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Reading the Market and when to sell at the right time

By George Hadgelias

Conventional wisdom says spring is the “right time” to sell property, but one expert has a different view.

WBP Group Executive Chairman, Greville Pabst, says sellers need to think beyond accepted practice and instead focus on supply and demand in choosing when to sell.

Pabst also says it’s difficult to read the market to pinpoint the perfect time to sell.

“In terms of trying to read what’s happening with the broader property market and then picking the exact moment to sell, well, even for a property expert, that’s a bit of a nonsense!” he says.

“For both sellers and buyers, generally speaking, the right time is when they need to sell or buy – it’s circumstance driven,” Pabst says.

For sellers able to choose when their property will hit the market, Pabst advises against defaulting to a spring sale.

“It’s true there are times when a property will look its best. And in spring, the sun is out, the flowers are blossoming and everything is fresh, but in my experience, you don’t necessarily get the best prices in spring,” he says.

“That’s because everyone has had the same idea as you, to sell in spring, and the market tends to be flooded with stock,” Pabst says.

“In recent years, I have seen the best results in winter and that’s because there is less stock coming onto the market, but there is still demand from buyers.”

When planning a campaign, sellers should keep away from public holidays.

“Make sure you get at least four consecutive weekends, without a public holiday in there,” Pabst says.

“Buyers will come back and look at a property a few weekends in a row, and if that’s interrupted by a weekend away for a public holiday, you can sometimes lose momentum.

“If you can get an uninterrupted campaign, you’ll quite often get a better result,” he says.

Pabst also recommends steering clear of the second half of December and early part of January, when many people are traditionally away from home.

Sellers also need to consider who might buy their property.

“I know some sellers, in areas popular with Chinese buyers, look to sell in the Chinese New Year, because it’s considered good luck to buy at that time of year in the Chinese culture.

 That’s not something the average seller might think about, but if you’re targeting the Chinese market, it’s something worth knowing and capitalising on.”
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