In a market with unpredictable movements, how do property buyers and sellers make sure that they’re making the most out of the opportunities available to them?
Sales executive Kiki Bermudez believes that, due to the continuous rise of dwelling prices across Australia, most markets are moving in favour of property buyers. Simply put, the sellers’ markets are becoming true buyers’ markets, albeit slowly.
While good properties are still relatively easy to sell, the average ones are staying in the market for longer periods, particularly in the ‘prime markets’ and their surrounding suburbs.
According to her: “Seller's market is when you sell your property really quickly for heaps of money because everyone's buying. When you move into a buyer's market, this leaves pressure [on] the property. Therefore, you get a better chance at getting a deal [at] a more effective price.”
“There's definitely a shift. It's not all in control of the buyers yet. It depends on the product. The average real estate, or not-so-great real estate, is so much harder to sell now. Before, it was flying off the shelves. People were fighting over it. Now, good real estate is still selling well, provided it has parking and it's in a small boutique block.
“It's much more price sensitive but it's still all relative. Definitely, buyers have a bit more leverage than they had before,” the real estate agent highlighted.
With the knowledge that markets are currently moving in favour of the buyers, Ms Bermudez still strongly encouraged investors to do due diligence before purchasing a property.
Not all markets are buyers’ markets just yet so it is advised to pay attention to investor activity in the area to make sure that you’re actually getting yourself a good deal instead of sliding into an average investment or, worse, a downright bad one.
Take time to visit the property you’re looking at purchasing to have a clear idea of the property investment opportunities you can capitalise on in the area.
According to the real estate agent, indications of a shift in the market can be seen through the influx of buyers and the attitude of agents.
She explained: “When you are at an inspection, how many buyers are actually at the inspection? People can tell when a property is popular or not.”
“A lot of agents will be doing price reductions, too. They'll start it at a certain price point, and then they'll email you and say, ‘Price reduction. Price change’ for over five times during the course of that campaign. Then, you can really see that they probably really gained the momentum they need to get the top price or what they were actually expecting for the property. That's a good sign, I would say,” she added.
A good price point, however, is only a piece of the puzzle. In order to maximise the opportunities in the market, buyers are advised to engage the right professionals, particularly local agents.
Whichever way the market is going, Ms Bermudez emphasized the importance of establishing a good relationship with real estate agents. After all, no one knows investment opportunities in the area like they do.
Being a good buyer can give you access to opportunities that may otherwise be unknown if you have no local agent in their corner, she said.
Luckily, being a good buyer isn’t all too hard. It’s simply all about mutual respect and understanding.
Ms Bermudez said: “Just be respectful and be nice and be responsive. I get that people want things when they want it but if I follow up several times and you ignore me over and over again, even though I might have given you a contract, you're not necessarily going to be my top buyer, so to speak.
“If you don't have time to talk, just send a quick text, like ‘Still interested. Let’s stay in touch,’ so we know where you are at and you'll be kept respectfully in the loop. When the time comes, whether it's an offer before or at auction, you'll know what's going on,” the real estate agent added.
If you are on the other side of the spectrum and planning to sell your property, Ms Bermudez said that there are still opportunities to strike a good deal, even in a buyers’ market.
Investors naturally want to sell for a price that matches how much they have earned over the course of holding the property. Some of the most common reasons for selling are for as preparation for retirement or for the growth of their portfolio.
Regardless of the reason, selling in a slowing market presents a unique challenge, but it is not impossible at all. However, you must learn how to manage your expectations, according to the real estate agent.
Look over at recent data to find out how much comparative properties are selling for. There’s no use pushing yourself too hard if your expectations are just way off the current range of prices in the market you choose to sell in.
It could be complicated to deal with all the numbers and other factors that drive the movements of the market, but real estate agents can help you understand all of these and work out the right selling price for your property.
In fact, they can even help you get a better price than what you could have gotten if you choose to sell by yourself—all through a well-thought-out and well-researched process.
Ms Bermudez said: “Some people choose to do it themselves. You can sell your own property or you can choose to use a real estate agent. The right agents provide immense value.”
“I always say to clients, ‘Trust me or trust my process. I always get them better results. Always. Those that fight me and go, ‘Oh no, you can't do that’ or ‘Why are you doing that?’ and question and challenge everything, they usually shoot themselves in the foot.”
“It's like going to a doctor and you let him operate, versus going ‘Oh, maybe you should cut over that way.’ You don't do that. It’s the exact same thing with agents,” she highlighted.
Despite the transitions happening in the markets across the states and territories, it remains and active, complicated, and often unpredictable industry.
Being backed by good research and the right professionals, where appropriate, can definitely help you navigate your way through the ever-changing landscape and ultimately make the most out of investment opportunities.
Tune in to Kiki Bermudez’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the buying and selling strategies in property investment.