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Agents step up as homes go unsold for hundreds of days

20 March 2015 Nick Bendel

Agents are devising clever sales strategies and having serious price discussions as some homes linger on the market for months and even years.

Harcourts Huon Valley is selling a rural Tasmanian estate that has been listed for 774 days, according to SQM Research.

Co-owner Nick Bond said one reason it had been hard to sell the heritage-listed property is that it contains extensive gardens and was a former bed-and-breakfast business.

Some people love the property but can’t afford it, while those who can are either daunted by the thought of re-establishing the business or are reluctant to live in a private residence that requires so much upkeep, he said.

Mr Bond said he and the vendor had responded by recently obtaining approval to subdivide the estate, which means it can be sold as a whole or in part.

That has allowed them to reduce the asking price to less than $1 million. The entire estate was originally listed for $2 million, but a substantial portion can now be bought for $995,000.

“It’s given us another way to get more people to look at it,” Mr Bond said, adding that the property had been inspected twice the day before Real Estate Business called.

David Rubinic from David Rubinic Real Estate has spent the past 150 days trying to sell a one-bedroom unit in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

Mr Rubinic said the reason the home had remained unsold was because the vendor’s original asking price of $670,000 was unrealistic.

“Every property is determined by the market and if the vendor is serious about selling, they’ve just got to meet the market,” he said.

“Vendors sometimes have to be educated – and the market’s a good educator.”

Mr Rubinic said he had persuaded the vendor to reduce the price to the “mid-300s” – but that in early March they had decided to raise the price to $390,000 to spark fresh interest.

“Believe it or not, that’s generated a couple of additional enquiries,” he told Real Estate Business.

“I think in this case it may have worked, because I think in the next week or two it may be sold.”

Mr Rubinic said the challenge with having a property go unsold for so long in a buoyant market was that vendors assumed it must have some sort of flaw.

Pope Nitschke sales manager Rex Kelly is managing the sale of a three-bedroom home in the South Australian town of Strathalbyn.

The property has been listed for 1,312 days – although part of it was sold by another agent following a subdivision. Mr Kelly has been trying to sell the other title for the past six months or so.

Mr Kelly told Real Estate Business that he had had conversations with the vendor about pricing, which had resulted in a reduction to $325,000.

He said that while he was confident of completing a sale, the drawn-out process was making his job harder as the listing falls further and further down the portal rankings.

[Related: Does advertising in local papers work?]

Agents step up as homes go unsold for hundreds of days
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