Ask the Expert: What to do when a changing property market means your home won't sell.
WITH FOREIGN INVESTMENT APPROVALS DECLINING AND LOCAL CREDIT CONDITIONS TIGHTENING, IT'S EASY TO POINT THE FINGER AT SYDNEY'S FALLING PROPERTY SECTOR IF YOU CAN'T SELL YOUR HOUSE. McGRATH LOWER NORTH SHORE AGENT PIERS van HAMBURG SHARES HIS EXPERT ADVICE ON FINDING THE RIGHT BUYER FOR YOUR HOME, IN THIS CHANGING MARKET.
After spending months of preparation and hard work to get your property up to scratch, the worst fear every vendor has, is not finding a purchaser.
Firstly, let me reassure you that houses always sell – eventually!
But if you are struggling to close a deal, there are a number of factors to consider, if you haven’t yet managed to find the perfect buyer.
Have you presented your home to its best advantage?
You only get one chance to create a great first impression and most buyers will make their mind up on your home within seconds of walking through the front door.
I strongly recommend engaging a professional property stylist to run their expert eye over your home, prior to listing.
Sometimes a stylist walks in and say the home is perfect just the way it is - and other times they will recommend adding a mirror here, some art there or a few cushions to make your lounge room appear super luxurious, comfortable and complete.
Has your agent located the best buyers in the market?
If you are a listing agent, running an ad on www.realestate.com.au and then standing at the front door to greet potential buyers just isn’t going to cut it in a challenging market.
Ask your agent for the list of buyers they've called when listing your home.
Also, enquire whether they have canvassed any buyer’s agents. Buyers agents are fantastic to deal with, as they represent qualified, motivated buyers wanting to purchase.
There is a massive difference when it comes to real estate agents and how they look after - and nurture buyers.
Does your agent think outside the box?
Social media has infiltrated most areas of our lives and has changed our approach to property marketing as a great way to get more relevant buyers through the door.
We sold a home at 22 Richmond Avenue, Cremorne a couple of months ago and it attracted an additional 20+ buyers through Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.
Has your agent previously sold in a challenging market?
Selling in a tough market requires a totally different approach to selling in a thriving market. If your current agent has been in the business for less than 5 years, they have never experienced working in a challenging environment.
In hindsight, working during the GFC (and the five years afterwards) taught me very valuable skills. I learnt that a hardworking, strong communicating agent can add massive value and achieve sales, regardless of what the market may be doing.
Are you in regular contact with your agent?
In a difficult market you need to increase communication for both a seller and a prospective buyer. Staying in touch helps keep a client calm - and it also allows them to make informed decisions.
If I was a vendor, I would ask for daily phone calls, weekly written reports and regular face-to-face progress meetings until a sale is over the line.
It's a bit like sailing, if the wind changes direction you need to change direction and adapt to it. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
How does your agent deal with overseas buyers?
Sales can be lost if agents do not have a China Desk.
A Mandarin and Cantonese speaking agent will always help a foreign buyer make an offer - and then navigate the process of buying a home.
It seems like a simple question, but if you list with a smaller, under resourced real estate agency, this could become a costly issue for a vendor.