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Tips for buying and selling property in a slow market

18 Jul 2019

The latest economic and property data points to a prolonged period of slow activity for the remainder of the year. But, while slower, there is still plenty of deals being done.

In a challenging market, you want your agent to be an area expert, someone who is hyper locally focused, and knows and understands the area intimately.

This is according to Ross Levin, managing director for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard, Waterfront and City Bowl, who says that in a market that is seeing both volumes and values considerably less than in preceding years and a growth rate which is experiencing deflation in many areas, conditions are challenging, but not insurmountable.

He says the important thing to remember is that the market has not come to a standstill - far from it, but ensure you are playing your part, whether you are buying or selling.

Levin gives some advice to survive the slow market conditions:

Advice for buyers

Often a buyer ends up buying a property in an area that they weren’t originally considering. It is therefore important that you share all your requirements so that your agent can properly qualify your needs and give you a portfolio of options to choose from, and there is now plenty of opportunities.

Give feedback after the viewing as this will help in determining the best possible fit for you. There is no reason why you can’t find what you are looking for and a seller willing to negotiate right now.

Few sellers are achieving their full asking price, and the difference between what is actually being achieved versus expectations can vary greatly. Let the agent guide you because you might just find that your dream property is now within your reach.

Make your offer as enticing as possible, and make use of the agent to guide you. Have your ‘ducks in a row’ by ensuring you are pre-approved for home loan financing. If you need to sell your property and buy subject to that sale, have your property valued and either ready to market or already on the market as this will strengthen your offer.

Advice for sellers

Find an agent you trust and award them with a sole mandate. Levin says almost two thirds of the branch’s sales over the last year were on sole mandate, and in the current market this plays an important part in protecting the value of your asset.

In a challenging market, you want your agent to be an area expert, someone who is hyper locally focused, and knows and understands the area intimately. With this knowledge they can guide you with market conditions, sales in the area and buyer profiles. It is even likely that they already have buyers in mind while they are sitting there with you taking the mandate.

Price is a tough discussion, but probably one of the most important elements in the positioning and sale of your property, especially in a slow market. You need to measure what is actually selling, rather than looking at what other properties are listing for. In a market that continues to see increased stock levels, you need to consider what sets your property apart.

Be clear with your agent about when you need to sell by. This will determine many aspects of their marketing plan, pricing and strategy for your property.

It is likely that you will receive an offer that is subject to a home loan, sale of another property, or both, along with other possible suspensive conditions. Your agent will advise you about continued marketing within the ambit of the typical ‘72-hour clause’.

To expedite the transfer period, which is typically about three months, look to have your approved plans, title deeds, etc. in place to avoid any delays. Your agent should have a panel of attorneys that they work closely with and that can you assist you with this.

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