FROM rearranging mismatched furniture to providing a prop box of home wares and hiring professional photographers and script-writers – it’s this attention to detail and pristine presentation that’s getting the sale in Townsville’s competitive property market according to real estate agents.
“When I visit a vendor for the first time I’m very honest about what needs to happen to make their property market-ready,” Elite Properties sales professional Nick Vincent said,the Townsville Bulletin reports.
“We work very hard behind the scenes before we even list a house because it is all about first impressions which in my experience could mean a $10,000 to $15,000 price difference.”
Mr Vincent said the first step is to de-clutter the home by removing excess furniture, reorganising homewares and storing away personal belonging – before bringing in a few modern props.
“It’s called dressing the house and might involve refurnishing the main rooms like the master bedroom, living area and patio with paintings on the walls, brighter coverings on the beds or windows and adding a few feature ornaments,” he said.
“Minor improvements might be suggested such as a coat of paint or professional cleaning – but gone are the days of major renovations because today’s buyer can see the potential themselves.”
Mr Vincent then brings in his team of experts, including professional photographer Neil Chan whose job it is to take flawless photographs to use in advertising for newspaper and online.
“I start by talking with the agent about the features they want emphasised and try to showcase those in the most attractive way,” Mr Chan said.
“The key is well-lit photos which is achieved by removing shadows using different exposures, professional lighting and selecting the best time of the day to take pictures which is different for each home.”
The owner of Top Snap, a mobile real estate photography business, keeps the process as real to life as possible but sometimes Photoshop is necessary.
“I use it if the homeowners have moved out because empty houses are often too stark so I digitally paste in furniture which helps buyers see themselves living in the property or if rental tenants refuse to remove furniture which doesn’t match or they won’t clean up rubbish we can easily just erase it without any issues,” Mr Chan said.
The copy comes next with script-writer Karen Jamison, a marketing and media veteran, completing a 20-minute walk through of the property before putting pen to paper.
“My job is to convey to people how it feels to be in the home without them actually stepping a foot inside,” Ms Jamison said.
“I don’t use fluffy descriptions because you have to be as honest as possible as people are just too savvy today you can’t write ‘needs love and attention’ otherwise they assume there’s something wrong.”
Once the photos and copy are complete the property is ready to market – Mr Vincent believes while internet is a must print still reigns supreme.
“People who are serious buyers grab the paper on the weekend, they circle their favorite properties and go from there.”
The real estate agent believes seller success still depends on selecting the right agency because they have the contacts, the databases and the know-how.
“The wrong agent can cost you a lot of money,” he said.
“Some people try to sell their homes themselves but they are too emotionally involved, they often find it too difficult to negotiate or correctly value their property, which are the areas we are professionally trained.”
But Mr Vincent’s job isn’t over just yet come inspection day he arrives early to ensure the home is breezy and light filled – by opening up all the windows, switching on fans and spraying air freshener.
“It’s the little things that you can do such as creating ambience that make a house somewhere a buyer would want to call home.”
Original article published at www.Couriermail.com.au by Roanne Boldery, Townsville Bulletin 11/6/2013
Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today
Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.
Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.
“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.
“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.
PHOTO: The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)
“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.
ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.
Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.
Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.
The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.
Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.
ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.
“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.
But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.
Queensland could be leading growth state in future
Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.
‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.
Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.
“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.
Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.
“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.
“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.
“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”
APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth
APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley
The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.
With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.
In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.
The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.
But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.
“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres
Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.
APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.
APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.
“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.
“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”
Stayin’ alive: How Brisbane’s Redcliffe has captured Bee Gees fever
A long way from Redcliffe … Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb in Los Angeles in 1979 at the height of their fame.
Photo: Getty Images
Before the brothers Gibb became the Bee Gees, they were carefree boys running around Redcliffe. The Brisbane suburb’s monument to the chart-toppers is a memory trigger for locals, and a reminder of happier times for the band’s last surviving member.
Bee Gees Way is 70 metres of pure nostalgia in a seaside town where memories, real and imagined, haunt the streets like ghosts on holiday. Open 24/7, the outdoor walkway has statues, videos, light shows set to music, photographs, album covers, and a giant mural of the Gibb brothers in their musical heyday.
Redcliffe’s tribute to its most famous sons spans a whole block, from a back street of the town centre, 30 kilometres north of Brisbane, to the foreshore, where whitecaps stud Moreton Bay and the peaks of distant Moreton Island rise through cloud on the eastern horizon. Across the street from Bee Gees Way is the Redcliffe Jetty, an earlier version of which became the naughty Gibb boys’ favourite hangout after they migrated here from Manchester with their family in 1958. The oldest brother, Barry, was 12 then; now, at 71, he’s the sole survivor of the tragedy-prone family act that began here and went on to become one of the world’s most successful pop groups.
The fact that the then-struggling Gibb family lived on Redcliffe Peninsula for only about 18 months – doing runners from one rental house to the next to avoid paying back rents – doesn’t faze Moreton Bay Regional Council mayor Allan Sutherland, a devoted fan who devised the elaborate paean to the Bee Gees after discussions with his now good buddy, Barry Gibb.
Boyishly thrilled by his association with the star – “He’s a lovely human being; you can’t write beautiful music like that and be a nasty person” – the mayor, 62, has built a souped-up version of the HT Holden panel van he owned as an apprentice electrician on the peninsula more than 40 years ago. He calls it “the Wizard”, and likes to unwind after work by rumbling about the same beachside haunts he and the Gibbs frequented in their respective youths.
“Sometimes,” he confesses at a local cafe, “I park under the same tree at the same beach where I parked as a kid. Then I play Bee Gees songs, only instead of cassettes they’re on CD. Everything else is the same: same car, same sound of the doors closing, same rocks where we fished as kids … Time goes on, but nothing really changes.”
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