When the market is flooded with properties for sales, it’s known as a “buyer’s market”. Many suburbs and cities across Australia are currently in a buyer’s market, which means buyers have many more property choices at their fingertips.
But even if your property is located in an area where there is a glut “for sale” signs on front lawns, that doesn’t mean your house or apartment should sit on the market for months with no buyer interest, says Nicole Marsh, Licensed Buyers Agent from Eureka Property on the Gold Coast.
If your property has been listed for more than 60 days and you’ve yet to receive an offer, it’s like that you’re doing one of the following things wrong:
Problem #1: Ineffective marketing
“Most agents are very good at marketing a property but some agents have no clue,” Marsh says. In a competitive environment it’s even more important that your property is presented at its very best, so you can’t afford to have a “bad blurb about the property and bad photos”, Marsh warns. “Buyers will just glance over it and write it off.”
Solution: Your property marketing should be viewed through the eyes of potential buyers. How does your property compare to similar properties in the area? Your home’s advertisement should make it stand out from the crowd. Professional photos are a good idea. You can also hire a professional to write your listing copy to make your property marketing stand out from the rest.
Problem #2: A less-than-impressive agent
The sale of your property will make you a lot of money, so it is important that they are willing to do the work. “We find that 99% of agents are really good, but if you’re unlucky enough to choose an agent who has zero care factor, is slack to return calls, lacks follow up and has no clue about the property they are selling – such as development potential and council zonings – then this will certainly devalue your property. They will let the buyers slip away, or they’ll just turn them off altogether,” Marsh warns.
She recalls that she went to an open viewing one weekend and found the selling agent drunk. After a long lunch, he fell and had to hiccup his way through the viewing. “It didn’t phase me – it was the wrong house for my buyers anyway – but for an ordinary buyer, this would have really turned them off,” she says. “The vendors would have been ropable if they had have known.”
Solution: Before you give them the right to sell your property, interview your agent. Ask questions such: How many years have you been selling property properties? Do you have experience in this specific area? Do you have references we could look for?
Problem #3: The incorrect pricing of the property
Many vendors make the mistake of “believing their castle is worth much more than anyone else’s”, Marsh says, which means that may not price the property right when it first hits the market. “If a property sits on the market too long, it ‘goes stale’ and is perceived by the buyers as having something wrong with it,” she explains. “In the end, the vendors and agent have to continually discount the price until they almost have to give it away before it sells.” She adds, “In the current market its not uncommon to see properties sell for a whole lot less than a previously offered price, as the vendors wanted to hold out for a higher price – which never came.”
Solution: Be realistic about your listing price. Get three appraisals from three different agents before listing it for sale, and have a “floor” price in mind before you put it on the market.