The Block Auctions are nearly upon us

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I listened to some of the rhetoric from the judges last night on The Block and kept hearing the phrase, “styling sells houses.” It was said whilst talking about the lack of personal touches from a couple of the contestants regarding their kitchens. One of them was perturbed that the basil was slightly limp in the fruit bowl.

For a competition this is fine. For a TV show this is fine, but for those of you that think emulating The Block will sell your home, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a TV show and the drama is staged to sell advertising space on the TV network. The judges are there to add to that drama.

Most people who are purchasing a new home will be in the property for 15 minutes probably 2 times before purchasing the property. And whilst look and feel can add to the purchaser’s want to buy it is unlikely to be the reason for the purchase. That comes down to location of the property, how many bedrooms, living zones, storage, garaging etc. It doesn’t really matter to the average person about the art works, or styling, because they have to bring their own any way. I do understand that all the styling remains with these properties.

When preparing your own property for sale, YES, everything has to be neat and tidy and if there is any “limp basil” which I believe was actually mint, you should replace it. But it will not be the reason somebody purchases your property. Spending $2000 on art work, $75 on cheese, $1000 on fluffy cushions, could be much better spent having a new oven, dishwasher or vanity in the bathroom. The $3500 Darren and Dea spent on the wine, which is staying with the home may considered useful but only if you are chasing an extra couple of grand from a wine aficionado.

There has been a huge issue over everyone changing the location of their kitchens. The architect apparently went with the kitchen splitting the dining room and lounge rooms so as to fit in with the ceiling heights (allowing for sink traps from the upstairs bathrooms). That is all well and good from a building perspective but to split a lounge and dining in such a small apartment would be suicide. You would have 2 extremely small areas instead of one that is only just big enough to be called “living space” I really do understand why some of the agents of the contestants have not put dimensions on the room sizes.

Of the four apartments the floor plan of number 2 stands well apart from the others. The living and dining room form a fairly large open plan space and the kitchen, whilst is not perfectly located, isn’t too bad. And they have set it quite intelligently. On the first floor they have a full extra living space or bedroom. This means that a family can live in this apartment. Most families who have children over the age of five would not purchase a property with only one living zone. Even the idea of the parents retreat with a door to the master bedroom allows for a new born child. Most parents would think twice about anyone under the age of 2 being on a different level to the master bedroom. Unit 3 has a small retreat and this may work, but they still only have one living zone.

The living levels of each of the apartments was obviously tricky to get the truly open plan feel. This is understandable as the architect is taking 3 units on each floor and turning them into one level of a home. The structural issues must have been a nightmare!! On paper unit 4 is by far the best open plan look, but the ridiculous posts in the centre of the entrance to the kitchen will substantially affect the thoughts of buyers. The kitchen at one end, flowing through the dining room and finishing at the living room is however perfect! The other 3 units have had to make concessions and fit the three rooms into a square with the fourth quadrant being the terrace. Unit 4 being able to have the terrace across all three rooms gives them a very big advantage in this instance. 3 of the 4 units can access the outdoor entertaining area from the living room, however, unit 3 can only access through the kitchen or dining area. This will make traffic flow to outside a lot harder than for the other 3 units.

Always remember that The Block is a TV show. It is called “Reality TV” but nothing could be further from the truth.

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About the author

Ian has been operating his own businesses for more than 25 years. During this time the self taught lessons of building the business, dealing with staff, suppliers, clients and economic woes have been invaluable. Ian is a fully licensed Real estate Agent, a member of the REIV and registered with the Business Licensing Authority.

Buying property is not just sticking up your hand and outbidding your rival. It is an emotional, fiscal and psychological decision that needs to be planned and well executed. Ian is usually involved in over three hundred property negotiations per year; ranging from the $250,000 first unit purchase for a young couple to multiple million dollar residential developments. Ian's business background and endless numbers of negotiations make him one of the industry's leading negotiators.

Ian is married with two adult children, living in Patterson Lakes. He is a keen fisherman when weather and business allows the time.