Increase your chances of selling at a higher price
The Sydney Property Market – A Guide To Achieving Your Optimum Sale Price
There are so many factors that affect the property market and how your property comes across to potential buyers. I’m not a real estate agent but as a property stylist I know how important it is to present a property in its best possible state – to get the best possible price.
So what have I noticed? Well, excellent sale results don’t come with luck, they come with hard work and a keen eye for the details. Of course, property styling helps immensely, and having a real estate agent who knows the Sydney market inside and out. You also need to look at the time of year you’re trying to sell, and make sure your property is up to standard aesthetically.
What’s happening in the Sydney property market?
Bare with me while I get a little technical here, but for good reason! Understanding what the housing market is actually doing, and why, affects both buyers and sellers alike.
According to market research, asking prices are improving in Sydney – but falling in other major cities around Australia, which can look a bit confusing.
We know however that auction clearance rates are improving month by month in both Sydney and Melbourne – which could show signs of improved market confidence. Weekend clearance rates are consistently tracking around 70%, the highest levels we’ve seen in nearly two years. These increasing clearance rates began at the beginning of 2019 and have improved in the last few months – quite possibly on the back of post election confidence, the anticipation of lower rates and easier lending.
Combine this with lower mortgage rates, income tax cuts and rising wages, and we see some fuel for market confidence (with prices growth to follow).
Overall it’s looking much better than last year, and can be a great time to sell or invest.
Market momentum factors:
- Increasing confidence with the Coalition winning the Federal Election
- APRA easing bank’s assessment criteria for new loans (this should commence in the next month)
- Interest rate cuts
- Some banks cutting rates even before the “official” cut
- Housing affordability is at its best nationally since 2016.
- Consumer confidence reflected in the media
- Government incentives encouraging first home buyers
“The current market has seen renewed strength and is the best we have seen it since the downturn of 2018. Some factors contributing to this are record low stock levels, interest rate cuts and banks easing their lending conditions. ” – Ercan Ersan
So when is the best time of year to sell in Sydney?
Now we know what’s happening in the Sydney property market this year, it’s always a good idea to also look at what time of year, and season, is best to sell. How your property is marketed during different weather seasons can also have a huge impact on your selling price, and impressing those potential buyers.
Traditionally the best time of year to sell, based on the fact that after the coldness of winter there’s a lot of buyers keen to look for a new property! The garden will look amazing, there’s more daylight hours and lots of potential to showcase your home in the best possible light. With lots of potential buyers (buyer competition), vendors can drive the price up too.
Remember, in spring you won’t be the only vendor with this in mind, and if there’s nothing remarkable about your property, styling or marketing campaign, it could get lost in an oversupplied market.
Autumn can also be a wonderful time to sell, as lots of buyers have spent their time during summer holidays and Christmas researching the market and making plans to start their house hunting. The busyness of the holiday season has passed, and the chill of winter hasn’t kicked in it. Your garden can look gorgeous in autumn with colours morphing and beautiful flora.
Truthfully, summer is often seen as a poor time to sell and with good reason. The Sydney heat can discourage potential buyers from long days of house inspections, everyone is busy in the lead-up to Christmas (time poor) and the social calendar can get exceptionally busy! Then January rolls around and everyone wants to relax at the beach (not attend open houses!).
However you could be reaching an undersupplied market in late January, which will make your property stand out. Of course if you have a beach house or waterfront property, take advantage of summer to show off your home in its best time!
If your home is warm and full of good natural light, winter can be a great time to sell. Some homes look beautiful styled for a winter market; think roaring open fireplaces, cosy rooms and a warm atmosphere.
The market is also usually pretty quiet during winter, to buyers looking for properties can be really motivated to buy (and have a limited choice). Just make sure you make use of sunlight hours and have your home warm and styled to cosy-perfection before presenting to those potential buyers.
What are buyers looking for?
In an ideal world, you’re able to make an emotional connection with potential buyers. Enticing a buyer to fall in love with a property will almost always ensure a sale! It’s a key factor to selling and achieving the highest price possible.
Remember, you’re trying to create a space that not only looks great in marketing, but also has mass appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. But what are buyers looking to fall in love with?
Of course that varies, and one of the best things you can do as a vendor is highlight what makes your property amazing and unique.
4 ways to do this:
- Present a space that’s both functional and beautiful
- Style spaces to look their best in both marketing photography and in person
- Encourage online views with a well-styled space (no worn out furniture or vacant rooms)
- Invest in photography that highlights the beauty of your home
What can sellers do to boost their chances of selling their property?
With all of this information under our belt – where do we start? Making a good first impression as a vendor can feel daunting, but there’s a number of tried and true ways to impress potential buyers that are easy to implement. When you’re preparing your house for sale, make sure to address these key areas first (buyers always keep their eye out!).
Clean and tidy
Get the mucky groundwork done and you’re on your way to a good start! Declutter rooms by getting rid of any objects without a clear function, remove décor that isn’t aesthetically pleasing, clear benches and shelves, clean, and get rid of any furniture that’s ripped or stained.
Make it neutral
We want to make sure your property looks beautiful but is also one that potential buyers can imagine is their home. Put away family portraits and personal mementos that look out of place. Then give the entire house a professional clean so it’s absolutely sparkling! At this stage you might want to look at a fresh coat of paint too – stick to neutral colours!
Make sure every project and repair throughout the house are finished. Look at things like flooring and permanent fixtures – clean them and replace anything that’s broken, cracked or very worn out. An easy way to freshen rooms up before styling is by updating fixtures and hardware to those with modern and neutral appeal.
The age-old saying is certainly true – curb appeal is still a primary selling point for making a good first impression! Keep the lawns mowed, the grounds weeded, bushes and trees trimmed. Get the gardens looking lush (water regularly!) and look at planting beautiful flowers immediately impress anyone walking up the garden path.
“Regardless of the state of the market, without proper marketing and presentation, owners can lose tens of thousands of dollars with their final sale price…property presentation and styling is one of the most important aspects of the sales and marketing process and in any market is not an option, but a necessity.” – Ercan Ersan – Ray White Erskineville
Property styling for 2019
I’ve seen first-hand what an amazing impact these little touches can make, and had many real estate agents and vendors tell me what a difference these small styling factors can make on impressing buyers! They’ve managed to achieve excellent sales results in a short amount of time, which is something we all want to hear!
Keep in mind – you’re not designing for your individual vision, but for a target audience – the prospective buyers.
Sustainable & Natural Finishes
Wood, stone, quartz and natural materials are popular this year, for good reason. A lot of the population are focusing on sustainability and environmentally friendly options for everything, including home décor.
Natural materials add warmth and character. They also pair well with whites and greys (the perfect neutral backdrop).
A Touch Of Luxury
A touch of the luxurious through slightly extravagant artwork, homewares and accessories – think metallic finished, gold accessories and custom artwork.
Start With What You Have
Rearrange existing furniture to maximise space and improve the flow of the room – use what you have first!
Black is back (not that it ever went away!). People are more ready to take a chance on embracing the dramatic (my speciality!) and darker tones are increasingly popular.
“Presentation is one of the key elements to a successful sale campaign. I am fastidious about making sure my listings are presented in their best light. You get one shot to maximise the result, so why would you overlook such an important piece. You want your property to stand out from the rest and attract as many buyers as possible. Presentation is key.” – Gavin Rubinstein Ray White TRG.
Key points to keep in mind when having your home photographed for sale
The final piece of the puzzle is the photography that goes into your overall selling campaign (that your real estate agent will put together). Here are some ideas to keep in mind, and remember a good stylist will help guide your photography session as well.
- Your house should be absolutely sparkling clean, from head to toe!
- Turn all overhead lights and lamps on
- Make sure all lightbulbs match (eg all incandescent)
- Open all blinds and window treatments – embrace natural light!
- Beds should be immaculately styled with pressed linens
- Kitchens should have completely clear countertops (think about leaving out one small appliance, like a coffee maker). Fridges should be clear of any magnets or pictures.
- Tables should be styled with an immaculate place setting
- In season flowers and real house-plants should be used in each room
- Keep bathrooms completely bare except for intentional products (candles, flowers, hand soaps and towels).
- Bathroom towels should be in a coordinating colour, new, fluffy and folded nicely.