The real estate market throughout Australia is changing. In some parts of the country demand and pricing are decreasing, producing a cooling market, while in others, commercial projects and other factors are generating a lift that will result in a strengthened market.

Keeping your eye on pricing, auction clearance rates and even the number of attendees at open houses can give you a first-hand perspective on the change in the market, but one of the most interesting metrics to consider is the average time it takes for properties to sell.

Generally, as a market cools and demand wanes slightly, it can take an agent -- despite their best efforts -- a little longer to find the right buyer for your property. The time from listing until the property is sold is called the 'time on market'.

In these cases, it's not uncommon to see property owners make knee-jerk reactions, removing the listing from the agent and seeking a real estate service elsewhere. Before you do this, make sure you have thoroughly examined the service your agency has actually offered you, so you can determine if it is the agent or just the changing market that has resulted in your home or land taking longer to sell than expected.

All this being said, some agents are better than others and put in a more concerted effort to sell a property, even when it requires much more time and effort, due to changing market conditions. Below, we've listed some of the ways your agent might work smarter, not harder, to reduce time on market in a tough sales environment:

1. Property pricing: get it right

One of the toughest tasks for agents in a changing market is finding a pricing strategy, you as the property owner, will be happy with. Often property owners are a little less aware of the fluctuations in value in the market, and can have expectations based on past area sales and their own attachment to the property, that may no longer be realistic.

Pricing your property too high from day one, can have a big impact on your time on market for obvious reasons -- people are not prepared to pay more than they need to in a buyers' market.

While all agents are required to use sales comparisons to inform their pricing, some agents will set expectations higher than may be realistic, just to win the listing. A good -- and honest -- agent will present you with his or her comparisons and talk you through their pricing strategy; why they are recommending you price within a certain range, and they will help you better understand the market in its current state.

With this advice, you can agree to a pricing strategy you are comfortable with, and one that will also create demand and ensure interest in your property, keeping time on market at a minimum.

Sale Ezy's online auction process was built with a changing market in mind. It includes two stages within the auction, the first, best offer, that can run throughout the promotional period of your auction. During this stage, bidders can make offers, and as the property owner, you can work with your agent to consider them. At the end of best offer, if the property hasn't sold, you can use the offers made as a firm basis for understanding the real demand and value in the market at the time. You can adjust your pricing accordingly as you proceed into final call, the last part of the auction.

In this sense, Sale Ezy isn't a normal auction, but a way to test the market for a while (and possibly sell the property), and then take a more informed approach to setting the right price.

2. Property marketing is key!

While strategic marketing of any property is always valuable, in a hot market, with high demand and buyer competition, creating interest is often not a major challenge. Instead, an agent has their work cut out for them fielding multiple offers, from several buyers, as they work to negotiate the best deal for a property owner.

As the market cools, finding those buyers and getting those offers can be a little more difficult, and this is really where strategic marketing comes into play.

Rather than a set-and-forget approach of simply feeding your listing through from their property management system to the big display sites, like realestate.com.au, your agent should use various channels to cast the net wider and encourage engagement and response.

At Sale Ezy, we work with our agent users to support integrated marketing approaches that help them 'cast the net wide', with exactly the right bait for the buyer they are seeking to 'catch'.

If your agent is promoting your property throughout their own extensive network using tools like electronic mailers and personal email, as well as marketing through social media campaigns, social media profiles, video, they are doing it right! If they also offer live walk throughs and Q&A, phone networking, sign boards, print, traditional advertising and other media -- or at least a combination of several of all of these channels, you know they are taking your sale very seriously and working diligently to reduce time on market.

3. Bring your property's value and purpose to life with styling!

One tool that is not yet used in all property sales, but should be, is some level of styling.

Staging the house is a great way to emphasise its appeal to potential buyers within a certain buyer profile. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible, or affordable to hire a range of new furniture for the duration of property promotion.

But just because staging is out of reach, doesn't mean styling is not an option! How you present your home can make a big difference in how long it takes to sell. If you leave everything as is, with the 'lived in' feel abundantly obvious, house hunters may not see the true potential of the property.

At minimum, a good tidy, removal of clutter and decreasing over-furnishing can have a positive impact.

Taking a step further, investing even a few hundred dollars in simple accessories like throw rugs, cushions, floor rugs and simple decor can change the story of your home, and provide a blank, yet stylish canvas upon which buyers can project their own desires.

4. Create a sense of urgency

One of the biggest differences between a hot and cool market is the level of demand; buyers can often be a little more difficult to find and selling can take a lot longer because of this. Traditionally, sales methods like tenders or auctions have been used when a property owner is keen to sell and doesn't want to waste time having their property on the market for months longer than needed.

While auction clearance rates are never 100% and do decline in a cool market, offering a property for sale by auction tells buyers the property owner is serious about selling. It creates a sense of urgency or a race against the clock, and often, even if the property doesn't sell during the auction, it will sell quite soon after, as bidders look to negotiate further.

Online sales can create that same sense of urgency as a traditional auction. In addition, they offer greater accessibility, so bidders in any location can get involved and build competition and momentum. Property owners get a new level of transparency and involvement with their sale, and the process is streamlined for all involved.

Ultimately, the status of the real estate market will have an impact on how long it takes for most properties to sell, but a well-informed pricing strategy, strategic and focused marketing, and a sales method that drives home the owner's intent to sell, can mean the difference between weeks or months with a for sale sign in your front garden!