The Weekend Post - Real Estate


The hard work can pay off for sellers – but good looks aren’t everything


WHILE a “move-in-ready” home has always attracted a premium over those with work to do, the gap between the two has been rapidly increasing in a market where time is of the essence more and more.

While virtually every house is selling (within reason – there are still limits to pricing), it’s those homes polished to a high gleam that are consistent­ly achieving the best results, with multiple offers submitted and, frequently, prices above expectatio­ns, occasional­ly even surprising the agent.

Whether it’s fresh paint and carpets or a new kitchen, bathroom and more, this seems to be one of those times where the pay-off really does merit the effort.

The challenge for a prospectiv­e home seller, however, is that beyond even the significan­t increases in the cost of labour and materials (if you can get them!), tradespeop­le are busier than they’ve been for the past 15 years – meaning you could wait weeks just to get a quote, let alone get the job completed.

For some, the wait can be worthwhile, particular­ly if there is less urgency on moving. I’ve come across several people who have had to shelve plans to sell and go travelling – or otherwise have already secured their next home and are able to hold both properties short term.

For others, though, time may outweigh other factors and, of course, affordabil­ity plays an important part, too.

If a manageable $5000 update has blown out to $10,000 (and an extra three months), then sellers might take a more pragmatic approach instead. Equally, the seller who has committed to the next purchase and needs this one sold, or is intending to upgrade and wants to buy and sell in the same market, might also see benefit in moving forward as-is.

From the buyer’s side of the fence, those who are sick of missing out on their dream home might be well advised to take a closer look at those properties that are still more dream than reality when it comes to slick and modern.

While bargains are becoming increasing­ly elusive (good value isn’t necessaril­y cheap), there are good opportunit­ies in older homes with good bones, and less competitio­n.

A wider net might yield a sweet catch – as long as you’re willing to clean it first.

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