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Know your Territory: Getting your listing right can make a big difference in Canberra

With Canberra house prices setting a new record high at the end of 2020, and unit prices also edging their way towards a new peak, many potential sellers who were hesitant to list during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year appear to be changing gear.

House prices in the nation’s capital surged 6.4 per cent over the December quarter to $855,530 and the unit market also had a 3 per cent quarterly gain, with the median price now at $485,410.

To mark the start of the autumn selling season, Canberra-based property portal Allhomes has launched a new campaign highlighting just how crucial it is for vendors and agents to get the listing process right in order to achieve the best possible outcome in such a buoyant market.

“There’s low stock and high demand. We have a very decent economy in the ACT, with a lot of our job market backing off the government. Low interest rates are keeping that buyer demand there and that’s really pushing prices up both across both houses and units,” Danielle Harmer, General Manager of Allhomes, told Elite Agent.

“The reason we went out with our autumn campaign was to really shine a light for vendors on how to get the best outcome,” she said.

Ms Harmer said one of the most important things vendors and agents should keep in mind was ensuring their listing makes a good first impression.

“First impressions count, and that listing is the first port of call for most prospective buyers. That listing plays a critical role in property selling at market rate at the moment versus absolutely exceeding it,” she said.

“It’s so important to get that listing right and the right marketing plan to get the best outcome for the vendor, which is what agents should be driving.”

Ms Harmer advised those looking to sell in the Canberra market to do their research when choosing an agent.

“Vendors should be paying close attention to agents and even an auctioneer, if they’re part of the campaign, throughout the selling process. But they also should do some research on their own and and look into what makes a really strong marketing campaign, and looking at return on investment to get that best price for their property.

“Vendors need to ask themselves if the agent they’ve chosen is really good in that area where they live. Does that agent achieve maximum results and values for property that they represent? Do they have a long list of eager buyers that they can go to for properties just like theirs?

“If the selected agent or the agent they’re talking to doesn’t fit that criteria, it’s likely they might not reach that maximum result.”

Tony Trpeski, partner and auctioneer with Canberra’s Blackshaw Real Estate, said the market in the nation’s capital differed greatly to other cities. 

“We’re a completely different market to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and we always have been,” Mr Trpeski said. 

“We don’t have the peaks and troughs that the other cities have, we’re always about consistent growth and we’ve seen that again in 2020 and even in the first quarter of 2021.”

In fact, Mr Trpeski said over the past couple of years, the Canberra market was being driven almost entirely by available stock, as opposed to the concept of selling seasons.

“If I look back five years ago, we definitely had cycles in the seasons – when was a better time to put a property in the market and when was not as good – but now that’s been completely thrown out the window,” he said. 

“We’re actually launching properties in January now, when before, we were waiting to do it in February, and January was just a big holiday for us but we’re actually prepping for properties to go to market in January around Christmas time. 

“We’re not seeing anything slowing down coming into autumn or winter. Stock levels are our big driver at the moment. 

“Everything else hasn’t been influenced by seasons or any political circumstances or anything else. Because we’re obviously a political town, every third person in Canberra is employed by or directly linked to the public service so that doesn’t go away. But for us it’s all about stock levels.”

Ms Harmer said some of the data Allhomes analysed looked at houses sold between July and December last year.  

“Using Pricefinder data and our Allhomes internal data, we were able to see that listing on Allhomes saw a pretty significant price difference versus not,” she said.

“The research showed some houses stood to make anything between $30,000 to $300,000 more when listed on Allhomes versus some of the other options, which is incredible.”

Mr Trpeski said this was something he had observed first-hand when selling an apartment on the south side of the city. 

“They were two identical apartments, literally one above each other,” he recalled. 

“They were both for sale at the same time. Our recommendation (to our vendor) was to list through Allhomes first and foremost, and the other one was listed through another portal.

“The contracts went unconditional 24 hours apart and there was a 10 per cent price difference, so that’s massive when you’re talking $500,000 properties.”

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Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson was the news editor for Elite Agent. He worked with the company from February 2020 to June 2020. For current stories, news alerts or pitches, please email editor@eliteagent.com.au.