Buying and selling in the current climate

The stats are in – the Australian housing market is on the downturn. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the first quarter of this year revealed a big drop in both Melbourne (the biggest decline in five and a half years) and Sydney (first annual drop for six years).

While this might sound like bad news, it does present some great opportunities for both buyers and sellers. You just need to know where to look. Here’s what you should know when buying or selling in today’s real estate climate.

Sellers

It’s likely you’re a little nervy in a slowing market but rest assured there is still demand. To capitalise on this, follow these steps:

  1. Up your presentation stakes

We can’t stress how important it is to ensure your property is looking its best at sale time. Think all repairs done, a fresh coat of paint, a touch of landscaping, spotlessly clean, properly furnished and styled. All these things can make a huge difference in attracting prospective buyers to inspect your home over someone else’s.

  1. Be realistic

As the market has clearly changed, do your due diligence research-wise. Check out similar properties on the market in your area as it will give you a good idea of what yours is really worth.

  1. Hook up with an expert

A slow market is the perfect time to draw on the reserves of an experienced real estate agent. Look for one with a strong track record who intimately understands your locale. Any agent can sell property during a boom, but a truly great one knows the right tricks of the trade to secure deals in a slow one too. A vendor advocate can be a great resource here and we can put you in touch with one.

  1. Consider bridging finance

Selling and buying at the same time can be hard, especially when things slow down. Bridging loans can give you some breathing room to sell your property if things don’t go to plan. These loans can be a great option, however they are more complex than a standard home loan. It’s a good idea to speak to an expert like us before to committing to this type of loan.

Buyers

Are you a first home buyer? If so, you’re in the driver’s seat right now so it’s time to put on your inspection shoes and launch into top gear! The same can be said for if you’re on the hunt for your next home, be it your second or third.

It’s worth noting that a slow market doesn’t necessarily mean bargains are easy to come by. There’s still plenty of competition out there so take advantage of this tips to ensure you’re a winner on the home-buying front:

  1. Make a plan

For those of you who have a current property, buying before you sell can place unnecessary pressure on you to accept a lower price than you want. Make a plan of what you’d like to do when it comes to buying and selling simultaneously … and stick to it.

If you need some further assistance in getting this right, arrange a time to workshop the various options and scenarios with us. We can then help you come up with the most appropriate strategy and plan.

  1. Ensure your finances are ready to go

Like a good boy or girl scout, be prepared! Arrange financial pre-approval so if a great opportunity pops up, you can make a quick offer.

  1. Do your research

Attend a few auctions in the areas you’re interested in. It’s a good way to gauge demand for properties and likely price points. When it comes to offer time, take your time reviewing the paperwork and ask questions or research anything you aren’t sure about.

  1. Be level-headed … but brave

Try to keep your emotions in check when making an offer. Bidding emotionally may see you paying more than you need to. Also, don’t be scared to offer below the asking price. It’s a great way to see how motivated the vendor is to sell, plus get a good idea of their expected sale price. You never know, you might even score yourself a deal!

At the end of the day, whether you’re buying or selling, the most important step is to have your finances fully in order before embarking on the process. Whether that’s pre-approval, a bridging loan or refinancing, putting this in place first will ensure the journey of buying and/or selling is as seamless as possible. Should you need help on that front, feel free to give us a call.