Well, it’s started.

After months, even years of predictions, in 2018, we’ve begun to see the real estate market decline slightly in some parts of Australia (in other parts it’s still going strong)!

While we are yet to see the sky fall to the degree some economists have predicted (have you noticed no two predictions are the same?), we have seen some decrease in pricing and demand, and we may still see a little more.

So what happens when the market cools? Do properties stop selling completely? Do prices plummet? Will you be able to pick up a bargain property at half the price that it was last year?

The answer is no! No, no, no and no.

Though prices have come back a little and the average time on market for properties is creeping up slightly in some areas, the fact of the matter is, even in a cool real estate market, people still buy and sell properties.

They still get married, have babies, watch as their babies grow into teens, change jobs, build careers, fret over an empty nest.

Life still goes on, and because life goes on, people keep upgrading their properties to bigger homes that can meet their growing needs, and downgrading their homes as their children move out and move on.

We asked one agent, “What’s the best time to buy or sell a property?”

And his answer was, “What’s the best time for you? People buy and sell all the time, they are motivated by different stimuli in their lives, so even if a market is cooling, people are still buying and selling.”

So, as a property owner or a buyer, what are the main reasons to ignore the cool and buy and sell anyway?

1. Your life is your life — don’t plan it around the real estate market

Like our agent told us, life goes on, and yours is no exception. If you have a young family and you’re still in your first home, but you’ve outgrown it now to an almost chaotic point, are you really going to hang out and wait for the next market move before you think about improving your family’s situation?

Sell and buy when suits you, your life and your loved ones — your home is a solid financial investment, but it is also an investment in the comfort of you and your family.

As a property owner, keep in mind that this applies to everyone, not just to you. What this means is that at any given point, regardless of the market, other people are being motivated by their own reasons to buy and sell. There are buyers out there, so don't let the market deter you!

2. Take advantage of the shoulder season!

Have you ever been on holiday to a coastal resort during the shoulder season? The weather is still balmy, the accommodation ample, and you can eat wherever you want to without a reservation, or visit any tourist attraction without lining up.

The cooling market is very similar to a tourism shoulder season. As one of few property owners with a home on the market, you are like the last hotel open in town.

There are still plenty of buyers; people looking to upgrade or downgrade or make a sea change; there just may be fewer properties for them to choose from.

Rather than your property falling lost, in among a thousand other listings on major display sights, suddenly, with fewer property owners selling, your property is top of the list and much more noticeable. This means you're getting much more out of your advertising dollar than you normally would!

3. Get maximum agent focus and competitive fees

A cooling market can be a tricky time for agents in the sense that more of them are competing to win fewer listings. And though most agents do a great job most of the time, usually they have several listings on competing for their time and their efforts.

In a cooling market, you not only get to pick and choose which agent you work with and you may even be able to negotiate fees, you also get much more of their focus.

Your listing may be one of few they have on in a month, so in order to make targets, they are going to put 200% into selling quickly for a great price.

4. Change is relative in a cooling real estate market

The concept that property prices will drop so much that suddenly first home owners will be able to comfortably afford a little luxury in previously out-of-reach suburbs is unfortunately not reality.

Though prices may adjust slightly and appreciation of property assets might not occur at quite the pace it has been, real estate can and will continue to be a solid investment, and if you’re clever, a cooling market does not mean you have to lose money.

As a property owner looking to sell, you need to keep in mind two balancing factors:

Firstly; most people who are selling something (that’s you!) also need to buy something.

And secondly; even if you have to adjust your selling price slightly to meet the market, you can also relatively adjust your buying price for a new property, meaning ultimately, the change in the market has little affect on you.

Cooling doesn’t just happen to you, it affects the entire market and simply sets a new benchmark for property pricing.

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Realistically, achieving a solid result for a property sale comes down to a lot of factors, marketing being one of the most, if not the absolute most important.

If now is the best time for you to sell in terms of your own life and commitments, just make sure you price realistically, taking into account the potential declines in pricing for the property you will next buy, and ensure your agent runs a solid and strategic marketing plan designed to reach and convert as many potential buyers as possible.