How to avoid a ‘stale’ property campaign when selling

How to avoid a 'stale' property campaign when selling

If you are preparing to sell your Northern Beaches property, whether it’s in North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Ingleside or Warriewood, one thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want it to be listed for so long that it goes ‘stale’.

What is a stale property?

Bread goes stale when left out for too long without being touched. Property suffers a similar fate when it is listed on the market but doesn’t sell within a few months.

The fact that a listing is still sitting there while others come and go quickly gives buyers the impression that there may be something seriously wrong with it.

Stale bread goes in the bin, but the problem isn’t so easily solved with a home. It becomes a victim of itself; because it seems as though nobody wants to buy the house, nobody takes an interest in buying the house. Enquiries drop… and the home just sits there.

In the early 2023 market, buyers are definitely around but they are tentative due to rising interest rates. They are not feeling as much pressure to get into the market by any means necessary and they don’t want to overpay.

How to avoid having your Northern Beaches property go stale

Often, a house will go stale for one of two reasons:.

Asking price

A lot of the time, a stale property has price to blame.

The seller is either asking too much so they don’t get initial offers, or they rejected early offers in the hope a larger bid will come along.

While you shouldn’t accept an offer that is too far below your asking price, it is so important to have an in-depth discussion with your agent about what is realistic.

Keep in mind that often an early offer will come from someone who has been looking for a home for a long time and is motivated to take action. They may come in with a higher price than other buyers because they just want to get the job done.

Sometimes a house can go stale because an agent has overpromised. If you are working with someone who estimates a price beyond the amount similar homes in your postcode have sold for, be sure to ask exactly why they believe your property is worth that amount.

If you are holding out for a higher price, factor in the current market. If prices are falling where you own now, it may be the same where you want to buy. This may mean you don’t need as much of a deposit for your next place. It may make sense to take an early, slightly lower offer so you can keep things moving.


The other issue that can cause a home to go stale is presentation.

Some sellers make the mistake of thinking their place will be snapped up because it is a decent-sized home in a good area. However, if there are other properties on the market at the same time that look more appealing, fewer people will register their interest.

Your real estate agent can talk to you about upgrading your home and presenting it so it has maximum appeal. The most important points are:

The home must be clean and tidy: Mess, dirt and grime will put people off straight away, particularly if the home for sale down the street is immaculate.

Potential buyers must be able to see themselves living in the property: This is the most important thing about presentation. When potential buyers walk in, you need them to be able to picture themselves living there. That’s why you need to remove clutter and, if possible, add fresh paint in neutral colours.

Don’t go stale

Missing out on buyer interest due to a too-high price or a badly presented home will drag out the process of your home sale and prevent you from making your next move.

Generally speaking, especially on the Northern Beaches, your home should sell within 6-12 weeks from being listed, depending on its features and price. When you work closely with a professional local real estate agent, they will set your expectations in a realistic way and help you do the groundwork so you can sign a contract and confirm your sale (for a price you are still very happy with) as quickly as possible.

Let’s make a clear timeline to sell your home. Contact HEA today.

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