In addition to highlighting the house, the videos allow agents to play up other desirable aspects, such as streetscape, the property’s position within the neighbourhood and local shopping or commercial areas.
Depending on budget, most videos run for between 90 seconds and three minutes and can range in price from $95 for a video with still images and commentary to $900 for a bigger production that includes moving footage. The videos are best viewed on a computer screen but can be downloaded to mobile phones.
Mr Montanaro says that with the advent of technology in the real estate industry, houses must compare favourably with other properties online to captivate buyers.
Presentation would arguably be the No. 1 factor in increasing the value of a property,Mr Montanaro says.
His agency offers a free interior stylist service for its customers. Among other things, the stylist rearranges or hires furniture that might better suit the decor or highlight positive aspects of a room. The stylist also handles spring cleaningmaintenance, such as removing clutter, polishing windows and tidying gardens.
The quality of images and using the best photographers in the business is also very important,Mr Montanaro says.
I cannot believe there are still agents out there photographing houses themselves.
Property-specific websites are also becoming very popular. It allows us to highlight, in a lot more detail, more features of the home or property (than an internet listing).
Another common way to add value to your sale price is to invest a substantial amount of money in the house before putting it on the market.
If a vendor can prevent cost overruns and time blow-outs, the theory goes that the house’s value increases by substantially more than the cost of the renovations.
Big renovations that have been known to improve a house’s value include adding a third or fourth bedroom to a small suburban home and/or opening out living areas to a back garden, which may also include an entertainment area, pool and landscaped garden. The addition of an en suite can add value to a house, according to agents, provided it doesn’t replace a third bedroom.
If you’re satisfied with your home’s existing floor plan, any renovation should focus on the kitchen and bathroom, according to many agents, because these are the rooms that impress prospective buyers the most.
Modernising blinds, curtains and fixtures and fittings throughout the house, including handles and lights, can also greatly increase the value. Agents suggest decor for any renovation should be neutral and aim to appeal to the masses.
But remember, prospective buyers might not recognise the difference between a $500 bathroom vanity and a $5000 unit, so be careful not to overcapitalise.
As with any big renovation, enlisting a licensed professional to undertake the work and lodge the appropriate safety certificates will make prospective buyers feel more comfortable about considering your home, Mr Montanaro says.
I have seen too many vendors start a quick bathroom renovation or kitchen update and then find they’ve opened a can of worms they wished they never had,” he says.
Talk to your agent; quite often he or she will be able to refer you to a local tradesperson to do the job quickly and economically.