Posted in Buying, Community, Family, Home Styling, Information, Kids, Outdoor Areas, Property Investment, Real Estate, Renovation, Selling

Selling in Spring? Take it Outdoors.

Blue sky and sunshine above, short sleeves spotted on random passers-by, soft, green grass underfoot and flowers blooming everywhere!  Yes, it’s that rosy cheek, skip in your step time of year again.

“Goodbye winter, I can’t say I’m sad to see you go…   Hello spring, you gorgeous thing.  And ‘hello’ to Melbourne’s busy, spring selling season!”

Spring represents one of the busiest times of the year to everybody and anybody who has anything to do with the real estate world.  Many believe that spring is ‘the’ time to sell property.  It makes sense.  The weather is nicer, paint dries faster(!), gardens are looking lush and green, people seem happier overall (bye-bye winter blues!) and home buyers are heading out in droves, beginning (or recommencing in many cases) the search for their ‘dream home’.

Then this begs the question – what is a ‘spring buyer’ looking for and how can we deliver?

If you have found yourself selling a property during spring and want your home to appeal to that ‘spring buyer’, then slap on some sunscreen, plop on a sunhat and get your green thumb ready because spring is all about outdoor spaces.

Spring weather is ‘just right’ – not too hot and not too cold.  Spring offers the perfect conditions that will not only make your whole property look amazing, but spring is especially the right time to showcase an amazing outdoor area.  And if it’s not amazing now – let’s make it amazing!

Follow my 6 tips for an amazingly, successful spring sale!

  1. First, consider who is your ‘ideal buyer’.
  2. If yours is a family home, then you need to show prospective family home buyers, how perfect your home would be for all of their family members – including the furry ones! Your lawn should be mowed with edges trimmed, hedges and trees all cut back and everything should be looking very crisp, clean and most importantly – low maintenance.  Display an outdoor table in your garden and include plenty of chairs, perhaps add a sun umbrella, so prospective buyers can take a seat outside, soaking in the ambiance, watching their children laughing and running around on the freshly cut lawn and imagining how nice life would be if they could secure this home for their family.  Family homes are where memories are created.  It’s not uncommon for people to subconsciously replicate bits and pieces of their own favourite ‘home’ memories, in their own home, later in life.  So why not help them along and drop in some subliminal messages of your own.  Hang a swing from a tree.  Give that cubby house a spruce up and pop in a little table and a couple of chairs.  Spread out a picnic rug.  Or even better, wind out that Hills Hoist!
  3. Perhaps you are selling what was your ‘first home’ – a unit, townhouse or apartment, and you are targeting – ‘you’, as you were, when you bought the home yourself: A young professional, time poor, certainly no time for gardening(!) but you did keep that cactus alive… and you did love entertaining friends at home on the weekends.  And it’s this fun lifestyle that you want to sell to your potential buyers.  So, when preparing your courtyard or balcony, firstly, ensure your outdoor setting is the right size for that space – accommodating for as many potential guests as will fit comfortably.  Bar tables and stools are great for these smaller outdoor spaces.  Add one potted plant in the corner, out of the way.  Put some bottled water out on the table for guests and pump up the music for inspections.   Consider late afternoon inspections, when the sun is high and warm and that ‘summer holiday’ feeling is all around.
  4. If you think the ‘downsizer’ is your ideal buyer, then read on! Consider that downsizers aren’t necessarily looking for ‘small’, they are looking for an easy, low maintenance lifestyle.  Entertaining is still an important part of their lives, and they want to do it comfortably and easily.  Outdoor areas are particularly important for downsizers who will be looking at how pet friendly your home is; how much space there is for their grandchildren to run around; how secure the property is.  Downsizers want a little bit of garden, something that looks nice but is easy for them to manage on their own.   A decking or paved outdoor area is ideal in this case, minimal steps please, a small amount of grass is ok.  Consider a hanging garden, portable herb garden or simply display an assortment of potted plants.  This will serve the purpose of creating a leafy feel to your outdoor area, but it is also something that is clearly minimal maintenance.  And afterwards, you can choose to leave them for your buyer, or just take them with you to your next home.
  5. Lastly, there is the ‘investor buyer’. The investor buyer will rarely be swayed by your nice outdoor setting, tree swing or potted plants, having a much more practical approach to purchasing.  If this buyer is looking to invest in ‘land’ (house on a full sized block), then they want to see that the property is generally in good order and that the yard is fairly low maintenance – easy for a prospective tenant to care for, and not too costly for their own gardener to manage as part of the lease agreement, if such an agreement was made with the tenant.  For units, townhouses and apartments, paving and decking works best outside.  Keep the plants to a minimum.  Ensure fences are in good condition and are secure, outdoor lighting and security is a plus, for an investor.
  6. Some buyers entering the spring market are only just starting to look around. They are at the very beginning of their house hunting journey and therefore may not actually be ready to buy for a little while yet, perhaps not until the following year!  But those that are ready, have been looking all winter, have probably gone through the heartache of missing out on more than one home already and are therefore shopping with purpose and urgency.  These astute buyers may not only be aiming to secure their dream home this spring but may also be planning for a pre-Christmas settlement.  These buyers won’t waste time.  They will offer quickly and if you’re not ready, they will move on just as quick, to the next one.  These buyers are already planning their New Year’s Eve party.  And the venue – is your home!  In fact, they’ve already bought the invitations.  But they won’t risk the disappointment of missing out on yet another home, because you’re taking too long to decide whether or not, you will sell them your home.  So be prepared for early offers and a short settlement.

Ultimately, good planning at the start of your campaign will ensure a smooth campaign.   Above that, is choosing the right agent to help and guide you.  If you’re thinking of selling, please feel free to give me a call on 0408991855.  Otherwise, happy selling!