2019 has been an interesting year for sales agents across NSW. Need we remind you of the long list of distractions and roadblocks to securing sales… Banking Royal Commission, market correction, state and federal elections.
But with the announcement of the recent interest rate cut, end of the Banking Royal Commission and negative gearing and capital gains tax changes averted, is there now light at the end of the tunnel?
We chatted with three leading sales agents to get their thoughts on listing and selling in the spring market and tips for thriving in the second half of 2019.
From bust to bloom
“It has been hard for a lot of agents in the last six to 12 months,” says Braden Walters, sales agent at McGrath and Chair of the REINSW Residential Sales Chapter Committee. “There’s been a lot of doom and gloom.
“Explaining a tough market to vendors is necessary, but also hard. It is important to be realistic about what a property is worth, but means we risk losing the listing if we don’t say what a vendor wants to hear. It’s also not enjoyable to work equally as hard for a less-than-optimal result for our vendors.
“But, with the election now over, government restored and more positivity in media coverage and market predictions, the future is looking brighter.”
Matt Nicastri of Cunninghams agrees, but believes there'll be a lag in listings until consumer confidence catches up.
“Since the surprising election result, we're playing catch up on new stock levels,” he says. “I feel there will be flat growth at worst in most Sydney metro areas over the next quarter – due to the lowest amount of new listings in a decade this year – which will establish the bottom of the market.”
Despite this, Walters says he experienced an increase in buyer confidence around two weeks before the election.
“Since then, we are having more positive conversations regarding buyer expectations,” he says. “These are very welcome changes for sales agents, who can now confidently reach out to buyers and say: ‘Hey, guess what? The market is on the up again, so act now or miss out’.”
Wayne Stewart, Managing Director of Century 21 Newcastle, says while the coastal city isn’t experiencing the same price drops as Sydney, it still feels the pinch.
“Numbers at open houses have been down to a sprinkling and enquiries are not much better,” he says.
“From late February, the default pre-election stance from buyers and sellers was to ‘wait and see’. As an agency, we developed a script to promote further dialogue, but there’s no doubt media coverage fuelled negativity about the market and the economy.”
Know your market
Stewart says in tougher times agents must be educated on issues affecting their industry.
“Election issues, including changes to superannuation and negative gearing, lead to enormous doubt and uncertainty among the general public, agents included,” he says.
“Yet, I was still surprised by the number of agents who did not fully understand the scope of each party’s proposed election platforms.
“In my agency, training and education is the key to success, and it’s why we’ve seen good results despite the shape of the market. However, while there is plenty of business out there, it cannot be approached in the same way it was two years ago.”