Election focus: Should you buy / sell now? Or wait?

Choosing the right time to buy or sell property is challenging at the best of times. Throw in an election year and it's easy to fall into a state of paralysis by analysis, overthinking your options but getting no closer to a clear answer.

Nobody can predict the future but we'll use our experience and knowledge of the real estate market to work through the options and hopefully provide you with some clarity moving forward.

Lessons from the past

Traditionally, sellers postpone going on the market until after an election. This creates a shortage of property available for sale before the big day and an influx afterwards.

Buyers aren't as worried about timing in general. They want the right home for them.

Bearing this in mind, let's focus on 4 different scenarios and discuss the best approach for each:

Which situation best describes where you're at?

Buyers:

You may be working to a fixed timeline based on your finance pre-approval or 'need to move by' date. You want certainty and are actively in the market and want properties to look at now. You may be frustrated by the lack of choice available and are ready to jump on new opportunities. You probably don't want to keep going to open houses for months on end. Rather, you want to know where you will be living for the next 5-10 years.

If you are in this situation, hang tight and stay in touch so we can keep you posted on any opportunities that might not reach the open market. You will likely see an increase in the number of properties available for sale after the election.

Investors:

You may be seeking certainty of a different sort, i.e., to know who will be in charge next year. You can easily wait to buy something and you are looking for a good deal where the numbers make sense. As an investor, you may price election uncertainty into any offers you make before the result comes out.

You could be hoping to pounce on opportunities after the election, when a potential influx of new listings hit the market, providing more choice.

Keep in mind, it is far more important to buy the right investment property, than it is to buy any property at the right time.

Potential Sellers:

Most sellers will choose to wait until after the election. So you have a chance to sell before the big day with minimal competition. The less competition you have (eg. fewer houses on the

market similar to yours), the more buyers will be focussed on your home.

Sell now if your home suits a first home buyer or family. Use short deadlines to your advantage.

The exception to this might be if your property would only suit an investor. In that case, you may be better to wait until after the election, when that buyer group will have more certainty.

Buyers who need to sell first:

This market was made for you.

You can sell now and be a buyer at the perfect time. Inevitably, there is a rush of new listings on the market after an election. You want to be a cashed-up buyer when this moment comes. You can plan for it. Sell now, with a long settlement and be ready to pounce when new opportunities come up.

In general, whether it's an election year or not, it's best to sell when other owners are holding off. Or at least, hit the market at the very start of any seasonal rush.

Talk to us for advice on timing, it's a large part of what we do: Helping owners strategize when to go on the market, to secure the best possible price.

Whatever you do, make sure you get out and vote! :)

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