The Story So Far…
Looking back over the past year, 2017 was a good one for buying and selling property.
The year began strongly, with plenty of buyers. There was pent-up demand, translating into a lot of heat and unprecedented buyer competition. In February (while not local) we successfully auctioned off a 4 bedroom home in Bondi Junction for a whopping $3.49 million dollars – a Bondi Junction record that still stands. This home was on just 234m², and a sign of things to come!
Comparatively, the Forest area is blessed with blocks that are (on average), triple and quadruple the size of the Bondi Junction lot, often more. Factoring in the construction of Northern Beaches Hospital and the development of related, much needed improvements to infrastructure, our “hidden” area is no longer so hidden!
This has seen strong demand in our area continue…
As the year went on, press reported that the market was beginning to cool and it seemed many agents panicked, having not experienced sales conditions like these before. While it’s true that the number of buyers competing for each property had slightly dwindled compared to the previous twelve-month period, the sales results were still strong. The market remained healthy, but less intense than it had been. Comparing other agencies’ local results to our own, we noticed something:
Some appeared to find it harder to put deals together, while our results remained consistent. Homes listed by other agencies failed to sell, and this resulted in a number of agents (seemingly) pushing for a quick close as soon as they received an offer, rather than continuing to work hard so their vendor got the best price in the end. Meanwhile, our sales record remained at 100% listed, 100% sold.
The Truth About ‘No Sale’s
The real reason homes failed to sell was because the agents had encouraged vendors to list their homes with unrealistic sales prices attached. This is an old way of selling: promise the vendor a big price to get them on board, then talk the property price down when the offers don’t come in and push for the sale in any case. This is done in the belief that once the vendor commits to moving, they’re going to sell. Here at Shields Gillman, we don’t engage in this practice. We believe in the market and continually strive to get the price we initially promised our vendor.
Most agents only do the bare minimum, needing specific instructions on most processes and happily taking the first offer presented to them. We prefer to initiate and be proactive. Instead, we reach out to people, ask questions, make recommendations, offer to help and pitch ideas in order to give the proper service.
Here’s just one recent example:
In November we sold an un-renovated two bedroom home on Brown Street, Forestville for $1, 687,000, having just negotiated the sale of a four bedroom home on Starkey Street for $1,910,000.
This property was extremely basic and just a small 2 bedroom house in original 1960’s condition. The auction result was $236,000 over the reserve price and for way more than other agents have been selling very similar homes for. There were 8 registered bidders and the home rocketed past the highest pre-auction offer of $1,450,000 after the first few bids. It’s possible that less experienced agents might have negotiated a sale on the initial offer price, considering a sale of any kind to be a sale rather than risk watching the deal fold.
So, even if we were no longer seeing the kind of hot auctions that were commonplace at the start of the year, sellers were still getting very good prices, and both buyers and sellers were in a good position going into 2018.
2018 So Far:
We kicked off 2018 with a 3 bedroom home on 920m², located on Bantry Bay Road in Frenchs Forest. Needing some renovation, the bones of the home are good and (importantly) the block of land is spectacular, facing the bush and just 150 metres down the road from the new Northern Beaches Hospital. This fantastic property is going to auction this coming Saturday February 17 at 11.00 a.m.
It’s interesting that out of 71 properties auctioned in Forestville & Killarney Heights (Post Code 2087) in 2017, 21 were passed in or withdrawn. This is only a 70% success rate, which is unacceptable in what has been such a strong market.
2018: Our Bold Predictions…
We’ve been in real estate for some time and sold property in all types of markets. Booms don’t last forever. For that reason, we’re comfortable spending time working through deals in detail and using our local knowledge to bring the right property and buyers together.
However, one thing that stays consistent through every market is this:
People are always willing to pay premium for the lifestyle benefits of a large, level block in a safe and friendly community.
So, even when the overall Sydney market starts to turn and the press predicts doom and gloom, if you’re a Forest area seller you should remain positive about your prospects of attracting a great price.
This may surprise you, but we’re not fortune tellers- we don’t even have a crystal ball! But based on past experience, and knowing the area like we do, we can expect this year to start strongly again. The general pattern is that a lot of buyers have looked for a long time and not yet found what they’re after in this competitive market. Many of them are still keen to purchase. This, coupled with new buyers who make the decision to purchase this year, means that we expect a strong start to 2018.
We attribute the great results down to the following reasons:
#1. We don’t just take names and phone numbers when people come through the front door. Instead, we work with the buyers throughout the campaign, updating them regularly and keeping them keen on the property;
#2. We target the property to the right buyers.
#3. We promote the property to our extensive data base before it’s advertised on the open market.
#4. We don’t just settle for the first offer and trust that it’s the best offer.
#5. We have a dynamic, experienced team of two senior agents showing the property. Some of our vendors gel with Sally, while others prefer to work alongside Peter.
We’ve been conducting property auctions for over 25 years and have enjoyed 100% sales success over the past five years. As we like to say: WE KNOW REAL ESTATE – And We Sell Real Estate!
(And if you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market, find out why right now is the best possible time to list with us- but be quick! Contact Us)