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July 2016 has seen stock numbers stay about the same, and days on market creep up slightly. Sales in July are slow so far in the new financial year as I perceive many Buyers and Sellers trying to figure out what the market is doing and where it is going. Some Buyers are trying to capitalise, and many Sellers still hoping for better times.

We have seen early activity in the numbers at home opens and Buyer enquiries generally. As we mentioned last month, volumes are down, and some indication of prices softening (not carnage like some Buyers would have you believe).

Sellers: please remember that buying and selling in the same market means whatever the market is doing is largely cancelled out. There are many Buyers that want to buy and will do so as soon as they see great value.

Buyers: There are good properties available with many realistic Sellers that want to move on. The value is high right now, so it is a great time to jump in. Trying to predict what markets are doing is potentially risky, as no one really knows what is going to happen. The right time is now.

We expect to see many properties being rested, and many new listings leading up to spring. Buyers will have more stock to choose from in spring, but also more Buyer competition. Sellers will have more Buyers if waiting until spring, but also more competition from more listings.

The market has definitely moved and changed, even since 3 months ago. We believe it is essential that Sellers (and Buyers) reassess what the current market value is today so as to make and adjust realistic expectations, if the goal it to buy or sell in this market.

Please remember in this market, to both Buyers and Sellers, not all Sellers are overpriced, and not all Buyers are bargain hunters.

We find, and have always found, nice homes usually go to nice people. By that we mean, people that appreciate the quality and care taken in making a house a home, are usually the types of Buyers that want to own these homes and will be prepared to pay a fair price to get it.

We at Evolution Realty are delighted in handling many lovely homes and mostly get the privilege of dealing with a lot of lovely Buyers.

Please feel free to let us know your requirements if you are a Buyer, as many listings come and go without ever appearing online. For Sellers please feel free to get in early with a step by step guide to getting your property ready for the spring market, if you intend to sell anytime in the next 3 months.

Thank you and see you in the market place.


As the first half of 2016 is behind us, the comparison to the same period last year tells a vivid story about the local market right now, today. A knowledge of this comparison is essential for all Sellers.

Global factors and overall confidence being low, we have seen a fall away of sales volumes, quite dramatically.

Year to date (6 months) Applecross has had 63 sales (Down from 84 or 25% on last year) Mount Pleasant is a dramatic 45 sales down from 86 (48% down) on last year.

Applecross this year 108 compared to the same number last year 108 days to sell. Mount Pleasant 117 days to sell in 2016, up from 91 days in 2015.

The interesting figure I always look at is what I have called for years, "The two markets phenomenon", the days on market for the unsold stock. Two markets meaning, the half of listed properties that sell, and the other half that don’t.

  • Applecross- Days on market (based on 95 properties effective 29/6) is 291 (That’s right).
  • Mount Pleasant- Days on market (based on 71 properties effective 29/6) is 145 (Still a big number).

Many Sellers have been caught in a falling market, no doubt. Some areas have perhaps adjusted 5-10% in the past 6 months. Yet some properties still sell in days and weeks. Why is that? 

The good news!
If you are a genuine Buyer that is willing to engage good properties and pay a fair market value price there are many listings available and Seller’s that want to talk to you and release their properties to you

If you are a Seller, there are tried and true methods to work with this market, and agents that specialise in getting results in challenging markets.

It is correct to say, it is definitely not a one size fits all, and doing more of the same as a famous man by the name of Einstein said was “the definition of insanity”.

If you are looking to move, talk to me about how we can effectively price and position your property to stand out, in what is a tight Buyers’ market.

It can be disastrous to be stranded as one of the properties that misses the market. Talk to me about how we can avoid this.

I remain optimistic, buoyed and enthusiastic about the future local market. Much of our demand from Buyers comes from our existing database or local Buyers wanting to upsize, downsize or upgrade location within the City of Melville. Irrespective of global economic factors, there will always be this local demand.

REMEMBER: If you buy and sell in the same market, the market is negated and doesn’t really matter.

Thank you and see you in the market place.

Don’t be the first to walk away

In what is a tough, difficult period in the local property market where we continue to see large gaps in expectations between buyer and seller alike, the ability to get the deal together is often a case of how the negotiation is handled?

I have found recently several sales occur where the dates between first offer and final offer, for the same buyer was anywhere from 7-90 days.

The large gap in expectations is due to many factors.

1. Newspapers

2. Internet articles

3. Doomsayers predicting the sky falling

4. General fear and uncertainly

5. Global factors

6. Agent has not educated seller properly

7. Opportunism

8. Seller and/ or buyer with unreasonable expectations

Sometimes, early offers come in and the seller is yet to understand or accept the reality of the current market. Often, once the seller is certain that they are in fact dealing with what may indeed be “highest fair market value” in many cases sellers will do a deal with a genuine buyer, even though the offer may be lower than what is ideal.

Sometimes buyers might try on a low or cheeky initial offer, only to realise that a property they want might not be available at a certain level, so increase their offer as they realise that they need to pay more in some cases to get what they want. (Not all sellers will take any figure that is offered).

My advice in this market for buyers and sellers. - “Never be the first to walk away.”  Often, good agents need time to "nurse" the offer through as each side comes to terms with what is the actual situation. Rejecting an offer achieves nothing in most cases. I have sold properties to buyers that had offers "not accepted" only to represent and repackage them later in terms agreed by the seller. In other words, the sellers did not walk away first.

Buyers need to understand that many sellers may be “shocked” by some of the market feedback in relation to expectations and need some time to take all of that in, especially new listings. (Despite how much factual information the agent may have provided the seller).

Sellers need to understand that buyers will obviously be in this market empowered and in many cases do not fear prices going up in the short term, and will often try a lower offer to see how genuine the seller is. (Riskiest when the seller sets overly optimistic or aspirational prices).

I believe that if the initial asking price is about right on day one, the seller has the best real chance of a premium sales price as the buyers will know that the seller is very genuine, very serious and therefore will have some fear of loss. They usually then make their first offer a serious one.

Recently we sold 2 properties at the $1M market segment in 44 days and 32 days respectively. This was in my opinion due to, through appropriate motivation by the sellers and the right asking price strategy, caused by being able to communicate to the respective buyers that the sellers were very pragmatic, reasonable and motivated in relation to price. The buyers therefore had no reason to wait and procrastinate waiting for the price to come down.

Net result:

  • Buyers get a good property at a fair price.
  • Sellers get a result and can move on and at what I think it usually a higher price than the poorer cousins (other properties) that sit on the market 3 months to 2 years as some sellers are praying for better times past that are now gone.

Moral of the story, get it right the first time. Price right to sell, and you will. Buyers love it and sellers do to, as they get more and can actually move on. 



Things are still very tight, maybe even more so than any time this year so far. The pending Federal Election may have stalled some Buyer activity. We are still seeing a lot of traffic at opens, and are writing offers. Some offers are very optimistic by Buyers, who many appear to be trying to guess where they see the market going, and offering accordingly.

Other, more realistic Buyers whose offers are aligned with current market value are finding that many Sellers are delighted to release their properties to those Buyers and as such we see a sale being made.

We see a lot of listings being rested if they did not sell during the initial listing period, and expect to see many new listings reappear, as well as new stock never seen in the market before now. Irrespective of the market conditions, if you buy and sell at the same time, the theory is that the market is cancelled out (In most cases).

I also have another view about the market and timing. To date, very few have the skills and expertise to accurately and precisely time the market, especially post 2008, no one knows for certain what is around the corner.

My view with regards to owner occupiers and anyone that wants to live in the property, putting plans or your life on hold waiting for better markets could be a recipe for prolonged waiting as we may see holding patterns for some time to come (As we said no one knows).

In this market, Sellers need every competitive advantage with regards to strategy, energy, marketing and pricing to stand out and get the Buyers attention. Only then, can a likely result be achieved. Sometimes, sales are made to Buyers already on the Agents radar or database. We recently had a sale in 4 days to a Buyer that was on our radar and matched to the property (with 4 other offers) enabling the Seller to secure a satisfactory sale. This was less than 24 hours after appearing on the internet.

Buyers, have a few local agents that you are in touch with. The internet is in some cases, already too late for the best new listings. If you are a Seller please feel free to chat to me about taking advantage of the current market conditions, marketing and strategy ideas to get sold in a reasonable timeframe for the best price.

Thank you and see you in the market place.


I stated last month that the market remains tight (listing numbers and Sales volumes). In early May 2016, this is still unchanged.

The recent 0.25% basis points reduction in official interest rates is also welcome news for potential Buyers as well as existing mortgage holders on variable rates. The market can do with any positive news right now that is available.An impending announcement of a Federal Election is a good thing (probably 2nd July) as the market wants certainty, and to understand what if any changes may affect negative gearing, projected growth and so on.

Many Buyers right now are making offers way below current asking prices to “test the market” for urgency or what they feel is distress sales. You can’t blame Buyers for that. Maybe for old or stale listings that can be understandable. There is however no evidence of wholesale price crashes or markets falling, other than the normal slight variations that we have seen for many years now.

If new listings come onto the market priced according to the most recent current market data, there is no reason a property should not sell quickly and at close to the asking price. I have said for nearly 15 years now, not all sellers and agents over price the listings that they sell. I often ask the hypothetical question, if something is worth a dollar in today’s market, and you pay a dollar, have you paid too much?

My answer, of course not. I think too many Buyers pay attention to trying to get a huge discount off the asking price instead of trying to figure out what the current fair market value is.

Sellers that want to move will find that once the asking price is perceived as close to market value, serious and genuine Buyers engage that property and often a sale or deal can be made. In a tight Buyers’ market, properties perceived as not competitively priced, are often overlooked, rejected or subjected to more aggressive low offers.

Sellers always run the risk that new stock, priced at current market value are descended upon by Buyers that have been in the market a fair while, as often we see under offer or sold happen quickly on these listings as Buyers see them as good value.

If you are a Seller please feel free to chat to me about taking advantage of the current market conditions and get sold in a reasonable timeframe for the best price.

Thank you and see you in the market place.


The market remains tight. (Listing numbers and Sales volumes).

To highlight that:

  • In the first quarter 2015 in Applecross there were 46 sales. So far this year in 2016 the number is 35 (down 25%).
  • Mount Pleasant first quarter 2015 33 sales, so far in 2016 only 20 (down about 40%).
  • Average days on market in Applecross is now a staggering 291 for the unsold stock. To make more sense of it, (eliminating really long on market stock) the median days on market for unsold stock in Applecross is 170 (still a big number).
  • Mount Pleasant the numbers are 146 days average and 91 days median (for the unsold stock).

This phenomenon is what I call a constipated market. I have seen it before, and know how to successfully work with it. Many Sellers have been caught in a changing market. The good news is it is fixable.

If you are a Seller please feel free to chat to me about how to solve this current situation and move forward

That tells me that the market is sorting itself out with regards to the sentiment and what the future holds. Once buyers realise the sky has not fallen in, and basically the local economy is doing ok, that slack or lag should catch up.

The properties that are selling are the ones perceived as the best value. As always in a Buyers' market, it is about value.

Thank you and see you in the market place.

The 5 Reasons Why a Home Does Not Sell

Reason 1) -The marketing is incomplete or ineffective.

Not all real estate agents are alike and unfortunately, some do a minimal job in marketing the property once they’ve obtained the listing. 

I often research properties as part of my commitment to my craft. I’m frequently surprised by the number of incomplete property descriptions, lack of multiple attractive photos, and many times, just incorrect or incomplete information reported in the listing. In most situations, once a listing is entered onto the internet and the REIWA website it will appear on many sites on the internet, as well as the agents own sites and national real estate sites they may participate in.  

Those properties with limited information, or worse, just a few photos or unflattering photos are eliminated by buyers and their agents without the buyer ever setting foot on the property. There are three groups of people your property must appeal to: agents, local buyers and out-of-town buyers. All three are influenced by the computerized representation of your property. If your property’s online and printed marketing isn’t appealing, you will have no physical showings. 

While a very small percentage of homes are bought "sight unseen," the general rule is if the buyer doesn’t step inside your home, they won’t be buying it.

Reason 2) - The home shows poorly.

Let’s face it; your home has to compete with all the shiny model homes going up in every corner of the city. You are competing with professional decorators and landscapers who are experts at creating emotional appeal. These model homes don’t have real families living in them while being on the market. 

Thankfully, this is one of the easiest things to fix. A good cleaning, de-cluttering and cosmetic facelift is pretty inexpensive compared to the return in a higher sales price and faster sales time. Sparkling windows, kitchens and bathrooms, professionally cleaned carpets and fresh paint make a world of difference. Curb appeal from an attractively-maintained yard and an inviting front door doesn’t require a professional or large amounts of money.

Reason 3) - The property is in a bad location.  (Or less preferred to competing properties)

This is one thing that can’t be changed. A good real estate agent will be able to maximize the positive aspects of your property while trying to minimize the negatives. It may be possible to screen an adjacent property with landscaping either to lessen the visual impact or the sound impact of a busy street. If your home is located in a less desirable school district or close to perceived nuisances, the best way to compensate is usually to reduce the sales price.

Reason 4) - The market is the market. 

It’s all based on supply and demand. All real estate markets are cyclical, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, and sometimes just in balance. They are affected by any number of things that you have no control over, such as interest rates, the economy, weather, national or local disasters, consumer confidence, and sometimes the time of year, such as the winter holidays.

If there are many buyers for a type of property and there is a limited supply, the market will be faster and sellers won’t need to pay as much attention to condition, marketing and proper pricing. If there is a large supply of inventory, with little buyer interest, homes will languish on the market and buyers will choose the best of the available inventory. That’s the time that paying attention to the items mentioned above makes a real difference in terms of how long it will take to sell your property and ultimately the price you’ll receive.

Reason 5) The home is overpriced. (Priced optimistically or on emotional factors rather than on market based criteria)

I’ve seldom met an owner who doesn’t think his/her home is "better or nicer". I’ve been told many times about specific features that "should" make the home be worth more money than comparable homes. No matter how much you may appreciate your home and its particular special features, the buyers ultimately set the price by what they are willing to pay for the property. Overpricing, either by you or by an agent willing to suggest a higher price in order to obtain the listing, begins a chain of events that often works against you. Sometimes the results of doing this can be disastrous.  

Real estate agents and qualified buyers currently in the market will see your listing within the first two to three weeks, and if it’s overpriced they will note that and move on to other properties. After those important first few weeks on the market, the only buyers who will see your property are those that are new to the market, and your property will be labelled as "overpriced." Buyers and their agents always look for "days on market" when searching the REIWA member website listings. 

Day-old bread, leftovers, and overstocks are always discounted. The longer your home is on the market, the lower the price you will eventually be offered. Every property will sell, if it is priced properly. I have said it all of my career, and believe it more than ever, "the way to get the highest price is to price the property correctly at current fair market value, from day one".

I hope that you have found these comments useful. Thank you and see you in the market place.

Thank you, I hope you have found this article useful.

Only Clean Business

I met with an owner recently, and he asked me to appraise his home with the view to possibly selling in the future.

I said sure. I asked when the current listing with the current agent expired, as it had been on the internet for about the last 2 years. The owner looked at me puzzled, and said that the listing ran out 6 months ago.

I was adamant, and said "nope", it is plainly marketed for all to see on that company’s website.

The owner firmly told the other agent to “get it down” as he acknowledged that this was harming the value of his property as there was a perception that is was “A dead duck” or stale. He was right, it was.

Then it occurred to me I had seen this recently with several other agents, meaning that the habit of falsely advertising client listings without valid authorities was becoming common practice.

I saw in an agent window a listing recently where the owner absolutely did not authorize the listing which had expired 6 months earlier, and another time listed a block for auction which the previous agent authority expired 6 months earlier, yet the sign and internet was keep “up” for the agent benefit without a valid written authority to do so. Indeed my owner was amazed and surprised this was so. Our code of conduct is specific that agents shall not advertise properties without a valid written authority to do so.

Now I understand that there is a little known "grey area" where a listing can go on forever on a "non-exclusive" basis after it expires until a seller terminates it in writing. I get that. In all 3 cases above however, the sellers thought their listings had expired and did not know that the agents were continuing to market them. I don't think that is good business practice or ethics, AND we would never do it.

Conclusion: I am so grateful that I have adopted an old fashioned, old school mentality of “only clean business” where that behaviour would never be tolerated in our office. It would be dismissal for a sales agent and not negotiable for the office generally. Why would we need to have ghost or bogus listings on our books that the sellers did not know we had?

Only valid, written agreements for listing, marketing, advertising, showing or representing properties or not at all.

I do not for the life of me understand why any agent, and many of those above are long established, supposedly reputable ones, would do otherwise? It is easy to get an extension if the listing is legitimate.

If it is not in writing, then it doesn’t get marketed at Evolution. When the other becomes the norm, it is time for me to do something else for a living. I am content to remain boring and straight forward. Only clean business it is. Thanks and see you in the market place.

Symptoms that a property is overpriced

I have often over the past decade espoused what I call "cause and affect" factors in the sale and marketing of property. In other words, selling a property, while of course it is personal and unique, basically it is predictable.

The same things needs to be done, in a relatively similar sequence and certain barometers or indicators help us read or determine the effectiveness of various marketing and sales methods.Much like a good chef knows that the use of various ingredients in a certain order, in certain proportions create a particular outcome and a good builder knows the same, so does a good real estate agent.

A good physician can through understanding various symptoms, a thorough understanding of possible available options and through a process of elimination, can diagnose probable causes a

In order to look at what the symptoms of an overpriced listing, let’s first look at what a well priced listing behaves like. nd therefore possible courses of action.

What are the symptoms for that?

1) Lots of enquiry
2) Lots of inspections
3) Second inspections
4) Lots of drive bys
5) Lots on internet inspections
6) Early offers
7) Multiple offers
8) A Rapid result (In the first 30-45 days)

By definition therefore, the opposite is true.


What are the symptoms of an overpriced listing? (And I believe it makes no difference which time of the year, and what the economy is doing. Every property is sellable if priced correctly).

1) Limited or no enquiry
2) Few inspections
3) No second inspections
4) Some drive bys
5) Some/ maybe even lots of internet inspections
6) Low offers/ no offers
7) No result in first 90 days

After 90 days, unless written offers in the range of 3-5% of the asking price have occurred, it is probably that the property requires a significant price adjustment.

There is a saying that buyers always find well priced properties.

Presentation pays

How much does a well presented home add value to a particular property?- Indeed, that is a great question. I think it is fair to say that a well presented, immaculately well maintained, stylish home, furnished to match, can sell 10-20% more than the same home with marks all over the walls, dirty carpets, neglected gardens and outdated furnishings.

What it really means is that the best buyers are affected by their emotions. After all, many of us are really busy. We dont have time to imagine what could be, or fixing things up. We want things now and in many cases will pay more for the convenience of "NOW". Whilst the cost of these cosmetic adjustments is almost always far less than the value they can add, I swear minor cosmetic work will add enormous value.

1) De-clutter all rooms so that the space can be highlighted
2) Bright light bulbs
3) Clean all ledges, no cobwebs, no dust
4) Immaculate carpets, replace if required
5) Have floor boards sanded and resealed if needed
6) Weedless gardens, freshly mulched
7) Sheds and garages clean and accessible
8) All counter benches clear, clean
9) All fixtures and fittings working. I have heard all the arguments that the intercom system never worked since and owner bought the house, the fact is buyers will perceive a home "neglected" if things don’t work.
10) Fresh paint is one of the best value presentation pluses
11) All kitchen appliances immaculate and if required, replace older out of date cookers

These are just a few friendly ideas, see you in the market place.

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