How Can I Add Value to My Property When I Want to Sell a House without an Agent? Part 2

This is the second post in our series about adding value to your property when you sell a house without an agent in Australia. In case you missed part 1 of this series, you can check it out HERE.

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As mentioned in part 1, we understand that everyone has a finite amount of time and money when it comes to investing in home improvement projects. If your goal is to sell a house privately, you’d obviously want to know which home improvement projects will give you the most bang for your buck and get you to sell a house fast.

Here are more tips to help guide you to invest your hard-earned money on the repairs and additions your home needs to appeal to potential buyers the most. While fancy furniture made of fur, a Jacuzzi, costly glass doors and a spinning bed might attract certain types of buyers, what you want is to zero in on the most effective ways to help you regain your investment with the least amount of risks.

The main point to keep in mind is to focus on home improvement work that are the most crucial from the buyers’ point of view. You don’t want to shell out money and time on things that won’t help you close the sale.

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#1 Add a Wooden Deck

Based on a report on value vs. cost put together by Remodeling magazine, homeowners who create a wooden deck regain about 80% of what they spent on the deck after they sell their home. Wooden decks appeal to budget-conscious buyers. These are people who want to save money and choose to spend plenty of their free time staying in.

To buyers who want to stay home and enjoy with family and friends, an attractive outdoor space can easily persuade them to purchase a home with a functional and appealing deck.

The homeowners of today keep an eye out for decks that are made with more than old wooden planks. In designing and building a deck, look at interesting designs online for ideas. Think about placing additional features like benches, a fire pit and raised flower beds. Don’t be such a scrooge when sourcing materials for the rails and flooring. Quality materials may cost more initially but they are much easier to maintain than cheap ones.

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#2 Remodel or Add Bathrooms

Having sufficient bathrooms and managing these rooms well are absolutely essential if you want to attract a buyer. Keeping a master bath in top condition is especially important. If you can, equip the master bath with his and her sinks, a roomy shower and as much floor-space as you can manage.

Throw in additional amenities whenever possible. Ample storage, steam showers and heated floors can seal the deal. Opt for ceramic tile flooring instead of linoleum or wood since ceramic is easier to maintain and can handle water like a boss.

As for bathroom design, a classic and clean look is your safest bet.

for sale by owner home Australia

#3 Never Forget the Kitchen

Curb appeal is very crucial but a wonderful kitchen might be even more so. Food is such a basic human need that a kitchen can make or break a deal for you. We can’t emphasize enough how important the kitchen is. It’s the heart of any home.

You can expect to get over 80 % of your financial investment back when you remodel your property’s kitchen. Sure, replacing the counters will require you to spend thousands of dollars but an outdated kitchen can lower your home’s value at an average price of $13,000.

The cheapest and quickest kitchen improvements you can accomplish are putting in new cabinets and providing a fresh coat of paint. Go for neutral shades so potential buyers can picture out their personal style better. If you can afford it, throw in attractive stainless steel kitchen appliances to give the kitchen an instant expensive look.

Zero Commission is here to help you sell a house without an agent in Australia. If you like this series don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook (Click here) so you immediately get updates as soon as our latest home-selling tips are posted!

How Can I Add Value to My Property When I Want to Sell a House without an Agent? Part 1

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It’s no secret that real estate is a competitive industry. If your goal is to sell a house privately in Australia, you’re going to need to know what you can do to add more value to your property. We reckon, just like the rest of us, your time and budget are limited. This guide will help you zone in on the areas in your house that can quickly pique a buyer’s interest.

Beyond the obvious tips of applying a fresh coat of paint and getting rid of clutter, there are elements that attract the eye of people in a way that gets you closer to that sale. We put together a list of tips to teach you where to focus time, money and energy in order to get the highest returns—no real estate agents and expensive commissions required!

#1 Add a Home Office

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There are an increasing number of people who work from home today. Companies are searching for ways to lower costs and technology has made the home office a staple.

By adding a home office to your home and making telecommuting easier, you’ll appeal to plenty of potential buyers. The number of people who work from home grows each year.

Transforming an unused bedroom or den into a home office would be the quickest way to go about this. If you’re not sure which room to transform, pick a space that can house ample amount of cabinets. You want people walking through your property to be able to envision the space the perfect home office to store office supplies and plenty of paperwork.

We suggest you furnish the room beforehand. You don’t just want to tell people a particular room can be used as an office. You want them to really picture it out in the flesh. Find an ergonomic desk and add-ons like filing cabinets and a computer chair.

Equip the room with grounded electrical outlets, ones that can accommodate three-pronged plugs which plenty of computers need today. Adding data ports and phone lines can help you sell a house fast.

#2 Make More Space

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To appeal to plenty of people, modify dark and cramped spaces in your home. If you live in a house with small rooms that don’t receive sufficient natural light, think about knocking down walls to open up the area. The kitchen, living room and dining room are typically the rooms that can benefit the most from this strategy. Consider the option of knocking down walls to create an open floor plan by combining these three rooms into one larger area without walls.

Potential buyers love open rooms. These look inviting and airy. Families with young children, as well as people who love to entertain guests, tend to find an open space between the kitchen, living room and dining area highly appealing.

Other ways you can create the illusion of more space involves widening doorways or vaulted ceilings. Adding rooms also work, especially in older homes with small bedrooms and bathrooms. An extra bedroom or bathroom will ramp up the value in any home.

#3 Make a Great Exterior Impression

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Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover but, in the real estate industry, the exterior counts a whole lot. If your property doesn’t look good from the outside, the chances of you selling your own home diminish.

Is the exterior colour of your home faded? Apply a fresh coat of paint is the quickest and cheapest way to fix your exterior. While shutters add a lovely look, old or crooked ones will instantly make your house look dilapidated. Does your driveway or walkway need repair? Make it a top priority to change the path that since these lead people into your home. You want to create a welcoming appeal.

If you’re considering adding plants—and it’s a great idea to—select drought-tolerant ones. Low-maintenance perennials are the easiest choices.

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Don’t forget that backyard! Entertaining outdoors and outdoor living is the norm today. People are increasingly looking for a way to unplug from gadgets and feel closer to nature. Bring your backyard patio or deck back to life with lovely furniture. Consider adding a fountain. You want to appeal to potential buyers by giving them a vision of themselves kicking back and relaxing in the yard.

In Part 2 of this series, we will give you more specific tips to get you to close that sale and sell a house privately in Australia like a pro (without shelling out a commission to a so-called real estate pro, of course!)

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook (Click here) so you get an update as soon as the next post is up.

Top Tips to Taking Amazing Home Photos when Selling Your Own Home


Top Tips to Taking Amazing Home Photos when Selling Your Own Home

When it comes to selling your own home, taking quality photographs is top priority. The way you take photos of your property can spell the difference between a successful sale and a home that sadly stays in the market for far too long.

We spoke to a handful of professional home photographers and put together a list of tips for people like you, individuals who are thinking, “How do I sell my house fast?” You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a photography course, nor do you need to shell out money for a pro to take amazing pictures.

The photography tips outlined below are simple yet they can make a big difference in helping you sell a house without an agent or a professional photographer.  

1. Best Photography Lighting Techniques for Selling Your Own Home

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The natural light from the sun can do wonders for your photographs. When are the best times to shoot? For both interior and exterior shots of your house, the best time is during mornings when you’re taking eastside shots. Westside photos appear the best when taken in the afternoons.

For the north and south sides of your home, take the shots whenever the sun’s rays are bright. Another excellent lighting tip is to limit the extreme spots, those that are too dark or too bright.

If you’re taking pictures of areas that are too dark, you will obviously need to add light. Don’t worry about purchasing expensive lighting equipment. You can pull the drapes to bring in some natural light or wait for the right time of the day when the sun’s rays provide lovely natural lighting. Pull back drapes to get as much natural light in each room. The natural light helps the photos avoid a horrible—and amateurish– yellow tinge.

While you might be tempted to use the flash in your camera, don’t. Trust us when we say photos look much better without the flash on since the flash makes the colors and details look washed out.

There are instances when turning on lights will give your photos more warmth. The kitchen is one good example. By turning on under-cabinet lights, for example, you can give your images a cosy and soft feel. Avoid fluorescent lighting since they can add an unattractive green cast.

Plenty of professional photographers shoot at dusk and dawn because of the soft lighting during these times. Soft shots are very flattering, especially for the exterior portions of your home.

If you have to wait for hours to get the perfect shot, by all means do so. Sunlight has a way of injecting warmth and energy into any room or exterior, adding a touch of elegance no artificial light can accomplish.  It will be very much worth it in the long haul.

2. Setting up Each Room like a Pro When You Need to Sell a House Privately

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When it comes to taking beautiful images of your home, there’s more to setting up each room than simply picking up dirty socks off the floor and arranging the pillows on a couch.

Even though the human eye can manage plenty of complexity in photographs, clutter is still a no-no. Simplicity is also far less risky. Allow each room to speak for itself without adding too many artificial components. A vase of beautiful flowers may work in some rooms but it can overcomplicate another.

Figure out what story you want each area to tell and ask yourself if adding decorations is necessary to attaining the vibe you’re after. Take photos without adding anything to the room and then take another set with whatever additional decor or component you want to add. Compare the shots and trust your instincts.

Some professional photographers prefer to keep things looking natural and not overly staged. Keep the adage “When in doubt, leave it out” in mind.

And what about having people in your shots? Sometimes this can work, other times it’s better to take the images sans people. It all depends on how natural the outcome looks. The upside to taking home photographs with people in the shot is how this can add dimension to the images. If you do decide to include mom, dad or Junior in your photographs, candid shots typically work better than staged and cheesy poses.

Another good tip professional photographers use is working with a single colour direction. Let one hue pop over the rest. Of course, bear in mind this is just a suggestion and it’s not a rule set in stone. Have fun with colours and see what works for each area you’re shooting.

3. The Ever Important Exposure Settings

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The exposure settings will depend on the available light. For interior shots, pros tend to shoot between 1 to 20 seconds. Go to the exposure settings of your camera and adjust accordingly. For areas that get hit with plenty of natural light, try shooting at approximately 1/60th at f16.

Take plenty of test shots while experimenting with various exposure settings in each area you’re shooting. Even professionals do this. Some go as far as lugging an extra camera around just to take test shots. Another pro tip when taking test pictures is to set your camera to a high ISO setting while lowering the resolution.

If the photos aren’t coming out as great as you’d like, try taking them from a different angle. You will often times need to take plenty of pictures until you get a great one. Don’t worry or get frustrated. Remember, even professionals need to take plenty of pictures until they hit the lottery. Don’t settle for a mediocre image if you want to sell a house without an agent.

4. Framing Your Images Beautifully

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Framing is all about what to include in each image. For interior shots, tight and wide frames work. For further research, look at magazines and take note of the home photos that catch your eye and then recreate these images.

One great tip to taking good home photos is to keep your shots straight. This means avoid tipping your camera up or down when shooting. Move your camera up or down in a straight line until you get the angle you want.

Try shooting lower to the floor. Aim for the height of your belly button. When you shoot from your standing height, the furniture can look a bit distorted. By shooting from a lower angle, the pictures tend to appear more intimate, making the viewer feel they’re a part of the image.

A common mistake is shooting too far away from the focal object or room. Doing so gives the viewer the feeling they have to walk to get to the destination. What you want to aim for is to bring the viewer right into the space, as if they’re right there in the room.

If you want to take the best photos and end up selling your own home, keep in mind that patience is key. It takes time to figure out which settings work best with each area. The time you invest in taking beautiful home photos is time well spent.

The Seven Deadly Sins when You Sell a House without an Agent

The Seven Deadly Sins when You Sell a House without an Agent

Showing your home with the intention of selling it to prospective buyers in Australia can be one aggravating experience. People who decide to sell a house privately tend to suffer from over-thinking, a habit that leads us to fear situations that never materialize.

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Reality, however, can be as harsh as the demons in our thoughts, especially when you’re not equipped with the right house-selling tips in a “for sale by owner” deal. What if a jet suddenly decides to fly over your house just as soon as a potential buyer tells you just how much they value peace and quiet? Or maybe the same time you’re showing off a beloved neighbourhood, the mutt next door decides it’s the perfect time to finish some private dog business right on your manicured lawn?

We put together the seven deadly sins in selling your home privately. These will help you avoid mishaps with regards to factors that are under your control. Research has shown how one in five buyers claimed to witness ‘something peculiar’ while looking at a property. Don’t give your potential buyers such an experience. Avoid committing one of these lethal sins:

 1. Bad Housekeeping

Put your game-face on when your house is on the market. Don’t be lazy and leave your house in its full natural glory, believing the right buyers will just come to you with minimal effort from your part.

Buyers aren’t attracted to awful housekeeping. One would think this is needless advice but you’d be surprised with the amount of clutter you won’t notice but potential buyers surely will.

A few cleaning tips to get your home show-ready:

  • Clear clutter from countertops, tables, floor and everywhere else the eye can see. Clutter looks even worse in photos than in person, and potential buyers won’t pay you a personal visit if your photos are unattractive.
  • Keep your pets out of sight. If your pets shed fur, you might want to look into hiring the services of professional housecleaners before showing the property.
  • Get rid of unnecessary furniture and home decors. Walk through your house and try to see each angle from the eyes of a critical buyer.
  • Consider putting things in storage while you’re showing your home. Cluttered spaces make rooms appear smaller.

When you’re aiming to sell a house without an agent, you’ll get plenty of perks in return but you can’t afford to be lazy when it comes to making your home as attractive to buyers as possible.

2. Poor Negotiation Skills

One common mistake home-sellers make is taking lower-than-expected offers personally. Think of their suggested price as a starting point for negotiation. Don’t let greed cloud your thinking. Approach the negotiation table with a logical, rather than emotional, mindset.

If you’re only entertaining clients who can afford a higher price bracket, you’re turning away business from potential buyers who might have a lower budget than you’d prefer but who actually are open to negotiation. These people might turn out to be more serious buyers, too.

Treat all potential buyers with respect, not just those who you deem financially worthy. Even if you don’t close a particular sale, a friendly referral is always a plus for you.

3. Lack of Curiosity and Interest

The questions during the potential sale of a home shouldn’t just come from the buyer’s side. Asking the right questions can significantly help you sell a house privately in Australia than simply waiting to answer inquiries.

Find out what a potential buyer is looking for and approach your sale pitch using the information you gather. Beyond finding out how much budget there is, or how many rooms they need, find out why the buyer wants to move. Inquire about their goals for buying a new home. Discover their priorities and motives so you can highlight the selling points that meet each buyer’s objectives.

By asking and listening with sincere curiosity you’ll set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, professional agents included!

4. Dishonesty

It’s unfortunate how deceptive marketing tactics in the real estate industry have taught buyers not to trust property descriptions and any other way houses are shown off. From real estate agents to “for sale by owner” sellers, fluffy words are used to deceive. A “diamond in the rough” actually means a rundown property while “cosy” in reality is a cramped living space!

If you want potential buyers to trust you, using clever marketing words is fine provided they are accurate and aren’t used to deceive. Yes, by all means take attractive photos of your home but don’t overly doctor the images to the point of deception, where you might as well be uploading photos of a different home.

5. Being Intrusive

When potential buyers walk through a home, they like to imagine themselves living in the property. Do you know what it’s like to be bothered by pesky salespeople when you’re shopping in a store? Don’t be that guy. Know how to be discrete and when to get out of sight while people are roaming your house.

Give buyers the chance to soak in the experience of being in the house. This means avoid talking their ears off as you boast about the latest light fixtures you put in. This means waiting and letting potential customers take their time.

6. Lack of Communication

Don’t let laziness or the fear of picking up the phone ruin a sale for you. While email and text messages are highly convenient inventions that make our lives so much easier, there’s much to be said about picking up the phone and calling potential buyers.

Your tone, the inflection in your voice and other vocal nuances relay information that even the most eloquently written email can’t convey. And when serious inquiries come your way, do pick up the phone. Reply as soon as possible if you’re unable to take a call as it comes your way.

7. Too Proud to Get Help

Buying a property is usually the biggest purchase people make. The same goes for selling one. Closing a real estate sale is probably the largest deal you’re going to make.

If housekeeping, for example, prior to holding an open house is too daunting of a task, don’t be a scrooge. Hire professional cleaners. Unsure about the price to start off with? Do your research. Online real estate companies like Zero Commission and have excellent resources on their blogs to help people like you sell a house without an agent.

You don’t need a costly real estate agent to sell your home. By avoiding these seven deadly sins in home selling, you can walk away with a lovely deal of a lifetime.


Welcome to the emerging world of Zero Commission Real Estate Services

The way we Buy and Sell property has changed, globally.

Today there is an emerging new breed of Zero commission real estate agents, who understandably, are taking a rapidly increasing share, of the property sales market.

Zero commission real estate services have become possible thru the internet’s ability to provide instant access to property information, and with technology now available to re-direct buyer enquiry, direct to the homeowner is saving homeowners tens of thousands of dollars, easily, legally and efficiently.

The Australian residential housing market lists for sale approx 1 million residential properties per year. And with the average commission based real estate agent charging $15000 per property means that Australian Homeowners are spending approx $15 Billion dollars every year just in selling their family homes !!!

A big chunk of $15 Billion dollars given back to Australian Homeowners will certainly be put to better use than filling the pockets of “unnecessary” commission based realestate agents.

Today, Australian homeowners are moving in mass, away from commission based realestate agents and choosing to sell homes themselves, with the assistance of zerocommision on line licensed real estate services. Resulting in saving the average Australian homeowner $15,000…… AND WHY NOT ? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

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Whats it like selling your house with Matt Gower shares his experience.

Watch this testimonial from another one of our many happy vendors!

Posted by on Monday, September 21, 2015

A special thanks to Matt for this testimonial. If you would like to list your house now go!


BRW Magazine

BRW Magazine published an interesting article which highlighted the subtle yet sure change that is occurring in the real estate industry. A new player, the commission free model, has joined the ranks.

The article entitled, ‘What real estate agents won’t tell you’, exposed a key fact. Houses aren’t really that hard to sell and real estate agents aren’t the only ones who can do it! The internet has changed the game because the information you need to buy and sell is now at everyone’s fingertips.

Here are some key takeaways from this article:

Consumers can now buy and sell their homes online at a fraction of the cost of an agent by using websites such as PropertyNow and (see story “Virtual agent makes its move”).

These sites act like a virtual real estate agent. Depending on how many bells and whistles you’re prepared to pay for, they help arrange professional photographs, a for-sale board at the front of your house, assitance with a full range of online marketing and additional support services

Such sweeping changes have empowered sellers, buyers and landlords like never before.

“The veil of secrecy has been lifted; it’s not hard to sell a house, it’s ridiculously easy,” the owner of PropertyNow, Andrew Blachut, says. “Agents try and wrap it up in mystery as much as possible.”

“They say things like, ‘We are masters in selling your home – you don’t have access to buyers and don’t have masterful negotiation skills’. It’s complete nonsense.”

Buyers advocate David Morrell says the internet will become “more and more the medium through which people buy and sell” and that “you don’t necessarily need the agent in the middle”.

Investors can now do their own research and get a reasonably accurate home valuation from a variety of sources. Some of it’s freely available on the web, including suburb and street profiles and median house prices………

Many people have also learnt that marketing your home isn’t really that hard. Hundreds of thousands of properties are listed for sale or lease through the portals and and some consumers are using Facebook and Twitter to sell their homes.

Domain and dominate in property listings. REA Group, which owns, controls about 70 per cent of the online real estate advertising, IBISWorld estimates. It and charge real estate agents a subscription fee plus advertising fees to advertise houses on their portals. Consumers pay a one-off listing fee.

To read the full article published in BRW Magazine click here.