Should you sell during a lockdown?

As restrictions continue to tighten around Sydney, the big question we’re hearing from homeowners is how much of an impact the lock downs are having on the property market, and should they wait until restrictions are lifted before listing their home for sale? We believe the answer comes down to your own personal situation.

Unfortunately as every day passes and COVID case numbers continue to rise, the light at the end of the tunnel seems further and further away. Nobody knows exactly how much longer we will be in lock down.

The reality is, Sydney homes are still selling well above expectations to very eager and highly qualified buyers despite the extended lockdown. Majority of these buyers have already sold their own home and need to re-purchase within a specified time frame, typically during their settlement period. With rentals equally difficult to find, this added pressure is increasing the dreaded “buyer FOMO” which has been driving the market to date.

At a time of year when we normally find a large number of new home listings ready to hit the market, many sellers are nervous to give the green light. This extreme shortage of supply is driving prices to new levels. Many agents report they have ‘parked’ properties at the request of the seller to hit the market as soon as the lock down ends. This will see a flood of new listings come online all at once which will result in a stabilisation of price growth as buyers have more to choose from. 

If you are still on the fence, there are a number of reasons why selling during a lockdown might be a good idea for you. These include:

  • You’ve already purchased another property and need to sell your home ASAP to avoid bridging finance.
  • You are having financial difficulties and need to sell to pay off the debt.
  • You recognise the key drivers of price growth being supply and demand, and want to take advantage of the current stock shortage to achieve a premium price for your home.

There’s no need to be nervous about the selling process during a lock down. Real estate agents overall have adapted well to the new way of selling and if you do decide to take the plunge, you need to ensure the agent you appoint has every aspect of ‘virtual selling’ covered. Buyers are now more confident than ever with the new way of buying and rely heavily on tools such as virtual inspections, online auctions, 3d floor plans, photos, good quality video showcasing the features of the property (not the selling agent) and drone footage to highlight the property’s size and location.

However, beware the agent that encourages an ‘off market’ or quick sale during lock downs. Since open homes were banned and replaced by one person at a time inspections, agents have to work much harder to make a sale. Having a good number of buyer inspections prior to even considering entering into negotiations, is strongly recommended. At least a dozen individual buyers through your home is a minimum number we would suggest. This will provide a good cross section of feedback, and at least a quarter of these are likely to show interest in competing for your home.  It’s easier to get a buyer to pay more when they know there are other buyers interested.

So if you’ve been thinking of selling or your personal circumstances require you to do so, it’s worth speaking to an expert who is on the ground daily and can advise on the best process and strategy to take. There are still plenty of buyers out there who are highly qualified, cashed up and ready to buy quickly so why not take advantage of the situation before all your neighbours decide to sell. Low supply means less for buyers to choose from, which results in more competition among those prepared to pay a premium for your home.

If you’re unsure about when you should sell, or need advice regarding what improvements you should make to your home before selling, book in a strategy call with us today.


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