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MELBOURNE’S robust property market is expected to pick up where it left off 2014.

And if you’re planning to get in on the action as a seller, now is the time to start preparing for the market’s second main selling season – autumn.

WBP Property Group’s Greville Pabst expects an early rush from mid-February to get campaigns under way before Easter.

‘It’s a good time to sell,’ Mr Pabst said. ‘We’ve still got some good weather. You can see the change in the season, particularly in the leafy suburbs like South Yarra and Kew.’

STRIKE EARLY

Easter is the biggest event in autumn and falls early this year. But there’s also Anzac Day and school holidays to contend with.

‘In my experience, Easter can be the catalyst for the market,’ Mr Pabst said.

‘I think there’s almost an expectation that there’s going to be strong demand at the opening and before Easter, so people want to get in and capitalise on that.

‘When you start looking a bit longer, people are more uncertain, not sure what the market is going to be like.’

Also, March and April are mild months when potential buyers will be more inclined to attend inspections.

Sellers can make the most of their outdoor spaces, too, showcasing the garden before the weather starts to cool
in May.

MAKE AN IMPRESSION

Making a strong first impression will help to reel in buyers.

So concentrate on cleaning and remove clutter from the house and yard.

Mr Pabst said sellers didn’t need to spend a lot of money, but presentation was paramount in hooking buyers.

‘The difference between somebody looking online and seeing the property is they will typically have a look in the car. You don’t want them to slow down and keep driving,’ he said.

Mr Pabst recommended simple things such as landscaping, pruning, maybe some new plants and a new coat of paint to boost your home’s street appeal.

LJ Hooker, Narre Warren South, director Metin Aziret said suburban sellers often competed with new estates for buyers and should concentrate on presenting a home that was ready to move into.

‘Properties that buyers walk into and don’t need to spend any money and they get the ‘warm and fuzzies’ are the ones that achieve a premium price,’ Mr Aziret said.

‘We’re talking blue collar workers and middle income workers. These guys will tie themselves up in a mortgage of $2000 to $3000 a month, which doesn’t leave them much to save every month, so if they wanted to change the carpet, which is a $5000 exercise, it takes them a year,’ he said.

CHOOSE AN AGENT

Selecting the right agent to sell your property was more important than just selecting a brand, Mr Pabst said.

‘Investigating their track record, what type of property they have sold, what value properties do they sell, they are the sorts of questions you should ask,’ he said.

‘What’s their strike rate. How many auctions have they done in the past six months, how many have sold under the hammer.’

Mr Aziret said sellers should select an agent that could tell them what they needed to do to achieve the best price.

Location will largely determine the type of sale a seller should consider, but it’s important to consider that only 30 per cent of properties in Melbourne are auctioned.

‘It really is properties within the inner-city areas of Melbourne that attract interest from investors, owner-occupiers and get that competition that really suits an auction,’ Mr Pabst said.

‘If you’re in an area that is not an investment area, more of an owner-occupier area and therefore is not going to have the same competition from investors and developers, you might be inclined to run a private campaign.’

Mr Pabst recommended a five to six week marketing campaign ahead of an auction and setting a marketing budget.

SEE THE COMPETITION

Mr Aziret said research was essential before selling, both to present a home for sale and to determine how to set a price.

‘Do a bit of research in the market of what is selling and visit some properties and get a bit of an idea about what they think of these properties and whether they think they would buy it,’ he urged.

‘And see what you should and shouldn’t be doing.’

Mr Pabst said seeking independent advice would also help in making important decisions like setting a price, an agent’s commission and a marketing budget.


Posted by Peter Farago – Herald Sun on 31st January, 2015