What Upper North Shore Buyers Want

Are you thinking of making a move in 2020? If so, it pays to consider what the key attributes are that the majority of buyers are seeking when they house hunt in our beautiful part of the world.

The real estate market on the Upper North Shore is rather varied – with houses priced from the early $1 million up to $10 million and more. And even at that top end of the market, there isn’t really such a thing as the perfect property.

Yet across the thousands of buyers we meet, with many of them coming from out of the area, there are some key recurring themes around what makes a house desirable. A property doesn’t need to have every single feature but being able to boast at least two of them – and know how to showcase them – certainly puts your property into strong consideration.

Location, location, location
Since the dawn of the real estate industry, this has always been no.1. This can mean different things to different people. Depending on their lifestyle this may mean ease of getting to where they need to be each day or just a nice family-friendly street.

Living Space
Is there enough room for the buyer and their family to spread out when they’re home? Does the floor plan suit their family model? Some segments of the market, particularly as you leap into the $3m and $4m price points, desire multiple living areas so that some family members can be watching TV while others relax with a book.

Catchment and/or Access to Schools
For public schools being just one street outside the catchment area can ruin their chances of sending their child to the desired school. After all, the superior range of schools offered in our area is one of the major drawcords and the reason values here continue to hold. If you are within a short walk to any of our excellent schools then you

Public Transport
Homes located less than 10 minutes walk to rail will always be worth the most (unless they’re on the Pacific Highway!). If you’re further afield; think about how the buyer will get to and from work, school and shops – maybe by bus or maybe it’s an easy drive to the station with parking in surrounding streets.

Light and Bright
The holy grail of being north to rear is fantastic if you can get it – but 3/4 of properties aren’t! The main thing is to ensure that your property has lots of natural light. This can be achieved by drawing back blinds and curtains, and in a single storey home installing skylights in key areas. And if your house is a little on the darkish side then fake it with pure white walls and LED downlights.

The blocks in our area are generously sized, particularly in comparison to the suburbs that many of our buyers are migrating from such as the Lower North and the Inner West. Use your garden to greatest effect by showing not just the useable space but also how it connects to the indoors, eg bifold doors, alfresco entertaining areas. A smaller block can still show its functionality using living/playing zones and potted plants.

Our home is our sanctuary – and we don’t want to feel like the neighbour is watching us as we’re watching Netflix! Having a large building over the boundary fence can’t be changed but the use of smart planting can make all the difference. Hedges of Viburnums, Lilli Pillis or Conifers are fast-growing – and even if they’re still small when you sell it shows that the privacy factor will be taken care of in the not too distant future. Plantation shutters are another tactic for inside the house. Fixed to windows or doors they can be angled to let in light but shut out ugly outlooks or prying neighbours.

Opportunity for Improvement
Some buyers have a creative flair and a desire to put their own stamp on a property. This is why the price of a knockdown can sometimes exceed that of an established family home! Other buyers are happy to renovate a kitchen or bathroom but don’t want to have to make any structural changes. Be honest about what needs to be improved in your property and talk to your agent about whether doing that work yourself actually adds the value you’re seeking to your final sale price.

Turnkey Solution
In contrast to the point above, some buyers do not have the patience or time to undertake any work at all. They want to be able to move straight in and get on with their lives. If you have a modern home or even an older home that’s been fully renovated, these are your buyers. But the house needs to be completely done – not having to say a laundry that still has brown tiles from the 70s!

Selling an apartment? The desired features are different again so give me a call if you’d like to learn more about that particular segment of the market.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to best showcase all the positive attributes of your property, call me anytime on 0418 388 408.

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