Your home is outdated and you’re trying to decide if renovating is your best option, or if you should sell and move to a new property. I get this question a lot from home owners. “If I add value to my home would I be able to sell for more, including all the costs in renovating or am I best to sell as is and buy a new home that suits our needs? My answer is; “if you are happy in your location you are best to stay and renovate. If the home does not suit your needs, you are best to sell and move on”.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to renovate or buy a new property. To help you decide, there are three important steps to follow to help you reach your decision.

  • Be really clear about the type of property you want.
    This requires you to think about your immediate and future requirements. Whatever your needs, you should compare and contrast them with your current home to help identify any major gaps or shortcomings.
  • Compare property values in your street and suburb.
    This is a very important step. This goes to the heart of assessing how your property stacks up against everyone else’s, and whether there are any major price differentials. The reason for doing this is twofold. Firstly, to help you decide if it’s worth putting the time, effort and money into renovating, and secondly to help reduce the likelihood of over capitalising – that is, spending too much on your renovation.
  • Do your sums
    Once you’ve completed steps one and two, it’s time to start crunching some numbers and prepare a budget. Doing your sums is the financial side of the equation, and is all about letting you know what you can reasonably afford – which in itself may determine your best option.

Whether you renovate or sell, it is often a balance between what best fits your personal lifestyle needs, what’s affordable, what’s less disruptive and what gives you the best chance of long-term capital growth. However, if you plan to sell your property within the next one to two years, be very mindful of undertaking a major renovation project – you need to make sure you can at least recoup the cost of your investment.

If you would like any real estate help or advice, please contact Dianne. Contact her on 5952 5480 or 0408 080 034



Benefits of Good Photography for Selling Homes

They say that first impressions last a lifetime, and this could very well be true when it comes to buyers laying eyes on the perfect family home for the first time. To increase the chances that a buyer will fall in love at first sight with your property, you’ll need to impress them with a good first impression. Before buyers come to inspect any property, they will first get these impressions from listing photographs. As a result, these photographs are of the utmost importance, because they could be the deciding factor between a buyer deciding to come visit your home or not.

How many buyers search the internet for a home?

In 2006 approximately 80% of home buyers searched the internet when looking for a home. Today the percentage of home buyers that search on the internet when looking for a home has jumped to approximately 92%. Consumers are purchasing and becoming competent with more technology devices such as laptops, iPads, tablets and smart phones. These consumers are home buyers and they want to shop online. Their trend is showing us that they recognise how useful technology is and therefore they are going to be better at noticing professional versus point-and-shoot photos.

The buyers main tool is using online to search for property, so when selling, online is a very important part of your advertising schedule.

With all the competition on the market, it is important to have professional photos because they are your first and maybe only impression, to the majority of buyers who are searching for homes on the internet.

Why professional real estate photography is so important

 It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the same holds true for your home. Whether you’re looking to sell or rent, the right photographs can make or break the amount of interest your property receives.

While the tried and true channels of marketing your property – advertisements, window cards, signage, etc. – can still be very effective, it’s a fact of modern life that most people spend a lot of their time online. Whether interacting with friends on social media or catching up with their favourite TV shows, consumers expect everything to be accessible by the click of a mouse.

Open houses may still be a great way to show off a property, but just as many people – if not more – are using the internet in their search for a home. For this reason, using high-quality photographs that show off the best features of your property is essential.

Why professional photographs help

With people counting on a detailed look at your property online, the damage poor photographs can do should not be underestimated. Shabby pictures can give the impression that your home is in poor condition or not worth a second look.

Additionally, focusing on the photographs you use can help you determine exactly what kind of buyer you’re trying to appeal to. For instance, who is your ideal buyer? Someone with a family? A single person? A young couple? By figuring out who you’re trying to attract, you can determine the features your pictures should accentuate.

A family might be most drawn to pictures of a large backyard offering plenty of space for children to play. Meanwhile, a young professional could be interested in pictures of a spare room that could double as a home office.

Every property has features that can be highlighted, and professional photography can help you emphasise them in a skillful and aesthetically pleasing manner.

The benefits of professional photography

The biggest hurdle preventing many property owners from utilising professional photography is price. No one wants to spend money on a service they feel they can do themselves. However, it’s important to understand the advantages experienced and great-looking pictures can provide.

First, it’s essential to remember that with so many people shopping for homes online, how your pictures look could very well be the most important factor in generating interest in your home.

Professional photos can result in your listing getting more attention, and in turn this increases your chances of making a sale or finding the ideal buyer. This can give you a huge competitive advantage, especially if you’re listing your home in a market where property owners are struggling to make their home stand out from the crowd.

In this way, there is a very real chance that using the wrong photographs could affect your bottom line for the worse.

Finding the right photographer

Unless you’ve been trained in photography, chances are you’ll be better off outsourcing the duties to a professional.

When selecting a property photographer, it’s important to do your research. Search online and analyse portfolios, as this will give you an idea of the type of work the professional has done in the past. Also always be on the lookout for referrals and customer reviews, as this will indicate that a photographer has done good work.

It’s also worth narrowing your search for someone who specialises in photography of property in Australia. An excellent wedding photographer may not have the skills necessary to make your home shine.

Most importantly, go for value over price. Cheap does not mean better and paying more for quality photographs can pay off big when it comes time to sell your house.

Make sure your agent gets a good professional photographer to take your photos. This is too important to leave to an amateur.

If you’re serious about selling your home for more hire a pro! A pro not only gets you the best possible image but also gives his or her professional advice on how to ‘stage’ the photo to give you maximum impact. Every week, real estate professionals in your area use their personal contacts and resources to help sellers prepare their homes for sale. Why not ask your real estate professional for a referral. (to find your local real estate professional go to  and click Find My Agent)

My next blog will be on How to Price your Property For Sale.

Until next time.

Cheers Dianne

Dianne Ray Realty

Source: Book- How to Sell your Home for More;;;;;

Property Presentation

One morning you woke up and said to yourself” I am going to sell my home for the best price possible and I am starting a new chapter in my life”.

What is involved? There are many areas involved in selling your home. I will be talking about a number of areas in my next couple of blogs. This blog is about how to present your home to achieve the best possible price?

How To Sell book image

This book “How to Sell Your Home for more” is invaluable to the sellers. Quote on page 1, “I discovered very early in selling homes, that a little time taken to enhance the visual appeal of a property substantially increases the chance of the seller achieving a better selling price”. If you would like a free copy please contact me on or phone me on 0408 034 080.

The first 10 seconds when buyers enter your property is so important. The buyer will either like what they see or be turned off very quickly. Their eyes and mind are being made up – if interested or not?

Your first step is to walk around your home, internally and externally and make a checklist up, for jobs to be done before putting your home on the market. Such as internally; de-clutter, move furniture around or pack it away, clean the carpets, repair broken tiles, paint marks on walls, clean windows and more. Externally make sure the front of your home is perfect; paint steps or decking if needed, plant new plants and add mulch, weed the garden, trim trees and more if required.

You now have a checklist and all the jobs have to be ticked off and you have made a deadline date for all this to be completed. Once this has been completed it is time to contact a number of agents to give you an appraisal of your home and to come up with a recommended selling price that both you and the agent are happy with.

Next blog I will be talking about photography.

Until next time,

Cheers Dianne


The benefits of Aging

The Benefits of Aging

We all should ask and take note of what Hattie has to say.

Old Ladies Story sm

Exercise & Fitness as you Age

As you grow older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain your independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. Exercise can even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. And not only is exercise good for your body, it’s also good for your mind, mood, and memory. Whether you are generally healthy or are managing an illness, there are plenty of ways to get more active, improve confidence, and boost your fitness.

Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. You may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems, or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if you’ve never exercised before, you may not know where to begin. Or perhaps you think you’re too old or frail, or that exercise is boring or simply not for you.

While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they’re actually even better reasons to get moving. Exercise can energize your mood, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. In fact, exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. And it can even be fun, too, especially if you find like-minded people to exercise with.

No matter what your age is or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. Reaping the rewards of exercise doesn’t have to involve strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. It’s about adding more movement and activity to your life, even in small ways. Whether you are generally healthy or are managing an illness—even if you’re housebound—there are many easy ways to get your body moving and improve your health and outlook.

Dianne ‘s Venture Tours is offering tours in walking, cycling, golf, food and wine, the local area for the Over 50’s, in the Phillip island, and the Bass Coast area.

Types of Activities beneficial to Over 50’s

  • Walking & Cycling: Walking & cycling are a perfect way to exercise..
  • Sports or fitness classes. Keeps you motivated while also providing a source of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends, e.g. golf
  • Water aerobics and water sports. Working out in water is wonderful for because water reduces stress and strain on the body’s joints.
  • Yoga. Combines a series of poses with breathing. Moving through the poses works on strength, flexibility and balance. Yoga can be adapted to any level.
  • Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Martial arts-inspired systems of movement that increase balance and strength.


To Sell or Not To Sell – Sellers Perspective

In the first half of 2015 I began to evaluate my thoughts to sell my home or to stay. The home had been the family home for 45 years and became mine after my parents passed away. There was a very emotional attachment to my home as there were so many memories plus I really loved the home and area.

There were some problems I needed to face; especially as there had been some termite damage to the roof plus with time I realised there would be further maintenance to face. As I had retired from work although still very involved with community activities I realised as I was single – not getting younger. I would have to face this decision in the foreseeable years therefore it would be more sensible to sell my home whilst I was capable of making this decision. Financially I would be better off as I realised my memories would remain with me and it was time to take my life in other directions.

In May 2015 I made the decision to sell so it went on the market in June 2015. In making this decision I did not realise the extent it would take, it was very emotional and stressful.  Firstly I had to present my home for sale and this presented so much more emotion and stress for me. You can imagine after 45 years there was so much to do! De-clutter e.g. furniture, clothing, memorabilia etc. plus present the outside of the home including  the  garden to its best.

Of course not just deciding to sell I had decide what agent I would use and who would work for me the best and who can I trust. This is very difficult as you get all these agents pestering you to list your home with them. This is very draining and emotional. The agent I chose took so much stress off me. You have to listen to their advice on how to present my home ready for the sale.

My thought process was very emotional during this time as it was a comfortable home to live in and after all it was “home”. There were many frustrations and stressful emotions involved in dealing with the prospective buyer e.g. price, building inspections, maintenance problems of which all had to be overcome.

Decluttering of my home took an emotional toll as well, as I had to rid myself of a lot of memories. What my parents and I had collected over the 45 years was amazing and really you do not realise how much you have that is worthless, only memories. Common sense took over and once the home was ready for the sale, with my agent and I we achieved a very positive outcome. I was fortunate in not having to do this myself, I had help from an outstanding agent and  my family and friends who helped take a lot of the stress off my shoulders.

Finally after much de-cluttering and presentation, my home went on the market and was sold very quickly, thank goodness.  Sitting by myself in my home on settlement day I had many thoughts going through my mind but I realised it was the right decision to make. The realisation of all the emotions, and stress that I experienced I am pleased I could move on to new directions and chapter in my life.

It is so important in selling or buying a home to have the right people behind you and in my case I was fortunate in this aspect in having a great agent working with me and went far above, in what I expected plus caring people around me.

This is my experience in selling a much loved family home.

Desley Taylor – 22nd February 2016.

Shifting Interstate

What do you know about when you shift from one home to another home, especially Interstate? You really think you know what is involved and you have everything covered but boy things are forgotten or new things arise unexpectedly.
Recently I shifted interstate, sold my home in Brighton, Queensland and purchased a home in Newhaven, Victoria. Being a real estate agent I thought I had everything covered. But did I!!
Firstly I would like to say, when you sell a home, this is a very stressful time. You have a settlement date and you have to be packed up and have cleaned the home by a certain time. What happens if the removalist truck arrives late or you are still packing after settlement? “Panic”! Usually the selling process is a snowball effect. The new owners have to move out of their home because the buyers of their home are moving in on the settlement day and maybe they have sold their home and the buyers are moving in into their sold home, all on the same settlement day. All property settlements are happening on the same day. What a debacle! Thus very stressful to all concerned and everyone has to be shifted and out and cleaned up before the settlement time on settlement day. Not easy!
You have to arrange to disconnect and reconnect all your utilities: electricity, gas, telephone, Pay TV, internet and whatever else. You have to be at your new home for connections to happen and the companies say “between 8am to 12noon, or 2pm to 6pm and you have to be at your new home for all this to happen. What a nuisance and time waster. How do you do this if you are working and do not know anyone who can be there!
Other areas you have to change – address changes for your communication such as banks, Medicare, private health, memberships, electoral roll, and more, the list keeps on going.
I might add you always find out some other problems and cannot work out how certain appliances operate or the pool pump is not working or whatever. All I can say it is fun.
When you move interstate this is very interesting. Because in Australia each State has different laws and settlement for your new property, you have purchased interstate has to be at least 4 days after the settlement of your sold home. This is because of transfer of funds to the conveyancers Trust Account or due to the bank timing. So what happens during this time? You have to arrange accommodation for at least 4 to 5 days and what happens to your furniture? It is sitting in a furniture truck. The removalist can charge you for storage, or the amount of days to unload. Or you can do what I did and this does not happen all the time, I gained early access to the property to unload the furniture. You cannot stay in the new home until settlement has happened. This can only happen if the sellers have moved out earlier. Be prepared for this.
You have settled and you have moved into your new home and all is really feeling good. On the first night you pop the cork to celebrate the purchase. You are feeling quite excited about your new venture. The next day after feeling absolutely exhausted you have to face the task of unpacking. Hint- the quicker you can do this the better. When the unpacking is finished it feels so much better.
The next thing is getting to know your community. This is daunting when you do not know anyone. It helps if you have children but if you do not, joining clubs you are interested in, is the only way to meet people. I play golf so I joined the golf club straight away and also I am in Rotary.
I am starting to meet people and starting to feel I am belonging to a new community.