Real Estate Update with Karen Spires

Across the Ponsonby’s residential property sector we’re expecting a busy period leading to the Christmas holidays, as sellers previously holding back emerge from their election-induced hiatus, and buyers return to the market with greater incentive following the announcement of New Zealand’s new Labour-New Zealand First coalition Government.

Pleasingly, this result is up some 6.9% ($100,000) from the June 2016 quarter and compares quite nicely against the 2.4% increase for the wider Auckland region over the same period.

With the local property landscape performing particularly well and further activity predicted through to the beginning of summer, it’s an excellent time to prepare your home for pre-Christmas sale.

Equal-parts buyer psychology and market intelligence, preparing your property for a marketing campaign can be a minefield. Between budgets, touch-ups and wall-removing refurbishments, sellers should be selective when it comes time to make improvements and keep the buyer at the forefront of every decision.

However, before dipping your brush into the paint tin, there are
a few vital considerations which will make planning your refurbishments
a whole lot easier.

• Take a look around the neighbourhood, what kind of people live in it and what kind of features do the houses have? This will offer a better understanding of both your target market and perhaps your homes’ unique attributes.

• Carefully considering the type of buyer likely to purchase your home will ensure a clear goal, so you do not get carried away with unnecessary renovations.

• Mapping out a budget is the next vital step to retain maximum value. Depending on the property’s size, age and condition, putting aside between five and 10% of its estimated value can provide a good guideline for pre-sale renovations.

When tackling your target areas, anecdotal experience gleaned through countless open homes and my some 21 years in real estate has shown that buyers pay particular attention to bathrooms and kitchens, with street appeal doing double duty creating a great first impression.

It could be as simple as resurfacing a cracked driveway, investing in contemporary lighting or adding an extra off-street car park. Tidy edge-ways, shrubbery and appealing green entranceways can also create a wonderful lasting impression even before the buyer has walked through the door.

If time and budget are on your side, it is well worthwhile opening communal spaces to create seamless open-plan living and a clear line of sight, while uniform flooring in the kitchen and living areas can open up a space helping it to feel bigger and more unified.

No matter the route or scale you choose for your pre-sale preparations, savvy sellers will tell you that using your salesperson wisely is the ultimate property hack. With value growth across the city flattening in recent months, we’re working double time consistently keeping in touch with our buyer bases to know exactly what they’re looking for when it comes time to purchase.

This intelligence, paired with the feedback acquired through open home viewings, market knowledge and local demographics offer the vital pieces of the puzzle so your home can work smarter rather than harder when it comes to add value on sale day.

Thanks for reading, Karen Spires.

Regional sales results might reflect uncertainty. However, the burgeoning apartment sector continues with strength. The Grace Victoria Quarter apartments are now under construction with a limited number of residences available for sale.