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How to read the market and sell at the right time

With 20 years inner city selling experience, I believe sellers need to think beyond accepted practice and instead focus on supply and demand in choosing when to sell.

I’ve never been able to accurately read the market to pinpoint the perfect time to sell. In terms of trying to read what’s happening with the broader property market and then picking the exact moment to sell, well, even for a property expert, that’s a bit of a nonsense. For both sellers and buyers, generally speaking, the right time is when they need to sell or buy – it’s circumstance driven.

For sellers able to choose when their property will hit the market, I try and avoid relying on a spring sale because every other agent and seller is thinking the same. It’s true there are times when a property will look its best. And in spring, the sun is out, the flowers are blossoming and everything is fresh, but in my experience, you don’t necessarily get the best prices in spring. That’s because everyone has had the same idea, to sell in spring, and the market tends to be flooded with stock which erodes competition to some extent. In recent years, I have seen the best results in autumn and winter and that’s because there is less stock coming onto the market, but there is still demand from buyers. My record sales months in the inner city have always been mid year.

Demand for inner city homes in Perth, West Perth, North Perth and Highgate over the past 6 months has been strong especially with sales through the festive period maintaining momentum all the way through to February. In fact I sold 3 properties during the Christmas period proving that buyers are always seeking that something special regardless of the time of year. But as autumn approaches, I am predicting even stronger demand for homes that are well presented and correctly priced all the way through winter. The trade-up market will be booming!

I always recommend my sellers get at least four consecutive weekends during the sale campaign. When planning a campaign, I try and avoid public holidays and long weekends although I always promote inspections by appointment during these times. I make sure that we get at least four consecutive weekends, without a public holiday in there. Buyers will come back and look at a property a few weekends in a row, and if that’s interrupted by a weekend away for a public holiday, you can sometimes lose momentum. An uninterrupted campaign will quite often get a better result.

If the inner city has a “quieter” time during the year, I would say that would be the second half of December and early part of January, when many people are traditionally away from home. The Easter long weekend can also be quieter but if you have a desirable property in a suburb with few listings you may be surprised at the level of enquiry. The thing to remember there will be times when micro markets perform better than others. This is where an experienced agent with an intimate understanding of the nuances of your suburb is your first step to achieving a fantastic price any time of the year.

16 Feb 2018


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