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SSSH! Real estate secrets revealed

We get it. No one in their right mind wants to part with their hard earned cash to pay a plumber. But quality renovations by a fully licensed and insured professional are a fantastic way of adding value to your home. We did a Q&A with local real estate agent, Tayla McCarthy, from @realty to discover some tips and tricks that could help you turn a profit on your property.


Houses in Carrara seem to be selling like hot cakes these days. Is the seemingly insatiable demand for properties in this area unprecedented?

Yes absolutely! Now we have more confident buyers, the market is definitely a lot hotter.

For example, I have had two properties recently in Carrara that sold very quickly. One was a townhouse and at the first open home we had multiple offers - all above the asking price. It ended up selling for a record complex price.

The other was a house which had a huge amount of interest as soon as it went on the market. It ended up going under contract before we even had the first open home - for $10,000 above the asking price.


Celebrity renovator Cherie Barber says a bathroom renovation can yield three times the investment. In your experience, how important are bathrooms?

Bathrooms are very important.These days buyers want everything beautiful and new. If the home has updated bathrooms, buyers are more able to justify paying a premium price.


What do buyers tend to look for in bathrooms?

A neutral atmosphere is great as it will suit more buyers than a quirky style would.

Many people don’t realise how important fixtures are in your bathroom. Many buyers want beautiful, functional fixtures which also conserve water.

Lighting is very important when trying to create a certain atmosphere.

Storage is key. Home buyers want to keep their bathroom organised and tidy, with space for toiletries and towels.

Generally, buyers want the option of a shower and a bath. A bath in the main bathroom and showers in the others are ideal. Families always want a bath to make life easier to wash their kids.


Does the number of bathrooms really make a difference?

If there is only one bathroom in the home, it affects the price tremendously. It is too difficult for most families to have only one bathroom, two is much more functional. For the average home, two bathrooms are generally affordable and worthwhile. Although the more bathrooms, the better!


How much could adding an en-suite or an extra bathroom add to the value of a house?

Depending on the location of the home, the quality and size, it could be anywhere from $15,000 - $50,000 approximately.


What do buyers tend to look for in laundries?

The laundry room is for getting laundry and other utility work done, so provide the space to do it. Easy access to the outside washing line is also key. A good laundry always offers additional storage, which a lot of older homes on the Gold Coast lack.


Is there anything specific that turns buyers off about bathrooms and laundries?

Anything too unique that might only appeal to a small window of buyers. Keep it neutral and suited to the majority of buyers. The right sized bathroom and laundry is also important. You don't want a pokey small bathroom or a laundry that has too much-wasted space that could have been utilised elsewhere.


Does having gas appliances add to the value of a house?

Absolutely, gas appliances are always a bonus selling point! The buyers always ask, "Is there gas cooking?". So if you are re-doing your kitchen you can never go wrong with gas. It will be very appealing to buyers, especially to the cook in the family.


If people are looking to add value to their homes, what are five relatively cheap things they can do?

1) Painting is one of the best things you can do. It is relatively easy and can be done by yourself. It will give a fresh clean feel to the home. Stick to a neutral theme.

2) Decluttering is very important and requires no money, just time. Too much clutter in a home will overwhelm buyers and make it harder for them to see past it and envision how they would live in the home. Decluttering often makes the spaces look larger.

3) Clean! Cleaning your home is one of the most important aspects. If a home is not clean and has a bad smell, it will put buyers off. It makes them think you don't maintain your home very well and what else is not maintained we can’t see.

4) Replacing fittings and fixtures. Replace old light fittings, fans and door fittings. We replaced a floral glass light fitting that was straight out of the 70s (not to mention it was cracked and broken) with something new and modern and for a tiny outlay, it made the whole room look new.

5) Improve the curbside appeal. This can be done by tidying up the front yard, mow the lawn, fresh mulch, weed the gardens, pressure hose the driveway and paths.


If you’re thinking about selling your Gold Coast home and would like a free appraisal, feel free to contact Tayla: tayla@atrealty.com.au


For any plumbing, renovation or gas enquiries, give Joe at Oceania Plumbing a call today on 0479043366, or email info@oceaniaplumbing.com.au

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