Thursday, December 10, 2015

Can big data really tell us when to buy or sell?

It seems that nearly every day there's a new release of real estate facts and figures regarding the residential property market.

Hitting news headlines nationally this week was the release of university research, providing an answer to the age old question, "When is the best time to buy or sell?" 

Swinburne, Griffith and Monash Universities analysed 20 years worth of data in each capital city and their research tells us categorically that to get the best result here in Adelaide, we should buy a house in July and sell a house in April. The study tells us we will save an average of $7,019 if we buy in July and make on average an additional $9,948 if we sell in April.

Being as passionate as I am about property but also having lived and breathed statistics and numbers during my Finance degree, I know that numbers don't lie. So when an in-depth study covering 20 years of data from leading professors in our country releases such data, then clearly there must be some truth to this notion of 'the best time to sell is in April'.

On the other hand, the research may be misleading. Not in terms of the historic trends or information discovered, but in terms of whether or not this is useful to someone looking to buy or sell in the future.

Whilst $9,948 is certainly significant, it pales in comparison to the difference an effective agent can make to your sale price.

These numbers don't relay the importance of choosing an area expert and an agency who is geared up to create tailor made marketing strategies for your home. If your agent is doing everything possible to reach the buyers most suitable for your home, an increase well above the quoted $9,948 on the sale price of your home could be achieved in any given month of the year. ​

We are living in a world where we have increasing access to statistics and expert analysis to help guide our decisions. But it is important to remember that there are a huge range of factors at play when buying a home, not just which calendar month it happens to fall in. 

Drawing on knowledge of those who are in the field, day in and day out, are the ones that can give context to the data and allow you to achieve the best outcome. This is the agent's role now, to be absolute experts and help you achieve the best possible price. Remember, it's what happens on the ground that counts.

Suzannah Toop

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