John McGrath - Advice For Spring Sellers
We’re now into the second month of Spring and auction clearance rates are holding up well.
In the third week of September, the combined capital city clearance rate reached its highest point since early March at 67.6%.
This was on the back of rebounding consumer confidence, with the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment now sitting just -1.6% below the six-month average prior to the virus.
Prices remain remarkably stable, partly due to low stock. Across the combined capitals, CoreLogic says new listing volumes are down -35% on the four-year average, with Melbourne’s stage four restrictions exacerbating the situation.
The southern city’s Spring selling season effectively began a month late because physical inspections of properties for sale were banned until September 27. Now, buyers can inspect homes by appointment, whilst auctions must continue to be held remotely.
Sellers should feel confident this season, with latest figures for the month of September from CoreLogic showing only a minor fall in dwelling prices in Sydney at -0.3% and gains in Canberra (0.4%), Brisbane (0.5%), Adelaide (0.8%), Darwin (1.6%) and Perth (0.2%).
Dwelling values were also up 0.5% in regional NSW and regional Queensland, up 1.5% in regional South Australia and steady in regional Victoria with no change.
Unsurprisingly, Melbourne dwelling values fell -0.9% under the gloomy weight of the second wave and stage four restrictions. However, we’re on Step 2 of 4-step plan out of restrictions now and with daily case numbers very low, there’s reason to be optimistic.
So, if you’re thinking of selling this Spring, now is the time to switch into gear. There’s only about 10 weeks left until the fortnight before Christmas, when people stop going to opens and head to the shops.
When you consider the time it takes to choose an agent and dress your property up for sale, you’re already looking at late October at the earliest to commence your campaign. So, let’s get cracking on the first step to selling.
From my experience, many people are too casual in their approach to choosing an agent. This is a crucial decision because your agent WILL have an effect on your sale price - good or bad. So, it’s worth putting in the time and effort to do your research properly.
Generally speaking if you don’t have an existing relationship, it’s a good idea to invite three agents in for an appraisal. Each one will come to your home for an inspection and preliminary discussion. You’ll then receive a market price appraisal and a recommended selling strategy in writing.
That’s the process in a nutshell, but how do you decide which agents to invite in?
The first step is to simply ask around. Talk to former neighbours, friends and colleagues who have sold in your area in recent years. Would they recommend the agent they sold with? And, why? If they’ve had a great experience selling with a particular agent, there’s every chance you will, too.
Next step is to assess market share amongst the local specialists. Search similar homes to yours recently sold in your suburb on realestate.com.au or domain.com.au to see which agents have the majority market share. The more successful agents know more buyers and have better strategies.
If recent sales don’t show prices, request them via phone or email. Bookmark homes and compare results. The agents who work that little bit harder will have noticeably better prices.
Also review agent bios on prominent agency websites like ours at www.mcgrath.com.au.
Take your time to ensure you make the right choice. For more information on how to choose an agent, read this article.
The views expressed in this article are an opinion only and readers should rely on their independent advice in relation to such matters.
This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation (October 6, 2020)
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