Falling prices put pressure on real estate skills

An agency in a tough market has been reminded about the importance of accurate pricing after being forced to discount a stale listing by 4.4 per cent.

KG Young & Associates director Tony Pickering said it’s difficult to price homes in the struggling Darwin market, where the median dwelling price fell 3.6 per cent in 2015, according to CoreLogic RP Data.

That is reflected by one of the agency’s Fannie Bay listings, which had its price reduced from $480,000 to $459,000 after being put on the market in November.

“I don’t think it was overpriced – it was priced in accordance with the [market] at the time,” Mr Pickering told REB.

“It’s difficult to price homes, but sales are still occurring, so what we rely upon, as all real estate agents do, is to try to keep a close record on what has been sold in the last three to six months and then try to compare to the property that is to be priced.”

Mr Pickering said it’s important for agents and vendors to put an accurate price on a property, because buyers will often be familiar with recent local sales.

However, pricing isn’t an exact science, and the market can move during the course of a campaign, according to Mr Pickering.

“Any real estate agent worth his salt would regularly review the situation with his owners on a weekly basis,” he said.

“When you have open inspections and private inspections, the feedback from the public is going to tell you clearly as to whether the asking price is correct or if it’s over-priced.”

The Fannie Bay property is now under contract. The buying price was not disclosed.

[Related: Agent attracts 400 buyers to sell slow-moving listing]

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