4 things buyers can do to get ahead in a low stock housing market

Subscribe to our channel

4 min readFinding it harder to buy property? You’re not alone. When housing stock levels are lower most buyers can be deterred from searching and purchasing, but it’s actually still very possible to secure property if you take the right steps.

Stock levels are generally trending lower across most markets at the moment. With demand higher than supply competition is tighter, and for some buyers this might be cause to back away from their property search. They don’t want to have to fight too hard to secure property.

However, it’s actually more of an impetus to keep looking. And don’t worry; if there’s less stock it is still very possible to find quality property. Here are some key things to remember.

For sale: 43 Gordon Street, Greenslopes, QLD

Find off-market property

Off-market property is stock that is not available to the public, instead being sold privately without any advertising. Buyers for these properties are usually sourced through data bases compiled by the Selling Agent.

In this situation a Buyer Agent can be particularly useful to buyers. Buyer Agents will get direct access to off-market properties through their relationships and contact with Selling Agents. This means buyers who engage a Buyer Agent are widening their pool of choices and can increase their opportunity to buy – a very useful advantage when stock is lower.

Speak to the agents

Once you’ve found a property that fits your criteria, you need to gather as much information about the property from the agent as you can. Specifically focus on the level of interest for the property; get a gauge on the level of competition you could face. How many other parties are looking at this property?

Also get an idea as to the interest level of the competition. That is, how much do the other parties want the property? For example, is there three or four parties with lukewarm interest, or could you be up against another buyer who desperately wants the property? When stock is tighter it is vital to get as much of an edge above the competition as possible.

Again, a Buyer Agent is invaluable in this scenario. Buyer Agents will be able to use their experience in dealing with Agents and knowledge of the market to gauge the interest of the property and give their client’s the best chance of securing it.

Take note of the competition

When at open for inspections, take a mental note of the other potential buyers. If you’re looking at a particular type of property in a specific area, you will likely come across the same group of other buyers. They are your competition so try and assess their interest in the property.

If you’re interested in a property being sold at auction, observe the bidding at similar properties as they come to market. Take note of the highest level bidders go to. These bidders could likely be your competition and if you can anticipate how much they can spend you will get a better idea as to how much you will likely need to secure a property above them.

For sale: 271 Pakington Street, Newtown, VIC

Be prepared to go to the top of your range

With higher demand obviously comes increased competition. To secure property in this situation it is important to be prepared to go to the top of your budget range. If it comes down to a couple of thousand dollars to sign on the dotted line, go for it. It can be well worth it in the long run.

Buyers can often make the mistake of backing away from their property search and purchase if they continuously reach the upper level of their range and don’t go a little bit further to make a purchase. Some buyers will instead prefer to wait for something else to come onto the market if this situation keeps recurring. More often than not this plan can unravel buyers’ chances of securing property. If buyers wait for the right property to come along, it could be likely that the market will move past them in that time and they will miss out altogether. In a market with lower stock levels buyers could be waiting a while.

Buyer Agents will be able to assist buyers determine how much further they should go to secure the property, without paying too much. The Agent will consider the factors such as available stock, buyer interest, and the suitability of the property to fit the client’s brief to help the client establish when and how much further a buyer should increase their offer. This invaluable expertise will not only help buyers secure the property, but also ensure the buyer doesn’t pay too much, which can be a danger when competition is tighter.

To find out how you can secure your perfect property – even if there is less stock on the market – speak to your property professional.

For more ways to get an edge over the competition in your housing search find out how a Buyers Agent can help you and check out our tips for buying your first home.

Share this article

Brenton Potter
Brenton Potter joined National Property Buyers in 2013 as a Buyer’s Advocate. He previously worked as a selling agent for a number of years, giving him a unique insight from both sides of the transaction, which has proven especially beneficial for his clients. Company bio: National Property Buyers is a full service property advisory firm based in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, and offers Buyer’s Advocacy, Vendor Advocacy, Property Management, and Project Management in markets across Australia.

Similar articles

Find the
latest properties
to hit the market

Over 300,000 properties to choose from in the Homely app for iPhone and Android.

The best way to find homes!”
-Homely app reviewer

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


Homely is an internationally acclaimed real estate portal helping millions of Australians each year to find their next home for sale or for rent. Check out our suburb reviews and local Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Subscribe to our newsletter

For the latest articles and updates, sign up here!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at [email protected].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here