Selling a house in 2019?
Then you need to be aware that the property market has cooled, with most capital cities now recording price drops and the downturn looking to become more widespread. This means you'll have to adjust your strategy and be smart about every step in the sale process to ensure you get the best possible price.
Use our guide to help you prepare for a bumper selling season in 2019, starting with identifying the best time of year to list your home for sale.
Best time to sell a house
Here you should ultimately be guided by your personal circumstances. If you need to sell your property urgently, then by all means put it on the market when it makes sense. But it is worth knowing that timing the sale of your property can make a huge difference to the price you achieve and how quickly you make a sale.
One of the busiest times of year for real estate is spring, with a lot of activity coming from both buyers and sellers. But, does this mean it's actually the best time to sell? Spring gets all the headlines and listing activity but our own research found that the autumn window is actually the best time of year to sell your property.
"Spring gets all the headlines and listing activity but our own research found that the autumn window is actually the best time of year to sell."
Why? With fewer listings than spring, there are generally less properties to view. You may also benefit from selling your home in traditionally quiet periods like winter, as listing numbers are even lower and there is an opportunity to attract more attention from buyers.
However, if you live somewhere where the seasons are less noticeable - like Queensland - then you will have more flexibility when you list.
Property listings are on the rise
Even though the market has cooled, there is still a lot of listing activity across most states.
SQM Research reports that all states experienced an increase in property listings over March 2019. Melbourne led the pack with the highest increase in listings at 8.3%, followed by Canberra at 6.3% and Sydney up 5.9%. Look back a year and national listings have risen 4.8% year-on-year, with Melbourne recording a huge increase (24.9%) over this timeframe, followed by Canberra (21.4%) and Sydney (8.3%).
Despite this, asking prices continue to decline in most States.
Let's move on to those tips, so you can get your house sold quick smart.
Tips for sellers: Steps to selling your house in 2019
The first step is to know what your property is worth in today’s market.
Know what your house is worth with a property value estimate
The cooling market means you need to be realistic about your asking price or risk having your property not sell.
SQM Research reports that asking prices for houses and units across all capital cities declined by 0.3% and 1.2% respectively for the month to 2 April 2019. These now stand at $563,400 for units and $908,200 for houses.
"SQM Research reports that asking prices for houses and units across all capital cities declined by 0.3% and 1.2% respectively for the month to 2 April 2019."
There are two steps to getting a solid idea on a realistic asking price for your property:
Step 1: Get an idea of your home's current value using our data-driven OpenEstimates tool.
Our tool lets you compare your property to others in the area. We then calculate your answers into our algorithm and provide you with an improved valuation. This consists of a rough estimate of your property's value, as well as a lower and upper range.
Step 2: Get an appraisal from a high performing local real estate agent.
A high performing and well experienced agent will have insights on the current state of the market. They will base their estimate on their local market knowledge, how unique your property is, how many buyers are in the market looking for a property like yours, and the recent sales history of properties in your street or suburb.
Preparing your house for sale
Next in the pre-sale process is to make sure your home will appeal to buyers, by adding value through repairs, renos, updates and styling.
We consider these a must-do in today's market as buyers are a lot pickier than a few years ago. As we have also seen, listings are increasing, so it's become increasingly important that your property stands out from the crowd as there is more competition out in the market.
Step 1: Add value by having your property styled by a professional and convince potential buyers that your home is worthy of a higher asking price.
Step 2: Make sure that everything works and there are no leaking taps, doors that don't shut properly or blown light bulbs.
"Add value by having your property styled by a professional and convince potential buyers that your home is worthy of a higher asking price."
Step 3: Analyse if pre-sale renovations are likely to add value.
A sure-fire way to freshen up a property without robbing a bank is to give your interior or exterior a new coat of paint. This is relatively cost effective and does make a big difference - just be sure to use colours that are not going to alienate buyers.
If you do decide to take on any renos, be sure to do your maths so you don't overcapitalise and spend money that you won't realistically be able to recoup from the sale.
Now we can move onto finding someone to help you sell your property.
Getting ready to interview agents
Don't underestimate the value of a good real estate agent.
Choose an inexperienced or unethical agent and you will be given an unrealistic property appraisal or negative overall experience. They could also convince you to list your property at a price that is too low or high. Current market conditions, which are more challenging, add impetus to having a good agent on your side.
A top performing local agent should ideally have experience selling properties like yours, know the best sale method for the area and have a large database of potential buyers interested in your house.
"A top performing local agent should have experience selling properties like yours and know the best sale method for the area."
They will also handle all the practical aspects like open house inspections, fielding enquiries from buyers and negotiating with them. Once you've shortlisted agents, it's time to interview them to discuss fees. There are three steps to this process:
Step 2: Then weigh up any additional fees and costs they may charge.
Step 3: To get the possible deal, you need to know how to negotiate and ask all the right questions so that you choose the best agent.
Tick all these boxes and you should have a better idea of what it takes to be a successful seller in 2019. Good luck!