As interest rates remain at record lows and the property market starts to cool, buyers, sellers and spectators are all finding themselves bombarded by information overload. As the playing field levels out, buyers and sellers need to adjust their expectations and learn how to adapt to changing consumer habits.

According to an RP Data report, national dwelling values fell 0.1% in April. With markets now simmering, buyers are returning more confidently, yet more cautiously. Where FOMO has historically pushed buyers to the upper echelon of their budgets, in the current climate, buyers are approaching with caution – fearful of overpaying and overextending.

So how can buyers and sellers make smart choices in the face of a changing market?

Do your research

With changing consumer habits and markets, comes speculation. One of the biggest dangers bullish buyers face is misinterpreting value, and potentially missing out on good value investments.

Given the demand-driven nature of real estate, no-one can ever be 100% certain what a property will sell for. For buyers to feel confident and understand what factors make a property valuable, they need to do their research. By understanding the nuances of the local market and looking at recent comparable sales, buyers can take advantage of shifting consumer habits and ultimately make better property choices.

When markets change, both buyers and sellers need to adapt. With buyers looking for bargains, on the flip side, sellers need to learn how to adjust their expectations and set the right strategy to maximise their return and capital gain. Given that buying and selling property, especially primary residences, is a process laden with emotion – getting unbiased, professional advice is the key to making smarter choices.

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Keep cool

Whether buying or selling, property is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your lifetime. When markets are changing, emotions tend to play a bigger role, allowing doubt to creep into the equation. When buyers and sellers get caught up in speculation, it can cloud their judgement. Buyers, specifically, can become so fixated on trying to predict the market, that they can overlook a good investment. Before becoming emotionally invested in the process, buyers should know which factors and features determine the right type of property. After doing their research, they can confidently walk into a property, ready to make informed purchasing decisions without their emotions taking control. Being armed with knowledge instantly put buyers and sellers in a position of power, especially at an auction.

In any market, buyers need to focus on buying the best possible property within their budget. Sellers need to make sure they’ve chosen the right campaign and strategy to maximise their return and take a step in the right direction.

The right questions

Asking questions is one thing, but knowing which questions to ask is just as important, regardless of whether you’re a first home buyer, upsizer, downsizer or seasoned investor. Having the right answers to the right questions is all about experience, and that’s where a buyer’s agent comes into play. Having an independent, unbiased property expert weigh in can help you evaluate the opportunity, set realistic expectations and future-proof your property decisions. Always look for unbiased and independent advice – buyer’s agents without an agenda are in a much better position to give strategic and authentic advice.

With some sellers hesitant to hit the market and other buyers foolishly waiting for the bargain of a lifetime, being realistic is important. Clearance rates may be cooling, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the bottom is going to fall out the market. While markets ebb and flow, the one thing that does remain constant is expert advice.

In a shifting market, the best thing buyers and sellers can do is leverage the experience of a trusted property partner who’s seen the market through many twists and turns.

To find out more about how Property Duo can help you navigate buying, selling and investing in a changing market, click here.

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