Fiona Li from Harcourts in Auckland shares her interesting insights on ‘the market’ at a time when buyers are now back viewing properties.
Fiona how would you describe the real estate market now?
It is a total unknown as real estate agents, buyers and sellers, have never experienced real estate during a worldwide pandemic.
What I do know is I did manage to continue making sales during lockdown. I also listed properties during lockdown and I have buyers waiting to view listings as I write this.
I cannot say it is a sellers’ or buyers’ market, or even somewhere in between, until we see how buyers and sellers are going to react.
I am very positive about the real estate market going forward as leading into lockdown the market was very good, with multiple offers on all my listings and I still I have a good number of buyers who still want to buy a home, so I cannot see any significant drop in prices ahead.
How do you manage the expectation of buyers now you are selling in an ‘unknown’ market?
When I talk to buyers I tell them to think off the long term, not the short term. As they will be living in their home for probably on average 7 years. Whatever the market does in the short term, they will highly likely be seeing positive gains when they go to sell in approximately 7 years’ time. Also be reassured that NZ is a great place to buy real estate, compared to overseas, as in NZ we have a shortage of housing and lots of land, attributes most overseas countries do not have.
The properties I currently have listed and those I have coming to the market in the near future, the sellers all have many different reasons for selling. What they do all have in common is they want to sell. I tell buyers don’t expect a bargain – if they do they will not be buying.
What advice would you give to those real estate agents who are feeling a little overwhelmed and not seeing a positive time ahead for them in the industry?
My advice is to go into the next few months with a positive outlook. There is no evidence the real estate market will nose dive. Having a negative attitude will get you negative results, so the choice ultimately is yours. Buyers and sellers will be researching online on websites like Homes.co.nz. So make sure you are investing in digital marketing both for your personal profile and also for your sellers and buyers, by using digital marketing tools like Virtual Tours and videography. Be aware that Auctions will be online for the immediate future, so do up-skill yourself on all things digital so you can provide the best service and knowledge for your sellers and buyers.