Have you ever wondered why 2 properties, both in the same general location, with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces, can be put on the market at the same time and end up achieving different prices?
There are a whole range of different factors that can influence the price a property sells for. Marketing campaigns, the method of sale and the negotiation skills of the selling agent can all have a significant impact. The particular characteristics of a property can also play a big part in its value. That’s what we’d like to focus on today.
Beyond your home’s size and location, we’ve identified 5 of the most common features which can have a substantial influence on its value.
Even on the same street, small changes in positioning can make a difference to a property’s value.
For example, a property on a steeper block might be considerably harder to landscape and upkeep than a property on a level block. Sloping blocks will also often require excavation and retaining walls, which can add significant costs to any renovation work buyers may undertake in the future. On the other hand, with the right landscaping these types of blocks can look amazing, and the homes built on them could have impressive panoramic views that will be very appealing to buyers.
The shape of the block can also have an influence on what people are willing to pay for a property. Typically, residences need to be constructed a certain distance back from the street. If your property is on a corner block, there are 2 streets that need to be considered. While this can limit the buildable space you can use for future home extensions, it also provides great street frontage which can maximise street appeal. Being bordered by one less neighbour could also be an advantage.
The zoning and classification of your property can also determine whether a second level can be added to the home, along with what materials you are able to use for renovations, which can influence a property’s value.
2. Floor plans
One of the main things buyers will look for in a home is the functionality and useability of the living spaces. A poorly thought-out floor plan can lower a property’s value, while a well-designed floor plan can make a home much more attractive to buyers.
If you are designing your own home, you need to think carefully about how you are going to lay things out. Is the dining room easily accessible from the kitchen? Are bedrooms and living areas large enough?
Don’t just think in terms of size. Think about useable space. Often a smaller, more efficiently designed property with minimal corridors and wasted space can sell for the same amount, if not more than a larger property that uses space less efficiently.
In real estate, location is always important. How close your property is to shops, cafes, restaurants, schools, employment and other social spaces can attract potential buyers. However, your neighbours and their properties can also have a big influence on the value of your home.
If you live on a street filled with well-maintained, beautiful houses, your home will be a lot more attractive to buyers. On the other hand, living next door to a junk hoarder with an overgrown front yard filled with rusted, wheelless old cars and bits of scrap metal might make potential buyers think twice about purchasing your property. Of course, it’s also important to remember that the people living next door will not be your neighbours forever.
If you are thinking of selling, it can be a good idea to have a good relationship with your neighbours. They can help you by tidying up their front yards and improving the curb appeal of their properties. It’s actually beneficial for everyone. It makes the street look more attractive, which can improve the value of everyone’s property.
4. Interior Design
Homes are a product of the time in which they were built (or the time in which they were renovated or updated). They reflect the fashions and design sensibilities of that time, which can be a good thing, or a not so good thing.
For example, homes which haven’t been updated since the 1970s might be filled with mission brown paint and shagpile carpet. Obviously, that’s not what buyers are looking for these days. In these situations it can be an advantage to update your home to make it more attractive to modern buyers. On the other hand, sometimes not renovating can also be an advantage as it gives buyers the opportunity to redesign and redecorate the space themselves. If you’re thinking of selling, it’s a good idea to speak with your agent before you start spending money fixing up your home. They will be able to advise you on the most cost effective changes you can make.
If you are going to update your home, you need to be mindful of how styling can impact your home’s value and be aware that design styles will eventually go out fashion. More daring colour schemes can go out of fashion much faster than more reserved palettes. While they might look great new, in a few years you will need to update again. That’s why neutral colours are so popular – they have a lot more longevity. You can find more information on how to choose colours that add value to your home here.
Favourable orientation is increasingly important in homes. You want to ensure that your living areas capture the best light from the sun.
Ideally, the rooms that get the most use should be placed towards the north side of the home, as that will allow them to get the most natural light. Buyers tend to shy away from south facing living rooms or kitchens, because they don’t receive as much sun. This can also make those rooms much hotter in summer and colder in winter, potentially adding to your heating and cooling costs.
In Canberra, due to our Energy Efficiency Rating laws, we are more conscious of strategies that improve solar access and increase energy conservation. However, a low energy rating isn’t necessarily a negative. It just means you need to be aware of what is important to you and what can be done to improve the amount of energy you consume and the enjoyment you gain from your home.
These 5 features cover some of the most common characteristics that can impact a property’s value, but they are by no means the only ones. Every property is different and there are going to be a wide range of other factors that can increase or decrease a property’s attractiveness to potential buyers. If you’d like an in-depth analysis of your property and what it would sell for in today’s market, contact your local Independent Property Group office.