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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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Buying a property? Procrastination could cost you!

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

11 October 2019

Unfortunately, it happens all the time and disappointment is the result. Buyers losing the property they love because they want to think it over or keep looking in case something better comes along is the adult version of letting go of a balloon – you’re never going to get it back.

Think about it. The house you love and want to talk about and ponder overnight before making an offer could be the same house someone else was thinking about the night before. The situation becomes even more frustrating when buyers see the property they love sold for a price they would have been prepared to pay. 

Here are the most common mistakes buyers who miss out on the home they love make.

Thinking the market hasn’t bottomed out yet

Generally, the only sign we get if the market is at its lowest point is when it starts to improve. By then it’s too late, as the market will have begun escalating and you’ll end up paying a higher price.

Waiting for a price reduction 

It may surprise you to know that many properties are sold before they have an advertised price reduction because somebody made an offer and the owner accepted it. This means other buyers don’t get to see it or get a chance to put an offer in. Buyers commonly miss out to the person who steps forward. 

Not listing your current home for sale

Many people worry that if they list their home before they find their next one, they could end up having to rent for a while (or worse, move back in with the parents or in-laws) if they sell before they buy. However, if you are serious about moving, it is important to be ready to buy. And that means having your own home sold or at least listed to ensure you will have access to funds for a deposit.

Over-thinking

Many buyers fear there could be something better or they’re making a mistake if they make an offer too quickly. However, in our experience, most buyers end up back at the first home they looked at, often disappointed to find it has sold while they were shopping around. If your heart and head are telling you, ‘this is the one’, don’t over think it. Make an offer.

Not having your finance in order

Shopping around and applying for a loan takes time. To avoid disappointment, it is strongly recommended that you obtain approval in principle for a loan before you start seriously house hunting. This will also give you your spending budget.

Not letting your agent know you’re looking

Some homes these days are listed for sale without being advertised at all. This is called a Silent Sale. We have just listed a property silently and will be alerting buyers that have registered their details with us and whose requirements and budget match the property, inviting them for a VIP inspection.

Don’t let the home of your dreams slip away because you failed to act. If you love it, make an offer.


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Nearing retirement with a mortgage? Follow these tips …

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

03 October 2019

Are you approaching retirement but concerned that you still have a mortgage? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. There are many reasons why more Australians today are still paying off a mortgage later in life ranging from getting into the market later and going through a divorce to changed work and business situations. People today are also living and working longer and banks have relaxed the rules around having to repay debts before retirement age.

That being said, having a mortgage hanging over your head when you retire is less than desirable because it will limit what you can do when you have all the time in the world to do it. So here are a few tips to help you clear your mortgage and be debt free in time for your retirement (as long as the money you save is put straight into your mortgage).

  1. Increase your income

This may be easier said than done but there are ways to do this if you think outside the box. You could approach your boss about a raise or a promotion if you can prove you’re worth it. If you run a business you could take on an extra job or two per week. You could even consider renting out a room in your home or get an Uber licence for some extra cash each week.

  1. Lower your spending

As you approach retirement it is the ideal time to take a close look at your current spending habits and redo your budget if you have one. Not only will this help you work out where you could save money now, it will also give you an idea of how much you will need to live comfortably when you’re no longer working.

  1. Work longer

We are living longer these days and, generally speaking, ageing better. There is no hard and fast rule stating that you must retire at a certain age. If you still feel fit and well and enjoy what you do, why not work beyond the official retirement age, especially if you still have a mortgage to repay? Or perhaps you could consider semi-retirement. Whatever works for you and helps you move into retirement comfortably.

Downsize

Do you really need to hold onto the home you raised your children in anymore? Depending on your equity, downsizing to a smaller, cheaper home could clear your mortgage completely. And it would be a lot easier to maintain as well!

Tap into your Super

Under the current Superannuation rules, you can access your super without paying additional tax if you’ve reached your preservation age and use these funds any way you choose, including paying off a debt.

The earlier you plan a course of action to pay off your mortgage the better. But as you can see in this article, even if you are approaching retirement with a mortgage, all is not lost. There are many positive steps you can take now to retire debt-free.

 


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5 Deposit Hacks for First Homebuyers

by ShelMarkblog In Uncategorized

27 September 2019

Whether it’s you or your ‘kidults’ (adult kids) trying to enter the property market for the first time, saving up the deposit can seem like an insurmountable challenge. It’s like climbing a mountain. If you haven’t done your preparation and planning in advance, reaching the summit will be a long shot.

The key is to do your research and understand what it will take (including the sacrifices that have to be made and the planning required) to get there. Ultimately it comes down to being clever about both your saving and your spending.

Here are 5 home deposit hacks that will help you (or your kidults) achieve that goal.

  1. Join the 5% club

95% of people spend first and save later. That leaves just 5% who do the reverse. That’s where you need to be if you are saving for a deposit. Start by creating a budget, accounting for every dollar you spend. And that means everything. The seemingly insignificant $4.50 a day you spend on a coffee is equal to $1,080 a year based on a 48 week, 5 day a week working year.  If we’re talking about a couple, that figure would double. Then imagine if you’re spending $12 a day on lunch. No doubt you get the drift.  Aim to save around 10% of your wage with the end goal being to save enough to equal 20% of the value of the type of home you wish to purchase.

  1. Change your priorities

Making sacrifices is necessary when aiming for any major goal and saving a deposit for a home is no exception. Take a packed lunch to work rather than buying it (this will save you around $3000 a year), restrict ordering takeaway or don’t take out at all, even if it means having baked beans on toast occasionally. It’s about changing your priorities to focus on the long-term goal.

  1. Act like you have a mortgage now

Living the mortgage life before you have one will help you acclimatise so it doesn’t come as a shock when you do have a mortgage. It will also help you succeed in getting a loan approved because you will be able to demonstrate a regular savings pattern in line with mortgage repayments. Work out how much you will be paying on a mortgage based on how much your first home is likely to cost less the deposit you will have saved. Another bonus of putting away fictitious mortgage repayments each month will be that it will significantly boost your savings towards the deposit.

  1. Commit!

We are currently experiencing record low interest rates and suggestions are they will fall even lower. If you can find a way to save the deposit and get approval in principle on a home loan, commit to making that purchase while median house prices are still low in Perth. If you can’t afford to buy the home you want to live in consider an investment property and have the tenant help build your equity while you are still living at home or flatting with friends to keep your living costs down.

  1. Take advantage of incentives

There are a number of incentives on offer for first homebuyers from the government and even from some lending institutions. For instance, in WA the First Home Buyers Grant is available for eligible first homebuyers who are purchasing a new residential home or building a home on vacant land. For the purchase of established homes you may be entitled to zero or reduced transfer duty. There are also other incentives that may apply to you. Click here to learn more and for a list of FAQs about first homebuyer assistance in WA.

 


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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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