Harcourts Canterbury

The Canterbury
Home Team Advantage

Election speculation


By Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy

It’s that time of year when the election hoardings are up in every neighbourhood, and we speculate about who will be the next government and what it will mean for the country.

It’s also a time when many New Zealanders hold off on making important financial decisions, to see the lay of the land after election night. 

At Harcourts we traditionally see a dip in the number of new listings and sales in the weeks leading up to an election, as much as 20%. And then when the results are known and people are feeling secure again, listings return to their pre-election levels. 

To a lesser extent, the same phenomenon occurs in winter. People believe it’s a smart move to wait until the spring before selling and, resultantly, sales drop because there is less choice on the market.

When I’m asked the best time to list a property for sale, I generally advise people to sell when everyone else is sitting back and waiting to see what happens. 

If you list your property to sell in winter, you will have less competition. Listings might dip in the colder months, but it doesn’t mean there are less interested buyers.

The same is true of the election. There are still many interested buyers actively looking for property, and right now there is less choice available to them. 

Regardless of what happens during the election, our economy is thriving and business confidence is high. This is not going to change overnight and there is not going to suddenly be a reason you shouldn’t sell. 

Don’t wait for spring. Don’t wait for the election results. If the time is right for you to sell, there’s no better time than now. 

Auction equals choice and control 

When you are selling a property, there are many things to consider including the method you use. 

Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy says he advocates auction as the best option for vendors, as it gives more choice and control.

Auctions start with an intensive three to four-week marketing campaign, designed to discover as many potential buyers as possible, Kennedy says.

“It’s short and high impact, meaning your new-to-the-market property is viewed by as many people as possible over a limited period. Busy open homes start building the competitive way potential buyers view your property.”

And during the campaign, no price is mentioned, which means buyers naturally start to consider the maximum amount they would be prepared to pay.

“After observing buyer behaviour for over 25 years in the real estate industry, I can tell you with certainty that 100% of buyers will attend an auction with their maximum price firmly in mind,” Kennedy says.

By contrast, set a price on your property and you have set a limit. Buyers enter negotiations with the goal of buying the property for as far below that price as possible. 

“It’s a no-brainer to create a situation in which your potential buyers are focused on their maximum price, not achieving the lowest price possible.”

Also remember, during the auction campaign, you, as the vendor, are in complete control.

You set the reserve. If the bidding comes in below that reserve, you decide what to do next. There is no obligation to sell or negotiate. 

Equally, you set the terms of sale and an auction sale is always unconditional. If your property doesn’t sell on the day and you enter negotiations, you are in a very strong position. 

There is no pressure to make a hurried decision and no fixed price to come down from.

“Auctions are designed to maximise competition and if the property sells, it sells at the price the market has determined. Without limitations.

“The method of sale is always solely the choice of the vendor. However, I believe it is in the very best interests of our clients that we offer the opportunity to benefit from an auction campaign,” Kennedy says.

Supporting Hospice NZ

Every year 18,000 New Zealanders are supported by hospice services across the country. 

Hospice care has a unique whole person approach – which means physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs are equally important – a multidisciplinary team provides care for the person who is dying, their family and whanau.  

To assist with this work, the Harcourts Foundation and Hospice NZ are proud to launch the Hospice NZ Grants Programme. 

The Harcourts Foundation will fund this unique programme, which gives all hospices around the country the opportunity to apply for grants to purchase much needed items. 

The Harcourts Foundation has donated $55,000 to commence the Hospice NZ Grants Programme, and pledged ongoing financial support. 

In addition, many Harcourts franchises around the country will continue to assist their local hospices, both financially and through volunteer work.

Hospice NZ CEO Mary Schumacher says the support of the Harcourts Foundation will help enable New Zealand’s 34 hospices to purchase equipment, vehicles and maintain their buildings and facilities.

“This will truly make a significant difference to the people using hospice services and their families and whanau. Fundraising is an ongoing challenge for us, at a time when demand for our services is growing. 

“Support from sponsors allows us to keep all of our services free for those who need it, so this relationship with the Harcourts Foundation means so much.” 



From left: Mary Potter Hospice CEO Ria Earp, Hospice NZ CEO Mary Schumacher, Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy, Harcourts Foundation ambassador Emma Revell and Hospice NZ Sponsorship and Communications Manager Rachel Wilson.

Selling Buying Property Management Market Info