Mr Hughes added that interest rate rises aren’t putting most buyers off – they’re just adjusting their expectations.
“It’s true that borrowing power isn’t what it was but that doesn’t stop someone from buying. There’s still a transaction. The fact that they need a bigger house than what they’re in now just means they just won’t buy the fully renovated house.”
Mr McCann said that in terms of interest rates, it marks a return to normal levels rather than the historic all-time lows that many got used to.
“It’s a normal rather than a negative environment,” he said.
“Due to the low stock levels, buyers are concentrating on what’s available now,” Mr Stathopoulos said.
“They’ve factored in the interest rates rises – it’s not a shock anymore – and money is still relatively cheap.”
He added that the environment of rising rates actually adds a time-pressure element to buyer behaviour.
“Buyers are acutely aware that each time there’s a rise that their borrowing capacity is reduced. A year ago, if they could borrow $1 million, it’s now closer to $750,000, so there’s a time factor there. They don’t want to forfeit their approvals because next time it’ll be less.”
6. A tight rental market has pushed many into buying sooner
The national rental crunch has been a trigger for those that were on the cusp of buying to take the plunge.
Because of this, the lower end of the market is moving quite well, Mr Honey said.
“Those selling in the affordable bracket should have a lot of confidence and see this as an opportunity. There’s lots of competition as people still need a place to live.”
Mr McCann added that the property market is different from other investment classes in that it’s a necessity – or, “people need shelter”.
“Rental prices are increasing, there’s a significant shortage – if you can afford to borrow and buy then buying is a much better vehicle than relying on the rental market.
“Investing in property is still a very safe bet.”
7. Homes that have been properly maintained are selling for a premium
Mr Stathopoulos said that buyers are looking for properties they can move into now.
“Well-presented, well-marketed, styled properties are getting more eyeballs,” he said. “It’s the turnkey homes that are getting above-market results.”
Paul Ryan, senior economist at PropTrack, said that values of properties in Australia are still well up on pre-pandemic levels, so most homeowners will be sitting on considerable equity.
8. Agents can be surprisingly helpful when it comes to getting a good result
Kevin Dearlove, managing director of Stone Real Estate, said agents’ roles have changed drastically over the past few years.
When it comes to helping a vendor get a good result while also minimising stress, agents now are more helpful than some might think.
Mr Dearlove explained that good agents regularly assist vendors with home preparation by providing advice and putting them in touch with trusted local tradespeople for anything that might need doing before a property is listed.
“The vast majority of our work is almost project management now,” he said.
“Sellers need to make sure they hire an agent who can help get a property ready for sale properly. The role has really changed – we have access to a lot of trades, whether it be re-roofing or other things.
“Sellers need to concentrate on controlling what they can control. There are no shortcuts in this market. If you go for a full market campaign and create competition, you’ll get a great price.
“We’re here to relieve stress. If we can help prepare the client and take some of that pressure off then the whole process is easier.”
9. If you wait for the ‘perfect’ time to sell, it might not turn out the way you think
While it’d be nice if real estate transactions could be quantified into an easy calculation, the reality is that for most vendors, it’s almost always highly personal.
“The reasons for transacting property are often based on very emotional life events such as births, deaths, retirement and changes in employment – many of which are outside of our control,” Mr Stathopoulos said.
The best time to sell is simply when you’re ready, he said.
“They’re life-changing decisions. When speaking to an owner, I often ask them what’s holding them back. If it’s the market, no one will know a perfect time.
“The other factor is that if you’re selling in this market, you’re also buying in this market. So if you sell your home for more, then often you’ll need to spend more to get into your next home. It’s the arbitrage effect. You sell and buy in the same market.”
Many downsizing homeowners held out for the highest price possible during the Covid boom, only to find homes in the area they wanted to move to had also increased in value, he said.
Five tips to get a great result when selling in 2023
While it goes without saying that conditions are different from the Covid-fueled boom enjoyed by sellers in previous years, vendors are still getting great results right now.
Agents suggest following these tried and tested steps.
1. Get educated about your local market
Mr McCann said those interested in selling and moving on should do their own research about their local market rather than buying into negativity in the media.
“It’s important to go in educated about what similar properties to theirs are selling for,” he said.
“Sale prices are still good, but the really strong market has left us, so it’s important to have realistic expectations about what kind of outcome you might achieve. It’s about being prepared, listening to the market, and moving on.”
2. Work with the best agent you can find
Working with a seasoned agent will help vendors navigate the ups and downs of the selling process, Mr Honey explained.
“Enlist the help of an agent who has worked through different market conditions before, the good and the bad, so that you can be assured you’re getting the best advice.”
A good agent will also be able to give you recommendations around the expectations of current buyers and be able to provide practical advice when it comes to preparing the property for sale.
3. Don’t skimp on marketing
Getting as many people – from all ends of the market – through your property will give you every chance of getting the best result possible, Mr Fenn said.
“Those that are just dipping their toe in or considering selling off-market are risking a lot,” he said.
“My strongest advice is to turn up the marketing in the right areas and put the property out to every single potential buyer [to] get everyone through you possibly can. Aim to create that competition so you can get the premium price that you deserve.
“If we had another 100 listings, we’d sell them all. There’s that much demand out there.”
5. Get advice before taking on any big renovations
Kitchen or bathroom in need of a renovation?
You might be wondering whether it’s worth having that done before you go to sell the property, or whether it makes more sense to accept less for the sale knowing the buyer will be factoring in having to pay for that themselves.
Mr Hughes said the best person to speak to about these kinds of issues is an experienced local agent.
“By enlisting the premier agent in your area they’ll be able to tell you what is going to drastically impact the selling price. There might be quick fixes that sellers aren’t aware of.
“In any market, it’s imperative to present the home in the best possible way. However, trades are expensive and there’s a time factor with that too.
Some trades might take months to complete a job, he explained, so it’s important to weigh up that time factor against the extra money you can potentially make.
“If you’re going to spend big upgrading the kitchen only to break even, then it’s not worth it.”
But if there are small things a vendor can do that make their home appeal more to buyers – and therefore get a higher price – then sellers should weigh that up.
“There’s always a perfect buyer that is willing to spend more – sometimes it’s even circumstance-related, not product-related, such as a short settlement period.
“A layered approach with marketing will ensure you’re going to reach the most people.
“Take the advice of the professionals – We’re in a strong market but it’s not white hot, mistakes can cost you a lot.”