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.

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So much happened in the NZ property market in 2017. Property prices remain high but increases have slowed, lending rules were tightened and the usual spring lift in listings has been subdued. What's more, we've just had a change in government with policy changes impacting property on the horizon.
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How to create a pegboard art wall

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

“Muuuuuuuummmm!….we were playing Pegasus’s and I crashed into the mountain (wall) and some of the pictures came down”. Kid’s rooms and glass-framed art don’t really mix well if you have rowdy ones like mine. It’s basically an open invitation to unnecessary A&E visits. I love art. I grew up surrounded by it because I have an arty family. Dad’s pre-retirement career was as a professional photographer, one sister is an artist and I have a whole bunch of really talented cousins. Insert talented sister/cousin brag – so in awe of this bunch!

So…while I want my kids to grow up surround by art, I’m not keen injuries requiring A&E. I needed a way to display all the kids favourite arty bits and bobs safely. I wanted it to be functional but great to look at too. you can’t go past the good old fashioned pegboard for display walls. There’s just something about all those tiny uniform holes and the background texture it provides. It just works so well, especially in a kids room. Here is some of my inspiration:



And here’s the BEFORE shot: skinny little wall between the entry to the wall and the entry to the walk-through robe and the ensuite (Yes, we are the nutters that once upon a time gave the kids our master suite, don’t worry – we realised our cray cray and took it back again, so the ‘after’ shot will be a bit confusing, our cherubs didn’t suddenly develop a taste for sentimental wedding art).




For a pegboard to actually work properly (not just be pretty to look at), you need depth between the surface of the pegboard and the wall. That’s how pegboards work by the way (in case you were wondering. Like I was). Because so many articles and Pinterest links fail to mention that aspect. Kind of important. Close up detail of kids art hanging safely without glass:


The wall space I was using had depth, just enough really. There are loads of tutes on how to install a pegboard on a proper frame. This video I found really helpful. Here’s how I did mine:

  1. Work out the depth of the wall so that the pegboard (when fixed to the frame) will sit flush with where you want it to. For me, I wanted it to sit just beneath the levels of the door frames so that the edges would be protected. Take into account the depth of the actual pegboard when working out the depth that you’ll have.
  2. Draw up the measurements of the wood you need to make the frame. Hot tip – remember that you don’t want the wood to cover up too many of the pegboard holes. You don’t want your lovely ‘holey pattern’ being ruined.
  3. Go to your hardware store and choose both the timber for the frame and the pegboard. I like the look of the brown pegboard, but if you’re looking to paint it – a word of warning: it’s quite absorbant so you’ll need a few coats. You can get white pegboard too. the pegboard can warp easily and it’s not a highly used product so it might be up the top of the stackers. Just ask if you can’t see it.
  4. Speak very nicely to the lovely people in the timber section, show them your drawing and get them to cut the bits of frame up for you and also trim your pegboard to size. They might if they’re not busy and in a good mood and it will save you loads of time. Hot tip. As they are cutting the frame, write on them with a pencil (LH , Middle, RH etc) so you can easily put the puzzle together. You won’t see it, it’s behind the pegboard. If they’re busy or not obliging, cut the timber to size at home.
  5. Nail or screw the frame to the wall. This is creating the depth so you can actually use the pegboard accessories.

  6. If you have any light switches/plugs, you’ll need to cut around them. Measure a template using the edge of the board as your benchmark. We also used spare pegboard to pack the plugs out so that they were flush with the surface of the pegboards. Care required, and best to use an electrician if not confident with this. We had 3 plugs to sort. Not going to lie…super, super fun times.

  7. Nail the pegboard to the frame and paint the nailheads the colour of your pegboard if fussy like me.
  8. Now for the fun bit. Pegboards are so awesome for displays because there are so many options. Shelves, baskets, plain hooks. Check out this awesome NZ Supplier. That’s why pegboards are such a great storage option, idea for a study to really maximise your working area.

Here’s what it looked like when it was still the kids room….


And here’s what it looks like now that the master suite belongs to us again:


And if you happen to want gold pegboard hooks and bulldog clips, just spray them.

Family art brag: Sister, Cousin, Cousin, Cousin. How clever are that lot!

Article originally appeared on

One of the great things about being away on holiday is that you are officially unable to do any home admin. No housework, no DIY, no gardening. Fantastic! - Until you get back to reality. Make it a resolution to give your home some attention and we promise you’ll be feeling all smug in no time.

The key to achieving some actual momentum on this New Year’s goal is to choose your projects carefully. Don’t go for the big ones.  You’re after those easily achieved instant reward jobs (and ones that don’t cost a fortune after all that Christmas spending).

Once you’ve got a few of those under your belt, you’ll have more motivation to target the biggies. Here’s our top 5 instant gratification home DIY’s:

1. Waterblasting.

Obviously, do check with your local council first that you’re not still on water restrictions….plenty of areas are, but if you get the all clear - this is hands-down the best instant gratification job because you see the results instantly on your deck / paths / fences / driveways. Decent commercial waterblasters can be hired from $70, just make sure you ask for a lesson first.  Extra points go to those who then re-paint or stain straight away. Nicely done.

2. What’s your washing line looking like?

It’s often the least thought about space in outdoors landscaping, but it’s a highly used area (especially if you’ve got young kids!) and it’s nice to do something on your home that’s just for you and not for street appeal or general maintenance.  Even more important for apartment dwellers with small wall mounted lines on their balconies, but applies to the big family home too. Firstly, dust off the cobwebs and deal to any algae, moss or mildew. Then, think planting.  Fence/wall nearby? Consider a highly scented climber such as star jasmine. As well as the bonus of scenting your clothes, it prevents any dirt on the wall making its way onto large items like sheets or towels flapping in the wind. Another idea is to invest in some large pots or wine barrels and plant some scented plants such as lemon trees, lemon verbena or lavender.  Take 2 minutes to assess your pegs. After our extremely wet Winter, they may be showing signs of rust if you leave them outside.  All little changes, but makes doing the laundry a much nicer experience.

3. Handle the jandle in the kitchen.  

Got an older kitchen with handles that do your head-in?  Swap them. It’s actually really easy to do: unscrew one of the handles and look at the screw holes left behind.  One hole is a simple, easy replacement without needing to measure. If there are two screw holes, you just need to measure the distance between the centre of each hole.  Take your measurement (and the actual handle, just in case) to the hardware store. Another trick is to use some easily peelable painter’s tape – pop that on the drawer/cupboard face after you’ve removed the handle, then poke through the centre of each hole with a pin. Unpeel the tape, put it on some cardboard/paper then measure between the two holes. You can take that template to the hardware store too, to line up against new handles.  When you buy new handles, this is normally the measurement on the packet. If in doubt, just ask the hardware shop staff or here’s a great guide too.

4.Hook it up

The humble hook has a lot to offer for organisation, in pretty much every room. Bathrooms, kid’s rooms, playrooms, entry halls and laundries are the obvious targets. Getting often used things out of the way and onto the wall is an easily overlooked home organisation solution. And with such great options now available in NZ - why wouldn’t you? If you really want to extend yourself, this is a great DIY using oversized dowelling.

5. Welcome home

As the first thing people see, your home’s entry point deserves some attention. But it’s not just about other people. You’ll get satisfaction coming home to a tidy, presentable, welcoming  space too. Here’s some simple ideas to make a big difference:  

  • Spend a weekend afternoon with some favourite tunes or podcasts and get some meditative painting time in to refresh your home’s entry point.
  • Got some pots by the front door? Do they need an update? What about the plants in them?
  • What about a stylish house number? A great way to make a statement: whether modern and oversized, or traditional in polished brass. You can even get fantastic weather-safe decals now too.
  • Doormats are unsung heroes - preventing dirt being tracked inside. If yours is looking a bit worse for wear there are so many great options: whether quirky, trendy or traditional is your jam.
  • How’s your outside light looking? The light fittings are surprisingly affordable to replace - just make sure you follow this advice and consult an electrician.

Last of all, one of the most important quick and smug DIY’s ever? Check your smoke alarms and put new batteries in. 

It was a disparate year for residential property values with a general trend of slowing in the rate of growth due to LVR speed limits, stricter retail bank lending criteria and uncertainty ahead of the election, along with periods of rapid value increases in some areas and decreasing values in others.
Overall the nationwide average shows residential property values increased 6.6% or $41,660 during 2017 from $627,905 in December 2016 to $669,565 in December 2017, according to the latest QV House Price Index statistics. The average national value increased 3.6% over the final three months of 2017. 
The full set of QV House Price Index statistics for all New Zealand can be found here.
Sales volumes were down on 2016 for every month during the year and between February and October they were in excess of 20% below 2016 levels before picking up in November when a post-election late spring surge saw them jump to just 10% lower than November 2016 levels.
QV National Spokesperson, Andrea Rush, “A slow-down in the rate of value growth in the housing market that began in the latter part of 2016 with the introduction of LVR speed limits requiring a 40% deposit by investors continued throughout 2017.”
“The frenzy in the market of the previous three years induced by high numbers of investors in the market subsided and we saw a return to more normal levels of activity in housing markets around the country.”
“By October nationwide annual value growth had slowed to 3.9%, the lowest rate of growth seen in five years and for the Auckland Region it slowed to - 0.6%, the slowest annual rate of growth seen there since March 2011.”
“High prices, constraints on finance caused by tightening in retail banks lending criteria and higher deposit requirements removed many buyers from the market and sales volumes plummeted.”
“Potential housing policy changes in the lead up to the election also caused uncertainty and people took a wait and see approach causing activity to slow dramatically over the winter quarter and this resulted in value decreases in many areas.”
“The usual annual spring surge was very slow to arrive and listing levels and market activity did not pick up until November and December and this can be seen in both sales volumes and value growth recovering in the last two months of the year.”
“The annual rate of value growth recovered to 6.4% in November and 6.6% in December and sales volumes for November lifted 21.0% higher than in October. This was partly due to buyers delaying purchasing until the election result was decided and may also have been in part due to some buyers racing to purchase before the new foreign buyers’ ban in December.”
“The slight easing in LVR restrictions by the Reserve Bank due this month is likely to help improve activity and demand in housing the market as we move through the summer months.”
“Low interest rates, relatively high net migration and lack of supply means market drivers remain and we are likely to see values hold for the most part during 2018 in the main centres but the trend of lower rates of growth is likely to continue."
"However, areas where investors were previously very active may continue to see values drop back where prices remain too high for first home buyers particularly in Auckland, Hamilton and surrounding districts.”
“Some regional areas may continue to see stronger value growth than the main centres during the year.”   
Main Centres
Of the main centres Porirua city, Napier, Hastings and Whanganui saw the greatest percentage growth during the year.
The average value across the wider Auckland region increased 0.4% or $4,583 from $1,047,179 at December 2016 to $1,051,762 at December 2017. Values rose 1.2% over the past three months.
Annual growth ticked up again across the Auckland region in the final quarter of 2017 with most areas seeing values rising again. The former Auckland City Council central suburbs saw values rise 2.2% in the year to December and 1.6% over the final quarter of the year with Auckland City - East continuing to rise above average for the region, up 3.6% year on year and 2.8% over the past three months, the average value there is now $1,575,133. Strong value growth also continues for Auckland City – Islands with the Waiheke Island market driving growth up 13.7% in the year to December and 6.6% over the final quarter of the year.
North Shore values also ticked up again rising 0.7% in year on year and 2.6% over the final three months of the year. Waitakere values also rose 1.0% over the final three months of 2017 although values were down 1.9% in the year since December 2016.
Meanwhile, values are also increasing again in both Rodney and Franklin and particularly in Papakura which rose 2.2% year on year and 2.6% over the final three months of the year. Manukau bucked the general trend as values there dropped 1.0% year on year and 0.3% over the past three months.
Values in Hamilton dropped slightly by 0.5% over the past three months but rose on average by 1.6% or $8,586 over the past year from an average of $534,860 in December 2016 to $543,446 in December 2017.
Tauranga home values increased 3.2% year on year or $21,528 from an average value of $672,197 in December 2016 to $693,725 in December 2017. After dipping in November, values in the city had begun rising again by December and values rose 1.0% in the final quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, the Western Bay of Plenty market has seen sustained growth throughout 2017 and rose 9.1% in the year to December or $52,185 from an average value of $571,520 in December 2016 to $623,705 in December 2017. Values rose 1.4% over the past three months.
Values across the wider Wellington Region rose 9.4% or $ 54,040 over the past year from an average value of $574,410 in December 2016 to an average value of $628,450 in December 2017. Values across the region rose 3.6% over the last quarter of 2017.
Wellington City increased by 9.1% year on year and 3.3% over the past three months. The average value there is now $756,879. Wellington – North is up the most, increasing by 6.2% over the past three months alone and 11.2% in the year to December 2017.  Meanwhile values continue to rise strongly across Wellington’s regional centres. Upper Hutt is up 11.1% year on year and 2.6% over the past three months; while Lower Hutt rose 11.4% year on year and 1.0% over the past quarter; and Porirua rose 13.2% year on year and 3.7% over the past quarter. Finally, the Kapiti Coast is up 13.5% year on year and 3.8% over the past three months.
QV Wellington Senior Consultant, David Cornford said, “It was another year of relatively strong value growth throughout the Wellington region however year on year value growth slowed considerably during 2017 compared to 2016.”
“Value growth took a breather over the winter months and during the build up to the election however by mid spring market activity had started to pick up and value growth continued.”
“A shortage of stock, low interest rates and a relatively strong local economy continues to support a robust property market in the Wellington region.”
“First home buyers had a strong presence in the Wellington market throughout 2017.”
Christchurch city values have remained stable, dropping slightly by 0.1% or $541 over the past year from an average value of $494,247 in December 2016 to $493,706 in December 2017. Values have increased slightly by 0.4% over the past quarter.
Meanwhile, growth remains strong across Canterbury’s regions. The Waimakariri District up 1.7% year on year and 1.5% over the past three months; while Selwyn values increased slightly 0.3% year on year and 0.7% over the past quarter.
QV Christchurch Property Consultant, Hamish Collins said, “It’s been slow and steady for the Christchurch housing market during 2017. We have seen less activity than in previous years as heat comes out of post-earthquake market and overall the market has normalised after the earthquakes”
“The high level of housing stock on the market has given purchasers’ more options and vendors are finding they need to adjust their expectations from a moving post-earthquake market to a slower environment.”
“First home buyers remain active in the market as do those purchasing “as is where is” properties with existing unrepaired earthquake damage.”
“Those in the investor market remain anxious about potential changes to regulations such as insulation, building warrant of fitness and taxes and investors have also been hamstrung by LVR and bank lending restrictions throughout the year.”
The recent trends continue as residential property values continue to rise across Dunedin. Values rose 10.4% or $36,965 over the past year from an average value of $354,133 in December 2016 to an average value of $391,098 in December 2017. Values increased 2.7% over the final three months of 2017.
Of particular interest is the strong growth of the Peninsular and Coastal part of Dunedin, which is up 5.6% over the past three months and 17.9% year on year, followed by the Southern area which increased 5.4% over the last three months of the year and 10.9% year on year.
QV Dunedin Property Consultant, Aidan Young said, “Demand for residential property in Dunedin has remained strong, from both the local and national buyers throughout 2017.”
“First home buyers have remained active throughout the year with the lower entry point of the Dunedin market aiding this situation.”
“The LVR restrictions had little effect on values, although it did see an easing in demand from investors due to the 40% deposit requirement.”
“Supply has been consistently low, with good quality properties being sold relatively quickly and vacant land has also been receiving good prices as demand for sections remains strong.”
“The upper end of the market has seen some slight shifts, indicating good confidence for higher priced homes.”
“The election appeared to slow activity, but we have not seen any material impacts yet.”
“Value growth has been moderate during 2017 and we can expect to see a similar positive outlook for the market in 2018, providing conditions remain.”
Nelson residential property values continue to increase, rising 11.1% or $55,318 year on year from an average value of $499,866 in December 2016 to $555,184 in December 2017. Values rose 1.8% over the last three months of 2017.
Meanwhile, values in the Tasman District have also continued to rise, up 11.4% or $56,927 year on year from an average value of $499,082 in December 2016 to $556,009 in December 2017. They increased 3.0% over the last quarter of 2017.
QV Nelson Property Consultant Craig Russell said, “The Nelson/Tasman market experienced strong value growth over 2017 despite a slow winter period in the build up to the election.”
“The market here is considered to be more robust than other regions given the strong local economy and being a desirable place to live.”
“Low interest rates continue to fuel demand which has outpaced supply. This is particularly true for section sales with pent up demand driving up land values as new stages of developments are released to the market.”
“During 2017 we saw a surge in activity for high value properties being sold particularly around Ruby Bay/Tasman, Nelsons Port Hills, College area and Atawhai.”
“Listing numbers remained relatively stable in 2017 with a decrease occurring in winter which we consider a normal seasonal trend.”
“Sales volumes decreased in 2017 compared with the previous year as homeowners either chose to renovate over buying, or were simply priced out of the market.”
“Investor activity also eased during the year following the introduction of the 40% deposit requirement in late 2016.”
Hawkes Bay
Values continue to rise across the Hawkes Bay region. Napier values rose 15.1% or $62,770 year on year from an average value of $415,189 in December 2016 to an average value of $477,959. Values rose 2.6% over the past three months.  
The Hastings market also continues to rise up 14.9% or $57,828 year on year from an average value of $387,133 in December 2016 to an average value of $444,961 in December 2017. Values increased 3.0% over the last three months of the year.
Other Provincial centres
The growth in values across many central and lower North Island provincial areas continues. Values in regions including South Waikato, Opotiki, Rangitikei, Tararua and Carterton have increased particularly over the past three months. Meanwhile, provincial areas to the South and North of Auckland – including the Kaipara, Hauraki and Thames Coromandel District - continue to see values decrease despite the trend of market growth over the past few years.      
In the South Island regional centres, it’s a relatively stable outlook. Values across most areas are either flat or steadily increasing. The MacKenzie District continues to rise up 5.2% over the past three months and 24.7% year on year which is the highest annual rise in the country, while Southland and Invercargill are also continuing on an upward trend. Market growth remains strong in the Queenstown Lakes, as values increase 3.0% over the past three months with an average current value now much higher than the Auckland Region of $1,111,995.  
So the end of the year draws near! We’re starting to get a much clearer picture of where the property market is at, with a few months since Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters signed their coalition agreement.
And the latest month of data, courtesy of the QV House Price Index (HPI), shows many parts of the country have experienced a late spring lift in values. It’s far too early to be calling it a resurgence but it’s hard not to notice the mini ramp-up in average values when you chart it over time. 
In Auckland this equates to a 0.4% lift over the last three months, but looking just at November values actually increased 0.7%, perhaps making up for the sustained previous period of no growth.
The question has to be asked at this stage whether the change has anything to do with the recently released new Rating Valuations (RV) for the Super City but previous experience and a quick look under the hood of the Index tells us this is not the case - it is after all designed to be unaffected by this process.
Spring finally announced its presence in November - both in our weather and property market patterns: perhaps this correlation isn’t a coincidence! If we look at consumer activity of people actually asking for mortgages, December has also started strongly (outside Auckland at least) so it looks as if those people who were unsure about the market throughout September and October have decided that things aren’t too bad and have re-entered the market. 
This is most evident in Wellington, where recent activity is sitting at 12% above winter levels, while Hamilton is following slightly further back on +8% . At first glance, this looks like a decent increase for Hamilton, but Hamilton didn’t experience such frosty winter activity, so it’s actually had a head start.
In addition to the activity lift, Wellington has also seen a value increase of 2.6% over the last 3 months, as reported in the QV HPI.  Listings in the Capital region remain at a near all-time low, with volume levels 5% down year-on-year and 31% down on the same time two years ago. This dearth of listings has counteracted the drop in demand.
Similarly, the Otago region is suffering the same lack of available properties - 38% less than two years ago. Once again this has led to an uplift in values, with Dunedin in particular up 2.8% over the last 3 months.
Outside our main six centres it’s very much a mixed bag in terms of recent value change, with no real consistency witnessed. And for those areas where value growth has persisted (including Napier/Hastings, Horowhenua/Kapiti and Nelson/Tasman), one of the key questions is whether or not it’s justified and whether or not it will continue next year.
In answering that question, a useful sense check is to analyse whether new builds have kept pace with or maybe even outpaced population increases. In most cases the figures are relatively well aligned. 
Over the last six years, the increase in the number of properties in Napier and Hastings has matched the increase in population -  so overall growth seems relatively justified; however with the projected population increase now slowing,  the build rate should also start to slow, or a risk of oversupply applies. 
The same applies in Horowhenua/Kapiti and Nelson, but not so much in Tasman, where the number of properties have increased 9% compared to a population lift of just 6%. This could reflect an increase in holiday homes and/or the amount of people accepting the commute into Nelson for work, so I’m not suggesting panic stations for the Tasman region just yet!
It’s not exactly advanced economics to point out that you need a local economy to support growth in population and property values - otherwise, once the money and jobs dry up people might have to leave to find income, thus causing a property oversupply.  If you’re investing in such regions, make sure your research focus extends beyond property to wider demographics and local industries too. 
So… if you’re heading off on a summer holiday, you’ve now officially got some fodder when the conversation undoubtedly turns to buying that beachside property or moving to the regions for a vastly improved lifestyle. Enjoy your break and do keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll keep sharing insights. 
- Nick Goodall, Head of Research - CoreLogic NZ