Tim Kearins

PHOTO: Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

With New Zealand’s real estate market witnessing more houses being passed in at auction and the number of days it takes to sell lengthening out, Century 21 New Zealand is encouraging vendors not to give up. Rather, property sellers should change tact to make it happen.

“While sale activity has declined, it’s not a buyers’ market yet. It’s a more balanced market, where sellers now face more competition while buyers have more properties to choose from. It’s requiring patience, but properties in demand continue to make good money,” says Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

Mr Kearins says it’s important for vendors to remember that demand remains, with new buyers entering the market every month.

“Kiwis still want to buy houses, particularly when they keep reading that interest rates are likely to keep rising as the year goes on. Many buyers see this autumn as a bit of a sweet spot, helped by vendors increasingly motivated to sell before winter sets in,” he says.

The Century 21 leader says auctions in a quieter market are less likely to be successful, however that does not mark the end of the road.

“Auctions identify cash buyers with pre-approved finance, ready to buy today. Even if they don’t buy at your auction, they’re preferrable buyers to work with as vendors know they can at least push play with them relatively quickly,” he says.

Price by negotiation in quieter times potentially loses people. Some buyers are reluctant to be the first to name a price, or wrongly presume a property is worth more than it is.

“There are plenty of buyers who drive past a house and say that will be $1 million and keep driving. However, the vendor may now be happy to take $900,000. Hence, putting a price tag on it will only help draw more buyers in,” he says.

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Importantly, for properties to sell, vendors need to hitch their sale price expectations to this year, not last year. Likewise, buyers need make sure their offer reflects the present day, and not undervalue a property on the basis that it could go down further when it may not.

“A slower market really tests agents, and you need to make sure you’ve engaged someone who’s proactive and hungry as the internet alone won’t sell it. People, not advertising, sell properties in this type of market. Look for agents who have an active network of potential buyers and listings in a similar price band so they can refer people onto your place,” he says.

Mr Kearins says it’s worth freshening up the marketing material. This includes reordering the photographs and written spiel to reflect what potential buyers have said they like about the property.

“Some vendors think they’ve got an amazing kitchen and so want to lead with that. However, if buyer feedback is all about the outside deck and views, then that’s what you need to accentuate in your refreshed marketing.”

The Century 21 realtor says one of the best things frustrated vendors can do is local research.

“See what similar properties in the neighbourhood are making. If they’re still fetching good prices, your real estate agent will remind buyers of that. If local prices have slowed, however, the cold, hard reality is motivated vendors will need to adjust their sights. Ultimately, you can’t beat the buyer,” says Tim Kearins.



Contact: Tim Kearins – Century 21 New Zealand – (0274) 495-547

Attached: Tim Kearins and C21 branding image.