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Will your home pass the test?

Web_01Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran recently said at a real estate conference that it takes a buyer, entering the first room of the house, only 8 seconds to get an impression of the home.  There is really no room for error with an 8 second time span and it hits home how important styling and presentation really is.

Thinking of selling? How about doing the 8 second test on your own home. Is the first thing you see when entering your home a Brady Bunch gallery of family portraits? Is this what you are selling or are you selling the light, bright and spacious entrance foyer which you cannot see because all you are focused on is the faces staring back at you?

Web_11After you have done the 8 second test, go outside and get in your car. Drive around the block and then pull up out the front of your house. How’s the 8 second rule from the street? Some buyers will see your property advertised and then do a drive-by, will these buyers come back for an inspection? Or will they see the overflowing gutters and think too many trees equals too much maintenance?

Web_10Then maybe invite some friends over to do the 8 second test.

Did your property pass the 8 second test? Give Beach & Bay a call so we can provide you with a market appraisal and connect you with our network of stylists, cleaners, handymen and women who will ensure your home is presented to perfection and the maximum sale price is achieved.

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Get market ready and sell your property fast!

lounge-webThe right agent and perfect presentation of your property sets the scene for a successful, stress free, financially rewarding sale in record time.

So, you have chosen Beach & Bay Realty and now here are some quick tips from Yellow House Interiors to assist in making your property market ready:

1. Clean and sparkle
Make your property look polished and cleaned to perfection. Pay attention to details like skirting boards, light fittings, windows and walls. Giving your property an all over thorough clean will be an essential step in creating a property that people want to buy.

2. Colour correction
Keep wild and wacky tones to a minimum and stick a neutral and subdued colour palette. Don’t forget that you want to appeal to a great variety of people and create a feeling of space in the property. A fresh coat of paint can change almost everything!

3. Family photos, be gone!
Store and remove all personal objects and photos. Keep in mind that your property needs to attract buyers that want to move in NOW. Keep the styling fresh, simple and not over complicated.

4. Replace carpets
Old carpet can be a huge turn-off. To achieve a higher selling price it’s worth replacing tired old carpet with new carpet in a contemporary hue that works with your paint colour and furnishings.

5. Hire furniture and accessories
You can put this together yourself but if you really want to get the top dollars for your property then call in the professionals! Replace furniture and accessories with specifically chosen items that complement the property and aim to to make the property look it’s very best ready for sale.

6. Quick fixes
Look at your property with fresh eyes. All of the small jobs that you’ve been putting off for so long need your attention before your property goes on the market. Make a list and get them done, you will be thanked for your hard work with interest from the market.

Yellow House Interiors can help you with all of your styling and decorating needs. Achieving the highest price possible for your property through beautiful styling and advice is what we do best! For more information go to www.yellowhouseinteriors.com.au.

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Do you think the property market will burst in 2015?

sydney

One of the most real estate obsessed cities in the world

This is a question real estate agents get asked a lot as we head into the final month of selling. It’s a dangerous question because really we don’t know the answer and no one else does either.

According to SQM Research, the median house price in Sydney’s inner fringe has now surpassed $1million. To many that seems absurd, we dreamed years ago about our homes being worth a million dollars and somehow our dreams have become reality, even if that millionaire reality is a far from palatial home we imagined many years ago.

SOLD $1,280,000 - 3/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

SOLD $1,280,000 – 3/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

In Cronulla it is now very difficult to find an entry level house on a small block of land for $1.3mil.  If you are thinking of buying an apartment in Cronulla, it is just as difficult to find something under a million dollars. Last month a 2 bedroom apartment with superb ocean views and only a single garage sold for $1.4mil.

If you are not in the market already, how do you get into a market where you have to be a millionaire to buy a basic home? Parents are panicking for their children, 30 and 40 year olds are becoming first home buyers.

Should we take the plunge in November 2014 or should we wait and see till February 2015?

SOLD $1,118,000 16 Targo Rd, Beverley Park

SOLD $1,118,000 – 16 Targo Rd, Beverley Park

This is the dilemma now facing many buyers. Sure, interest rates are low but when you have to borrow the bulk of a $1 million dollars plus stamp duty then the mortgage you end up with is not cheap.

The Reserve Bank has been recently warning us to stop getting carried away, to stop borrowing too much money, but so far this has not had too much of an effect on an insatiable Sydney market.

Anything can happen as shown with the Global Financial Crisis and we now live in a very interconnected world, where something that happens in another country, on the other side of the world can affect us here very quickly.

SOLD $1,570,000 - 5 Cook St, Caringbah South

SOLD $1,570,000 – 5 Cook St, Caringbah South

Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball but I did win the Melbourne Cup this year so if I had to have a punt on which way the property market was going to go next year I would say upwards, but not at the same intensity as this year.

NSW is now the economic locomotive of Australia and Sydney the most desirable city to live in. Property sales off the plan are booming which means the residential construction industry will also stay robust. Also the NSW government has embarked on huge infrastructure projects which will support thousands of jobs into the medium term.

A steady increase, then a plateau is my guess but full disclaimer here, I have really no idea, just 18 years of being a real estate agent in one of the most real estate obsessed cities in the world…

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Spring Real Estate Update

IMG_0928After a sensational long weekend of great weather and football entertainment vendors and buyers are into the final mad dash to sell and buy before Christmas 2014.

It seems unlikely that a rate rise will be seen this year after the Reserve Bank met this week and left the official cash rate on hold for October. However the RBA has been more vocal in recent months about the housing market and is doing its best to cool the heels of buyers, worried prices have increased at an unstable rate.

Certainly we have seen dramatic price increases in the Sutherland Shire especially in the first 6 months of this year. As I see it though while the shortage of listings continues, the pressure on prices will remain. Buyers listening to the RBA’s warnings seem not as desperate to purchase as earlier in the year. What hit home for me recently was the figures showing that first home buyers are generally in their 30’s or 40’s.

Sydney is definitely an internationally priced real estate city!

Some of our new Spring listings below.

If you’re thinking of selling this year, please give us a call today.

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Don’t Overpay On Advertising When Selling Your Home

Real estate advertising has come so far since I first started in the industry. I remember as the salesperson, having to take the photos on a camera using film, then walk up to the local chemist to have them developed, $15 and an hour later we would realise the photos were not all that good and needed a second take but having to meet a print deadline we would have to pick the best of a bad bunch.

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14 Randell Ave, Lilli Pilli

Now we have such sophisticated technology for marketing at our fingertips with specialists for every step of that process, whether it is the photographer or stylist, I would not dare to pick up a camera to photograph a vendor’s property. At the same time, the cost of advertising has decreased significantly as print media falls by the wayside.

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

At Beach & Bay Realty we have taken a simple approach to marketing that encompasses a substantial online presence, including social media, with print media including brochures and signboards to reinforce the online experience.  We have designed our marketing packages to be best value for money without compromising on the quality of the advertising. It is no longer necessary to spend $10,000 on a marketing campaign.

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

Buyers are busy people, they want the information at their fingertips and this is why real estate websites have become the norm for finding buyers. Print media advertising such as our local paper is great for a coffee table read but if you are actively looking for a home or investment property, by the time that property is advertised in the paper, the agent is exchanging contracts with the buyer who found it online.

We have also sold several homes from our local  social media marketing, including the “I love Cronulla” Facebook page and Beach & Bay’s Instagram page (instagram @beachandbayrealty). With 8000 followers on Facebook, people know we know the area and check our updates daily.

15 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

15 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

If a vendor would like to advertise in newsprint the option is always there but we like to encourage our vendors to spend their money where it is best going to seen by active buyers. We look at it from the angle that if we were selling our own home or investment property where would we spend our money on advertising?

This is what we stand by, it works, it works fast and we have done it ourselves:

  • Professional photography – we believe our photographer is the best in the area
  • Floorplan
  • Virtual Floorplan or video
  • Websites – as many as you can be on
  • Colour brochure with floorplan
  • Signboard
  • Social media
  • 17 Bass St, Port Hacking

    17 Bass St, Port Hacking

    On-site Auctioneer if market and property suitable

This can all be done for less than $3000.

Happy Selling!

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Great Time To Buy

soldhouseIt’s a great time to buy real estate, right now

Now you wouldn’t have heard this from me a month ago and you probably won’t hear this from me in a month’s time but, today, this week, and this weekend, if you are in the position to buy a property then go out there and give it your best shot. ASAP.

The property market in Sydney has been going crazy and prices have increased dramatically in this first half of the year but several, very recent factors are coming into play right now which have created a little pocket of opportunity for buyers.

10348231_10152459011644312_7862929635639049698_nHave you noticed that the auction clearance rates have dropped significantly in the last 3 weeks?  It won’t last and let’s face it, the clearance rate is still quite good compared to previous years. It’s a short term phenomenon.

The things that have changed in the last few weeks:

Firstly and possibly most importantly buyers who have been looking this year and have been thus far unsuccessful are now jaded, tired, fed up, cranky and many have taken a month off to refresh, i.e. they are not going to open houses, instead they have decided to take a real estate break and get their lives back for a few weeks, gone away for a weekend, gone to see the kids play soccer etc instead of going from one open house to the next, all day Saturday.

1911606_10152289518374312_646615506_nSecondly, the media has now been reporting for a few months that things have been selling for $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 in excess of the reserve and painting the picture that buyers will pay whatever to get into the market. The media is usually several months behind reality too but buyers have started to feel completely ripped off and are taking a step back to consider what they are paying.

1264281_10151917506959312_1923611023_oThirdly, vendors expectations have been going up and up and up as each sale achieves a new benchmark sale price.

Fourthly, the budget announcement, again this is just short term jitters but it’s to do with confidence, confidence in the economy, in our government, in securing employment to keep paying that mortgage.

So now is not the time to give up, some vendors have bought and need to sell so they must quickly meet market expectations, the budget will iron itself out and buyer confidence will be back. Then you will be again competing with too many buyers and not enough sellers as is normally the case in the winter months in a great market. So, don’t stop looking now buyers, get out there and secure that property before it’s on the move again, and I think you only have a couple of weeks! Good luck!

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Very Basic Styling Tips For Selling

FACT: An empty room is a smaller room.

JUST PLAIN WRONG:  Furniture makes a small room smaller

empty new roomWhen I am faced with showing a vacant property I prep every buyer before they inspect the property with this reminder – “An empty room is a smaller room”.  But who believes a real estate agent?!

I strongly encourage every Beach & Bay seller to furnish a room, because without fail, if they do not, I guarantee buyers will make the comment that the room is small, in fact too small for their requirements and that great first impression is lost. Not only that, a buyer will go on to say “Imagine how small the room will be once furnished! “ This is so wrong but it’s hard to convince a buyer of this. Buyers need to see to believe.

small_bedroom_design_ideasRecently I had the situation where 2 identical properties were for sale by the same owner, one was furnished and one was not.  I would show buyers through the first unfurnished apartment  and, like clockwork, their initial reaction  would be “Oh the bedrooms are small, will they fit a double bed?”  Tape measures would come out, criticisms would be made…Then I would take them to see the identical but furnished apartment and their reactions would be positive, no concerns about fitting a queen bed  (maybe even a king) and tape measures would come out again but this time to actually confirm that indeed the rooms were exactly the same size as the other unfurnished apartment.

unfurnishedA furnished room shows dimension which in turn makes the room look bigger and it shows the buyer clearly the functionality of a room.  I’m not encouraging clutter, because a cluttered room is a disaster for presentation and of course can make a room look diminished. What I am encouraging though is hiring furniture, or if finances are tight, borrowing core pieces of furniture for rooms, a bed or a desk or a sofa from a friend or neighbour.

furnished-vs-unfurnished3Just remember, I can guarantee:

An empty property is a smaller roomed property = a harder sale = longer sale = reduced sale price

 

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The Real Estate Market in 2014

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

Last year saw real estate prices increase 10-15% in the Sutherland Shire after several tough years but this year the rapid increase in sale prices across Sydney has been so dramatic that I would estimate the price increase is already 10-15% for the 5 months of 2014, especially in the Sutherland Shire.  I do not think we have experienced this sort of price growth spurt since July 2003, when every house sold achieved a new record and properties for sale were in such short supply that people tended to buy first, then sell to avoid being without a home to go to.

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

It’s back to the days when pest and building inspectors are booked solid, most properties are being marketed as Auction, serious buyers need to attend the first open house if they want to secure the property and every TV channel has a show about renovating and selling!

Will this continue? Should we wait? Is this a bubble? These are the questions buyers keep asking me and I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that Sydneysiders are obsessed with real estate again, interest rates are low and there is a feeling of confidence again in the property sector. If only I had a crystal ball.

13 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

13 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

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De-clutter & styling tips to get your property real estate ready!

YHIHere at Yellow House Interiors helping you get your property ready for sale is our specialty. Investing in the look of your property before it goes on the market can increase your sale price substantially and take the stress out of selling. Here are some quick fixes that will help you property standout from the crowd!

De-clutter and simplify
Now is the time to look at your property with open eyes. Buyers look for fresh open spaces that appear bigger and light. Remove any unnecessary furniture and household items. These become a distraction to the buyer and will make inspections more difficult with numerous people viewing the property at any one time.

Clean and Sparkle
Make you property shine. Clean all surfaces including windows, skirting boards, cupboard doors, and light fittings. Make your property look the best it can be. Buyers will feel a sense of confidence if the property looks well maintained. A little elbow grease goes a long way!

Paint, Paint, Paint
One of the most important preparations that you can do for minimum cost. Painting will give your property an immediate lift. Opt for neutral tones in white or very light warm grey. Stick to the theory that light is bright and you can’t go wrong!

yhi1Once you have given your property some much needed TLC it’s time to bring in the experts!

For all of your styling needs head to www.yellowhouseinteriors.com.au and get the price your property deserves.

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Shortage of Properties For Sale, Winter 2013

The Reserve Bank meets today and the consensus is that that there will be a rate cut of .25% and with a Federal Election date now booked in this is good news for buyers. Yes I say buyers! Not since Winter 2003 have I seen a shortage of listings like this winter, where buyers come through an open house and eye their competition, recognising other buyers as bidders at the previous week’s auction, both being outbid by someone who went the extra $10,000.

In the current market buyers have to be ready to pounce, think twice and you will miss out. Mind you with fixed interest rates below 5%, it is a great time to be buying, there just needs to be more on the market for all the buyers currently looking.

Hopefully with the certainty of an election date and spring around the corner more people will decide to sell in the coming months and current buyers will be unpacked and moved in for Christmas 2013 in their new home.

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