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Selling Season vs Silly Season

At this time of year buyers have one foot already in the pool, winding down for the Christmas and New Year holidays so it is a seriously committed buyer who attends open houses in the weeks prior to Christmas day.

Image from sellmycastle.com.au

Image from sellmycastle.com.au

There are also Christmas parties to attend, hangovers to recover from and Christmas shopping to be done, all leading to a drop in open house attendance in December.

This year most solicitors are trying to wrap things up for Friday 19th December so this weekend is an important auction weekend.

If you are planning on selling in early 2015 remove any Christmas decorations from the house prior to photos being taken otherwise buyers will think you have been on the market longer than you have.

January is usually a quieter month for real estate but sellers have less competition and there are still buyers around. With less properties for sale in 2014 there might be still a committed group of buyers looking for a home in January 2015.

Image from realestate.com.au

Image from realestate.com.au

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Great Time To Buy

soldhouseIt’s a great time to buy real estate, right now

Now you wouldn’t have heard this from me a month ago and you probably won’t hear this from me in a month’s time but, today, this week, and this weekend, if you are in the position to buy a property then go out there and give it your best shot. ASAP.

The property market in Sydney has been going crazy and prices have increased dramatically in this first half of the year but several, very recent factors are coming into play right now which have created a little pocket of opportunity for buyers.

10348231_10152459011644312_7862929635639049698_nHave you noticed that the auction clearance rates have dropped significantly in the last 3 weeks?  It won’t last and let’s face it, the clearance rate is still quite good compared to previous years. It’s a short term phenomenon.

The things that have changed in the last few weeks:

Firstly and possibly most importantly buyers who have been looking this year and have been thus far unsuccessful are now jaded, tired, fed up, cranky and many have taken a month off to refresh, i.e. they are not going to open houses, instead they have decided to take a real estate break and get their lives back for a few weeks, gone away for a weekend, gone to see the kids play soccer etc instead of going from one open house to the next, all day Saturday.

1911606_10152289518374312_646615506_nSecondly, the media has now been reporting for a few months that things have been selling for $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 in excess of the reserve and painting the picture that buyers will pay whatever to get into the market. The media is usually several months behind reality too but buyers have started to feel completely ripped off and are taking a step back to consider what they are paying.

1264281_10151917506959312_1923611023_oThirdly, vendors expectations have been going up and up and up as each sale achieves a new benchmark sale price.

Fourthly, the budget announcement, again this is just short term jitters but it’s to do with confidence, confidence in the economy, in our government, in securing employment to keep paying that mortgage.

So now is not the time to give up, some vendors have bought and need to sell so they must quickly meet market expectations, the budget will iron itself out and buyer confidence will be back. Then you will be again competing with too many buyers and not enough sellers as is normally the case in the winter months in a great market. So, don’t stop looking now buyers, get out there and secure that property before it’s on the move again, and I think you only have a couple of weeks! Good luck!

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The Real Estate Market in 2014

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

5/5 McDonald St, Cronulla

Last year saw real estate prices increase 10-15% in the Sutherland Shire after several tough years but this year the rapid increase in sale prices across Sydney has been so dramatic that I would estimate the price increase is already 10-15% for the 5 months of 2014, especially in the Sutherland Shire.  I do not think we have experienced this sort of price growth spurt since July 2003, when every house sold achieved a new record and properties for sale were in such short supply that people tended to buy first, then sell to avoid being without a home to go to.

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

241 Attunga Rd, Yowie Bay

It’s back to the days when pest and building inspectors are booked solid, most properties are being marketed as Auction, serious buyers need to attend the first open house if they want to secure the property and every TV channel has a show about renovating and selling!

Will this continue? Should we wait? Is this a bubble? These are the questions buyers keep asking me and I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that Sydneysiders are obsessed with real estate again, interest rates are low and there is a feeling of confidence again in the property sector. If only I had a crystal ball.

13 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

13 Seaforth Ave, Woolooware

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Poliltics, weather and real estate

Last week I wrote a blog about how great it is to sell in winter right now, how there is no stock, the WEATHER has been relatively mild, the federal election not till September…

I think I jinxed myself. Today we have a new/old Prime Minister, they are talking about an election in August, not September and the weather has been, in the last week, nothing short of diabolical.

On a positive note, if you are a buyer and you have a serious interest in a property, looking at real estate in monsoonal rain is a smart move. But you also have to be practical, with the weather we have had in the last week, not many houses would come out the other end without a small leak, pool of water in the backyard. And ask yourself how your own home managed.

With regard to Australian politics and how they will affect the real estate industry in the next few months, it is really hard to say. The public seems to be completely over the shenanigans of our politicians so will we just go about our business, buying and selling real estate, until we have the chance to have our say, or will we sit tight and wait for August/September election day…

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Open House Tips

Are you in the midst of a marketing campaign and struggling with the cleaning ritual involved with having your property spic and span every open house?

Here are some tips:

  • Have your window cleaner on call
  • Buy out the shelves of spray and wipe multipurpose wipes (if you have time to be environmentally friendly, kitchen and bathroom e-clothes and Enjo products are fab)
  • Make friends with your local florist, you will be buying flowers every week
  • Remember the washing machine, dishwasher, fridge and dryer are all good places to store things or even the boot of your car for last minute clutter
  • You can also have a shower the night before and clean the shower, skip your morning walk (no time anyway) and then skip the shower the morning of the open?!

Eat out, you won’t have time to clean the kitchen and you don’t want garlic infused leftovers permeating out of the fridge, plus the fridge will be filled with items you need to hide at the last minute.

Just think – you are living in a soon to be someone else’s home, divorce yourself of saying “my home” and think of yourself as a cleaner of a hotel… and if you can avoid sleeping in the bed even better, because re-arranging the pillows, cushions and remaking the bed every day is a drag.

Good luck and happy selling!

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