Is there a right time to sell?

Real estate agents have long debated and even advocated that there is a “right” season to sell property.

Some argue that summer time is simply too busy while others will suggest that homes don’t look their best in winter, or even that buyers are distracted by the football season. While many agents advise potential sellers to defer selling until the Spring – typically the peak property sales period – it’s important to realise that there will always be buyers ready to act.

Sure, seasons may influence those who are just window shopping at a property with no serious intention of buying, but there are always people out there who need to buy a new home regardless of the season. Not everyone can wait until Spring! It’s these people we need to focus on.

Selling a home is not about the weather, it is about the craft – creating a marketing campaign that engages buyers regardless of the season.  It’s all about going into sell a home with the right strategy, the right focus and the right attitude – attributes that a PPG agent always brings to the table. If someone believes it’s not the right season to sell then things are automatically off to a weak start.

Property sales data for the past few months in Melbourne shows both a steady supply of homes and apartments hitting the market matched with a steady clearance rate. Median values have also remained fairly stable indicating that there is no mythical “drop off” point in the market where things stop altogether, just because of the time of year.

Regardless of whether there is an ‘ideal season’ to sell or not, there will always be people ready to buy property and agents just need to connect with them for their sellers and get the job done.


Preparing to Sell Fast

PPG_May_image 4_preparing for saleWhat makes a house go on the market, have a number of open for inspections in the first week and a contract in place shortly thereafter? Luck and/or price may have something to do with it but there’s a good chance that the vendor was fully prepared to sell the property.

When gearing up to sell it’s important to do your best to see the house, no longer as your home, but as a product to be marketed. This can be difficult, especially if you have been in the home for a number of years and it holds so many memories, but it is necessary to maximise your potential.

Also, stand back and look at your house as objectively as possible. Would you buy this home? Ask friends and neighbours to do the same, asking them to be totally honest. Overlooking flaws could cost you money. Get any defects fixed before you put the house on the market.

Next, do what is necessary to make your house stand out from the competition. Make certain that your house is fresher, cleaner, and better maintained. Familiarise yourself with effective marketing and advertising techniques and listen to the experts.

Finally, remove most of the "imprint" that you have made on the house. Having a few family pictures around is fine, but you should take some steps to depersonalise it. Buyers must be able to envision themselves in the house, which is easier to do when the home is clear of clutter and private knick-knacks.

Auction results healthy but experts warn top-end property remains patchy

AuctionThe auction market is still performing strongly but vendors of higher-end properties are opting for private sales instead of risking their home at auction, experts warn.

Real Estate Institute of Australia president David Airey warns that although the Melbourne market recorded a 68% clearance rate, the top-end is still struggling with discounts a common occurrence.

"The average price was only about $800,000. People at the top end have decided the best way for them to sell is through private sales, rather than risking through auctions. That’s the same across Australia, where the lower end is moving, but the higher end is more average."

Airey points to the sheer number of pass-ins occurring in Melbourne. The REIV figures suggest 325 properties were passed in, and Airey says more of these would have been likely in the top-end areas.

Christopher also believes the market in the top-end properties is moving slowly.

"It’s a very difficult market to read. I’d say the top end is quite patch. You could get some very good sales, but there are still records of properties that aren’t performing particularly well at all. It’s definitely a patchy market."

However, other markets have remained strong, these experts say. Melbourne managed record a 68% clearance rate out of 1,031 auctions, according to the REIV, with chief executive Enzo Raimondo pointing out that rate hasn’t changed during the past eight weeks.

"In light of the very high number of auctions this weekend the clearance rate of 68 that was achieved is a very healthy result and demonstrates that underlying demand is good," he said.

Some analysts predicted prices might drop due to the sheer number of listings. Auctions have backed up over the past few weeks due to the AFL Grand Final and the subsequent replay, while the upcoming Cup Weekend has brought forward some sales.

"Including this weekend’s activity, the REIV has seen average weekly auction listings increase by around 30% compared to winter; interestingly, the clearance rate for spring has not changed substantially, with around 68% of homes selling during the first eight weeks of spring."

Airey agrees, saying the result was "a particularly solid one".

But the rest of the country hasn’t performed so well. Christopher says Sydney’s result in the mid-50s reveals neither buyers nor vendors have negotiating control.

"That result represents a market equilibrium, where neither buyers nor sellers have control. However, that result does indicate that there could still be price rises occurring there."

"Outside Sydney and Melbourne, and putting Canberra aside, it’s a pretty weak market out there. I would argue prices are falling in southeast Queensland, and Adelaide is looking very slow as well."

Christopher also points out activity in the Northern Territory, which he says is becoming scarily bubble-like. "Darwin is a market that is looking very scary at the moment and very bubbly. When it turns, it’s going to be a steep ride down."

According to Australian Property Monitors, Sydney recorded a 56% clearance rate out of 501 auctions. Total sales came to $149 million.

Adelaide recorded a 63% clearance rate out of the 48 auctions on the market, with total sales coming to $9.9 million, while Brisbane recorded a rate of 30.4%, with 57 total auctions coming to a sales total of $4.8 million.

Story by Patrick Stafford

Auction super Saturday

auctionsSpring has hit Melbourne’s property market with a vengeance, with more than 1100 auctions listed this weekend in what has been dubbed ”super Saturday”.

The frenzy of listings was the result of a limited number of weekend selling days free from other public events like the grand final and the spring racing carnival.

”Houses sold by auction traditionally have a four-week marketing campaign that preferably avoids intervening holiday weekends,” buyer advocate Mal James said.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, 1110 properties were listed for auction this weekend with about 90 per cent on Saturday, the largest number since one weekend in March 2008 when 1351 homes went under the hammer. About 600 private sale results are expected.

Nearly 200 of those auctions are expected to take place in the million-dollar-plus inner east and bayside suburbs.

But recent REIV property price data shows the top end of the real estate market has been hit by declining house prices, with the top quarter experiencing price falls of 0.6 per cent for houses and 0.8 per cent for units in the three months to September.

RP Data property analyst Tim Lawless said Melbourne’s real estate market was in a period of transition with price growth moving to the lower, more affordable end of the market.

So far this year, the REIV has recorded 40,981 auctions and private sales worth more than $23 billion, representing about 70 per cent of all sales.

Auction clearance rates have fallen from a high of 85 per cent before Anzac Day to between 60 and 70 per cent over the past few weeks.

Lower auction clearance rates suggest vendor expectations were still out of alignment with buyers, Mr Lawless said.

There were likely to be one or two more super Saturdays later this year, but none would match this particular weekend, Mr James said.

Story by Simon Johanson

Australian real estate overvalued: IMF

IMF The International Monetary Fund has warned that Australian real estate prices might be overvalued.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, cautions that a reversal in prices could hit consumers who have speculated on rising values.

"Given assessed mild overvaluation, a potential correction in house" prices "could hit household wealth and consumer confidence," the IMF has warned.

The cautionary language follows recent comments from the Reserve Bank that Australia’s property market shows "welcome signs" of cooling after earlier interest rate rises and the withdrawal of government stimulus.

Early fears of a property bubble have emerged after housing prices rose in the year to June.

The Reserve Bank’s head of financial stability, Luci Ellis, said yesterday that the Australian property market did not appear to be overheated.

However she said: "Buying an asset because you expect the price to rise in the future, well, that is actually the academic definition of a bubble. So that would be undesirable and seen as a problem."

In an earlier development, the Fitch ratings agency said it planned to "stress test" the impact of any downturn on banks and insurers.

Story by Peter Ryan Yahoo 7 Finance

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