Brisbane's sales market

Property not selling? Here’s 5 things to try before you drop the price!

Occasionally we chat with Sydney real estate agents and hear their stories of the past few years. Buyers battling it out to secure homes and prices driven to new heights. Sellers rarely facing tough decisions. Brisbane has felt a long, long way from our southern cousins over this time, and our inner-city’s had a sales market of mixed fortunes. Houses meet steady demand, there’s pockets of competitive buyer activity, but overall it’s fairly balanced. While buyers clearly hold the upper hand in the apartment market.

So the time it takes to sell has risen, and many sellers deal with the challenge of price. But before you drop, here’s 5 things you should try:

1. Consider having the property vacant or, if it’s rented, with only a short lease in place. The latest census tells us 61% of dwellings in inner-Brisbane are rented, but right now investor buyers are thin on the ground so a long lease often won’t add value. This will change again as the market turns so please don’t lose a great tenant. But consider your buyers’ needs as owner-occupiers.

2. What can be done to improve the presentation of the property? In this world of TV renovation shows, pristine display homes, Instagram property porn and a thousand images of “the perfect home” being showered on your buyers every day, they don’t respond well to dirty dishes in sinks, curtains missing hooks, beds unmade, soap scum on shower screens (these are a few of my favourite things….) Once your property is on the market and in the hands of your agent, presentation is your main job. Keep that place sparkling clean and tidy and we know from long experience that it will earn you a quicker sale and more dollars. If the property is rented you need to respect that a tenant doesn’t have the same interest in this, and if it’s a problem you may consider, (in discussion with the tenants) paying a regular cleaner to go in. Or weigh up the benefit Brisbane real estateand cost of having it vacant. If it’s empty the price to professionally stage and style a property is very often an excellent investment in its sale. Even if you don’t do all bedrooms, we’ve seen staging take a run of the mill apartment and have it capture the emotions of a buyer. And that’s where the premium prices appear!

3. Do the place need minor repairs? Replacing kitchens and bathrooms can often leapfrog you to new price points but their cost is hard to recover in a sale. But painting front doors and those bumped plasterboard corners is cheap and quick to freshen things up. Re-grout the shower tiles and run a new bead of silicone along the vanity top. Noticeably worn or threadbare carpets will scare buyers away but are fairly affordable to replace. Try to see the property with the eyes of a buyer and fresh, bright homes do sell for more.

4. Drag it out of the crowd by revisiting your promotional tactics. Signboards are the best value marketing by a country mile (though not possible in most bodies corp). A standard listing on the major websites won’t get you the eyeballs you need on your ads any more, so paying for an upgraded ad is necessary. Are the photos the best possible quality? Remember the online search list offers the buyer one photo only so if that hero shot doesn’t catch their eye you’re stuck competing on price. Is there a view or aspect that would stand out with a dusk shoot, the light and colour contrasting with other ads? What about a drone photo or video? These are coming down in price and can show your location so much better than a map. And whatever you do, however affordable your property, please remember the floorplan. Even our property managers use these in marketing as we know how useful buyers and tenants find them.

5. Are you targeting the right buyers? If you’re using a good agent you’ll be getting feedback on what the market thinks of your property. Good and bad, you need to hear what attracts buyers and what they’re disappointed by. Great agents understand the likely market for your property before the campaign starts, but we’ve all been surprised once things get underway. A smallish bedroom that’s more of an issue than we’d expected, or stairs that scare away older buyers for example. A frank and open discussion of its strengths and weaknesses should allow the best planning and ads that speak to the right audience.

Unfortunately in many cases you may need to adjust your price to reach a different group of buyers (here’s some tips for how to set your price) but the list above and the advice of a good agent might be well worth considering first!

The Bees Nees sales team would love to help with the sale of your Brisbane property. Click through for more info.