When selling a home, time is not your friend.

More time does not equate to more interest. Usually the inverse is true. The longer the days on market, the harder it is to get a great price.

You don’t often hear someone saying, ‘we were on the market for 107 days and then someone came along and paid $200k above the range’. Doesn’t happen.

If it has taken that long to find a buyer, you are unlikely to have any competition and likely to be selling for a lot less than you initially hoped for.

So what is the ideal length of a campaign?

The traditional four weekend auction campaign (around 25 days on market) went out the window in 2020 and 2021 with the disruption of Covid lockdowns.

With a severe lack of supply and insatiable demand, the speed of transaction increased and we were bringing most of our campaigns to a head via Zoom auctions after just 10 to 14 days.

We quickly adapted and started running two to three week auction campaigns, which turned out to be optimal in the new landscape.

Buyers were comfortable just doing one private inspection before making a decision and were wanting to act quickly for fear of missing out. Offers were coming in very early, often forcing our hand.

Since restrictions eased many agents have gone back to their old ways of running four weekend campaigns with the auction on the fourth Saturday. And this is still suitable and sufficient for many properties.

But we quickly realised that most of our clients, both buyers and sellers, actually preferred the shorter campaigns and flexibility of midweek and/or Zoom auction where appropriate.

Vendors hate getting their home ready for open inspections, so a week less of opens is very welcome.

Motivated buyers hate waiting four weeks for an auction. They want to buy now.

The best buyers, refreshing their real estate apps several times a day, usually inspect on the very first Saturday. If interested, they come back in the second week for another look if necessary, review the contract and then are ready to go.

Making your key buyers wait an additional two weeks is risky. The longer they have to mull on the property, the more likely they are to talk themselves out of it or get distracted by newer listings.

And because active buyers inspect early on, we get more than two thirds of our traffic through the first 10 days (i.e the first three opens) of our campaign. The third Saturday inspection is always quiet. We rarely meet our best buyers in the fourth week of a campaign.

For all of these reasons, we are still running three week campaigns for many of our properties and only doing four weeks if we feel the home may need a bit longer.

Each property is different and therefore requires a strategic approach to the sales method and length of campaign.

However, if presented, marketed and priced appropriately – 90 percent of homes in Stonnington should sell within three to four weeks. If they don’t, it is usually a pricing issue.

According to our Realestate.com.au profiles today, Carla and I both have a median days on market of 18 days, which is far shorter than most of our competitors who sit somewhere between 25 and 40 days.

Our primary objective is always to maximise the sale price for our vendors. So all of our decisions (i.e. selling before auction, rejecting offers, waiting longer for a better price) are skewed towards optimising price.

Having a shorter days on market is just a by-product of what gets the best results for our vendors.

As the market continues to transition and re-balance, no doubt our days on market will begin to creep up slightly.

Some properties will naturally take longer to sell if demand softens and/or supply increases.

Nevertheless, time can work against you when selling so you need to make those first two weeks count.

Likewise, as a buyer, make sure you get in early and ask the agent whether the vendors would consider an offer before the auction.

You may not have to wait until the auction if you play your cards right. If the vendors have had adequate time to expose the property and are receptive to early offers then you may be able to get a jump on some of the other buyers and secure the property in a private negotiation.

Feature Property: 24 Northcote Road, Armadale

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