By Ray Fadel
Should I sell my home in autumn?
Spring is traditionally prime-time for selling a home in Australia, however listing in autumn can be a worthwhile alternative.
Although there are typically not as many buyers during the March to May period as in spring, there are also usually fewer houses for sale. In some cases, lower autumn inventory can spark bidding wars and drive up a price to the seller’s advantage. Milder temperatures are another autumn advantage after scorching summer days.
The impact of trees is often overlooked when it comes to selling a home, according to many Raine & Horne agents, and autumn is a great time to show off your garden’s best features. That said, while autumn leaves have an undeniable charm, it is advisable to remove them before the Open House. No matter the season, a well-maintained garden is a major selling point, so make sure yours is looking its best to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
A well-presented fireplace is another fantastic feature to highlight. Few things say autumn more than the smell of burning wood. If it is still early in the season and has been a while since your last fire, consider having your fireplace and chimney serviced and cleaned before your first open home. If you have a gas fireplace, similar rules apply. Remove any cobwebs, wash it thoroughly and fire it up well in advance of your first open house to check that it is working before prospective buyers arrive – and to ensure any repairs can be made ahead of time.
If you plan on showing your property in April, remember to factor in any time changes due to the end of daylight savings. Contact your local Raine & Horne for more information and strategies for selling your property in autumn.
How can I save for a first home faster?
Unless you recently wrote the algorithm for the next social media phenomenon or inherited a Scottish castle from a long-lost uncle, you are probably in the same position as many other Australians trying to save a deposit for a new home this year.
For most of us, there is no quick fix when it comes to amassing a deposit, but it is achievable if you make – and more importantly, stick to – a budget. A budget is a plan that shows how much you are spending, and hopefully saving, on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Once you know your financial status quo it will be easier to identify areas you might be able to cut back on spending to speed up the process.
Making a few changes to your spending habits, without completely compromising your lifestyle, will help to achieve your savings goals sooner. Calculate how much you spend on non-negotiables such as food, rent and household bills. Whatever is left over is the absolute maximum you can save in a week or month.
Consider what sacrifices you can realistically make to cut spending and maximise your savings? Do you really need that new putter or pair of Nikes right now? Work out which non-essential purchases you can eliminate and set new weekly or monthly savings goals and stick to them. Set a target date to achieve them, but first, consider what other measures you might be able to take to get there sooner.
Are you currently renting? It may or may not be an option but think of how much cash you could save if you moved back home with your parents, even for just a few months. And have you considered putting your money into a term deposit or high-interest savings account? Read all the terms and condition or consult a financial advisor before opening any new accounts.
Alternatively, if dealing with finances and a budget all sounds too complicated, there are some simple tools to help. The Australian government, through its Understanding Money website, has a valuable budget planner which takes away most of the preparation work. For more information, go to https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner and start saving today.