I was shocked this week when I received my weekly reiwa.com update this week to see that the average time that it takes for properties in Perth to sell had blown out to 80 days.

Now I could be wrong, but I can’t recall a time in the last 8 years where it’s been that long.

80 days is of course though an average, and there are properties that are still selling with multiple offers in a week or two and others that we’re seeing on the market for even longer.

No one wants to be average and if you’re living in your home whilst selling that means preparing for a lot of home opens. And if you’ve staged your property for sale it could also mean additional furniture hire costs.

So what do you do?

Looking at why a property isn’t selling is a process of elimination and there are four questions you need to ask:

  1. Is the property well presented? Is it impressing people online in the photos and at home opens? Is it clean, decluttered and have all the maintenance items been attended to?
  1. Is it being well promoted? Have you got premium online positioning or has that finished and the property has disappeared down to the bottom of the major portals? Did your campaign target both active & passive buyers? Did it use social media (if appropriate)? Is your agent still doing home opens?
  1. What’s the feedback? Are buyers coming to the home opens or do the reports show that they’re sitting and watching it online? Is there anything that needs to be changed or attended to on the property?
  1. Where are you at on price? What else has been selling or is on the market and how does your property objectively (size; age; recency of renovation; location) compare? Have buyers been testing the waters with offers, either verbal or written ones, and where have those been?

If all of the other aspects of your campaign boxes are ticked, price is often what it often comes down to.  And if you’re already at a price that’s less than what you bought the property for, or hoped for, or were promised, that’s the painful one to deal with.

Remember this is a market that overall still strongly favours buyers, and if they’re not seeing value or not under any pressure to buy, they’ll happily wait and not buy. Or they’ll buy something else that they think is better value.

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When it comes to price you’ve got two choices, adjust to meet the market or dig your heels in.

Sometimes digging your heels works, as long as there’s still ongoing buyer interest and your property is still priced in line with your competitors in the market. There’s no point digging your heels in though at a price that’s $20k, $50k or even $100k higher than your competitors, all you’re doing is helping them to sell.

Adjusting to meet the market can be painful but if you want or need the property to sell you have no other choice. It can be difficult to make good decisions when you’re facing a real or perceived loss, so the important thing is to go through your campaign objectively with your agent and decide what you’re going to do.

And if you’re not prepared or unable to adjust price, what’s your Plan B? Do you have the option not to sell? What are the pros and cons of keeping the property, renting out it or staying put for the foreseeable future? These should be discussed with both your agent and your Accountant in order to help you decide.

But ultimately when it comes to selling, as in life, it’s unlikely things will change if everything remains the same. And hope isn’t a strategy.

Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash