The decision to sell is made, but how do you ensure potential buyers know your house could be their dream home? Here are five top marketing tools to help you get the best possible result for your sale.
More than 80 per cent of Kiwis look online first to find properties for sale, so it’s essential your property has a presence online. Working with us, you’ll get featured on NZ’s most visited Real Estate site, Harcourts, plus of course a listing on TradeMe and all the other popular real estate portals. But, it doesn’t stop there! We also have our own website where we can highlight your home with its own feature page. Then there is the Social Media side of things to consider. Any agent that is not able to talk you through a comprehensive online plan that covers all aspects of promoting your home, is maybe not going to do the best job for you. In 2019, it is all about maximising your properties exposure online, and we are experts at that.
Great images and video
Make sure your home looks pretty as a picture to attract the maximum number of buyers to come and view it in person. The first encounter many will have with your property is by viewing your property video and photographs online, in real estate magazines or agency windows, or in the property section of the local paper, so it is crucial they make a good first impression. It is worth paying for a professional photographer who can ensure images are taken from the right angle, get the lighting right and show your home at its very best, as those pictures and video, if may just prompt a future buyer to fall in love. With over 5 Billion (yep!) videos watched on YouTube every single day, a property video is fast becoming a necessary part of a property marketing campaign.
A ‘For Sale’ sign outside your home may feel a little old-fashioned in our evolving digital world, but it’s important to catch the attention of those Whanagrei locals who may not actively be looking for a new property, or those who always have an eye on your street or neighbourhood for their dream home. People hunting for property use up to four extra resources on top of online research, including sale signage, magazines and brochures, and agency window displays, so the more places you shout ‘For Sale’, the better.
The actual look and feel of a property is something that can’t be construed through photos alone, so holding open homes and private viewings is a key strategy in the marketing of your property. Giving prospective buyers the chance to walk through your home, imagine themselves in it, and get a feel for the surrounding neighbourhood will ensure you have some serious buyers in the mix when it comes time to sell.
A great agent
Word of mouth and personal recommendations count for a lot when it comes to making a major purchase such as a new home. A committed and enthusiastic real estate agent will be able to tell people about your property, put the word out to other agents who might have interested buyers, and follow up with potential buyers about their intentions. An approach like this will make sure you have reached as many people as possible, and make you feel secure that, in turn, you get the best price possible.
Get in touch with us to talk it all over, we’d love to help you get the best result with the sale of your house.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
Whether you love the thrill of an auction or your knees tremble at the thought, auctions have become the preferred method of selling property in most of the major centres across the country.
For those who are new to the process, buying or selling at auction can appear daunting. Don’t be put off! There are many advantages, and a few tips and tricks that you should know about before entering the auction room. Read on!
The advantages of auctions for the seller
As a seller, an auction offers you the opportunity to achieve the best price in the marketplace in the shortest possible time. Here are some of the many reasons why selling at auction has become so popular:
What to expect when you sell at auction
Your sales consultant will guide you through the pre-auction and auction process which should include:
Remember, you’re in control as the seller. You set the reserve. If bidding does not meet the reserve, you can decide if you want to enter negotiations or not.
Getting prepared to buy at auction
A common perception is that auctions are good for sellers, not buyers, but this is not the case. As a buyer, you know exactly who your competition is and the negotiations are out in the open for everyone to see. If your bid is successful, the contract is signed then and there, and property is yours with no further negotiations.
To make the auction process work for you, it’s important to arrive with your homework done. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare to buy at auction:
A buyer can submit a pre-auction offer to the property owner for their consideration. If they are willing to accept the offer, the auction date may be brought forward.
It’s important to let the sales consultant know you are interested in the property so if another purchaser submits a pre-auction offer and the auction is moved forward, you’ll be contacted. The reserve is set at the offer figure and the auction starts with that as the opening bid.
If no higher bids are received, the property is sold at the offered price, but if other buyers bid, the property will be sold to the highest bidder.
Regardless of whether you’re a buyer or seller, the more research and preparation you do prior to auction, the more likely you are to put your best foot forward on auction day.
Get in touch with us to talk it all over, we’d love to help you decide if an auction campaign is right for you.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
When you’re looking for a new home, one of the first things you need to consider is the order of events – do you sell your existing property before you buy, or after?
Here are some factors to consider before taking the plunge.
Buyer’s market or seller’s market?
When buyers are plentiful, but properties aren’t, homes generally sell quickly. In a seller's market, there is less risk associated with buying first and then selling your existing home. However, sellers in this kind of market may be less likely to accept an offer that is conditional upon you selling your home, so you could end up owning two properties for a period of time.
The average time it takes to sell a property varies from region to region and from month to month, so it’s important to talk to your sales consultant to get advice about current market conditions, recent comparable sales in your area and the possible demand for your property before making a decision to buy first.
Keep in mind also that in a seller’s market there will be more competition, so you can expect to pay top dollar your new home.
The good news is that you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from finding the right house to buy before selling yours.
Do you know how much you can spend on your next property?
Until you sell your property, you may not know exactly how much you’ll have to spend on your next one. In a buoyant market, you could easily have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the value of your own property. Your sales consultant can help you get a realistic picture of your property value by preparing a comparative market analysis of what similar properties have sold for in your area in recent times.
Are you a cash buyer?
If you choose to sell first, you will instantly become a cash buyer and be in a much stronger position to buy as soon as you find what you want. Do your homework on the market and area that you are looking to buy in so you’re ready to buy when the right property comes up.
Have you found your dream home?
Buying a new home is an emotional decision. If you want to follow your heart and buy that dream home before selling your current home, make sure you’re well informed. A good sales consultant will provide quality advice for your unique situation. If you are looking for a very specific type of property and it becomes available, it could be a good move to snap it up even if you haven’t sold your home, but there’s
no downside in getting expert advice before you do.
Are property prices are going up?
If you’re in a rising market, it could make sense to buy your new home first and negotiate a longer settlement. Your current property could potentially rise in value during the settlement period, allowing you to earn more when you sell it.
Are property prices falling?
Falling property prices can work in your favour as well if you can attract an interested buyer before prices drop further, leaving you free to purchase your new property at the lower end of the market cycle. However, falling property prices are also an indication of a slower market so it could take you longer to sell your existing property.
At the end of the day, your best course of action is to work with a real estate professional who can provide you with the local knowledge and insights you need to make an informed decision for your specific circumstances.
Get in touch with us to talk it all over, we’d love to help you out.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
Here are some tips for trimming the cost of your mortgage. As a property owner, paying off your mortgage before you retire is important. Once you hit retirement age, the last thing you want is to still be saddled with debt. Here are some ways to help reduce your total mortgage and essentially help you pay less for your property.
Shorten your term
Reducing your mortgage term to 25, 20 or even 15 years shaves thousands of dollars in interest off the total. Even reducing it by one year can save you money.
For example, if you borrow $500,000 at 4.00% interest over 30 years, your interest on a principal and interest loan amounts to $359,348*. Shorten your mortgage term to 25 years and you reduce your total interest to $291,755*. Of course, this means your regular repayments will increase, so make sure your budget can accommodate this or you’ll need to alter your spending habits.
Make additional payments
If you can’t afford to shorten your mortgage term, keeping a portion of your mortgage on a variable rate or having a revolving credit mortgage, which works much like an overdraft, may be the answer.
Look out for refinancing deals
Look for refinancing offers with more flexibility or a better interest rate. Be sure to factor in any costs for refinancing when considering this option.
It’s worthwhile reviewing your mortgage on an annual basis to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Your mortgage specialist can do a financial health check and help you find savings.
If interest rates drop, keep repayments at your current level, rather than be tempted to spend the savings. By doing this, you’ll shave off a substantial portion of your loan principal.
Each product provider has different policies and costs around paying extra amounts off your loan, so get in touch with your local mortgage adviser to find out more.
You’ll find additional tips and tools at mortgage-express.co.nz/mortgages - call them on 0800 226 226, or feel free to get in touch with us to talk it all over, we’d love to help you.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
This article originally appeared on the ‘House of Inspiration’ Harcourts NZ blog page.
*This is an indicative amount only based on the loan amount and interest rate selected. The calculations assume a constant interest rate for the life of the loan, however rates will change over this time and as such the calculations are a guide only.
You’re getting ready to start the home buying process, browsing through all the real estate websites to see what’s out there and you’ve started your new home wish list.
You’ve probably been getting some advice from friends and family members about how to get a good deal and things you should do to avoid overpaying, because when it comes to real estate in NZ, everyone's an expert!
Now you’re wondering how much do you actually offer on a house? Is there some kind of magic formula to follow or do you just throw out a number that you’re comfortable with? Here are a few things to consider before determining how much to offer on a house:
Know the Market: Before even considering how much to offer on a home, it’s important that you’re familiar with the Whangarei or other market you’re going to be looking in.
The market can vary between cities and price ranges so you’ll want to meet with your Real Estate Agent before jumping into the actual search process so you can learn about the current market of the places you’ll be looking in.
The ability for you to submit an offer below the listing price will entirely depend on whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. Typically if you’re in a buyer’s market you’ll have more flexibility on price because the number of homes available is high and they tend to sit on the market for longer. The opposite is true if you’re in a seller’s market where inventory is low. This can lead to multiple buyers being interested in the same property, which would mean you wouldn’t want to lowball at all but instead offer at, or more likely even above the list price. Again, it depends on the property.
Check the Number of Days on the Market: The second factor you’ll want to consider is how long the home has been active on the market to get an idea of the demand for the property. For example, if you want to write an offer on a house that has only been on the market for 2 days you probably won’t want to offer the seller way below the asking price if you hope for them to at least counter your offer. On the other hand, if the house has been sitting for sale for over a year, you'll probably have some more flexibility to go in with an offer lower than the asking price.
Remember that even if a house has been sitting for an extended period of time, you’ll want to use market stats to back up your offer. This is something your Real Estate Agent can help you with. If you really want the offer to be taken seriously, you’ll want to avoid completely offending the sellers so make sure you’re not just blindly throwing numbers around.
Check the Comps: You also don’t want to overpay for the home so it’s important to look at comparable houses in the neighborhood for sale, and also see what other homes in the area have been selling for. Then compare the difference in features, square footage, updates, and any other major factors. The comps are what you can use to justify your offer price when you first submit an offer. This will back up why you’re offering the amount you’re offering instead of just appearing like you’re trying to get a deal.
Ask Yourself – On a Scale from 1-10, How Badly Do I Want This Home? The last thing you should determine is how badly do you want the house. Ask yourself – if your offer were to be rejected, will you regret not coming up in price or can you easily move on to the next house.
Try thinking about the home on a scale of 1-10. If you’ve finally found everything you’re looking for, would it be worth losing it for only ‘X’ amount? Decide what X is. If you lose it for more than what you’d regret losing, then it’s probably for the best!
There isn’t one answer on what you should offer on a home and there also isn’t a magic formula. You should work with a Real Estate Agent who you trust to guide you in the right direction and make the best decision for you.
Get in touch with us to talk it all over, we’d love to help you get into your next house.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
We see you out there… the For Sale sign is up in front of your house, people have come and gone from your Open Home (or maybe the Open Home had very little traffic which left you feeling defeated). You are seeing neighbours sell their homes after only a few weeks and wondering why you haven’t received an acceptable offer yet.
Here are a few reasons that your For Sale sign still says For Sale.
Or, maybe you want to avoid being the seller who needs to read this blog post when the time comes for you to sell and in that case, keep reading!
#1: Condition – If your home is in need of some TLC, it can lead to a lack of buyer interest. Many buyers these days want to be able to move right in and avoid taking on big projects, especially when it comes to maintenance. At a listing appointment it’s important for the agent you choose to work with to tour your home and make recommendations on things to consider repairing or replacing. You might want to consider making minor repairs such as chipped paint, missing or broken handles on doors or cupboards, worn out carpeting, and an overgrown section. Many times, simple fixes can make a big difference to the eyes of a buyer. It’s all about getting rid of any excuses buyers have when searching for their next home in Whangarei.
It’s important to remember that your house is for sale in competition and not isolation with other similar properties. Have you done all you can to present your home at its best?
#2: Location – You’ve heard it before and here it is again: Location! Location! Location!
People want to be in specific school districts, neighbourhoods, a certain distance from the city, or maybe they want privacy. Many buyers put a BIG (yes we're emphasizing the word big) priority on the location of their new home. If your home is in an undesirable location, it’s going to need some help! When you take things like square footage, upgrades and condition into consideration, your home may be worth $10,000’s over average prices in a popular Whangarei area. However, if the location is undesirable, you might have to adjust the price to reflect that.
#3: Marketing – When you put the location, the condition and the price into perspective and those are all great, it could be that your home isn’t being seen and needs more exposure to reach the right buyers. How is your home being marketed? A lot more should go into the marketing strategy of a new listing than just sticking a sign out front, putting it on Trade Me, and running a couple of Open Homes. How many internet views is your listing getting? Do you have professional photos that show your home in its best light? Is there a property video produced by professionals being shown across multiple online platforms? Is your home being marketed on social media to the Whangarei and Northland area around where it is located, and/or where the expected new owners are coming from?
The more exposure your home has, the more demand it can create so marketing is a key piece of the puzzle to evaluate, if your home is still sitting for sale.
#4: Price – At the end of the day, the price is going to make or break whether or not your home sells. Ultimately the buyer and the market dictate the value of your home. The price you come up with based on the home features, size, location, and upgrades could be slightly off from where you think it should be.
The price of a home is not set in stone because “it’s the amount you want” or because “it’s reflecting how much money you’ve put into the house.” The value of your house is going to be determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. It’s important to have a plan in place as soon as you sign the listing contract so that you can evaluate the activity and adjust the price if needed. In most cases, if your home has been on the market for a few weeks and you haven’t had any offers, it’s a good indication that your home is priced too high. If you’ve had several Open Homes with good numbers of potential buyers through but still no offers, then you could just be slightly overpriced. Regular meetings with your Real Estate professional is key to be able to move quickly and adjust what needs to be adjusted.
Your house needs to be in the market, and not on the market. Again, this depends on the status of our Whangarei Real Estate market and is ultimately determined by the buyers and where they see the value of your home sitting. Make sure to keep these things in mind when you’re ready to list your home for sale.
If you’re thinking of selling and want to avoid ending up in this situation, we’d love to get together and walk you through the process in detail.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
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You know the feeling when you struggle to find something to watch on Netflix because it’s just so overwhelming with the number of shows and movies to choose from?
Well the same thing can happen when it comes to house hunting! There are so many real estate websites and so many houses to look at. Digging through countless websites, having your phone glued to your hand, constantly hitting refresh to make sure you don’t miss anything can get a little tiring. Instead, there is a simple method you can implement to make it a whole lot easier. When you learn how to house hunt “Netflix style” it’ll save you plenty of time and prevent those feelings of overwhelm – we promise! So here’s how to do it!
Step 1 – Find your Homestyle Genre: This is about going beyond the general criteria of 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 2,500sqm section. This is about diving deep and figuring out exactly what you’re looking for in a house. Ask yourself questions such as:
-Which space in a house is most important to you?
-Which room will you spend the most time in? Is the living room where you’ll spend quality time every night or is the outdoor space more important because you want to be surrounded by nature and have ensured privacy?
-Next think about words that would describe your ideal home. Do words like cozy and full of character come to mind? Or does modern and luxury sound more like your taste?
-What is a space or feature you don’t currently have but would love to have? More space to entertain? A private section with mature trees? A designated home office space that will allow you to do more focused work?
By thinking outside the box about the lifestyle you want your future home to provide, you’ll begin to paint a better picture of which home features to pay more attention to and which style of home will be the best fit.
STEP 2 – Determine What’s Trending: Just like Netflix gives you a list of “Trending movies” you’re going to make your own list of what’s trending when it comes to what is important to you in your future home. After writing down answers to the previous questions, create a list of your top 3 home must haves and deal breakers. Next you’re going to review everything you wrote down. Do you see any themes or details that pinpoint the type of house you are going to fall in love with aside from the number of bedrooms? Your list could be painting a picture of an open concept style home with lots of storage and natural light. Or maybe your style is a home with more separated spaces with a major focus on the style and layout of the kitchen.
STEP 3 – Create Your Home List Based on Your Preferences: Before starting this step, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a Real Estate Agent (lucky you, we know some good ones!) so they can set up your custom home search for you. They will take all of the general criteria that you’re looking for and customize your home search so that you can will receive a list of all the homes on the market that match the main criteria you’re looking for. This is where it’ll narrow down your minimums for bedrooms, baths, section size, floorplan, year built, etc.
This is also the time you may want to browse through any other sites that you’ve been searching on and write down any homes you’ve had your eye on so you can bring everything together with your real estate agent.
STEP 4 – Preview Homes: Once you’ve compiled the entire list of homes that meet your search criteria you’re going to want to preview them online before scheduling a showing! Looking at homes online is considered a first showing because there is so much you can see and learn about a home before ever stepping foot in the house. When you’re previewing the homes, have the list of the questions you answered handy so you can see which ones fit what you’re truly looking for. If a common theme was entertaining space and open concept rooms – you’ll probably want to avoid homes that have a smaller kitchen and living area or lack open areas.
STEP 5 – Narrow the List Down to Your Top 5: Here’s an example of how this looks: Let’s say your favorite space in a home is the living room, you want a house with lots of character and charm and your deal breaker is a new subdivision. Along with that, you need at least 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.
When your custom search comes up with the list of homes and one of the homes meets the 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths criteria but was built last year in a new subdivision of homes with the same builder, all on quarter acre sections and has a smaller living room, you’ll probably want to consider eliminating this one because it isn’t meeting your main needs.
After previewing the homes and comparing each one to what you have on your list, it’s time to narrow the list of homes down to your “Top 5”. These are the 5 homes you’ll want to schedule showings for and begin your search with. From there, if none of those work for you, keep your search going this same way. Watch for new homes to hit the market (like the new releases on Netflix) and if they meet your detailed criteria, set up a showing!
By house hunting with this method, you’ll eliminate the stress of feeling like you need to see every single 3 bedroom, 2 bath home when you truly know what you’re looking for and can eliminate many of them online. That way when you schedule a showing to see a home that truly fits what you want, you’ll know what to look for instead of becoming overwhelmed with all of the other homes that really don’t meet your needs at all.
Still not sure, that’s no problem. Just like suggestions on what to watch on Netflix - I’m a bit of a Suits and MadMen kind of guy, with a bit of Narcos and Selling Sunset thrown in… Feel free to get in touch with us and we’re happy to sit down with you and (no, not Netflix and chill!) talk about what it is exactly you’re looking for. Let’s catch up soon.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
If you’ve been thinking about buying your first home, chances are you’re getting tons of advice from everyone you mention it to. It can be pretty overwhelming, which is why I want to share 3 home buying myths you need to know if you’re considering homeownership. These will help debunk some of the things you may be hearing from people who want to give their advice from the kindness of their hearts but probably aren’t professionals.
MYTH #1: You Have to Put 20% Down to Purchase a Home
This could be the biggest home buying myth of all time! Putting a minimum of 20% down on a house does have some financial benefits .. BUT it isn’t required all the time.
There are several options when it comes to financing your home so you’ll want to meet with a local lender to discuss these options before jumping head first into the process.
There are loans that require as little as 5% down as well as resources for buyers struggling with getting a lump sum together. Combined with first time home buyer programs, you might be closer than you think to owning your own home!
Pro Tip: Do not get pre-approved from an online lender. Find someone local who you can actually sit down with, understand your options and make the best decision for your financial future.
MYTH #2: It Doesn’t Matter if I Don’t Have a Real Estate Agent
Some buyers prefer not to commit to working with one specific agent and therefore they don’t take advantage of having an agent to help them with their home purchase. This means they’re on their own for scheduling showings, being alerted of new listings, and when it comes time to negotiations, they won’t have anyone working with them.
This is not a great combination because it can prevent you from getting an accepted offer on the house you really love because you haven’t been educated on the market or how quickly you need to make a move. I don’t know about you but if I’m buying my first house, or any house for that matter, that doesn't sound like a situation I’d want to be in.
MYTH #3: Wait Until “Spring” to Start Looking For Homes
Real Estate Agents hear this ALL. THE. TIME. I want to share why you shouldn’t wait for a specific time of year to start your home search, especially Spring.
There is less competition when you’re not in the prime months for buying and selling real estate. Buying in the “off season” could save you money because there are less buyers around which means less potential competition when writing an offer. It’s best to start your home search when you are ready rather than waiting for a certain time of year. There are always new listings coming on the market and you could be missing your perfect house if you want to start your search until a specific time of year.
If you’re considering homeownership, you’re already ahead of the game by knowing about these 3 myths. Your next step should be to sit down with a local Real Estate Agent who can go over the entire process with you and set you up for success.
Whenever anyone mentions that they’re thinking of putting their house up for sale in Whangarei it seems that everyone wants to give their opinions on the subject. Because of that, a lot of myths have developed that seem to go around all over the place. Let’s debunk those myths so that when you’re ready to sell, you know the facts!
MYTH #1: Automated Home Evaluations Are Always Accurate.
Have you ever seen an Ad on Facebook that says “CLICK HERE to automatically determine your home’s market value” or something along those lines? If the answer is yes, I promise you’re not alone. The problem with the automated home evaluations is that they are not taking every factor into consideration and can result in false information, causing you to believe that your home value is less than what it actually is or even higher than what is realistic.
The internet doesn’t know if you have just put in hardwood floors, updated all your landscaping, added a brand-new deck or any other update you’ve put your hard earned money and possibly even your own valuable time into to improve your home.
What type of evaluation could give you an accurate answer? One where a LOCAL Real Estate Agent meets with you so they can conduct a personalized market analysis after asking you for more details about your home. Even better, schedule a consultation so that Agent can see your home in person and give you the MOST accurate answer. Listing Consultations cost you zero dollars and you have no obligation to order the for-sale sign and start signing afterwards.
MYTH #2: If You Don’t Have an Open House, Your Home Won’t Sell
Most buyers who are seriously shopping for a home are working with a real estate agent. They get new listings from their agent as new homes come on the market. Their agent takes them out to look at homes, and they get private inspections. Generally, by the time a house is held open, a serious buyer has already seen it.
This isn’t to say that your home shouldn’t have an Open House when it’s for sale, but it also isn’t always the most effective marketing strategy. Holding an Open House will help increase exposure when your home first hits the market, so it’s recommended to have your Agent hold one the first week or two that your home is on the market in order to drive as much traffic as possible to your listing. However, make sure your Agent has other marketing strategies they use other than standing around your house for an hour or so every weekend.
MYTH #3: If You Price Your House on the High End, You’ll Have Room to Negotiate
Many sellers believe that if they price their house high, they’ll end up at the price they actually want. The problem with this is, that you’ll be decreasing the demand (number of interested buyers) when you first list your home which will automatically create a mindset that the home is priced too high.
When your home hits the market, you want to make sure you are drawing from the biggest pool of buyers to get as much exposure as possible. Pricing it on the high end will eliminate buyers who can afford the price you actually want because their budget might not go up to the price you’re starting with. Instead, price it at or slightly below the market value to increase demand, competition and ultimately more money in your pocket.
If you’re thinking of listing your home in the near future, you’re already in a better position knowing the truth about these common seller myths. To be even more prepared, make sure you schedule a listing consultation with a Real Estate Agent to find out what else you should know before listing your home for sale.