Out there somewhere is a place called Buyer School and they teach home buyers all the questions they need to ask agents. There must be – because at any open home there’ll be at least one buyer who’ll ask us: “So how long it’s been on the market?”, with just a glint in their eye that adds “and I’ll know if you’re bluffing!”
Apparently any answer of more than 3 weeks allows the buyer to nod knowingly and think “So no-one wants this one.”
One of the prominent market researchers is reporting Brisbane’s average days on market as 85 for a house and 90 days for an apartment. So if you buy a place that’s been for sale for 12-13 weeks that just makes you average. And out of interest one American Realtor’s blog we follow reports her local market has an average days on market of 180 – and their market’s improved.
So is this really the most important question for home buyers? Often, more often than not, the seller’s asking price has been adjusted since the home came on the market. RP Data report Brisbane sellers are currently dropping their prices almost 8% between that first day on the market and the final agreed price. Usually the final asking price, the list price at the time the sale happens, is only a couple of a percent higher than the final sale.
Could a better question be: “How long’s it been for sale at this price?” And here’s an insider’s tip: often sellers have run marketing campaigns in their early stages and after a few weeks on the market they’re left with just the web in their promotional toolbox. Less promotion means less enquiry and when interest is lowest that’s your best opportunity to buy well.
Ironically we all desire something most when it’s fresh, sought-after by the crowds and there’s a buzz around the place. In other words, when it’s at its dearest price. For my money I’d do my homework, seek out the place that really suits me, the home that fits the bill, and ignore the crowds. That’s what they should teach at Buyer School!