Preparing to Sell

Before you open your home up to potential buyers, you need to consider both the presentation of your home and how you would like to present your property through marketing material. Buyers don’t always get past the initial look, and might not take the time to see the true potential of your property. 


Preparing Your Home For Sale

Here’s a list of some of the areas buyers may be looking at when they walk around your home, all of which can be easily fixed:

  • Paint work – is it marked, old, or chipping in some areas? Sometimes a lick of fresh paint can make a room look brand new
  • Carpet – although more expensive to change outright, if it’s looking dirty or tired consider getting it professionally cleaned.
  • Garden and lawns – a poorly maintained garden and overgrown lawns can give an impression of the property being neglected.
  • Doors and windows – this might seem trivial, but a lot of people will open most doors throughout the house to see what’s behind them, and even open some windows. Make sure they aren’t sticking or damaged in any way.
  • General cleanliness, especially through the kitchen and bathrooms, and including animal hair – some buyers will get turned off if they see that a place hasn’t been looked after well as they want to try and picture themselves living there. Before an open home make sure you scrub the bathroom/s and kitchen, take a duster round the living areas and vacuum the floors. You may also want to consider cleaning any windows.
  • General clutter – if you have a lot of stuff and it’s cluttering up your house, try to tidy it up or put it away before anyone comes around. By doing this you may help to give a room spacious more spacious feel, and you might be able to highlight storage solutions in your home, which is always beneficial.
  • Smells – it seems simple but bad smells can put a buyer off and it might not even relate to your property. Make sure any rubbish is put out and anything that may potentially create a bad smell cleaned up. Even things like avoiding cooking particularly smelly food right before someone views the property can help.


Marketing your property

Whether you sell privately or through an agent, deciding on what kind of advertising and marketing you want to do will can affect the audience you reach and of course the cost.

  • Print advertising. Print advertising can come in various forms but some of the more commons ones include Property Press magazine and local papers. However, you have to remember that:
    • It can be expensive depending on your needs, ie how often the ad features and the size of the ad
    • It only captures your immediate, local audience, which is beneficial if you want to target your area but limiting if you want to attract a wider range of buyers
  • Online advertising. Online advertising has become more important in today’s real estate space, with sites such as Trade Me Property and Open2view becoming very popular. Online advertising can offer:
    • Cheaper advertising space, although your ad can end up being one of many in a long list
    • A wider audience reach - although this can also mean you end up with a lot of views of your ad but with no real leads, as people are just browsing
  • Property signage - Regardless of whether you choose print or online advertising, or both, another common form of marketing is a ‘For Sale’ sign. This is usually positioned out the front of your property. It’s an easy way to let passersby know your house is on the market and it also highlights your house to people trying to find it after seeing it in advertisements elsewhere.

Each option needs to assessed as to the number of potential buyers you can attract through it, and whether they’re the right buyers for your property. The cost also needs to be looked at, but this can be weighed up against whether that method attracted your buyer. More often a combination of different advertising and marketing will be suitable, and if you are using a real estate agent they will advise and help you with this process.

Latest News & Articles

Image source: She Said Yes
Ah life milestones. If you’re on the traditional journey - a wedding and buying your first home are two of the big ones. It’s surprising how many people face these two major life events within a short space of time. So how do they do it? How on earth do they save for both a house and a wedding at the same time? 
According to Megan Hutchison of She Said Yes, the figure most mentioned for NZ’s ‘average’ wedding cost is $35,000. But she’s also written an article about why that figure is so misleading, and states that the median wedding cost in NZ is likely to be a lower $20,000. 
What does $20,000 get you in terms of a first step on the property ladder? According to CoreLogic NZ Head of Research, Nick Goodall:  “As a 20% deposit, it won’t get you much. But First Home Buyers can add KiwiSaver and depending on criteria, people could qualify for Kiwisaver grant too”. So it’s a good start…if you live in an affordable areas of NZ that is. Auckland? Not so much.  “A first home buyer in Auckland in the ‘couples with two incomes and no kids yet’ category? You’re looking at $800,000+ housing spend” $20K is that scenario is more like a stubbed toe as opposed to a big step. 
Hutchison does note however that the wedding budget varies hugely according to location, guest list size, catering and style.  “Don’t lose sight of what the day is really about.  Try not to get swept up in all the things you could spend money on, but rather focus on what’s really personal and important to you. Your future self (and honeymoon budget) will thank you for it”.
And just like house purchases, wedding funding is increasingly becoming a family affair. Traditionally it always was squarely in the hands of the bride’s family, but it became the couple’s responsibility in more modern times. Rising housing costs and lifestyle pressures have seen it rebound again. Mum and Dad are back in the wedding financing game. 
“Many parents still choose to financially support their children’s weddings. My advice is to sit down and have a conversation with each of yours as early as possible. This is also the key time to discuss with them what and how they will be helping. Make sure you both understand how much they can give you, whether it’s a loan, advance on inheritance, or a gift, and what they expect in return (e.g. inviting their friends as guests, religious or cultural elements, control over details such as invitations, etc)”. 
Poor parentals. They’re in the First Home Buyers game too! Ask any First Home Buyer and they’ll report of lining up at Open Homes with queues of others - many with their parents attending as the ‘enablers’. It’s so common place that major banks have mortgage products in place for this exact scenario and legal advice for parents helping their ‘children’  into home ownership has reached mainstream news. 
Don’t have the luxury of parental funding for your wedding and home?  The great news is that you’ll be starting your married home-owner lives together as super-budgeteers, skilled at facing reality and still making your projects happen. 
And it’s not all doom and gloom. Hutchison has some excellent advice on how to achieve the wedding you want but in the budget you have, and with regards to first home buying, this video is hot off the press and definitely worth checking out to understand the financial market forces at play right now. The supporting article explains how to avoid some first home-buyer traps to avoid too. This is a great resource to face your own personal home financing facts and lastly - here’s a great explanation of reports available once you’ve found “the one” (the house, not the spouse: if only they came with reports too. Joking. Sort of). 

Annual rental growth stabilised at 4.9% in December and January, illustrating a similar trend to value growth after both bottomed out in October 2017.

Gross rental yield continues to hover along just over 3.0% (as it has done for 18 months+).

Christchurch rent continues to drop, although the rate of -2.8% is not as great as the drop witnessed through most of the second half of 2017.

Meanwhile the growth in median rent in Dunedin is now trending downwards after peaking at greater than 10% growth in the middle of 2017. Tauranga’s annual rent increase of 12.1% is slightly misleading because it’s being compared to an anomaly of a month last January. Actual annual change in Tauranga is realistically closer to 7%, which is still rather high – similar to Wellington (7.6%), where we’ve seen and heard plenty about the rental squeeze in the nation’s capital.

Source: CoreLogic NZ


Trend Report: Modern Bohemian

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

It’s so easy to become caught up in waves of trends as they sweep through homes across the country, contagious almost, until every one of your friends has a ‘one of a kind’, hand carved ornament from India, but before you turn away - after all, no one likes a cliche - there are so many ways you can take a trend and make it your own. When you hear the word bohemian, you think quintessential Bali and you see a woman swirling around her house in a crazily patterned dress, with a head scarf, smelling of potpourri, this is not the life you imagined for yourself. But moderation in most things can bring a reinvigorated perspective and this is no different in your home. Modern bohemian is the idyllic balance between luxe and bohemian and elevates the bohemian trend to one worth exploring.

You can begin by breaking the trend down into bite sized pieces.What is at the core of this style? Where was it influenced by? Where did it begin? I would always start with deconstructing the colour base and see where that takes you. Bohemian lends itself to earthy tones, clay, burnt orange, coffee, so look around your home, is there anywhere you can incorporate that base? Your dining room might be crying out for some warmth, you just need to decide how you integrate those tones and you can do this without even touching the colour of the walls. To keep it feeling fresh, pair your earthy touches with shiny gold or rose gold decor features to add a luxury to the space.

Texture is the next key element you can revisit. Natural fibres are iconic to the bohemian trend, in rugs, cushions and furnishings, whether it’s raffia, woven fibres or wood, you can find these appearing in so many categories - in fact you may even have some already, it’s just about making them shine. Merging both bohemian and modern elements you can take the opportunity to bring in a contemporary feature. Try raw linen as your natural texture, a white linen couch, with a burnt orange throw and a raffia rug, now that is modern bohemian at it’s best!

There is no need to buy into a trend that you don’t feel is truly you, but some are long lasting. Almost all trends can be pulled a part to marry with your personal style. Whether you change the colour or texture, carefully pairing back with a modern base will elevate this to create a space that is timeless.

Rosalie Molloy

Creative Director

Posted: 20 March 2018

One of life's most simple pleasures is climbing into fresh, crisp sheets after your daily hustle. It is a small luxury that resonates across people and place. It is a part of the allure of a beautiful hotel, and the most luxurious of experiences pale in comparison because this is completely and utterly accessible, every day of the week.

There is no reason you can’t bring that hotel feel into your home and the small touches of luxury will make your bedroom your sanctuary. Whether you are after a silkiness that is reminiscent of royalty or your taste is tittering towards the clarity of raw linen, far beyond colour variations, there are countless options to try and test. However if 1000 thread count means nothing to you (can someone please explain what this actually means?!) then I have invented a scale you can truly get behind.


Rating: 6/10 Softness

Timeless and classic, cotton bedding is the old faithful, never fail bed linen. With comfort and stability on its side, it’s hard to look elsewhere. This blend has stood the test of time. Take this ranking as an average across thread counts, although comfortable, and consistent, there is no oooh and ahhh at the touch and feel.


Rating: 7.5/10 softness

Linen blend has a rawness to it, that adds texture and structure. I’m talking beautifully crisp, if that is what appeals to you. Linen wears spectacularly over time and the more it is used, washed and slept on, the softer it becomes. Like your favourite pair of sneakers, this just gets better the more you use it. You can pick up this combination in an array of awe-inspiring colours (the tobacco is something special) at In Bed Store.


Rating: 9/10 softness

Brought to my attention by the wonderful team at The Beach People, eucalyptus blend (approximately 65% eucalyptus) marries natural fibres to create a linen that emulates silk in both look and feel (very, VERY soft!). Hypoallergenic for all your sensitivities, but the major selling point of this style of bedding is it’s breathability, the beauty of the blend is that it is almost completely undisturbed by temperature fluctuations, which is missing from other fabrics that rank similarly on the very professional and completely legitimate ‘softness scale’.

Whatever your preference I strongly recommend trialling as many styles as you can. You have explicit permission to spend obscene amounts of time and energy resting your head on as many different types of linen as you can, after all, a good nights sleep is priceless!

Rosalie Molloy

Creative Director

Posted: 20 March 2018

Prepare For Everything to Snowball

This may have started out as a low-key, few minor updates here and there, but once the work has started it will be so very tempting to continue with other renovations. While your space is a worksite already it will be all the more enticing to just paint the walls as well, when all you had intended was a fresh coat on the doors. You’ll find yourself knee deep in gyprock one day, look up and wonder how you got here - whoops!

There Will Be Unexpected Costs

You might be an excel genius and have prepared the most analytical budget in history but once you start knocking walls down and pulling up flooring, you find problems you didn’t anticipate. Whether that is a leaking tap that has rotted away some of the framework or something that has been wired where it shouldn’t be, there will absolutely be issues you’ll need to address, and more often than not, that will include a tradesman coming to assess the issue (cha-ching!).

and with that…

Timing is Unpredictable

Always, always leave yourself a buffer to wriggle with. If you’re using external trades, it’s important to allow time on either side for unexpected delays. This can be affected by elements that are completely out of your control (hello rain!) but what will be in your control is the time lines you set for yourself. This will save you sweating down the track.

You Will Need Work Gear

So perhaps you can get away with revisiting the oldest gym gear you own but at the very least invest in protective gear. Get yourself a pair of glasses (protective work glasses, this is not an excuse to update your Gucci frames!) and gloves. I strongly recommend some level of sturdy shoes. Sneakers, however comfortable will not suffice when you drop a chunk of old tiles on your foot - regrettably I can confirm this from personal experience - safe to say, steel cap boots will become your best friend.

Details Are Everything

A millimetre can be the difference between your brand new fridge fitting into the cupboard you spent days building for it, or not, the details are critical! This reaches beyond simply measurements though, it’s important to test and check as much as you can before you go full steam ahead. Get some floor samples before you buy, bring them in and test the colouring at different times during the day to see how it changes with the light. Do the same with paint, if you can allow time to test some different tones then this not only puts your mind at ease but saves you a follow up trip to Bunnings when you decide you hate the paint you’ve covered half your walls in.  

Rosalie Molloy

Creative Director