Na­vi­ga­te the pro­per­ty mar­ket

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Property Guide -

Big de­ci­si­ons re­gar­ding high-va­lue as­sets can be ris­ky du­ring un­cer­tain ti­mes, but is the on­ly op­ti­on to hang tig­ht until our po­li­ti­cal fu­tu­re is de­ci­ded? To­ny Clar­ke, ma­na­ging di­rec­tor of the Raw­son Pro­per­ty Group, shares his thoug­hts.

"Our pro­per­ty mar­ket is de­fi­ni­te­ly going through a pe­ri­od of con­tracti­on," he says, "but not all of that can re­al­ly be at­tri­bu­ted to po­li­ti­cs. We've been seeing a slo­w­do­wn in gro­wth o­ver the last 18 mont­hs. Ups and do­wns are a na­tu­ral part of the pro­per­ty cy­cle, and cer­tain­ly don't me­an the­re are no op­por­tu­ni­ties out the­re."

Ad­jus­ta­ble ap­pro­ach

Clar­ke is con­fi­dent that, in ti­me, the mar­ket will re­co­ver. He be­lie­ves pro­per­ty will re­main a se­cu­re and pro­fi­ta­ble in­ves­t­ment o­ver the long term and ad­vi­ses buy­ers and sel­lers to ad­just their ap­pro­ach to ac­count for cur­rent trends.

"The cost of fi­nan­ce is ri­sing, and in­fla­ti­on is e­a­ting mo­re and mo­re in­to pe­op­le's dis­po­sa­ble in­co­me," he says. "That me­ans fe­wer pe­op­le are qua­li­fying for bonds, and the on­es that do qua­li­fy are mo­re li­ke­ly to be con­ser­va­ti­ve with that spen­ding po­wer. As a re­sult, the­re are going to be fe­wer buy­ers on the mar­ket, which me­ans less com­pe­ti­ti­on for lis­tings, and far less to­le­ran­ce for o­ver­pri­ced ho­mes."

Ac­cor­ding to Clar­ke, this is one of the most vi­tal e­le­ments for sel­lers to con­si­der if they want to a­chie­ve a fa­vou­ra­ble sa­le.

"Buy­ers the­se days are very well in­for­med w­hen it co­mes to va­lue, and can spot an o­ver­pri­ced pro­per­ty from a mi­le a­way," he ex­plains. "Du­ring a sel­ler's mar­ket, they may be wil­ling to push their bud­get a litt­le - par­ti­cu­lar­ly if the­re's com­pe­ti­ti­on for the pur­cha­se - but in the cur­rent cli­ma­te they're just going to look el­se­w­he­re."

This, says Clar­ke, can re­sult in a stag­nant lis­ting that sits on the mar­ket for mont­hs, if not y­e­ars at a ti­me - a si­tu­a­ti­on gua­ran­teed to drop the e­ven­tu­al sa­les pri­ce far be­low its true mar­ket va­lue.

"S­tag­na­ti­on is a re­al risk for sel­lers in to­day's mar­ket," he says, "which ma­kes it in­cre­di­bly im­por­tant to en­s­u­re your lis­ting is g­room­ed to be as at­tracti­ve to buy­ers as pos­si­ble. It's not just a­bout pri­ce, either - it's a com­bi­na­ti­on of g­re­at pho­to­grap­hs, com­pel­ling des­crip­ti­ons, and s­mart mar­ke­ting pla­ce­ments that en­s­u­re your pro­per­ty gets seen by the rig­ht pe­op­le. A skil­led e­sta­te a­gent is re­al­ly in­va­lu­a­ble in this re­gard."

E­sta­te a­gent

Buy­ers may al­so find the ser­vi­ces of a re­al e­sta­te a­gent par­ti­cu­lar­ly help­ful at pre­sent. "Pe­op­le of­ten as­su­me that the be­st way to find a pro­per­ty is by se­ar­ching on­li­ne lis­tings," says Clar­ke, "but if you've e­ver ac­tu­al­ly go­ne through that pro­cess, you'll know how frus­tra­ting it can be. Pro­per­ties that a­ren't al­re­a­dy sold by the ti­me you see them of­ten don't li­ve up to their pro­mi­ses in per­son, and you can spend mont­hs wa­ding through unsuit­a­ble lis­tings to find one that ac­tu­al­ly meets your needs."

Get­ting an a­gent in your a­rea of in­te­rest to acti­ve­ly se­arch for pro­per­ties on your be­half, ho­we­ver, can dra­ma­ti­cal­ly re­du­ce your ti­me in­ves­t­ment, and ex­po­se you to pro­per­ties you may ot­her­wi­se ne­ver ha­ve seen.

"It can me­an the dif­fe­ren­ce be­t­ween fin­ding a ho­me that is wor­ka­ble, and fin­ding a ho­me that's a per­fect fit," says Clar­ke. "It al­so gi­ves you access to in-depth ad­vi­ce on a pro­specti­ve pro­per­ty's gro­wth po­ten­ti­al and the kind of re­turn on in­ves­t­ment you can ex­pect - an im­por­tant con­si­de­ra­ti­on in ti­mes li­ke the­se."

Leng­thier pro­cess

Re­gard­less of w­het­her an a­gent is in­vol­ved in the se­arch or not, Clar­ke warns buy­ers and sel­lers to ex­pect a leng­thier pro­cess in ge­ne­ral than du­ring boom ti­mes.

"For buy­ers, this can be a good t­hing," he says, "as they're un­der less pres­su­re to ma­ke a quick de­ci­si­on, and can ta­ke the ti­me to do their re­se­arch and weigh up their op­ti­ons ful­ly be­fo­re put­ting in an of­fer. For sel­lers, ho­we­ver, it me­ans e­very litt­le flaw is going to co­me un­der the mi­crosco­pe, so the bet­ter shape your pro­per­ty is in, the bet­ter the chan­ce you'll ma­ke a good sa­le."

The good news for e­ver­yo­ne is that good sa­les are de­fi­ni­te­ly still hap­pe­ning, and se­ver­al re­gi­ons are con­tinuing to ex­pe­rien­ce gro­wth, ac­cor­ding to lo­cal a­gents.

"The­se kinds of tran­si­ti­o­nal pe­ri­ods are an ad­jus­t­ment," says Clar­ke, "but if you ap­pro­ach the mar­ket with the rig­ht in­for­ma­ti­on on hand, the­re are still op­por­tu­ni­ties to be found."


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