Monthly Archives: January 2017

Market report – January 2017

Jan ReportWhilst many of us might have understandably had quite enough of Brexit/Trump inspired news, there is one aspect of these that is extremely reassuring in respect of the UK property market! Such tumultuous news, almost daily, with so many angles and such far-reaching political, economic and social consequences, might ordinarily cause such uncertainty as to put a dampener on the property market. People and markets generally don’t like uncertainty. And we probably live in the most uncertain times in a generation.

Yet the property market appears to have simply shrugged its shoulders, kept calm, and carried on, as if to spite the dire warnings of severe negative consequences issued by even the most respected of pundits. The exception is of course the prime central London market, which has dipped 6.9% since this time last year although this is more likely due to with the massive hike in SDLT last year. If anything, the lower value of sterling has attracted overseas buyers, preventing further falls, although sales volumes of £1m+ sales are nevertheless down by around 21% (Savills).

Whatever the future holds, it would seem that bricks and mortar, as ever, are the ultimate foundation of our security in the UK, and demand is predicted to continue to outstrip supply overwhelmingly for many years to come. Our current levels of GDP growth are impressive (0.7% last quarter, up from 0.6%) but are forecast to fall, with pressures on employment, inflation and ultimately interest rates. So there is only so much the market can take in terms of property values and equilibrium has to be found at some stage.

So if you are considering a move this year, right now might not be a bad time to do so – especially if you can put your property on the market ahead of the seasonal spring rush that can temporarily flood the market.

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like sincere, friendly, advice from your local property marketing experts and we’d be delighted to offer you our thoughts – you might be pleasantly surprised.

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Open House

open-houseThe keys to selling any property are price, location and exposure. You can’t change the location of your property, and the market determines the price. However, your agent can make significant inroads into how powerfully your property is exposed to the market.

One of the most effective methods is the “open house”. This is where the property is advertised as being open for anyone who wishes to view it at a certain time, usually during a weekend. Very common abroad, the open house is rapidly gaining popularity in the UK, and for good reason.

Firstly, one of the best sources of qualified buyers is via the neighbours. Everybody knows someone who is selling and people tend to buy in an area which is close to their existing network of friends and acquaintances. This is known as socio-demographic mirroring.

When a property goes on show, it is marketed intensely in the neighbourhood so that every neighbour is aware that the property is for sale. If they know anyone who is buying, they are highly likely to invite them round to see the property, or at least look at it on their behalf.

From the seller’s perspective, having an open house can concentrate the viewings around a fixed time. Go for a walk and leave it all to the agent if you want to reduce some of the stress of selling!

Open house days tend to be very relaxed, and they create an environment where buyers do not feel in any way under pressure, but can take their time to consider a property’s merits. Because of this, we find that more people register their interest during an open house than they would through the usual advertising channels.

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Valuation versus Value!

valEstate agents’ market valuations are usually free, and because of this, it is very tempting for prospective sellers to invite a number of agents to comment and then select the agent that suggests the highest likely sale price for the property.

However, we advise caution on this issue. Some agency “valuers” are paid bonus on the number of new instructions they secure, irrespective of the saleability of the property offered for sale at their suggested value. The easiest way for an estate agent to win your business is simply to suggest a flatteringly high figure, but many people who fall into this trap live to regret it.

One of the problems is that most people have only a cursory idea of what estate agents actually do and, just as importantly, the values they cherish and what service they offer. Ironically, it tends to be the cheaper, untrained or inexperienced agents who quote the highest values, yet it is the well-trained, experienced agents who have the skills to secure the best prices for their clients in the most convenient timescale.

So when selecting your estate agent, by all means invite several to comment on value, but then choose the agent who demonstrates mastery, and who actually has a marketing plan in place, along with superb post-offer follow-up facilities.

Additionally, find an agent that you like! One who has the integrity to offer straight-talking advice and who uses superb communication skills to keep you informed every step of the way, before, during and after the sale, thereby minimising the stress of moving.

In estate agency, a high valuation does not necessarily mean you’ll get more for your property, nor does it indicate a high-value service! The agent you rate most highly will probably also be the one who suggests the correct asking price.

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