Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perfect time to sell...stock squeeze forces decisions...a two-speed market.

Before we launch into what is happening in property, just a quick heads up that we are literally almost sold out of stock - as a result of a huge run of sales.  Something certainly is going on.

Last Monday we took a team to Melbourne and got behind the scenes of one of the best agent operators in Victoria. Sylvia and I also had a one-on-one lunch with Greg Ellis - the CEO of - and a full briefing by their executive team.

Toop&Toop are getting VERY SERIOUS about stepping things up in the way we sell houses. More on that over the next month or so - as we roll out our new innovations and marketing changes.

But what about the market...what a turnaround. Buyers who had become a little cocky in recent times have suddenly found the tables turned on them.

So what is happening?

RP Data's Market Update of 24th February tells a story of record "houses for sale" levels (20,366 houses for sale against 15,924 same time last year), sitting side by side lowest levels of "new advertised listings" (3,446 against 3,872 last year). At first glance, seemingly it is a buyers market, BUT the twist is that I see a "two-speed" market emerging.

There are category A sellers - the serious ones, and then category B sellers - the hopeful sellers. The hopeful sellers in category B are pricing their homes above the buyers' expectations and their properties are sitting on the market essentially as permanent stock, remaining static, or the marketing of their property is so bad that buyers just can't find it.  This group of category B sellers is growing.

Then there are the serious sellers in category A. These are the ones that accept that the market is bigger than them and have taken the less emotional approach and figure they want to get on with their lives and actually sell. Category A sellers are listening and accepting that the market is what it is.

The number of serious sellers is at record lows while buyer numbers are on the rise. We have just under 10,000 active buyers registered, as many as we had in the best market conditions.

So what does this mean?

This means that buyers are swarming serious sellers, resulting in some strange outcomes. We are seeing serious sellers (category A) generate sufficient interest to get really amazing results, in some instances even above the hopeful sellers. Those sales typically are occurring in the first few weeks on market.

Essentially ill-informed, hopeful and greedy sellers are experiencing seemingly life-long selling campaigns, while serious sellers are experiencing strong demand and in some cases, spectacular outcomes. My best guess of the break down is 40% are ill-informed, 30% are hopeful and 30% are greedy (now don't go around categorising friends with houses stuck on the market)!

You may ask "…is this a new feature of the market?" I have thought a lot about this. I would say it has always been this way, it's just that 3 things have now changed to highlight this: 1) The buyers now have unlimited access to market information, 2) the way the major online portals operate it is possible to leave properties on the market basically "forever", and 3) the real estate industry has too many people in it and many don't understand the damage they are doing to the final sale result of clients' properties by having stale stock on the shelf. This results in massive opportunity costs for clients and destroys the seller's chance of a fair final result.

So how do you easily find the category A sellers' properties? One easy way - they are the properties in The Advertiser Weekend Real Estate pages.
If you are selling, and you are serious, we have plenty of buyers so give us a call. It really is a great time to sell right now. Let us show you how Toop&Toop get the job done in this market.

Anthony Toop Follow me on Twitter: @Anthony_Toop or call 0418 824 188


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