Spring is one of the ‘traditional’ peak selling seasons and with the surging property prices behind us for a while, and that while is more probably measured in years than months, tradition is again in play. There has been a flush of new listings over the past 6 to 8 weeks. Inevitably as a seller, willing or otherwise, price is a major topic of conversation. Today you have more options than pay for a registered valuation or just get 3 real estate agents to come by and give you their opinion of the sale price for your investment. Now there are property websites that by using an ‘in the back ground’ mathematical formula will tell you that elusive sum: how much should you hold out for or how much should your buyer pay.
Remote valuations are an interesting proposition. Property databases carry generic information. Inevitably there are gaps, arguably significant gaps. Improvements completed that do not require a Council Permit, do not add to the CV, even if the home was fully renovated. Landscaping and presentation don’t figure. Neither can these abstract formulas explain why a home with a CV of $800,000 sells hundreds of thousands over that figure. Nor can they explain why a property priced several tens of thousands below CV is still without a buyer.
While we would like to take comfort in the fact that Pukekohe remains a popular end destination for some and offers some reasonable options for those buying their first home, we are not insulated from local and broader economic events. Fuel costs are up. For many of us wages and salaries have been pretty static for a fair while. The $NZ has got weaker and the $US got stronger. In the US interest rates are rising. Banks’ overseas borrowing has got more expensive. Cost increases that will flow through to buyers here. These are things we cannot influence let alone control but they limit the price each buyer can pay.
As sellers the things you can control have not changed: presentation; how you will market your home; what method of sale you use. Choices that will determine how long you will experience the inconvenience of selling, and the answers given to, “How long has THIS property been for sale?”
Over the past 3, 6 , 9 and 12 months more than 70% of our auction properties have sold 90 or fewer days, most of these within 50 days. Performance other methods cannot match.
“How long …?”is a simple enough question, but usually loaded with unspoken subtexts. “Actually, I like it. Why hasn’t it sold?” “If it has been on the market that long, is there something wrong with it?” “If it has been on the market that long, the owners must be getting quite negotiable, aren’t they?”
There is no formula that can reliably predict ‘fair market value’, nor is there any guarantee that a buyer willing and able to pay that ‘premium price’ will be found. However, premium prices do not happen by accident and in a fluctuating market yesterday’s ‘fair market price’ may not be available tomorrow. Take care and choose well.