How Much is your Property Worth? How Much is your Property Worth?

How to Sell Your House in a Slow Market?

Top tips to sell your property during a slow market

Australian housing marketing is recalibrating after a long stretch of housing price hikes during the pandemic. The demand for housing is impacted by inflation, but so is the housing market. When home prices and mortgage rates are fluctuating, it can be difficult to sell a house in a slow market. It doesn’t mean that you’ll lose money while selling your home. 

What's Your Property Worth?

Looking to sell and want to know how much your property can actually fetch?

This guide covers some of our home-selling strategies that will help you navigate the changing housing market and get the best price for your home.

1. Set the price of your home 

One of the most important factors in decision-making for potential home-buyers is pricing. To sell your property fast, price it competitively. The market may be slowing down but to attract prospective buyers, make sure that your listed price is fair and realistic. Be objective and compare your property to other similar properties recently sold or currently on sale in the market. 

Your property is probably your most valuable asset; if it is not initially priced correctly, it could quickly decrease in value through repeated price reductions. In a highly competitive market, your property may get lost if the price you set isn’t fair and realistic. It can scare away potential buyers from the get-go and there’s always the risk of people deterring from inspecting the house. Thus, your home might have to spend more time on the market. 

Buyers are more likely to believe there is a problem with the house the longer it remains unsold. This is due to the fact that buyers form unfavourable assumptions if the home is not selling while getting cheaper and maybe needing major repairs, even if there is nothing physically wrong with it.

2.  Find out what your property is worth

To price your home correctly is to know the market value through comparative market analysis or a  pre-listing appraisal. Find and talk to local real estate agents to understand the details of recent home sales in your neighbourhood. It can help you make a sound financial decision that accurately reflects the current market conditions and price. 

Our property-selling calculator is designed to help empower your decision-making. We offer a free and elaborate estimate report with information about your area and the average value of homes within it. The report includes: 

  • Thorough research about your property based on your suburb and locality

  • A data-driven estimate of what your house is currently worth

  • Similar properties on the market

  • Properties similar to yours that have recently sold

  • Trends showcasing potential buyer demand in your area

3. Get a pre-sale property inspections

A pre-sale report is useful in detecting any structural issues and repairs needed before the selling date arrives. It builds credibility for the property by showing that it is safe and sound which can eventually attract more potential buyers and may raise the listing price.

Having a pre-sale inspection will assist both seller and a potential buyer in the valuation of a property, whether to renegotiate in terms of immediate repair costs, market value adjustments, or contract termination in case of severe faults.

An inspection done prior to listing a home might identify potential issues like broken or missing things, electrical problems, or water leaks. When a buyer's inspection is conducted, having a full report of your major systems guarantees that no surprises catch you off guard.

4. Hire a real estate agent

Hiring an experienced real estate agent can be the best thing you can do to get the property off your hands quickly. Having the right person by your side can make the process easy and less stressful, especially during slow market conditions. 

Experienced real estate agents can give you an indication of the current market trends and provide advice to help increase the outcome of your sale. This may involve minor renovations, de-cluttering, garden maintenance, and staging, all designed to increase the appeal of your property.

A good real estate agent will help you negotiate and get the best-selling price for your property. They will also write a real estate listing that draws attention, and top it up with a great marketing effort that piques interest and sells.

Interview a few real estate agents to choose the best that understands and fits your bill. They should be equally interested and enthusiastic about selling your home. They must be able to give you sound advice and great suggestions to improve instead of just doing the bare minimum and scheduling open houses.

If you need more information, we have written a full article on how to choose the best real estate agent.

5. Stay updated about the market trends

The property market is constantly changing so it’s crucial to be aware of the real estate trends, especially in your area because buyers are constantly evaluating their choices based on affordability constraints. 

When interest rates hike, the buyers get priced out of the market and often pivot towards the next best option i.e. rental home or an inexpensive home. A buyer's ability to afford a property might be determined by even a quarter change of a percentage point. If new housing complexes provide assistance with the down payment for first-time buyers or have a fixed loan rate, those features may deter buyers. You will be better able to compete in the market the more you are aware of the different incentives.

6. Prepare your home for sale

Once you’ve got the feel of the market, it’s time to ready your house for sale. When selling your house, presenting it in the best possible light will improve your chances of securing a high sale price. 

It’s important to look at the house with the critical eyes of the potential buyers, set realistic expectations and prep your property to get the best price. Your property must look attractive to the buyers — it should look clean, well-maintained, new and ready to move into from day one. To improve your property's selling potential, you must give your home a good look and feel. 

7. Make the most of your outdoor space

Prior to entering your home through the front door, prospective buyers will evaluate the curb appeal of your house. If your yard is overgrown, bushy, and ugly and appears to have been neglected for years, all potential buyers will see it as extra work they wouldn’t want to take on.

Always maintain your yard manicured and clipped to improve your chances of selling at the greatest price. But to truly make the yard complement the house, adding vibrantly coloured flowers or plants will help to create a good first impression.

8. Declutter and clean your home

Make sure a potential buyer feels that it's a new display home. Detach from your belongings, declutter and clean your home to style it to perfection. Removing clutter makes the room appear larger and it also enables the prospective buyer to see the room space properly.

Be thorough. Don’t rely on a cursory cleaning of surfaces. Make sure you clean every inch of your home. Polish your wooden and tiled floors, have your carpets cleaned professionally and clean even the hidden areas like under the sink, under the bed, and into the cupboards and wardrobes. Buyers are particularly interested in kitchens and bathrooms so ensure they are fresh, tidy odour-free. 

Deep cleaning will bring a noticeable difference to you as well as the buyers. It will give the buyer a subconscious impression that the house is well-maintained and instil a lot of confidence in you to sell your home at a higher price.

9. Fix and repair your home

If you’re short on time, in a rush to sell your property or renovation is out of budget, then you can undertake quick repairs that wouldn’t deter the potential buyers. 

Take a survey of the property and figure out places that need fixtures and repairs. It can include things like: 

  • Tightening leaky faucets

  • Fixing loose tiles and roof damage 

  • Paint retouching

  • Replacing doorknobs and handles

  • Fixing the shower

  • Removing carpet stains etc.

You can determine which updates you want to make based on the time and budget. Take care of small issues that can really make a difference. Be proactive and solve these minor issues to save yourself from missing out on the right buyer. 

Present your property in a way that buyers feel all they need to do is pack up and move in. If the buyers notice small things they might think there's a lot of work that needs to be done before they move in which might cost them time and money.

10. Style and stage your home

Styling is an instant facelift that can give your property a fresh look so make sure you take the emotion out of the equation and look at your home as a prospective buyer. 

You can make some styling and staging changes to showcase your property’s selling points and alter the perceptions of prospective buyers.

A fresh, modern, clean and bright look should be your aim.

  • Store away personal items 

  • Bring in homeware, furniture, and decor to create a space that appeals to a broader target audience.

  • Show that your home is cared for by adding vases of fresh flowers and bowls of fruit.

  • Make sure there is lots of natural light throughout the house

You can also hire a professional home stager or a stylist to take care of this for you. If you have an eye for design, you can hire furniture and accessories and make it your DIY project. Take this opportunity to photograph your styled home as it will be very helpful while marketing your home. 

11. Use professional photographs for listing 

Professional photographs that highlight your home's best attributes like polished wooden floors, porch, or swimming pool stimulate a buyer's attention and encourage them to schedule in-person viewing. Dark or grainy amateur photographs are unwelcoming and won't encourage buyers to schedule a viewing.

A professional photographer can dramatically enhance the overall first impression of your home by using better lighting, excellent composition, and clarity. By concentrating on the places that appeal to buyers the most, a good photographer will also be able to highlight appealing characteristics of your home and capture a "homely vibe."

12. Choose a good time to sell

If you don’t have to sell immediately under strong reasons, ask yourself, â€"what’s the best time to sell my house?” The answer should be based on market research of houses sold in your neighbourhood. Knowing when is the best time to sell your property to make the most money, and which months are best to sell your house fast.

Usually, the property market in Australia is active all year round. No matter what time of the year you choose or what the market conditions are, a top real estate agent with experience can always help you to make the most of your property and maximise the final sale price.

13. Be aware of your competition

In a slow market, every seller in a similar price range can become a competition. It's a good idea to browse over their listings and see what features and updates they are emphasising in comparison to your home in addition to repairs and staging. 

Visit an open house if you can to see the changes that have been made and the asking prices that purchasers will accept when the property is sold.

14. Highlight positive aspects of your home.

Your home may have vivid unique features and amenities like polished wooden floors, a sun deck, a swimming pool, or energy-efficient solar panels. These features can help you stand out in the market. 

In order to draw buyers and distinguish your home in a competitive market, you should highlight these specific features, especially if they increase comfort and long-term savings.

15. Market your property

Creative marketing and advertising campaign to sell your property can turn out to be the best investment you make because the real estate market is slow or highly competitive. It can bring light to your property. Make sure your house is well prepared before marketing and advertising as you don’t want to turn off the potential buyers coming to view your property.

Your marketing and advertising campaign can be a mix of professional photography, social media campaign and other methods of advertising depending on the need.

There are various methods and ways to market a property:

  • Listing your property on online real estate portals

  • Signboards outside your home

  • Local mailbox drops

  • Newspaper advertising

  • Social Media

16. Make your home move-in ready

Today, a growing number of homebuyers are looking for properties that are ready for immediate occupancy. Instead of investing money or effort in repairs or interior design changes, these purchasers want to unpack their belongings and move into their new homes. 

You can try incorporating some techniques to make your home move-in ready:

  • Ensure that the plumbing, electric and heating systems are in good working order.

  • Fix and repair or modernize bathrooms and kitchens 

  • Paint your home using aesthetically pleasant neutral finishes

  • Improve the curb appeal through cleaning, gardening and landscaping

Appearances and aesthetics are everything right now. Millennial buyers who usually make up a large market share of first-time buyers don't want to do any renovations and want to settle in the home directly. They are even ready to pay a premium for the same. 

17. Negotiate and sell

Once you’ve opened doors to interested buyers, get down to the nitty-gritty of the negotiations. Offering a concession or additional incentives as a part of the deal can help make your house stand out and give that extra nudge for a faster sale. Some incentives could be a home warranty, repairs, leaving some furniture or good quality fixtures behind, paying closing costs, etc. 

This is where the real estate agent plays a crucial role. Leverage the skills of your real estate agent to understand the market conditions, weigh in the deals, compare with the sales in the locality, and the ability to drive up the sales price based on the quirks of your home. Lean in their specialization to get the best deal for your home.

Should you buy first or sell first?

Buying and selling a home can be a long and unpredictable process so you must ensure that you have factored in all the options. Consider factors like your current situation, financial health, time, and the people you live with to figure out the best option for you.

In a declining and slow housing market, it is recommended that you find your next home first before selling your current property. It gives sellers a better chance even if a contingency offer is accepted. 

When offered a choice between a contingency offer and an unconditional offer, you should usually choose a non-contingent offer because the risk is less.

Conclusion: When selling your property in a slow market, always have a proper strategy in place.

Know your property’s worth

Conduct an objective valuation of your home, hire an appraiser and get a pre-appraisal report before listing to determine the worth and condition.

Price it right

Make sure you price your property competitively to attract prospective buyers. If you overcharge, you risk losing online market exposure and experiencing price decreases.

Prepare your home for sale

Declutter, repair or renovate, deep clean and enhance the exterior. Make sure you organize your home to increase its appeal. 

Get creative with marketing

Try different channels of marketing. Increase the reach of your campaign by using direct marketing, social media, or other strategies.

Hire a real estate agent 

Hiring an experienced real estate agent can make the process easy and less stressful and help to get the property off your hands quickly, especially during slow market conditions. 

In a market that might be slowing down, working with an experienced real estate agent is the key to success. The real estate agents at Agent Select have helped thousands of Australians to sell their properties at the best price. Call Agent Select on 1300 040 463 to choose the right real estate agent that helps you sell your property quickly.

Filed under

Looking for Real Estate Agent Fees?

Save thousands using our property reports, online comparison, and expert agent appraisals.

Compare Real Estate Agents

Check your phone for a verification code.