Selling a home can be a stressful process, from choosing an agent to negotiating offers and everything in between. However, before all this begins, one of the most contentious questions for many is choosing the best time to sell.

The reality is that there is no definitive ‘right time’ to sell property as the process is dependent on so many different factors and individual circumstances.

The current market appears to be cooling and week on week, stock levels continue to increase in many parts of the country. CoreLogic recorded a 0.1% decline in national dwelling values in February 2018, however as of the first week of March, we saw 8.39% more stock compared to the same time this year.

The conversations I am having with agents on the ground suggest that this trend is affecting the different markets. For those looking at selling in the coming months, here are a number of important considerations:

Increased competition

Firstly, the level of competition for a vendor’s property is important to consider if looking to sell in the current market.

Both sellers and agents need to carefully determine their pricing strategies as there may be more properties to compete with in certain markets.

An expert real estate agent may be able to advise on the most suitable pricing strategy for your property based on their knowledge of the area and market. However, I encourage vendors to be cautious of agents who may have entered the market in recent years when many properties sold themselves. A good agent will have a strong appreciation of the local market conditions and will be able to advise on an appropriate pricing strategy.  

Prospective vendors should also note that a benefit of an increasingly competitive market is the enhanced ability to sell then buy in the same market. Those wishing to do so may not find it as difficult compared to the past few years, and may also be placed in a better position to negotiate a good price.

Buyer activity

Some prospective vendors may be listening to negative comments about the real estate market and may be sitting on the fence about the decision to sell. It is important to note here that buyer activity is still very strong in many markets. This remains the case even in light of tougher regulations on foreign investors.  

Supply

Despite the fact that buyer interest remains quite strong in many markets, thousands of off the plan sales are reaching settlement stage and are due to complete over the next 12 months.

In the Reserve Bank of Australia’s minutes of the March monetary policy meeting, Governor Philip Lowe once again highlighted the considerable additional supply of apartments that is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years in in the eastern capital cities.

Vendors will need to pay close attention to this in the coming months, particularly when coupled with already rising levels of supply. Too much supply can drive down prices and make a listing harder to sell.

Regional areas

In recent months, Century 21 noted the growth potential of regional areas and the likelihood of the halo effect continuing to spread out from capital cities. It appears this prediction is ringing true and will likely continue.

Regional dwelling values saw a 0.9 per cent increase over the past three months to February according to CoreLogic, whilst most capital cities have seen moderate declines. Values were higher in the regional areas of all states except for Western Australia. 

Of note, data from the December 2017 quarter reported that the Geelong region recorded the largest annual increase in house values, up 14.6 per cent, while the largest annual increase in unit values was seen across the Illawarra region (12.8 per cent).

Agent choice

Finally, choosing the right agent to manage your transaction is essential and it may be worthwhile to steer away from social media when looking to do so.

It is important to consider the difference between ‘activity’ and ‘action’, as agents who display a strong social media presence and appearance of success online may not necessarily be the most successful agent in reality.

Referring to the credentials and actual results of a prospective agent should play a significant part in your decision making processes around which agent to select should you believe that now is the right time to list your property.