Greg Trembath answers your real estate questions.
Q: With Mum’s move into aged care accommodation, we are planning to sell the family home. It has been in the family for nearly 40 years now and is starting to show its age. We want a hassle-free sale at a good price. Should we fix everything up, or do you think potential buyers will see the house for what it is?
A. The presentation and condition of your home will play a crucial role in achieving the highest price and a smooth sale process. With an older home, it is important not to go overboard on the pre-sale preparation. Fix anything likely to detract from the overall appeal. Repair holes in walls and minor damage, but avoid spending money on non-essentials. An experienced agent will advise which items need attention. They will also assess who is likely to buy the property, which will give an important insight into how the home should be presented.
Most buyers will obtain a pre-purchase inspection. Although this will take into consideration the age of the property, take steps so things such as rotting timber and leaks are not encountered. Renovators may relish the opportunity to create a great ‘before and after’ story, but a long list of faults could jeopardize the sale.
Q: We have found our dream house, but we haven’t sold our existing home. Friends say you should never buy before you have sold, but this place really is the one for us – we love it. What should we do?
A. Your friends may have experienced the potential complications of buying before you sell. If you end up financing two properties, you will certainly feel the pressure and may have to make some tough decisions.
The upside would be the joy of finding a new home you’ll really enjoy. You won’t have to settle for second best and can stop house-hunting right now.
If you do wait until you have sold, you may miss out on your ‘dream house’, which could leave you searching for a suitable (potentially second best) purchase or for a short term rental.
I would express my interest in the dream house and ask the vendor for more time to complete the purchase. Calculate the lowest price you would accept for your current home and set a reasonable price to maximise the chance for a prompt sale.
Advice from friends can be helpful, but only you know what is best for you.
Answers are general comment and readers should always seek their own independent professional advice.
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Greg Trembath is Co-Principal at Laing+Simmons Port Macquarie
Licensed Real Estate Agent – Licensed Auctioneer