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Time for honesty when markets lose their sparkle

01 August 2011 Pamela Bennett

Ensuring vendors are well aware of their property’s value is one way to keep properties moving in otherwise lacklustre markets

There are many in the real estate profession, with perhaps 10 years’ experience, who have had to adjust their thinking and way of doing business because they haven’t experienced anything like the current flat market conditions.
In Queensland, the property market has been flat-lining for more than a year and was struggling well before the Reserve Bank increased the cash rate seven times in little more than a year.
There always have been – and always will be – peaks and troughs in the property market and it is during times such as this that an agent’s professionalism, client database and perseverance must really come to the fore. With so many properties on the market currently stagnating due to a lack of committed buyers, it is vitally important that agents only list and work with realistic sellers who are prepared to meet the market on price.

Now is certainly not the time to be using up valuable resources on properties that are stagnating in an ever-increasing pool of listings.
If your seller is not realistic about the price they can achieve – and it is part of a good agent’s job to make sure they are – then it is highly likely that the listing will languish on the market, unsold, for months, which is detrimental to your reputation as an agent.
In this situation, the agent should recommend the property be withdrawn until the seller is prepared to be realistic about price or until the market improves. Given that days on market has pushed out to beyond the usual 60-day appointment
period, it is also imperative that agents communicate with their sellers openly and honestly throughout the process to ensure they do not become disheartened when their property does not sell immediately. Having a professional and respectful demeanour will not only help your relationship with your client, and help to secure a future appointment to act if needed, but will ensure that the selling process is as stress-free as possible for them.

Unfortunately, in a market such as this one, there is no magic spell that will conjure buyers out of thin air. Confidence levels are low because of continued uncertainty about the state of the economy both here and overseas.
The cost of living seems to be rising continually and the current interest rate setting is certainly restrictive when you
put it into the context of all of these economic factors. A good agent, however, should have an understanding that we are currently at the bottom of the real estate cycle – and in Queensland, the billions of dollars of investment in mining and infrastructure will soon see the market turn around.
Growing your client database in quiet times such as this will mean that once the inevitable upturn begins, you are already one step ahead of the rest.

Time for honesty when markets lose their sparkle
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