Preparing your home for photography…

titlepic

Your home is one of your most valuable assets. When the time comes to sell, the way you present and market your property plays a big part in attracting potential buyers and gaining the best possible sale price.

Having professional photography taken is often the first step in the marketing process. Even if you don’t have the budget to renovate before selling, there are many things you can do to help present your home in the best possible way, ready for photography and you will also have it looking shipshape for your open home viewings.

Here are some tips….

General

general

  • De-clutter the home
  • Clean the windows
  • Ensure all lights are working and are the same colour and type
  • Hide electrical cords as best as possible
  • Ensure all doors and windows can be opened and keys are available
  • Mow lawns (at least 3 days prior), weed gardens, add fresh mulch if possible

 

Bathroom

bathroom

  • Clean shower screens, basins and mirrors
  • Remove personal items, bottles and hanging items from shower and basin
  • Remove mats, scales, waste and linen baskets
  • Ensure toilet rolls are tidy and toilet seats are down
  • Co-ordinate the colour of towels and fold neatly

 

Living Areas

living

  • Remove unnecessary furniture and clutter
  • Clear tables of remotes and magazines. Tidy bookshelves.
  • Ensure curtains are hooked up and properly open
  • Remove sheer curtains altogether if possible
  • Add colour – for example flowers, cushions, throws
  • Remove heaters, fans and dehumidifiers

 

Garden and street front

garden

  • Remove toys out of sight
  • Remove pet related items and droppings
  • Keep cars out of sight
  • Remove laundry from washing lines
  • Hide rubbish bins
  • Water blast decks if necessary
  • Trim trees to enhance the views

 

Kitchen

kitchen

  • Tidy kitchen and clear bench tops
  • Remove dishes and drying racks from sinks
  • Remove tea towels, mats and remove fridge magnets etc..
  • Remove rubbish bins, pet bowls and litter trays

 

Bedrooms

bedroom

  • Make beds and turn on lamps
  • Clear items from bedside & dressing tables
  • Remove clutter and clear area underneath beds

 

Swimming pools

pool

  • Clean the pool. Remove pool cover
  • Remove pool cleaner and cleaning equipment
  • Remove pool toys etc.

 

Seek advice from your Real Estate professional as they may have some other suggestions specific to your property. Remember, your property will be photographed as presented, so neat and tidy presentation is essential to maximise the impact of your images. This holds true whether your potential buyer is viewing them on the internet or in a print magazine.

To view examples of how professional photography can enhance your property marketing, check out our services page or follow our facebook pages for our property for the week and other home inspiration ideas…

Facebook.com/Open2viewNZ

Facebook.com/Open2viewAustralia

Time to say goodbye to Auckland?

Above: This 3 bedroom Mairangi Bay home is sitting just above the current average asking price of $820,016 in Auckland. View the listing here: http://o2v.co/1Zi8

Skyrocketing. Raging. Through the roof. Out of control. INSANE!

All of the above have been used to describe the current Auckland Housing market. It seemed astounding around this time last year talking about the average asking price for Auckland hitting a new all time high record of $732,240.

Now for the first time, that has risen above the $800k mark, with realestate.co.nz reporting that for June 2015 the average asking price of an Auckland home is $820,016. That’s a $164,003 deposit you’ll need, and thats enough to have First Home buyers in Auckland running for the Bombay hills, which buy all accounts seems to be the case, with claims that Aucklanders are making up about 30 percent of attendance at open homes in Hamilton.

The average asking price suddenly seems less surprising once you start seeing stories like this: A West Auckland property which sold for 2.2million, $900k over its CV.

West Auckland Property

Even being able to access KiwiSaver contributions and HomeStart grants do little when the cap for Auckland homebuyers is $550,000 and anyone who has looked at any properties and been to an auction lately can tell you that there are very limited options under that price.

So… why not just leave? With Aucklanders are flocking to buy property in Tauranga, Hamilton and the Western Bay of Plenty, let’s see what the average Auckland house price (or close) might get you in some of those other regions.

Bay of Plenty
A stylish 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom ex-showroom in Papamoa Beach.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

View the listing

Waikato
A 5 bedroom 3 bathroom lifsetyle property on 2.86 Acres featuring an entertainer’s kitchen with butler’s pantry, formal dining area and two lounges with bush and waterfall views.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

View the listing

Northland
A 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with pool and spectacular views over Maungakaramea and beyond to The Whangarei Heads and Hen & Chicks sitting on 6.63ha with 250 Avocado trees.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Take the 3D HomeView tour 

New Plymouth
Enquiries over $749,00 will get you this fabulous 4 year old, 4 bedroom farmlet on 2.22 Acres.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

View the listing

So what do you think? Comparable, or much better value? Where do you sit? Are you a disillusioned, Auckland First home buyer? Perhaps a retiree, ready to make the most of the high Auckland prices,cash up and move to the regions? Or are you just a non-Aucklander sick of hearing about Auckland House prices?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

NZ Property: Summer sales keep rolling on……

O2V ID#335063

O2V ID#335063

Ahhh Summer… it’s been a good one so far. You can tell from all the glorious Summer scenes and vistas our Photographers have been capturing around the country…

Seriously…take a look at these…..

The good summer weather has been great for the sunbathing, but it’s done nothing to cool the heated housing market, particularly in Auckland.

Recent figures from REINZ show that the number of dwellings sold in January (4,841) was up 2.6% on January 2014 with the National median price of $426,000, up $24,000 from the same time in 2014. The national median price rose 6.0% in the 12 months to January 2015, while Auckland’s median price increased by 16.0%

“The continuing strong performance of Auckland prices is vexing commentators and policy makers alike, however the root cause of the problem remains a shortage of property available for sale” says Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan.

REINZ data shows that Auckland’s median price increased by 16% over the past 12 months, compared to just 1.8% for the rest of the country.

Backing that up are the latest figures from Barfoot & Thompson, where the all-time high pre-Christmas values held throughout January, with the average selling price of $757,319, was only $1572, or 0.2 percent lower than December’s all-time high price.

January sales figures of 859 properties is inline with the previous January figures over the past two years, however the total value of sales in January of $650,537,392 is up $97,822,014 from the same time in 2014.

For full market reports including regional & rural statistics, visit the REINZ website.

Now, if we could just get back to working on that tan…..

O2V ID#333884

O2V ID#333884

 

Tips for an energy efficient home.

apartment

“Sustainable living” and “energy efficiency” are phrases we hear a lot these days and how energy efficient and ‘green’ a property is can make a big difference when it comes to buying or selling. Whether your motivation is saving the environment, saving your wallet or a bit of both, read on for a few simple tips for meeting your goal.

Wrap up

Staying cool in summer and warm in winter are basic comforts of life; efficient heating and cooling systems are therefore high on the priority list for prospective buyers.

When it comes to making your house more energy efficient, insulation is the key, and not just for keeping warm. Insulation acts as a barrier to heat gain as well as heat loss. It is particularly important in roofs and ceilings, walls and floors.

Effective insulation is a plus on many levels: increasing comfort levels, reducing reliance on powered heating and cooling systems therefore making your home more ‘green’ while saving you money at the same time. Some types of insulation can even act as soundproofing.The simple solution of adding blinds on windows can also reduce heat gain by up to 50%.

blindsFocus on Efficiency

Ensure any appliances you have in your home are as energy efficient as possible. Studies have shown that residential properties commonly have air conditioners that are 50% bigger than needed, thus costing you more for no extra benefit.
Installing the air conditioner in a shady place can increase its efficiency by up to 10%.

Complement air conditioner use with ceiling fans. They are an efficient way to circulate air in the house and far cheaper to run than an air conditioner.

Water Works

Water efficiency is another important area to consider and can be as simple as fixing a leaky tap. A dripping hot water tap can waste a massive 12,000 litres of hot water over a year!

Your bathroom fittings and fixtures will all make a difference to water efficiency, measured using the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme. Ideally showerheads, mixers, even the loo, should have a high WELS rating. For example, a 3-star rated showerhead will use approximately 6-7 litres of water per minute, compared to regular showerheads which can use up to 25 litres per minute.

bathroom

These simple energy efficiency fixes will not only add comfort to your home but a valuable point of difference when it comes to marketing your home for sale.

 

 

Real estate photography and content thanks to the team at Open2view Sydney

Property Report – Spring pace slow…

statspic2

Navigating through the various property market statistics released each month can be interesting….especially when they’re all reporting different things. However, for September, they all seem to be agreeing that the NZ Property market has moved on from it’s stall during the elections, with property listings and prices picking up to follow the usual spring trend, albeit at a much slower pace than in the previous year…

NZ Property report
Asking Prices

Unconditional.co.nz figures show the increase in national asking prices has slowed considerably: 3.9%, compared to an 8.7% rise in 2013.

Although the rate of increase in asking prices for properties has slowed, the prices are still moving upwards and remain at a high level with September’s National average asking price of $484,791 very close to the record of $490,550 set in June of this year.

Get the full NZ Property report here

Image: unconditional.co.nz

REINZ
Sales Volumes

REINZ data shows that while there was a noticeable increase in activity towards the end of September, sales volumes were well down on the same time last year. There were 5,911 unconditional residential sales in September, a 7.8% decrease on sales recorded for August, and a 12.0% fall from September 2013.

Barfoot & Thompson
Auckland Property Market

Comparing year on year, Auckland sale volumes where down: 1105 properties in Sept 2013, to 959 properties in Sept 2014.

However, September’s average house sales price of $738,876 has been the highest on record, due to the relatively low volume, but also, of the 959 homes sold, just over 17% were in excess of $1 million, including this little Grey Lynn gem, which went for $1.075 million. Only in Auckland right?….

Property Report…’Wait and See’ approach from the market.

handshouseIt’s been a funny few months in the NZ property market. The National average asking price (as reported by realestate.co.nz) has remained high since June, when Auckland reached a record high asking price of $732,240, driving the national asking price up to an all-time record high of $490,550 which was a significant increase from the previous record of $685,426 set in April this year.

realestate.co.nz figures for August are still to be released, however July’s National average of $488,711 was only 0.4% down on the previous month’s record high.

realestate

Graphic via uncondtional.co.nz

But while sellers (particularly in Auckland) are wanting more for their homes than ever before, the most recent reports show that the real estate market is having somewhat of a lull in what typically should be a time where it picks up in Spring, with many attributing the upcoming General Election as a key factor.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan says, “The real estate market appears to be ‘idling’ as buyers and perhaps even more so, sellers, await the outcome of the September 20 election”.

With many a carrot being dangled, it’s no wonder sellers & buyers are taking a cautious ‘wait and see’ approach. Here’s a good summary from Stuff.co.nz of what each political party want’s to do, to help Kiwis buy or rent a house…

NATIONAL: Free up land for new sections. Rein in council development charges. Keep interest rates low. Replace the KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy with a KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant, doubling the support for buying a new home, and expand eligibility for Welcome Home Loans. Reformed the social housing sector, facilitating a shift from state housing to a range of new social housing providers.

LABOUR: Under the KiwiBuild policy, 100,000 starter homes would be built over 10 years.The ability of non-residents to buy houses would be restricted, cutting down on speculation. Landlords would have to ensure rental homes were warm and dry. Introduce a capital gains tax, and ensure councils are more likely to approve projects involving affordable housing.

GREEN: Key housing policy is to improve the quality of rental accommodation and the rights of tenants. A warrant of fitness for all rented houses would be introduced, families would be given greater security of tenure, and another 200,000 homes would be insulated at a cost of $327 million.

NEW ZEALAND FIRST: Develop a housing plan which would deal with a range of issues including availability and affordability, rental supply, finance and insurance. Provide government help to first home buyers. Set up an agency to buy land where special housing areas have been designated. Sell sections to first home buyers on a cost recovery basis. Encourage smaller houses on smaller sections.

MAORI: Continue to devolve state housing to Maori and Pasifika community groups for whanau to buy their own homes. Look at better use of Maori land to support whanau housing initiatives.

MANA: Make it a government duty to ensure everyone has secure, safe and affordable accommodation. Stop the sale of state houses and build 10,000 new ones a year. Introduce a rental housing warrant of fitness. At least half the houses in new developments of 10 or more homes must be affordable.

ACT: Support moves to abolish the municipal urban limit in Auckland and similar boundaries which restrict the supply of land. Reduce requirements on local government for complex planning and consenting processes. Support moves to get local government to speed up consenting.

UNITEDFUTURE: Allow families to capitalise Working For Families entitlements for a year as a lump sum to help buy a first home, extend a home, or increase equity. Look at abolishing domestic and commercial rates. Review Housing NZ tenancies each year to ensure housing stock is fairly allocated. Make it easier for Housing NZ to evict problematic tenants.

INTERNET: Adopted Mana’s support for a capital gains tax on property investors.

CONSERVATIVE: Leader Colin Craig has said he would write to developers who had locked up land in Auckland and tell them they had five years to build houses, otherwise the land would be bought under the Public Works Act. Artificial boundaries would be moved.

If the crazy lead up has left you feeling a little disillusioned and undecided as to where your vote is going, then this Election Interactive from Stuff.co.nz might help you find out a little bit more about your electoral candidates and Party Policies.

stuff

Election 2014 – Interactive from Stuff.co.nz

With only two days to go before the country goes to the polls, Real estate agents should be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon, with the market tipped to bounce back after the election.

Happy voting everyone!

April Property Report – Asking prices ease slightly.

stats_graph

Yesterday, the NZ Government released its pre-election budget and those first-home buyers looking for a leg-up onto the property ladder could be forgiven for feeling a little hard done by.

In terms of housing affordability, the Government’s sole measure was the temporary suspension of tariffs and duties on building products which they claim will reduce the cost of a standard new home by $3500.

As to be expected, Opposition parties have attacked yesterday’s budget with Labour leader David Cunliff, claiming it showed “no vision and very little substance” adding that it offered “nothing for first-home buyers”.

The Government hit back with the suggestion that any “gimmicks or tricks” aimed at getting first-home buyers into the property market would do nothing but increase demand.

First-home buyers not exactly jumping for joy.

So what’s been happening around the country with the property market? Here’s an overview of some of the various property statistics published for the past month…

from realestate.co.nz

Asking prices ease: There has been a slight ease in the national asking price to $477,460 after the record high of $484,263 reached in March.

New listings drop: The number of new national listing was down -18% on the previous month, although slightly higher when compared to previous years, with a 2% increase to what was seen in April 2013.

Inventory levels recover: The inventory of unsold homes on the market continues to recover rising another 3% from March and 8% on the previous year, although historically, levels are still below the long term average inventory of 37 weeks.

graphic from realestate.co.nz

graphic from realestate.co.nz

View regional summaries and full commentary here.

Barfoot & Thompson‘s latest market update reports Auckland residential propriety prices cooling slightly during April, with sales down 15% over the same time last year.

Managing Director, Peter Thompson, said this was customary due to the Easter, Anzac Day and school holiday period, but a higher than normal number of listings (3623) was also adding to market competitiveness.

and from the Real Estate Institute of NZ:

From figures released on 12 May, REINZ reporting a sales volume fall in April with 5,670 dwellings sold in 2014 (down 22.5% on the previous month, & 20.2% on April 2013)

All regions saw declines in sales compared to march 2014 and april 2013.

The National, Auckland and Christchurch House Price Indices all recorded record highs in March 2014.