What would you do, Antonia?

Now, there’s a question I get asked a lot! Clients often want to know what I would do if I were in their position and about to take the plunge on buying or selling.

The short answer is…that’s not an easy question to answer. The decision to buy or sell is based on a melting pot of gut feeling, personal situation and interpretation of the market.

But… if you pressed me for an answer, there are a couple of things I would do if it were my house and my money. After all, a Real Estate Agent needs a home too.

Sell in the peaks (just make sure you know which peaks)

Selling in the peaks means you’re selling at a time when demand is at its highest and the most inventory is available. In the Auckland property market seasonal peaks hit February and March, and then again in October and November. But there can be other peaks as well, so keep your finger on the pulse. We saw it recently here in Auckland when speculation on changes to interest rates and property rules spurred activity.

When the market is in a peak, there is a buzz of activity and we see purchasers willing to go to the top of their budget (or beyond), fuelled by a sense of urgency.

A note about winter. Conventional wisdom tells us that winter is when things slow down. But it seems the Auckland property market is not following conventional wisdom. This winter, we are feeling the ‘buzz’ of a very active market carrying on through the colder months.

Buy investment property between January and April

So here’s the thing, if I were looking to buy an investment property I would want to do so when there is the greatest number of tenants out looking for a rental. This happens between January and April. This timing coincides with the summer seasonal peak, so there will be a good range of inventory on the market.

Expect a fair bit of competition around this time of year so make sure you’re ready to jump at the right opportunity when it comes along. I would have my funding arranged and due diligence done.

A note on predicting the future. It’s impossible! Trying to predict the bottom of the market can cause paralysis. The end result is that you never make a purchase. If you do your sums and have a thorough understanding of the market, then you’ve done the best that anyone can do. Make your purchase and be content with the decision you’ve made.

Live modestly and renovate immediately prior to sale

I’m a bit of a pragmatist when it comes to debt. I’ll keep the Veuve on ice and live within my means for as long as I need to. So, when it comes to renovating, I would hold off and make repaying debt the priority.

The best returns at sale time come when you’ve made a good dent on the mortgage.

A note on the wear and tear of everyday life. Everyday living means your house will take a few knocks. Renovating your home immediately prior to sale means it’s in tiptop shape when it’s time to impress potential purchasers.

Perfect area, not so perfect home

Getting yourself into your dream suburb is more important than getting yourself into your dream home. By keeping the purchase price within budget you’re in a more secure position if things change.

Interest rate hikes, a drop in the market, or a change to your personal situation (a new baby will mean one income for a while) can rock the boat, big time.

Leaving the improvement works until a time when you can afford it might just save your bacon if your situation changes.

A note about wise old sayings. There’s good reason the adage ‘buy the worst house in the best street’ has stuck around for so long. It’s a good one.


Sometimes it feels like everyone is an expert when it comes to offering property advice. Best to take a pinch of everyone’s advice and roll it into one piece of collective wisdom (and then add your own instinct). Nothing is guaranteed, but at least you can be happy that you made a well-informed decision. And then, live happily with that decision.

I like the idea of shaking things up a bit. So, if you’re in the market for a real estate agent who offers a leaner, smarter way of doing things, get in touch to find out about our 2% fare deal commission fees.


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