You should actually be selling your house right now: Expert
Props to all the parents out there. This has certainly been a trying time, hasn't it?
While the lockdown and isolation has certainly been a challenge for all Australians, you've got to give it up for the households who are desperately trying to keep their kids from killing each other, as their prehistoric instincts long for the great outdoors, to muck around and well … destroy things!
But it's not just the parents and kids who are being put through the ringer during this period; carpets, walls and surfaces of all types are certainly taking a battering, too. And for all this extra time we are spending within our four walls, you soon learn what you love about your place and well, quite frankly, what you don't.
Many Australian homeowners and families are stuck at home, feeling claustrophobic and perhaps realising that their house is not as big, functional, or suitable as they might have previously believed. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to evaluate what we really want from our home, and for some, the realisation that the house they once thought was going to be their forever home no longer cuts it, can be quite confronting.
With all the other stresses life is currently throwing at us, you'd be forgiven for not wanting to think about something as transformative - and frankly disruptive - as buying, selling or moving home. However, while the overriding temptation might be to wade out the storm and wait for calmer seas, this may in fact be an opportune time for families to prepare to buy their next dream home and shift into a buyers mindset.
With interest rates at historic lows, and a buyers' market on the near horizon, now is actually a great time to take advantage of the lull in the market, as the longer the crisis continues and the more anxious the market feels, the greater the flood of properties we will see emerge back on the market post-pandemic for homeowners to compete with.
Households should take this extra time at home to prepare. Look at your finances, work out a budget and see if you can free up any cash. Ask yourself questions about your current home and think about how the new type of home you would like to buy could answer any problems. Is parking always an issue? Does your eldest child now require his own room and privacy? Or conversely, perhaps now might be a good time to downsize if your children are fleeing the nest (hopefully soon!). Even better if this can be achieved without parting ways with your current property as buying in a depressed market is where you can make real gains.
There are some obvious physical challenges with selling during this restricted period. With traditional brick-and-mortar real-estate agencies shutting up shop and open homes only just becoming an option again in some states and territories, it's important to engage with a property marketer that understands how to sell your property in this climate and can execute creative and effective campaigns to target would-be buyers, in non-traditional ways.
Moreover, traditional realtors also take a 'fishing net' approach whereby agents simply throw out their net broadly and pull it up to see what they've caught on auction day. And while that may have worked during a market boom and growing economy, it simply won't cut through during this period of high stress and high anxiety.
Some days, even getting the kids out of bed can seem like the most insurmountable challenge, so prepping your home for sale isn't even on the radar. But if you can muster the courage and find the right partner to support you in the process, you're set to make great returns.
And heaven-forbid should we face another challenge like this one, you might just be a bit more comfortable when you bunker down.
Alex Lumsden is an Australian property expert.
Originally published as Why you should actually be selling your house right now