Why hold open homes when selling?

How can you prepare for an open home? Your sales consultant will do all them marketing necessary to attract the maximum number of visitors to your open home. However, when you have them there, you will want to ensure you present your home in the best possible light.

Open homes are one of the most effective ways of marketing a property and attracting interest from a wide variety of buyers. Some of the many advantages are:

• You have plenty of time to ensure your property is tidy and ready for inspections
• You can control the viewing times
• Open homes can create plenty of activity, even in a slow market
• Interest and activity can trigger urgency with buyers
• The sales consultant’s time is put to best and most effective use; They will have the opportunity to talk to numerous people about your property
• Comments from open home visitors can provide feedback on price, presentation, sales appeal, etc

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Here are 10 quick tips on how to make your property “open home ready”:

1. Declutter – an overcrowded room looks unappealing and smaller than it actually is.
2. Clean. No one likes the idea of living with other people’s dirt. If your home smells and looks clean, you are creating a great environment for viewers.
3. Keep decorations simple and don’t display family photographs. You want buyers to visualise their own things and family in your home, not yours.
4. Make each room count. Give each one a purpose so that your viewers can see how they could use it. Don’t leave any room as a storage place for your possessions.
5. First impressions count and last. Think about the first aspects that potential buyers will see – like fencing, the letterbox and the driveway.
6. Remember the small things count too. Check light switches to make sure they work. Fix any doors or cupboards that don’t close. Fix leaky taps.
7. If you can, give your walls a fresh coat of paint. Choose neutral colours so as to not individualise your property.
8. Fresh flowers and soft music playing in the background give a good impression.
9. If cold outside, have a fire going or heaters on.
10. Fresh coffee on the stove, vanilla in a slightly warm oven or on a hot element, or aromatherapy oil burners give a very inviting smell and can sweeten stale and musty homes.

Three Tips for Currency Transfers

Spring is the busiest time of year in the world of real estate. If you’re planning to take advantage of the buzz and buy or sell an overseas property, taking a minute to consider currency could make a big difference.

According to Harcourts currency exchange partners TorFX, taking these three steps can really help you get more for your money.

Keep an Eye on the Markets

As you typically need to move money abroad when buying/selling international property, the exchange rate you secure for your transfer can have a huge impact on how much you pay or receive. Even a small difference in the exchange rate can add up to thousands, so picking the right time to make a transfer is crucial.

By staying up-to-date with the latest exchange rate movements, you’ll be able to plan your currency transfer effectively and make your money go further.

Avoid Transfer Fees

While some currency transfer providers charge a fee for moving money abroad, others will move your money for free, so you’ll make immediate savings.

Explore your Options

Buying or selling an overseas property can be a lengthy process, and as the currency market is always moving you might find that exchange rates have shifted significantly by the time you’re ready to make your currency transfer. By exploring options like forward contracts, where you can fix the exchange rate for up to two years ahead of making a transfer, you can protect your funds from any negative shifts in the currency market.

Have a chat with your Harcourts sales consultant if you’d like to find out more about your currency transfer options. Blog contributed by Tor FX and the information has been provided for general information purposes only and must not in any way be construed or relied upon as personal advice. Trading involves risk of loss and may not be suitable for you. Please ensure you obtain and read the TOR FX Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement prior to utilising our products so that you are fully informed regarding the key risks and cost.

Settling into your new neighbourhood

Buying a new home often means moving to a new suburb, city or even country. It may be a new location you chose simply because you loved it, or it maybe it’s where you need to be for work or family. Whatever the reason for your change in location, it can be a little daunting finding ways to get to know the neighbourhood and have it start feeling like home.

Here are a few ideas for breaking the ice suggested by the Harcourts’ Facebook community, along with a few others we’ve come up with as well.

  • Ask the experts: A good place to start finding out what’s good in your new ‘hood is to ask the real estate agent you purchased from. In the course of buying you would have talked to them about the big things like nearby schools, or transport routes. But they’re experts in their local area so they’re also a great resource to ask about everything from finding the best coffee and great parks and playgrounds, to the best local shops and restaurants.
  • Walk the walk: Spend a weekend or two getting lost. Take to the streets on foot and just wander around. You’ll see much more than you would from the car so you’re much more likely to uncover the neighbourhoods hidden gems – and you’ll quickly get your bearings for where everything is. If you’re in a large city you don’t know then do the same on a larger scale in your car and you’ll quickly learn the best driving routes and how all the suburbs fit together.
  • Talk the talk: While you’re walking stop and have a chat or even just a passing “hello” to any of your neighbours you come across out and about or working in their garden. It’s a relaxed way to break the ice. Once you’ve found that café serving great coffee, make it your regular and get chatting to the staff, or strike up a conversation with the local shop owners.Once you start finding a few local favourites you’ll start to meet some of the same faces each visit.
  • Knock on the front door: The best way to meet people is the most direct. It can be a little intimidating but it is a great way to meet your neighbours, especially those closest who you’ll see most often. If you want an icebreaker take them a small gift like a cake, or invite them over for a drink. Or use the old classics like ask to borrow some milk for your first cuppa – and be sure to return it with interest.
  • Be seen: The opposite of heading next door to meet the neighbours is to just be visible and approachable in and around your property. If you’re mowing the lawns or gardening in the front garden just be aware of who’s outside as well and give them a wave and a hello.
  • Be cool after school: If you have school-aged children, get involved in school activities, sports and events. It’s a great way to help your kids settle in and you’ll quickly become part of the school community. The same is true for sports clubs.
  • Hook yourself up: Spend some time finding and reading local newsletters, newspapers, community Facebook groups, supermarket community noticeboards, and websites such as Neighbourly. They’re a great place to find out about local events, organisations in need of volunteers, or even on-going projects such as community gardens and working bees; all great places to meet people and start getting involved. Good luck getting to know your neighbourhood!