By Charles Tarbey

With the year creeping to a close, for many this is seen as a busy time wrapping up work commitments, attending social engagements and planning Christmas celebrations. So when it comes to selling property during the silly season, many prospective vendors may be hesitant to do so as they assume potential buyers will be otherwise preoccupied with these activities.  

The benefits

I believe that the benefits of listing a property for sale during this period are often overlooked. Australians who have been contemplating selling could potentially set themselves up for a great result if they think about listing before the year concludes. 

Firstly, vendors should consider the fact there is often a significant slowdown in listings coming on to the market at the end of the year. Looking at data from the end of 2015, the first week of December saw auction numbers fall to 3,209 from 3,729 auctions the previous week, according to CoreLogic.  

With less stock on the market, there may be less competition against your property. Coupling this with the strong buyer demand that is present in many areas and you could be able to achieve a price that may not have been realistic some time before. 

One word of caution

In order to make an informed decision about whether an end of year listing is right for your property, I encourage careful evaluation of local market dynamics as conditions continue to vary from state to state, even suburb to suburb. 

There is a wealth of choice when it comes to real estate portals and research houses, which can feed you up-to-date information and market figures almost immediately. It will be worthwhile to sign up for a range of these services to familiarise yourself with the current selling conditions and any movements in your area. 

When it comes to choosing an agent to entrust with your listing, look for an agent who is results driven rather than 'active.' Taking the time to choose an agent with a proven track record of success will be crucial, particularly as you seek to prepare your listing efficiently and effectively in a shorter space of time. 

One of my enduring considerations for vendors is to avoid choosing the agent with the most ‘for sale’ signs – an active agent does not necessarily make a successful agent. Rather, look for the agent with the most ‘sold’ signs as this is evidence of their ability to finalise a transaction. It can be worthwhile reaching out to neighbours, or others in your area, who have recently sold, as they may be able to suggest an agent who achieved great results. 

Housing sentiment

CoreLogic recently conducted a survey about housing sentiment in the Australian real estate market, and the results showed that almost 70% of Australians think now is a good time to buy a dwelling. The survey reports that even in markets such as Sydney, where issues of affordability exist, slightly more than half the respondents still felt it was a good time to buy a property.

In light of these considerations, prospective vendors would be prudent not to discount the possibility of an end of year listing. Lower stock levels, access to cheap debt and continued buyer interest in many markets could contribute to better-than-expected results for your property. Seeking advice from the appropriate professionals will be crucial and may help you weigh up the benefits a silly season listing can offer.