This month marks the beginning of Spring which is traditionally the busiest season in property.

It is clear that confidence is returning to the market across Australia, with several positive elements – all national in nature, having an impact on every capital city and regional area.

First came the election result, which meant no changes to negative gearing or capital gains tax for investors; then two interest rate cuts; and an easing in lending that has allowed some borrowers to access tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra finance compared to last year.

The typical scenario in a recovery is a stabilisation in prices, higher auction clearance rates and a lower volume of homes for sale.

What typically happens next is we start to see increasing values, which leads to a higher volume of homes for sale as vendors gain new confidence to sell.

This time around, auction clearance rates have been improving since the middle of May this year but the volume of homes for sale and the number going to auction remains low.

This is because home owners are waiting for more consistency before selling. They want to see similar properties down the road selling for a price that would be acceptable to them.

As we start to see consistently stronger prices being achieved, more sellers will be inspired to put their homes on the market, indicating a potentially later Spring/Summer selling season this year.

Due to the stock shortage, buyers are proactively calling agents to see what new listings they have coming up so they can try and get a jump on the best properties for sale.  They can see the bottom has passed and want to buy now before prices start rising again.

Besides calling agents, the best way to get first option on new listings is to register your contact details and buying criteria with as many individual agencies and agents as possible.

This is important because many agents like to conduct ‘preview inspections’ for their database clients. In this case, you will at least get first email notification of each new listing – and maybe even the opportunity to inspect it before the public marketing begins.

This will give you about half a week’s head start on other buyers. You can make an offer to try and take it off the market or you can just use this extra time to consider the home.

Agents do previews for a couple of reasons. They get valuable price feedback from genuine buyers before public marketing begins; and they can potentially attract strong pre-campaign offers.

It is not uncommon for sellers to take a good pre-campaign offer as there are many benefits for them, including avoiding advertising costs and being able to make their next purchase sooner.

Of course, you should still register on the big portals of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au to cover all bases, as not all agencies conduct preview inspections.