treatments lower your energy consumption and therefore reduce your bills. The advice applies in winter and summer.

Did you know uncovered windows are responsible for up to 40% of heat loss in winter and 50% of unwanted heat gain in summer? In winter this translates to an additional 10% on your energy bill for a drop in temperature within your home of just 1 degree.

Here are some window treatments that, when used correctly, will reduce your energy bill:

Curtains – Studies have shown that curtains made from block-out fabric can reduce heat gains by 33%. They also create an insulating air pocket between the fabric and the window resulting in greater control over the interior temperature of your home.

Pelmets – The addition of pelmets to your curtains creates even greater energy savings as they form a barrier to stop air that has risen to the top of the room from escaping over the top of the curtain and through the window.

Honeycomb blinds – Coming a close second to curtains and pelmets, honeycomb blinds can save you up to 32% in energy costs because their honeycomb shape traps air, providing superior insulation properties.

What about the windows themselves?
The Federal Department of Environment and Energy recommends double-glazing and window films for superior energy efficiency and thermal comfort.

Don’t forget your alfresco area.
Awnings and exterior blinds can help keep your interior temperature more consistent, resulting in greater comfort and significant cost savings. Independent tests have shown some awning brands offer energy cost reductions of up to 58%.

So get ready for winter and remember to close your window coverings when using your heater in the evenings to prevent heat loss and keep those energy bills manageable.

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4 tips for successful property flipping

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

31 May 2019

The popularity of home renovation shows and public figures like ‘Renovation Queen’, Cherie Barber has inspired many to become house flippers themselves.

Unlike those who renovate their home to improve its liveability, house flippers seek to buy undervalued properties, renovate them and then sell with a goal of turning a profit.

Particularly in a subdued market, there is the potential to achieve good price growth from house flipping, as long as you are strategic about it.

Here are 4 tips to increase your prospects for a successful house flipping journey:

1. Research – House flipping is something you shouldn’t just dive into. Take the time to thoroughly research the property market and the trades you will need when you begin the renovation process. In terms of researching the market, your goal is to buy a property that is priced under market value. It’s about finding a property that you feel has the best potential after some careful planning and renovation/refurbishment. Learn as much as you can about design, simple building techniques and decorating. The more you can do yourself, the more money you will make. However, there will be some renovation tasks that are best left to the experts, like plumbing and electrical work.

2. Location is king – Location is a driving factor in any investment property buying decision. An area that’s close to amenities and transport links is always sought after by homebuyers. The ultimate goal is to purchase a ‘renovator’s delight’ that you know you can work wonders on within your budget in a great suburb.

3. Focus on the end goal – When planning the renovations, think about the potential buyers for the property and what they will be looking for. Don’t renovate the property based on what you would like yourself. Remove the emotion and treat it as a business. It’s about finding the perfect middle ground between over-improving (which will cut into your profits) and under-improving (which will see you struggling to make a sale). Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. What design elements and style will appeal to buyers in the demographical area you have purchased in?

4. Have a budget and stick to it – Ensure you have a set goal with how much you are willing to spend on the renovations and stick to this budget to avoid shortfalls. It’s always wise to factor in a percentage for unexpected costs. Anyone who has renovated before will tell you that unexpected costs are almost guaranteed at some point. Do the math carefully when establishing your budget. Incorporate ALL costs, including the costs to sell the property, and keep the end goal firmly in mind. After all, property flipping is only worthwhile if you walk away with a profit at the end.

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10 tips to make moving house a breeze

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

24 May 2019

Just the thought of moving house is enough to send many people running for cover. With a little careful planning however, you can take the stress out of your next move.

Here are 10 tips to make moving house a breeze:

1. Do a big spring clean – it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, spring-cleaning is a great way to start the moving process. After all, the less stuff you have, the less you need to pack. By clearing out the things you no longer use, you will feel lighter. It will also give you a sense of making a fresh start in a new home and give you a great excuse to buy some new pieces for your new abode.

2. Start dismantling any furniture items you can, making them easier to move out of your current home and into your new home. A good tip is to put any nuts, bolts and screws into a small zip lock bag as you dismantle each item, taping the bag to a piece of the furniture for easy assembly later.

3. Save on space – Pack items of clothing from last season and things like blankets, sheets and towels into vacuum sealed bags. Make the most of suitcases and laundry baskets by packing what you can aside them.

4. Use white paper towels rather than newspaper to wrap crockery and glassware to avoid having to wash them before putting them away in your new home.

5. Take photos – this may seem like an odd tip, but it’s surprising how many people like to have a similar furniture layout in their new home as it’s familiar. Its also a good idea to take photos of furniture items to be dismantled so it’s easy to see how it goes back together (unless of course you still have the instructions).

6. Distribute the weight evenly by packing heavy items at the bottom and lighter items on top. It’s also a good idea to pack your heaviest items in smaller boxes, leaving the large boxes for your lightest items. The last thing you need is to hurt your back when moving!

7. Label and make a list – label every box with a number, the contents and the room it is to be placed in once at the new home. A back-up list of box numbers and contents is a good idea too, in case any boxes go missing.

8. Pack one room at a time – this will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with the enormity of the task. Remember to leave the most used rooms till last (in most homes this would be the kitchen and bathrooms).

9. Set aside the things you will need for your first night in your new home – by packing those items separately, you will have easy access for a meal and a good night’s sleep, so you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle the rest in the morning.

10. Safety first – Don’t pack dangerous goods such as corrosive, flammable, explosive, spontaneously combustible, toxic, oxidising or water-reactive goods. Items like LPG gas bottles and mower fuel fall into this category. You should also take extra precaution when packing sharp objects like knives, ensuring they are packed well and not poking out of any boxes.

Thinking of moving? Ask us for advice on local removalists. We’ll also give you an obligation free property appraisal and a presentation on how we would achieve the very best result for you in the sale of your home.

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Take your agent for a ‘test drive’

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

18 May 2019

You only get one shot at achieving an excellent outcome when selling. So choose your agent wisely.

If interviewing a number of agents, why not take them for a ‘test drive’ before making your decision. Ask them to role-play a negotiation with you. You will soon discover that negotiation is the key skill that sets agents apart, a difference that can equate to tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket.


There’s an art to professional negotiation. It can literally make or break the outcome of a sale. In fact, negotiation is the only means by which an agent can generate a good profit for their client.

As a property owner, the agent you choose acts on your behalf. While your agent must present all offers from buyers to you, it is their job to negotiate with the buyer first if the offer doesn’t match the value in the home.

There is a saying in real estate that the worst thing you can do as a seller is put the wrong agent in front of the right buyer. At Shelmark, we take the sale of an owner’s property very seriously. We will work harder and smarter than any other agent to ensure you receive the outcome you deserve.

Don’t entrust the sale of your greatest financial asset to anyone less than a skilful negotiator.

Why not put us to the test!

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