As the market continues to move, there is a lot more time going in to preparing a property for sale than there is in the actual active on-market sale process.
We talk often in real estate about a two-speed market – generally meaning that one segment of property is running hot while another is still lagging behind i.e. housing vs units. At the moment however, I’m seeing another two-speed analogy applying to real estate, and that’s the two speeds between an initial listing and the successful settlement.
As the market continues to move, there is a lot more time going in to preparing a property for sale than there is in the actual active on-market sale process. This is leading to a long (often slow) first step, as we work in with tenants, arrange tradespeople for repairs and updates (when you can actually get one!) and wait for that right weather for presentation to be just right.
Once on market (sign up, listings live, ads published) then things get frantic (our 2nd speed), with enquiries generally coming thick and fast, followed quickly by offers and contracts (because, aside from work getting the property presentation set just so, ideally you have also spent time getting pricing right with your agent too). This period can be as long as 4 or 5 weeks with an auction campaign, or as short as a handful of days (or less) otherwise.
From there, it’s the slowdown again, as most contracts work through conditions, with finance and building and pest clauses still on the longer side due to volumes of demand, though thankfully getting a little better. One area in particular that is seeing this step bogged down though is those circumstances where a tenanted home is sold to new owner occupiers, particularly where its coming to the end of a lease or its transitioned to periodic (often referred to as “month to month”). While the required notice period from a landlord can be as little as 30 days in these circumstances, with the rental market as tight as it is we are frequently seeing it take 60 days (or longer) for a tenant to secure new accommodation in this market, pushing vacant possession clauses and settlement out significantly.
This is seeing properties that might only be on the market for a week, but have up to 4 months of work from start to finish.
So what does that mean if you’re thinking of selling? Don’t leave it to the last minute! The sooner you start preparing and have an agent in place, the quicker along the path you’ll be. While you can still take shortcuts and sell your home, its those putting the time in that are seeing the best results, so hop to it!