Mixed opinions on set date sales strategy

Lucy RutherfordThe West Australian
Experts agree that the set date sale method works best in a strong market.
Camera IconExperts agree that the set date sale method works best in a strong market. Credit: Paul Bradbury/Getty Images.

The selling strategy of set date sales has its place in the property market but, like other methods, agents urge to proceed with caution.

Rather than looking to sell the property as soon as possible, a set date sale specifies a date by when buyers can submit offers.

Realmark Urban Licensed Real Estate Agent Chris Pham said set date sales ensured all buyers in the market were captured.

“If you sell as soon as possible, which in the current market is one to two days, some buyers may not be able to make it to the first home open,” he said. “Those buyers may be prepared to pay more than those who did attend the home open.

“I talk to a lot of buyers and many tell me they missed out because they were not given the opportunity to view the property and they would have paid more than what it sold for.

“A longer campaign also means more offers, which increases the competitive tension between buyers and could lead to a much higher price.”

Marron Real Estate Principal and Licensee Rhett Marron, however, believes a set date sale does not benefit a seller when compared to selling as soon as possible.

“When a buyer makes an offer it should be reviewed and dealt with immediately, rather than waiting a few weeks for the set date sale to expire,” he said.

“This is because offers made early in the sales process are regularly made by genuine buyers actively looking to buy and, when they see a property they like, they tend to act immediately.

“Those genuine buyers frequently make the best offer.

“A buyer often does not want to wait weeks before getting an answer from the seller and, as such, may not make an offer at all or withdraw their offer if they find another property.”

Mr Pham said a set date sale gave buyers more time to be comfortable with the property as they had more opportunities to view it.

“This allows more offers on the property, as some buyers may not like to place an offer after seeing a property for 30 minutes,” he said.

“Having a deadline maintains momentum and competition throughout the campaign, usually 10-12 days, which seems to be optimal in the current market.

“Usually there is no price guide, meaning there is no ceiling on the price you can achieve for your property – instead, the market decides.

“In about 10 per cent of cases properties do not sell at the set date, then we go back to a normal-priced campaign, so there is always a backup.”

For sellers who want a more competitive sale process, Mr Marron recommended going to auction.

“Set date sales are sold to sellers on the basis that it allows numerous offers to be made and thus creates the potential for a highly competitive sales process,” he said. “The harsh reality is this rarely happens and, if it does, there is no transparency around what other buyers are willing to pay.

“If the property was sent to an auction it would be a more transparent bidding process, as buyers can see the minimum amount they need to increase their offer by to be the successful buyer.

“Often this amount is a lot more than what a buyer would be willing to increase their offer by if they didn’t know how much it would take to be the ultimate buyer of the property.”

Mr Pham said set date sales worked best with emotional buyers, making presentation and marketing important.

“I always work with my sellers weeks to months in advance, getting the property looking its best – this could involve painting, small renovations, restyling or staging,” he said.

“Then I develop an emotional marketing campaign utilising the best photographers, videographers and copywriters that portray the lifestyle buyers will expect from the property, achieving the purpose of emotionally connecting the buyer to the property.”

Both agents agreed a set date sale worked best in a strong market.

“Set date sales tend to work marginally better in a strong market, where there is greater opportunity for multiple offers and where a shortage in properties makes it difficult for buyers to find another suitable home,” Mr Marron said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails