Stressed sellers… Relax, there are things that can be done

Written by Anthony Toop in Investment on May 28, 2012

In today’s soft market conditions, an increasing number of South Australian sellers have SA Property Markethad their properties on the market for several months.  Many have decided to call it a day and are staying put, withdrawing their properties from the market. On the other hand, we are seeing some properties snapped up in a matter of days.  In confusing market conditions prevalent in SA, it is no wonder why sellers are getting stressed about the sale for their property.  So why are some properties selling so fast?


The seller mindset

Interesting and varied thought processes are going on within sellers’ minds at the moment. Some sellers are still waiting for the return of the good times, hoping for some sort of magic reinstatement of a price peak, which was a feature in the market of old – they were the days!

The facts are that serious sellers are selling quickly – there are plenty of sales taking place.  Latest statistics show that in the first quarter of this year, a total of 4,676 residential house sales occurred in South Australia, and 1,207 residential flat/apartment sales have taken place.  This shows that the sales are still occurring.

A positive and proactive committed sales approach gets results.  To be part of this market, you need to take into account the current situation, which points to an extreme focus on price and the condition of the property.  To this reason, presentation is paramount in having your property stand out amongst the crowd.  Sellers need to be responsive to offers, as buyers’ interest flits from one property to the next in quick time.

If you want to sell, now is the time for a focused effort of getting your sale before the end of the financial year.  Waiting for the next boom may be a very long time coming, however what we do know is that sales are happening for those who manage to get the marketing, the attitude and the pricing right.

Sadly for those of us with property, it is important to accept that the market HAS changed. The cold hard reality is that the boom is old news. Any loss in equity has occurred, whether you are selling or not.  Future gain will occur from today’s base, today’s actual market price…the price that you would have achieved if you did sell. Withdrawing your property from sale simply allows the reality of the market to be crystallised later, it doesn’t change the facts.


Consumer confidence is the missing element

The great news is that unlike previous market conditions, this time there are many active buyers given that interest rates are at historical lows.  There is also almost full employment and there is no oversupply of property. The missing piece seems to simply be CONFIDENCE! Irrespective of whether we have bottomed out or not, my view is we will bounce along for a few years now as the economies around the world sort themselves out and everyone gets their act together.

A big reason why buyers are missing confidence is because the cycle of “sell then buy/ buy then sell” combined with financing options is seen as perilous. The answer is simple – sell first so you are a cash buyer in today’s market and have your finance all in order as Banks want no risk.  If you have cash and finance pre-approval, all agents will want you as a client. People in this space should be confident to march in with an offer.

The current market conditions could prove to be the best time to buy in the next 5-10 years. Interest rates are low, housing is more affordable than ever, and they will pick up, gradually over the next few years. If you are upsizing or upgrading, your percentage gain in a slow market will be significant.   Remember, no one picks the bottom of the market, but everyone reflects on it and says “I wish I bought then.”