How to Prepare your home for the Spring Selling Season

The Real Estate Market

Prepare yourself… Spring is coming.

There is a widespread belief among Australians, even globally, that spring is the best time to sell your home. The perception is that buyers are awakened from their winter hibernation with a sunny disposition amid the emergence of leaves, birds, bees and warmer temperatures.

Economics 101 states that in an ideal world, supply will meet demand and vice versa. Common tradition dictates that both supply and demand increase substantially during spring, but the market still leans towards those who are selling.

Do a Spring Clean

In this heated time, you will be competing with a number of other sellers so it’s important that your home is spick and span. Before you put your home on the market, it’s often a good idea to start the removal process.

Any hoarded items that you never use like the rowing machine and your grandmother’s old couch from the 60’s should be disposed of or donated to a cause. If you can’t bear to let them go, consider a temporary storage facility.

Don’t Forget the Exterior

This is the first thing potential buyers are going to see, so it makes sense to ensure your curbside appeal is in ship shape.

Peel off your cleaning gloves and slip on some gardening ones, as you should pull any weeds and consider planting some new flowers. This can add some vibrant colour, while taking advantage of the spring concept of new life.

Once the gardens are looking fresh, roll out the lawnmower and give your yard a good military trim. If there are any bald or overly yellow patches, give it a dose of grass seed and fertiliser.

Just like the inside of your home, you should remove any clutter like the rusting trampoline and broken swing set. Washing the exterior of your home is also a good idea, as grime can compound over the years.

Give it Some Vitality

If your home is lacking some lustre, a new paint job can spruce it up and bring it back to life both on the interior and exterior, while still remaining relatively cheap.

Regardless of how much you like your bright pink feature wall, it’s a good idea to stick to more neutral tones. You’re trying to appeal to the masses remember!

It’s not just your home that can benefit from some paint. You should also consider giving your mailbox and surrounding fence a fresh dab too.

Use a Real Estate Agent

Given it’s the selling season, there will likely be fierce competition from multitudes of both buyers and sellers springing into action.

Having a real estate agent to help you with the process of selling your home can really make a difference when it comes to standing out from the crowd.

Not to mention being able to handle any negotiations you may have with potentially difficult buyers!

Are You a First Home Buyer? The Tide is Turning

Spring has Brought a Change

Have you been attempting to purchase your first home, but found yourself constantly pipped at the post by investors with deeper pockets?

You’re not alone, as according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the monthly value of housing financial commitments from investors has risen from around $6 billion in July 2011 to well over $13.5 billion just four years later.

Meanwhile, first home buyers make up for about 15.4 per cent of total owner-occupied spending (roughly $19 billion), which amounts to around $2.9 billion.

In these kinds of conditions, it can be easy to become disheartened. But never fear, as along with the more favourable temperatures, birds, bees and flowers, spring has brought a shift to the market.

Change is in the Air

Of late, the property market across many parts of Australia has been nigh untouchable for first home buyers, with figures from the ABS revealing that real estate prices in Sydney skyrocketed 18.9 per cent in just the 12 months to June 2015. Melbourne and Brisbane posted 7.8 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively, which pale in comparison but are still substantial increases on their own. We buy houses in Bartlesville

However, September 1 saw the beginning of spring, what is often considered the ‘selling season’. True to form, figures from CoreLogic RP Data show that September saw the largest number of new listings across Australia since March 2015. The increased supply has had a significant effect on the market – for instance, values grew just 0.1 per cent in Sydney for the month.

CoreLogic RP Data’s Head of Research, Tim Lawless, noted in a press release that while vendors are still benefiting from favourable conditions with demand exceeding supply, the tide is indeed beginning to turn.

“The slower month-on-month reading across the Sydney market comes at a time when auction clearance rates have slipped to the low 70 per cent range from week-to-week and the number of advertised properties has risen,” he said.

Mr Lawless stated that around Australia, the costs of property are becoming more favourable for first home buyers.

“Weakening labour markets, slower population growth and less demand for housing is placing downwards pressure on prices to differing degrees across these markets,” Mr Lawless said.

In light of this, what is making the market more accessible to first home buyers?

Increased Supply

According to CoreLogic RP Data, the auction clearance rate for the week ending September 17 2015 was the lowest since February. Essentially, this means there are fewer homes meeting their reserve price, indicating less demand and competition, which allows buyers more leverage.

Mr Lawless asserts the increased number of homes on the market are helping.

“The number of auctions held over the month of September was 31 per cent higher compared with September 2014 and new listing numbers are ramping up at a faster rate than last year as well,” he said.

Bank Lending Restrictions Taking Hold

The Australian Prudential Regulations Authority recently announced an increase in the amount of capital required to take out a mortgage from the major banks. In a September 26 article from Domain, Clare Rutledge, head of Urban Living by LJ Hooker, affirmed that the restrictions are beginning to make an impact, with first home buyers showing more confidence.

“The effect of the new bank lending rules is starting to trickle down and investors aren’t so heavy on the ground now,” she said.

Record Low Interest Rates Remain

At its most recent meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia declared the official cash rate would stay at the historically low level of 2 per cent, where it has been since May.

“Low interest rates are acting to support borrowing and spending,” said RBA Governor Glenn Stevens.

This essentially means home loan repayments are easier to manage for first time buyers, particularly when first home owner grants (these vary state from state) and the aforementioned factors like increased affordability are added to the mix.

So, if you have been searching for your first home for a while, make sure your finances are in order as now could be your time.