Turning a negative location into a positive
A BUILDING site next door, a busy road nearby or a train station in earshot – potential turn-offs for buyers don’t have to spell disaster for a property sale.
Samantha Payne, licensee and director at LJ Hooker Subiaco in Perth, says vendors, with the help of their agent, can overcome a property’s negative aspects using a combination of tactics.
Payne, the vice-president of the Australian chapter of the International Real Estate Federation, says development in an area should be promoted, not talked down, when marketing a property for sale. It’s about flipping a perceived negative into a positive.
Construction, roadworks, new transport infrastructure and facility upgrades equal progress and in the long run, a more desirable place to live and invest, Payne says.
“There is a lot happening (in my suburb right now); water mains are being upgraded, roads are closed, there is lots of building work and the NBN is going in at the same time. There is a huge amount going on, but ultimately it means more people want to live here, so that’s a positive and drives up prices, not pushes them down. It can be a double-edged sword of course, but you have to sell based on the positivity of what’s going on in the area, the infill that’s happening and the changing demographics to a more hipster, trendy professional group.”
Selling a property close to existing or new train lines is always challenging, but Payne says vendors should look on the bright side.
“New transport infrastructure especially will bring more people to an area, so again drive prices up, not down. The location is more readily accessible – and train stations often come complete with things like retail spaces and coffee shops, which people want – so it can be a selling point,” she says.
If vendors have a building site next door, Payne recommends disclosing it, but also researching when work will be finished, so buyers know. Payne says good agents keep across what’s happening with potential rezoning and other changes which impact land use.
With “true” negatives like a noisy road or poor outlook, vendors need to take remedial action to address the problem – like adding screens and double-glazing windows – but remain realistic about their asking price.
“When it’s all said and done, if there is a negative aspect you can’t change, that has to be reflected in the price.”