How frustrated vendors can secure a sale

Tips and tricks to sell properties in a quiet market

How frustrated vendors can secure a sale

With New Zealand’s real estate market witnessing more houses being passed in at auction and the number of days it takes to sell lengthening out, property sellers have been urged not to give up, and instead change tactics to make a sale happen.

This was according to Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

“While sale activity has declined, it’s not a buyers’ market yet,” Kearins said. “It’s a more balanced market, where sellers now face more competition while buyers have more properties to choose from. It’s requiring patience, but properties in demand continue to make good money.”

Read more: Property prices still up year on year – for now, says 21 Century boss

Kearns said it’s important for vendors to remember that demand remains, with new buyers entering the market every month.

“Kiwis still want to buy houses, particularly when they keep reading that interest rates are likely to [keep] rising as the year goes on,” Kearins said. “Many buyers see this autumn as a bit of a sweet spot, helped by vendors increasingly motivated to sell before winter sets in.”

Kearins said that although auctions in a quieter market are less likely to be successful, that does not mark the end of the road.

“Auctions identify cash buyers with pre-approved finance, ready to buy today,” he said. “Even if they don’t buy at your auction, they’re preferrable buyers to work with as vendors know they can at least push play with them relatively quickly.”

Negotiating prices in quieter times could potentially lose people. There are some buyers who are reluctant to be the first to name a price, or wrongly presume a property is worth more than it is.

“There are plenty of buyers who drive past a house and say, ‘That will be $1 million,’ and keep driving,” Kearins said. “However, the vendor may now be happy to take $900,000. Hence, putting a price tag on it will only help draw more buyers in.”

In order to sell a property, it is also important for vendors to hitch their sale price expectations to this year, not the previous year. Buyers, likewise, need to make sure their offer reflects the present day, and not undervalue a property on the basis that it could go down further when it may not.

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“A slower market really tests agents, and you need to make sure you’ve engaged someone who’s proactive and hungry, as the internet alone won’t sell it,” Kearins said. “People sell properties in this type of market. Look for agents who have an active network of potential buyers and listings in a similar price band so they can refer people onto your place.”

Kearins also suggested freshening up the marketing material, and reordering the photographs and written spiel, to reflect what potential buyers have said they like about the property.

“Some vendors think they’ve got an amazing kitchen and so want to lead with that,” he said. “However, if buyer feedback is all about the outside deck and views, then that’s what you need to accentuate in your refreshed marketing.”

Kearins said one of the best things frustrated vendors can do is local research.

“See what similar properties in the neighbourhood are making,” he said. “If they’re still fetching good prices, your real estate agent will remind buyers of that. If local prices have slowed, however, the cold, hard reality is motivated vendors will need to adjust the sights. Ultimately, you can’t beat the buyer.”