Real estate news

Communication is key

August 2017

Should you bother your agent with small details such as the fact that you don’t like where they put the signboard?

The main reason vendors change agents is because the first fails to sell the property. However, sometimes the seller has had some other issues with the agent before they arrive at the decision to change.

Often these are small things that vendors don’t bother talking about, but they are part of the overall relationship - or lack of it. Changing agents costs time and money and often this can be avoided if agents and sellers talk to each other more often and more frankly. This is important because poor communication can affect sales outcomes.

As the vendor you should let the agent know what’s on your mind from the beginning. Remember, the first couple of weeks of marketing can set the scene for a positive relationship – or its opposite.

Often the problem is that many of the issues seem too trivial to mention – the signboard is in the wrong spot, the agent keeps bringing purchasers in through the side balcony door instead of the front door, or perhaps they turn up with a purchaser with only sixty minutes’ notice instead of several hours. These issues often add up to lack of confidence in the agent.

So don’t grumble to yourself but rather have a chat with the agent if something is bothering you! Professional agents will want to get it right and will appreciate your input - especially when done in a spirit of goodwill. They understand that although they sell houses every day, most of their clients will do it only a few times in a lifetime and can find it very stressful.

Here at Prudential Real Estate we always keep you updated on any developments regarding your property and we welcome and value any input from you. Our agents understand that, although they sell houses every day, many of our clients will only do it a few times in their lifetime and that it’s an important event for them. It is our aim to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as possible.

It helps if you feel confident in your ability to choose the right agent. You need to be able to trust them in order to establish good communication. Check out our advice on how to choose the right agent on page 5 of our brochure How to sell your house for thousands more.

How important is the garden when selling your property?

August 2017

The garden plays a big role in the presentation of your property, and the better your property looks in the photos, the more people are going to attend the viewings. As our brochure How to sell your house for thousands more points out, the tidy appearance of the outside areas plays an important role in getting your property ready to shine on the market.

When preparing your garden, start with the obvious: Make it look well cared for by mowing grass, raking leaves, weeding, and having trees and bushes trimmed. You don’t want potential buyers looking at your garden dreading the amount of time they need to invest to get it into shape! One of our experienced Sales Consultants, Bobby Reynolds, often advises sellers to invest in a bit of mulch and a few colourful potted plants. These small improvements don’t cost much but make your outdoor area immediately look more inviting.

Outdoor entertainment areas are often on the wishlist of potential buyers so, if you do have an outdoor BBQ or a pergola, make sure they are free of clutter, clean and presented in a way that people can imagine having their friends around for a meal. In Bobby’s experience, it is important that buyers form an emotional attachment to the property so it’s great if your garden is presented in a way that allows them to imagine their happy future there.

If you don’t have an outdoor entertainment area, you don’t have to build one from scratch, of course, but try to use what you have to ensure that buyers see the potential. For example, if you have a paved area outside, declutter it, clean it and include a table and chair setting. Also, ensure that any areas that get shade are marked as outdoor relaxation areas simply by adding chairs, this could be your front porch, or even just in a secluded corner of the garden.

If you want to find out more about how to prepare your property for the market at low cost, contact your local Prudential Real Estate office and ask us for our brochure 73 Quick & easy fix-ups to sell your home faster & for more mone.

Emergency? Don’t panic!

July 2017

It may seem difficult to distinguish between an urgent repair and a regular one but when you compare the consequences of a burst water pipe and a dripping tap, it becomes quite clear that a dripping tap can’t possibly be considered an urgent repair as it doesn’t interfere with your life, it won’t cause any permanent damage to the property and it doesn’t affect your health or safety in any way. It still needs to be reported to Prudential Real Estate but it’s not the same level of urgency as a burst water pipe, where there’s potential damage to the property if parts of the property have been flooded and where you have to switch off the water and therefore will be unable to go about your regular life.

But what do you do in this situation? Consider this scenario:

You have a pretty restless night on the weekend as you keep being woken up by a storm. When you sleepily walk into the kitchen to make yourself a cup of coffee in the morning, your feet are suddenly wet! You look down and realise that the kitchen is flooded! Then you feel the draught and realise that a kitchen window must’ve been smashed by a tree branch during the storm. As you stand there, shivering, you wonder vaguely what to do. Is this an emergency? After all, you still have running water and electricity ...

The answer is: Yes! In fact, this scenario includes several of the issues that are described as urgent repairs in your Residential Tenancy Agreement. You are dealing with flooding and storm damage and the broken window means that the house is not secure.

But, you think, it’s Sunday and no one will answer the phone at Prudential Real Estate! That’s ok. In a case like this, you should go ahead and call a tradesperson yourself so that they can fix the issue. We provide a list of tradespeople who will be happy to help you get your life back to normal.

Have you ever needed to call someone for an emergency repair? Tell us what happened and we might publish your story on our website.

How to keep warm during the winter

July 2017

If you complain about being cold at home, people will probably tell you to put draught stoppers in front of your doors, wear slippers or to use an electric blanket in bed. When gathering together advice on how to keep warm, we came across a few items that we wouldn’t have thought of immediately:

Drink: Although a cup of tea or coffee or a drink can make you feel warmer instantly, apparently caffeine and alcohol lower your body temperature so you’re better off staying away from them and keeping warm with hot drinks such as herbal tea or hot chocolate.

Food: Make sure you consume healthy fats and carbohydrates as digesting these types of food keeps your body warm. Stews, soups and porridge are great for keeping you warm.

The oven: Try to use the oven for cooking your dinners. Eating the food you’ve prepared will obviously warm you up but your kitchen will also be nice and warm as the oven works like a heater! Have drawn-out meals in the kitchen to make the most of the warmth.

Candles: A big fire would obviously have a major effect on the temperature in your home but have you tried lighting candles? They are much smaller but might have a big impact, for example warming your hands if you place them on your desk while typing or writing.

Clothes: This is an obvious one but it might be worthwhile being reminded to keep your head warm by wearing a hoodie or beanie and to ensure as little skin is exposed as possible as your body loses heat through the skin. Also, try swapping a big winter jumper for several thinner layers as they are better at trapping your body heat.

Rugs: Cover your floor, especially the areas you use a lot to keep your feet warm.

Curtains: This one is simple but effective: Open the curtains during the day to let the warm sunshine in. Close the curtains at night to keep the cold air out.

The fan: As warm air rises, it makes sense to reverse the fan to push the warm air back down. Keep it on a slow setting though so you don’t stir up a breeze!

And if all this fails, you can still soak in a hot bath before bed, get out your hot water bottle, or do some jumping jacks every half hour - that'll be sure to keep you nice and warm, and energised too!