How to Sensitively Approach the Topic of Rightsizing
Antonia Mercorella, the Chief Executive Officer at the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) recently stated that high transactional costs, including the “distorting effects of stamp duty”, are a major deterrent for prolonged property holds. However, right sizers are key to long term property market stability.
Supporting this, an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report released in February this year found that 75 per cent of older Australians would prefer to continue living in the house they may have outgrown. These emotional and financial barriers aren’t easy to depress or overcome, but there are still ways agents can encourage reluctant right sizers.
Take The Time To Talk Through Any Concerns
Firstly, remember that the general demographic of those reluctant to sell their family home, are often new to both technology and the real estate sector. Of AHURI’s interviewees, 63 per cent were single, 40 per cent were right sizing by force – not choice. While 40 per cent had a gross income of under $31,000, mainly from Centrelink payments and pensions.
This demographic will appreciate time spent to talk patiently with these sellers about their needs and options. Ideally, have some trusted family members in the room and invite them to be part of renovations, staging and styling days, and open inspections. Discuss the possibility of turn key properties as they are an ideal option for seniors.
Determine Their Goals and Highlight the Realities
Place Graceville Co-Director and Lead Agent, Brad Robson, says initial conversations around right sizing is a lifestyle and goal-oriented discussion.
“I’d go back to, what’s their purpose in right sizing in the first place? What is it that they want to get out of it?’” he says. “When I’m clear on what they want to get out of it, then I’ll help them to achieve that.”
Mr Robson suggests more general conversations can include issues about overly large houses and gardens. He often highlights that they won’t want to spend their weekends mowing their large lawns, or repainting their big old Queenslander every five years.
“When you’ve had a strapping teenager to mow the lawn, that’s fine. However, now that he’s a 35-year-old with kids of his own, do you really still need all this grass?’” Mr Robson says to his older clients.
Encourage the use of property technology
To streamline the selling process and remove uncertainty about all the steps involved with moving, Robson recommends the use of proptech. Effective tools include Direct Connect and One Touch Execution.
“These are awesome technology points which make the process of moving much easier,” Mr Robson says.