Category Archives: nc

How to Sell in an Australian Summer

Selling a house in the heat of an Australian summer can be just a little bit trickier than selling during other times of the year. With the most recommended seasons being spring or autumn, summer doesn’t really lend itself to a home open. This is not only because of the weather, but also because summer in Australia is full of holidays and families winding down for the year.

However, if you are really keen to sell, there are some steps you can take to give the project a better chance of success.

There are a few upsides to selling in summer also. There is less competition in the market when you don’t sell in spring or autumn. In the “peak” season, you are going to need to work extra hard to ensure your home stands out from the crowd, in terms of both looks and the all-important price tag.

In addition, there are homes that are perfect for summer sales – holiday houses, homes by the water, houses on high elevations with a beautiful afternoon breeze.

Summer is also the perfect time to “summer clean” your house from top to bottom. Get the kids involved and declutter. A clean, clutter free, spacious and airy home will make a big impact in the eyes of the potential buyer. Add a few cool blues and greens to your décor to bring some relief from the outdoors.

Our hot seasons in Perth are particularly challenging for gardening, but with some water wise plants, a bit of TLC on the lawn and some low maintenance options for your home new prospective owner, your summer friendly garden may just be the icing on the cake.

The season is the perfect one for a fresh coat of paint and a lick of oil on your deck to freshen up your external areas. While we’re on the subject, make the most of your outdoor, summer entertaining areas.

Finally, schedule inspections early in the morning or just before dusk when the sun has a little less bite. Turn the air conditioner or fans on at least an hour before a potential buyer arrives and think cool.

Keeping your home secure during a home open

Home Opens are the natural way to sell your home but unfortunately they can give opportunistic thieves the perfect setting to case your home or steal a few items quickly and easily. Here are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of theft during and after a home open:

1. Speak to your real estate agent – stress the importance of ensuring all doors and windows are locked before they leave after a home open.
2. Put things out of sight – do not leave valuables, especially those that are easily picked up such as jewellery, electronic devices and expensive perfumes.
3. Take photos of your home – we get used to looking at our home and the items in it and may not immediately realise that something has gone missing. To prevent this we need to put a little planning in place. It is a good idea to take some photos of each room and list items that are on display
4. Lock cupboards – if you have expensive items put away, do not presume that they are safe. Many people feel free to open cupboards and drawers so if you want something kept safe, the best place is a safe or behind a lock and key.
5. Dangerous items – if you have prescription medication, this is best kept locked away not only from theft but from small children’s reach. If you own a gun or dangerous weapon, this should not only be locked away but you should keep this out of sight.
6. Don’t forget sheds and outdoors – many people store expensive items in their sheds and forget to secure these – items left outside are more vulnerable as people do not need to gain access to your home to get them.
7. Check your insurance policy – many people find out too late that they are underinsured or do not have adequate insurance on particular items.
8. Don’t stay away too long – home opens tend to run to very tight schedules so there is no need to stay out the entire day. Coming home soon after the home open means that you can double check that your home has been properly locked up. If you are planning on staying out all day, ask a friend or neighbour to look in on your home.

Getting prepared

Getting your family and your home ready for an emergency or disaster makes good sense but few of us take the time to implement even the most basic of plans and preparations.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has extensive resources on their website that will enable you to be better prepared. Ideally, you need to set aside a few hours to get your family and home ready.

The advice on their website is that you need to create an emergency plan that covers:
• What to do to before an emergency to be prepared.
• What you plan to do during an emergency to keep safe.
• What you plan to do after an emergency to help recover.

Many of us will not have even considered any of these tasks. Try not to think you need to do everything all at once as you will feel overwhelmed. If you would like to start actioning your own emergency plan, visit the DFES website: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/pages/survivalplans.aspx

A good place to start your preparations is to put together an emergency kit. The internet is full of lots of useful suggestions as to what to include in your emergency kit. These kits can seem extremely comprehensive and ultimately a little cost prohibitive to put together. We suggest you start with a very basic backpack and add the most basic of necessities to get you started. This would include water and non perishable food. The recommendation is that you have enough food for all members of your household to last 3-4 days. Once you have put these items in your backpack, other essentials will include a torch and spare batteries, clothing and items to keep warm and some basic first aid items.

If you are considering your emergency kit, this is a comprehensive list that ensure you have a well prepared emergency kit: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/Pages/emergencykits.aspx
Remember, most of us fail to do any planning when it comes to emergency and disaster readiness but with just a little planning, you can ensure your family is not left completely unprepared.

Keeping your home safe and secure

According to police, a large number of break-ins occur over the any holiday period. Thieves know that many people are away on holidays and they target homes that can look “less lived in”. So what does this mean and how can you minimise your chances of becoming simply another statistic whilst you are away enjoying yourself.

1. Ensure that you have quality locks on all doors and windows. If any doors can be deadlocked then be sure to do this as well. This means that if thieves are able to gain entry to your home, getting out may prove difficult and this can limit how much they are able to steal.
2. Never ever leave a spare key lying around your home. Many people still have one under a pot plant or stashed in the garden. Thieves know this and if they have the time, can simply scour your home and then let themselves in with your spare key.
3. Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to look in on your home. Get them to come regularly and perform some tasks that can show you are home. Overflowing letterboxes, newspapers left on the lawn and every single blind down and curtain closed all the time are sure indications that no-one is home.
4. Install a timer light. These can give your home the appearance that someone is home. Put it in a room that someone cannot easily look in to and thereby ascertain that no-one is home.
5. Inform your neighbours (that you know) that you will be on holidays so that they can be alert to any unusual or suspicious activity around your property.
6. Install DIY cameras. These are much easier than you imagine to put in and act as a real deterrent to would-be burglars.
7. Install a back to base alarm. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your home is secure and that if the alarm is triggered someone will attend your property to check it out.
8. Tidy up your front garden – an overgrown lawn or garden can be signs that no-one is home.

Now that your home is looking lived in and nice and secure, be sure to enjoy your holiday!