When it comes to selling or buying a property in Melbourne, it can be overwhelming finding a place to start.  I recently spoke to TickerTV about my property investment advice for vendors and buyers alike; today I’ll deep-dive further into these top tips.

For vendors

1. Fast track property sale

In today’s economic condition, a quick game is a good game. While you’re in the market, you may be juggling multiple mortgages or missing out on other investment opportunities. Working with a vendor’s advocate as well as a real estate agent can help you make a quick sale, without sacrificing on reaching top dollar for your property.

2. Maximise ROI by making the right upgrades

It pays to be clever about the upgrades you make to a property before the sale. Refreshing paint and carpets is almost always a good idea, as is giving attention to gardens and landscaping.

It can be tempting to DIY much of this in an attempt to save some dollars – but it’s important to factor in the finished quality. If bringing in a professional to do the same job will set you back a thousand dollars, but increase the overall property value by $5,000, it makes obvious sense to outsource. And of course, you never want to risk devaluing your property with a job that’s not completed to perfection.

This is particularly the case with major renovations – buyers will do their due diligence, and potentially hazardous DIY jobs in kitchens or bathrooms will quickly have them moving on to other property investment options. Read online reviews, or ask for recommendations in local Facebook groups to find the best professional for your needs.

Outsourcing staging for sale is not always an option vendors consider. But in this case, a professional will be able to dress your property in a way that makes the most of a space and its proportions – and connect with aspiring buyers.

For buyers

3. Know that the value is in the land

You have probably heard the old saying: “Buy the worst house on the best street.” Or another: “Location! Location! Location!” There are dozens of these sayings, because it’s true: the value of your property investment is in the land itself.

The land your property is built on will appreciate, while the residence itself will typically depreciate (without further clever upgrades, see above). Seek out areas that are currently undervalued – like Bonbeach, or a ‘bridesmaid’ suburb like Preston – which will bring more bang for your buck than suburbs of Northcote and Thornbury that are slightly closer to the CBD.

Upgrades you undertake post-settlement – whether cosmetic or structural – can cost less both immediately and in the long-run than finding your ‘dream home’ on land that has met its peak value.

4. Focus on lifestyle drivers

Lifestyle drivers are what we call everything that makes an area desirable to live in. Some of these are universal – road and public transport infrastructure, access to shops and amenities – and some will vary between demographics.

School zones are an attractive feature that can be a wise investment, regardless of whether you have a school-aged family or not.

A home closer to the city may bring you a higher mortgage, but it will buy you the feeling of more time in your day. On the other hand, choosing a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne, for instance, would see you a convenient distance from the CBD for weekdays – as well as the varied attractions of the Mornington Peninsula for weekends.

Taking the time to identify what lifestyle drivers are most important to you – or your ideal tenants – and use these as a starting point for your search.

5. Anticipate your family’s needs

It can be very tempting to think in terms of ‘starter homes’ and ‘forever homes’ – especially when you have a young family, and may be navigating changed financial situations while on parental leave or part-time work.

You might think of a ‘starter home’ as being something with fewer bedrooms and living spaces, or out of your preferred school zone – but more affordable in the short-term.

But unless it works into a greater strategy for a property portfolio, you could be doing yourself a disservice by not choosing a property that could suit your needs in the years to come. I recommend choosing a home your family can grow into – avoiding ‘changeover’ costs that come part and parcel of not only buying and selling property, but also moving a family.

Whether you’re selling or buying a property in Melbourne, having an independent advocate on your side will help you navigate the ins and outs of not only finding the perfect home for you, but also the best investment opportunity. Get in touch with the expert Industry Insider team for help in your unique situation.