How to sell a house in a soft property market

Housing Market Written by John Bolton, Apr 16 2019

I’ve recently written a blog post on how to buy in a soft market. This one is the opposite, for those of you selling.

  1. Get realistic, fast.
  2. Use a good agent.
  3. Go all in.

Magnifying glass

Get realistic, fast

I am aware of a vendor who recently turned down an offer $100,000 over the offer they have now accepted, after another three months on the market. Greed never delivers good long term outcomes.

Unless you have something unique, if you want to sell you need to meet the market. Buyers have lots of similar options and will have a perception of value.

If you’re buying and selling in the same market, you’ll get to win on the other side of the transaction.

Phil Dunphy, real estate agent character from Modern Family

Use a good agent

As a vendor, also realise that desperate agents will always tell you what you want to hear when they’re trying to list your property. The best Agents don’t want to waste their time or yours, and will be honest up front.

I’d always sell with a busy Agent that has other listings and a successfull track record. They’d be well presented, on-time, methodical, and have excellent communication and sales skills.

The majority of Agents are not particularly good, and some borderline incompetent. If they don’t fit the above criteria, simply don’t use them. The criteria for choosing an Agent should not be that they go to your church, or golf club, or a school trustee. Honestly, you’d be better off donating them $5,000 of your hard earned cash and going somewhere else.

A client was selling a $2m house in Westmere using an agent from his church. I referred him to another agent, a way better agent in the area, but he still felt obliged to use the agent from his church. That cost him $150,000!


Boy doing back flip, in the air

All in

Don’t do a half-pie version of selling. Get a good agent and then do good marketing. That means de-clutter, get rid of tenants, stage-it, and then promote it. If there’s anything that needs to be fixed, do that before you list. Give the house a good clean, put new lights in, tidy up the garden, give it a fresh lick of paint.

Sometimes it won’t work out, but either way it is going to cost money. Simply give yourself the best chance of getting the right outcome.

How we can help?

We can discuss your mortgage finances and even put bridging solutions in place if you want to buy before you sell.

We have a unique personal loan for vendors called The Homeowners Loan that can cover all of your selling costs, or should we say “selling investment”. It can cover things like repairs or maintenance, or a small renovation, even staging and marketing. We’ve had clients use it for covering a rent short-fall whilst a property is vacant, and also paying the deposit on a new property before they sell. It’s a no-fee loan that can be repaid for free at any time. It also has a low interest rate of 7.95% interest-only for a year, so it doesn’t dent the cash flow.

Talk to your agent about using a Homeowner’s Loan to help you invest in a proper selling program.

Find out more about the Squirrel Homeowner's Personal Loan.

If you're selling and thinking about buying in the same market, read up on our tips about buying in any market.

We can help. Have a chat to one of our advisers.