Agent insights: Residential sales

23 October 2019

Agent insights: Residential sales

Times have been tough for the real estate industry, but things are finally looking up. We asked three agents what challenges they’ve experienced and what they’re predicting for the days ahead.


LYNETTE MALCOLM

Partner at Chadwick Real Estate

Challenges: Lack of predictability

A shifting market requires sales agents to be nimble and one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is providing timely advice to clients. Reduced stock levels, negative buyer sentiment and uncertainty in the political and banking sectors have made it difficult for agents, as they’ve been called upon to not only interpret, but predict, when clients should act or hold.

Actions: Seller nurture

We rapidly increased our face-to-face meetings with sellers, so they’re armed with all available information. This has allowed us to ensure market and buyer feedback is addressed in a timely manner and adjustments to our sales strategy and price are addressed earlier in each campaign.

Predictions: Increased buyer engagement

The property market is always in a state of transition. What we’ve found is that since the Federal Election, buyers have been far more comfortable to engage and make decisions. Spring will be the ultimate test. I think supply will increase and we can only hope demand is at the ready.

PETER CHAUNCY

Sales Agent at McGrath Estate Agents

Challenges: Building confidence

With the market changing, sellers have been less confident and therefore more reluctant to list their property. The biggest challenge facing sales agents has been staying focused and motivated in a market with depleted stock levels. Agents have had to build client confidence about why selling their property in a more challenging market can be beneficial, particularly if they’re looking to upsize.

Actions: Educating sellers

In our local market, the more you go up in price, the softer the market has become. So educating sellers over the last 12 months that it’s an opportune time to upgrade has been critical to our success. However, no matter the market you’re in, you need to go above and beyond to service both sellers and buyers.

Predictions: Steady growth

I’m confident that in the second half of 2019 we’ll see confidence return and prices stabilise. This is already starting to become evident. And in 2020, I believe we’ll start to see some steady price growth.

CHARLES CARAVOUSANOS
Director – Residential at Savills Australia

Challenges: Lending limitations

Sellers lost confidence in the market, so stock levels dwindled. For buyers, obtaining finance has been hard. With lenders often requiring a signed contract or sales advice to finalise loan applications, there have been fewer bidders at auctions – so what was the most effective sales strategy to encourage competition has been brought to a halt, as buyers need cooling-off periods to confirm finance.

Actions: Certainty about finance

Referring buyers to our mortgage broker partner has been extremely helpful. This gives more certainty about finances, so everyone can feel confident in the transaction process. We’ve also been working closely with sales agents on new seller and buyer dialogues about changed market conditions.

Predictions: Confidence growing

Record low interest rates, incentives for first home buyers and the reduction of APRA’s assessment rate will all contribute to a more positive market in 2020. Confidence has grown in recent months, with more buyers at open homes. This will lead to increased competition and price growth over the next year.

This article first appeared in the Sept/Oct REINSW Journal.

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