What home owners need to know about successfully selling a property right now
The conditions may not be ideal, but it is possible to sell a property during lockdown, as Michelle and Stephen Bowman found out.
They had no choice but to put their four-bedroom, two-bathroom property in Flynn in Canberra on the market just as the first lockdown started because they had already bought their next property.
Contracts on their home were exchanged on April 21, smack bang in the middle of the worst of the first wave of the coronavirus crisis.
Having decided to upgrade to a five-bedroom property, the Bowmans had already exchanged contracts on their next home and had no choice but to sell.
“The property went on the market the week COVID kicked in,” says real estate agent Murray, which sold the property.
“We weren’t sure if we would be able to open for inspection on the Saturday. But we’d had a lot of interest in the property on the Wednesday prior and we decided to get potential buyers through on the Thursday.”
“The buyer was at home in his PJs when we called. He got dressed and raced over, looked at it and put in an offer. He bought two days later.”
While the Bowmans achieved a good outcome, Murray notes selling conditions remain volatile. “Agents are doing inspections with strict social distancing and hygiene strategies. They’re prepared to switch to online inspections at a moment’s notice.”
“The same is true for auctions – many agencies are still doing online auctions even in states where in-person auctions are allowed.”
She says it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen with the market as we head towards spring, particularly given different areas around the country are performing differently.
“In Canberra there is still a lot of demand and supply is tight, so house prices are steady.”
Staying the course
Despite difficult market conditions, one of Real Estate chief executive Ellis advises those whose properties are already listed to keep them on the market.
“There’s strong demand for the limited supply of properties available for sale and everything that’s appropriately priced is selling extremely quickly.”
Ellis tells those who are poised to sell to stay their course, even in Melbourne. “Don’t interrupt your plans. Real estate is governed by supply, demand and confidence. Although confidence has taken a beating, supply is significantly behind demand, which equals buoyant selling conditions.”
Another Real Estate director of sales Kirkland agrees it’s a seller’s market. “The next few months are likely to be the most stable we will see for some time. So if you’ve already listed your property, you’re selling at an optimal time.”
From a buyer perspective, Kirkland notes Melbourne is currently scheduled to finish lockdown on August 20. “If this remains the case you can have an on-site auction in spring with private inspections leading up to it. There’s the option to have an online auction if lockdown gets extended or you’re planning to go to auction before 20 August.”
Buyers do need to get used to a different sales process in this environment. They can’t touch any surfaces, which means the agent needs to open cupboards, doors, ovens and windows. Although sanitisation stations aren’t compulsory, they are good practice.
“Have a frank discussion with your agent about the risks involved and weigh up whether to hold an open home,” says Wrigley.
Greig from one of Real Estate in Melbourne East area, Victoria agrees conditions in the property market could get worse before they get better and now might be a good time to list a property before the market deteriorates.
“The true economic cost of COVID-19 in the property sector hasn’t started. Home owners will start to experience mortgage stress with unemployment and job insecurity on the rise and the mortgage grace period coming to an end. This might mean an influx of properties on the market, prompting an oversupply and pushing prices down.”
Greig says location, supply and demand should determine the method of sale. “Look at an auction if homes of your type are in limited supply with strong demand,” he says, noting auctions have certain advantages. “The sale is unconditional, you control the terms and there is no cooling-off period.”
Auctions also have disadvantages, namely there may not be enough interest and bidding may not hit the reserve.
The right method of sale will depend on the seller’s view of the market and also whether any attractive offers come in before the auction. With conditions changing so rapidly, if you get a price you want it might be prudent to accept it.
Ref: ALEXANDRA CAIN(on July 28, 2020), What home owners need to know about successfully selling a property right now Retrieved from: https://www.domain.com.au/advice/what-home-owners-need-to-know-about-successfully-selling-a-property-in-lockdown-972570/?utm_campaign=strap-masthead&utm_source=the-age&utm_medium=link&utm_content=pos4&ref=pos1
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