Why market conditions are bigger factor than time of year when selling your home
As the property market kicks back into gear for 2018, homeowners who are considering selling may be wondering which month is best to list their home.
But as timing the market is notoriously difficult, deciding when to sell comes down to more than just getting the best price.
Does the time of year affect the price?
Spring and autumn are peak periods of sales activity, but director of Savills Cordeau Marshall Charles Caravousanos said the beginning of the year is one of the best times to sell a home.
“We find that there’s a pent-up demand from buyers from the previous year, and so we get very strong open home numbers, and that’s already started to show through our opens this year,” he said.
“There are new buyers who come into the market. A lot of people make that mental leap and decide that this is the year they want to do something.”
“The spring selling season is one of the biggest urban myths in real estate.”Simon Pressley – managing director of Propertyology
Mr Caravousanos said although spring sees a high volume of sales, it doesn’t necessarily relate to higher prices. He said good results could be achieved at the end of winter as vendors would get a jump on the spring market before it ramps up. “You don’t want to come on the market when supply is at its peak, you want to try to beat that.”
But according to the Brisbane buyers’ agent and managing director of Propertyology Simon Pressley, basing property decisions on the calendar is a mistake.
“Sellers give too much credit to time of year and seasons,” he said. “It might be applicable to your vegie patch, but your house doesn’t grow any more or less depending on what time of year it is.
“The spring selling season is one of the biggest urban myths in real estate. Whether we’re taking the start of spring or start of a new year, there may be more buyer activity, but on the flip side of that there’s often more stock that needs to be sold as well.”
The market matters more than the month
Mr Pressley said local market conditions have a bigger impact on prices than the time of year. “It depends where you live, as the fundamentals and dynamics of each location are going to be quite different.”
While many experts agree the Sydney market peaked towards the end of last year after half a decade of sustained growth, demand from strong population growth in Sydney and Melbourne is still expected to support prices throughout 2018.
Mr Pressley said he expected the Sydney market to take a hit later in the year, but put it down to broader market conditions rather than the impact of the seasons.
“If you’re that seller in Sydney, if you’ve already been contemplating selling, the sooner you sell the better,” he said. “You’re more likely you get more for your property in February or March than November or December [this year].”
Sydney buyers agent and director of PK Property Peter Kelaher said slowing growth had helped normalise the housing market, noting that recent runaway prices have caused uncertainty for sellers.
“Last year they were afraid of selling, thinking they couldn’t get back into the market, thinking they’d be stuck in the rental market,” he said. “It’s more of a normal market now whereas before it was abnormal.”
Paul Creedon from from Sydney-based Callagher Estate Agents said the key to a successful sale was pricing the property appropriately, and vendors should avoid falling into the trap of assuming they would match the results seen in recent months.
“If people are going to sell, they need to keep their expectations in check and meet the market’s expectations,” he said.
“If they’re not realistic, they won’t have people coming through their property. But if they price their property correctly, people will come.”
Price isn’t the only factor
According to Mr Kelaher, for some sellers, achieving a certain price on auction day is less important than timing a sale – and the subsequent move – to minimise disruption to family life.
“Moving is a time of your life that’s extremely stressful,” Mr Kelaher said. “It’s not always all about the money, it’s about the timing. Is it going to upset future holidays, school or the HSC?”
A spring sale can often mean settlement aligns with the summer holidays, giving homeowners time to move into their new home before work and school starts up again.
Mr Kelaher said vendors usually decide to sell in spring because it’s also the time of year they want to buy. “People are trying to time those periods because they are a lot more confident in buying because there’s more stock to choose from.”
When the seasons do matter
Seasonal variations can affect how buyers perceive a property, with some homes looking their best at certain times of year.
Homes with gardens appear welcoming in spring when flowers are in bloom. On the other hand, while dazzling autumn colours can look spectacular, buyers may see constantly falling leaves as ongoing maintenance.
Colder, dark homes are best shown in summer, while buyers will be impressed with homes that receive ample natural light in winter, which is especially important for apartments where solar access can be an issue.
Source: www.domain.com.auPosted by