Gay Spooner is the joint owner and joint managing director of Key Real Estate ACT Pty Limited.
With over 12 years of local market experience and over $200 million in completed sales, Gay has established herself as one of the top go-to people in the ACT real estate industry.
This status has been further enhanced in recent years by her ever-growing property management portfolio, which she personally manages.
Against this background, B2B magazine asked Gay about the challenges she most often faces in the real estate environment, and her take on the current state of the Canberra and Queanbeyan market.
Without hesitation, Gay says that managing client price expectations is at the top of the list.
“In sales, it is human nature for a vendor to feel that their property is better than others and that their place is worth more than others.
“Consequently, unless these aspects are managed, unrealistic expectations are locked in to the commencing sale asking price – be it by private treaty or auction,” Gay says.
Gay further explains that the market invariably ‘educates’ the vendors – but by that time, effort and emotion have all taken a hit and potential buyers have gone elsewhere.
“My approach? Be frank and honest when providing a sales appraisal. Most times, this is accepted and I receive the listing.
“Sometimes they go elsewhere. But it saddens me that more often than not, the property does sell in the range I initially appraised – only much later than it should have,” Gay says.
In relation to pricing a property for rent, Gay explains that human nature does play a part in establishing the asking rate, but the key is to understand what the current market is willing to pay.
“When meeting with new and existing landlords to discuss appropriate rent rates, I take the time to objectively compare properties and to refer to research to confirm current market conditions.
“I often apply the $10 per week test. How long will it take to recover one week’s lost rent if the rate is reduced by $10?”
Gay also discusses the Canberra/Queanbeyan property market.
“By and large, the market has returned to the pre-boom cycle where a well-priced, well presented property will sell regardless.
Gay explains that similarly, a well-priced, well-located and well-presented property would also attract good tenants.
If you feel that your property has been on the market for too long, or it has not been receiving acceptable offers, it is probably time that you gave Gay a call.