Christmas Deadline: Do I Still Have Time? - November 2023
November 17, 2023 / Written by Leanne Pilkington
By Guest Blogger, Leanne Pilkington, CEO,
Laing & Simmons and Immediate Past President REINSW
It’s the time of year when casual observers of the real estate market, both from the buyer and vendor perspective, switch into holiday mode. But rather than trigger a slowdown, it can create a scenario in which only the truly motivated buyers and vendors remain. And, according to Laing+Simmons CEO Leanne Pilkington, agents increasingly recognise that Christmas is a time when buyers actually have the opportunity to take a closer look at what’s available.
The volume of properties available for purchase has been higher in previous years but compared to earlier in the year, there has definitely been an increase in available listings in October and November.
And more are coming in December because the fact is, compared to demand, there are still not enough properties to satisfy all buyers.
People with a casual interest in what’s on offer may have one eye on the upcoming holidays but serious buyers – including those who need to buy – don’t switch off. They recognise there’s an underlying shortage of properties and that hesitation, even during the festive period, might mean missing out for good.
It’s a similar story for vendors. The good news for those who need to sell is, there’s a large pool of motivated buyers to tap into.
Those merely weighing up the pros and cons of selling are more likely to slip into holiday mode. In doing so, they essentially kick the can down the road when it comes to considering how interest rates, property values and other economic factors might impact their eventual sale plans.
Who knows what 2024 holds. Those acting now must act within the current context, and a transaction this year can deliver significant benefits if their personal circumstances are right.
The November rate rise, and the prospect of more, did not help affordability but nor will it dramatically impact the plans of serious buyers and vendors. Current interest rate levels will have been factored into their plans already.
In the past, most real estate businesses slowed down over the Christmas break. It’s no longer the case.
This year, many agents are preparing to launch new properties on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in recognition that the Christmas period is a time when families can actually take the time to talk about their future plans and look at what’s available. It’s a far cry from the industry shutdown we saw merely a few years ago.
For serious vendors, it means there’s still time to list their property and savvy agents who know their local markets can get a campaign up and running in quick time.
In this time of undersupply, the best local agents will often have a database of buying prospects ready to go, or at least in the position to make an offer on something that appeals.
In instances where a listing needs to be expedited to market, buyers who work with a buyer's agent will have an advantage. They may be able to view a property and even submit an offer before the property turns up on a listing portal. Before the For Sale sign goes up.
Efficient campaigns executed quickly in this way, founded on strong relationships between agents with the right expertise, can deliver other advantages too.
For example, saved marketing costs can provide vendors wiggle room when negotiating a sale price. Buyers submitting an offer before these costs are incurred can reap the benefits while the vendor’s net position remains the same.
Selling agents and buyers agents can draw on their shared understanding of the true market dynamics relevant to the location when independently representing their respective customers in negotiations.
There’s no cleaner way to arrive at a fair price for both parties.
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