The CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index for September shows housing values fell again, dropping 0.5% for the month and 1.6% for the quarter. “Since the national index peaked 12 months ago, dwelling values have fallen by 2.7%,” the report says.

“Hardly a crash, and a slower rate of decline relative to the previous housing market downturn (Jun 2010 to Feb 2012) when national dwelling values fell by 3% over the first 12 months, declining 6.5% from peak to trough.” But despite the slowdown in the market, real estate agents say there are still plenty of opportunities for sellers to get top dollar for their property.

When is the right time to sell?
Georgi Bates, Director, Residential Sales at Cunninghams Property – Balgowlah, says there’s a number of factors that will help determine the right time to put your house on the market.

She says researching the market is key, and advises potential vendors to look at similar properties to theirs that have sold recently, to help them determine a price for their property and understand the demand for homes in their suburb. Bates says there is still strong demand from buyers in the market, and falling supply means those selling will be able to get a great price for their home. “Many vendors are aligned with the market conditions and have realistic expectations,” she says.

“Currently, there’s 10% less properties on the market compared to last year and 25% less properties selling. Also, the number of days properties are on the market has extended, which gives buyers more time to make the right decision and sellers more time to achieve a sale price they’re happy with.” Remember: The key to a successful sale is thinking like a buyer

Should you sell in a certain season?
Spring is traditionally seen as property selling season, with Super Saturday auctions seeing thousands of homes come on the market as vendors look to take advantage of the warmer weather. But she says seasonality is just one factor that will help with the sale of a property, and vendors should always consider supply and demand factors across the market.

“Natural light is an important factor for all buyers, so if your property has plenty throughout the year then winter could be a good time to sell when there is less competition on the market,” says Bates. “If your property only get a burst of natural light in winter but more light in the summer months then hold out and wait for the right time. Also, if your property is facing west and has limited insulation or no air-conditioning or fans, then autumn or spring may be a better time to sell.”

Do your homework
Regardless of whether the market is up or down, agents say if you identify a good opportunity, go for it. Bates says finding an agent that has excellent knowledge of the market in your suburb will help you sell for the best price possible.

She says agents will assess the price potential of your home by looking at a range of factors including location, amenities, inclusions such as parking and outdoor areas, and recent sales of similar properties in the area.

Source:, Aline Tanner