By Leilani Shepherd

Selling in a competitive market: how to set your property apart


With Sydney ranking among the ten most expensive cities in the world according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report, it’s no surprise that the median house price for our harbourside city currently sits at $1,230,000, a number that is inflated four or five-fold in some suburbs. As the Reserve Bank scrambles to control post-pandemic inflation, stock levels remain low across the board but despite that, it’s still the best time to sell a house in Sydney.

The property market is as competitive as ever and we have a few tips to help your property stand out.

1. Presentation is everything.

Buyers only have a short window of time to inspect a property and unless they’re specifically looking for a renovation project, they will seldom be able to see past what is right in front of them. That’s why it’s always worth investing in a stylist. Coughing up a few grand for temporary furniture might seem exorbitant, but if maximising the light and space elevates the value of your property to buyers, it’s an investment well made. Senior stylist Jenny Conroy of Coco Republic disclosed to that “a return of 10-15% could be expected on what’s been paid for styling.” She goes on to reiterate that curated properties typically sell faster and for a higher price than their untouched counterparts.

A lick of paint also goes a long way when it comes to selling a house. This doesn’t mean a complete makeover, but fresh, neural walls can significantly elevate a space, especially where scuffs and fading are present. “Adding value doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour,” says Adrian William Real Estate Director William Pereira. “Worn carpet and a tired paint job can be big turn-offs for buyers. These things can be fixed without overspending and can make a huge difference.” Director Adrian Tsavalas gives similar advice; “De-clutter and de-personalise. Buyers want to walk into a space that they can imagine themselves living in. Ditch the wedding memorabilia and the family photos – it can get in the way of buyers envisioning themselves in the property.”

2. Don’t skimp on marketing.

It’s no secret that the cost of marketing a property has skyrocketed in recent years. With leading realty platforms and increasing their prices each year and the added expenses of professional photography, floor-planning and videography all stacking up, the outlay can flow well into four-figures before the property even hits the market. Putting your best foot forward is, however, a necessary evil. “Don’t pick the cheap option when it comes to photography and videography,” says Adrian. “When buyers see your property online amongst a sea of other listings, they’ll make a very quick decision on whether or not to click on it – first impressions are everything.” (REA) and offer several tiers of listing options and the price gap between them is significant…the difference in exposure is even more significant. For REA, 65% of viewers won’t scroll past the first page and for Domain, that number increases to 85%. Downgrading to a cheaper package reduces your exposure to buyers exponentially and also removes valuable features like e-brochures and listing bumps, which keep your property in the spotlight. “Forking out an extra $1000 for a premium ad on these platforms at the beginning of the campaign can help you find a buyer that will give you an extra $20,000 or $50,000 at auction,” says Director Joseph Ferreira. “We’ve seen time and time again that the investment is worth it.”

House selling can feel like a drawn-out process, but you should always take the time to make sure the key features of your property are highlighted, the copy is engaging and the headline is catchy. Setting your property apart from other similar ones in the market will set your results apart.

3. Price your property accurately.

A good negotiator can increase an offer but in order to get one, your property needs to be exposed to buyers at the right price point. Overpricing will cause potential purchasers to skip past your listing ad altogether and guiding below the property’s market value will garner a lot of attention, but it will be from buyers shopping in a lower price bracket. “Make sure your property is priced accurately in the market,” says Adrian. “Buyers will shop with their head but purchase with their heart; inaccurate pricing will only hinder engagement.”

Prior to listing your home or investment, your agent should produce a list of at least five comparable property sales in your area and outline the similarities and differences that shape their opinion on pricing. Choosing an agent with a thorough understanding of the local area and experience in your region’s market will ensure a more accurate valuation, thus encouraging more engagement with the listing and attracting qualified, ready buyers.

William’s final words of advice on the topic are, “Display price guides. Transparency with buyers from the beginning is what sets up a successful sale. There’s no point in wasting time and buyers will have more confidence when they’re across all the details from the beginning.”