The Property Prophet – What Are Australian Homebuyers Looking For in 2017?


It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know that, as long as interest rates remain low, demand for property, especially in the eastern states, will remain high.

However, unlike previous booms, where buyers were keen to snap up a property based on potential – a ‘renovator’s delight’ – many time-poor purchasers and investors are looking for properties where all the hard work has been done.

No matter what end of the price spectrum a property falls within, creating the perception of low maintenance, designer living, will be an ally in achieving a top selling price.

Designer styling

From the most modest weatherboard in the outer suburbs to the ultimate in prestigious addresses like Toorak and Rose Bay, buyers are demanding a designer presentation.  

For this reason, home staging in Melbourne is continuing to grow in popularity as a means to secure ‘an edge’, with this strategy fast becoming a profitable part of any sales campaign.

Consider the following as areas which can influence a buyer’s perception and increase the value of a sale:

  • Modern stylish furniture, in keeping with the home
  • Neutral, color coordinated artwork
  • Homely, designer accessories – cushions, throws, potted plants, vases, flowers
  • Clean, decluttered spaces, free from personal items
  • Stylish mirrors
  • Designer lamps, shades, and lighting
  • Flame effect heater or a log fire
  • Scented candles – delightful aromas can create a peaceful and embracing feeling.

The idea is to create an atmosphere of welcome and warmth, where a buyer can imagine them residing in luxury.   

Lifestyle Living

While developers may be scouring the up-and-coming suburbs for quarter acre blocks, those looking to purchase an established home are seeking low maintenance gardens and landscaping.

Many sellers and even agents are dubious about the value of swimming pools, with a number of agents claiming they detract from a property.  That may be the case IN THEORY but a well maintained, inground pool and surrounds can be a real drawcard for families and singles alike. Presented correctly, a pool or water feature can transform a bland piece of grass into a setting of aspirational, resort style living.

Floorplan Fundamentals

The traditional floorplan has undergone and swift and dramatic change over the past two decades.  The fallout from the technology revolution has been the move from the family all sitting around the tv in the evening, too zoned living which provides privacy and separates work and play areas.

Other transformations within the modern home, include:

  • Formal dining room – there has been a shift to indoor/outdoor entertaining
  • Formal sitting room – has morphed into a parent’s retreat or second television area
  • The main bedroom – needs to double as a parent’s retreat.  Buyers now expect and demand as standard – both a walk-in robe and an ensuite, even in the smallest homes.

Green living

With the rising cost of utilities such as gas and electricity putting a burden on people’s pockets, buyers in increasing numbers are looking for homes which are already equipped with integrated features which will reduce their heating and cooling bills.

Features such as:

  • Solar panels
  • LED lighting
  • Water tanks
  • Drought resistant landscaping
  • Insulation
  • Double glazing on windows

Evergreen style

Until relatively recently, home buyers looking for a home to live in for the rest of their lives, without giving a thought to capital gains or resale values.  These days most buyers have one eye on now and the other on the future.

Downsizing has become a common practice especially for those nearing retirement age and with house prices doubling every 10 years, making the right investment choices now, can pay off manyfold in the future.

With this in mind, canny buyers and investors are looking for classic style homes rather than ‘modern’ facades and interiors which will quickly become passe.

So what features have been shown to stand the test of time?  Think natural and neutral, such as:

  • Hardwood flooring
  • Muted colour schemes
  • Stone bench tops
  • Provincial and classic facades and features
  • Traditional fixtures and fittings – no gold taps or purple toilets!

Outdoor Entertaining

Finally, buyers are turning in droves to indoor / outdoor living.

The trend towards outdoor kitchens, barbeque and entertaining areas, decking, strip heating and zip track blinds, are all combining to lend a resort style feel to properties.

The outdoor area can sell a home in the same way as a magnificent kitchen.  Vendors would be wise to focus a considerable amount of energy on transforming and extending this area of their home.

For sellers, many of the ideas mentioned above can be implemented to suit a budget.  Decisions regarding larger transformations such as layout or structural alterations must be done on advisement.  

A professional real estate agent can advise you regarding how your local property market is tracking.  This advice can assist in avoiding  over capitalizing in areas which are unlikely to provide a return on your investment.

For those considering selling their homes in 2017, there has never been a better time to style your home for a successful sale.  Best of luck!

About Author


Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person. Lover of coffee, crime shows as well as humor. Loyalty, honesty and positivity is what attracts me to a person as that is what I try to project to others. Hard working and driven to a fault helps me help others and in turn helps myself in my daily work and life.

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