Monthly Archives: February 2017

Slow Growth with Strong Demand

raf-small-bwEveryone knows that the balance of supply versus demand exerts the greatest influence over property values. Yet, as we approach the spring market we find ourselves in a situation where the annual rate of house price growth is at its lowest for four years. at 2.3% (HMLR), but demand remains strong. Could this be the tipping point where buyers are voting with their pockets in respect of overpriced properties?

Certainly pricing appears to be more sensitive than it has for some time. Indeed, properties coming to market are experiencing their smallest February price rise since 2009. According to Rightmove, you are 40% are more likely to sell your property for the best price if is priced correctly at the outset, so it’s important to avoid it going stale on the market. This is supported by data from the Home Owners Alliance, which reveals that just 12 days is the optimal length of time a property should be listed on the market until a buyer is found. Agents who price right and sell within this time also achieve an average 100.89% of their asking price!

It is therefore far better to prompt interest and multiple offers by attracting buyers with a reasonable price than to scare them off with an inflated one. Today’s buyers are too savvy to pay over the odds. So our advice is to be careful when interviewing estate agents who habitually “overvalue” to try to impress you!

Inflation has already started its predicted rise and is expected to hit 2% in the coming months when interest rates could possibly rise as well. Lending criteria remain tight and the uncertainties prompted by a very different political landscape to this time last year, both nationally (Brexit) and internationally (Trump) are not an ideal background for strong house price growth.

However, whilst anybody selling will of course want to secure the highest price the market will pay (and we’re quite good at that bit), for most people, the ability to actually move is even more important. It would be a shame if high house prices prevented people from moving due to a new job, a growing family, downsizing, etc – the stuff of life!

One thing is sure – at this time of year, if you are thinking about a move, it might be worth getting your property on the market now as there could well be a flood of competing homes entering the market this spring. Why not take advantage of this and get ready buy one of these from a position of strength yourself, having sold your own first? Please feel free to call us for an informal chat about the value and saleability of your property – you might be pleasantly surprised!

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Working In Partnership with your Estate Agent

PartnershipWhen the time comes to sell your home it is important to ensure that you entrust your sale to a reputable estate agent, if the stress of selling is to be minimised.

However, the most successful sales tend to be those where the seller and agent work hand in hand during the marketing process. Here are some pointers:

• Be open with your agent about any problems with the property. Even if these cannot be solved, awareness of an issue could save a sale.
• Ensure your agent is properly informed about which fixtures and fittings will be staying/going. (NB watch the terminology here: “staying with you” or “staying with the house”?)
• Tell your agent if you have any direct buyer enquiries – it can avoid confusion over commission.
• Ideally your agent should accompany all viewings, but if you show the buyers round yourself, immediately let your agent know how the viewing went, so he/she can follow-up appropriately.
• Keep the house and garden clean and tidy at all times – you never know when you might get a short-notice viewing, or interested parties peering over the fence.
• Aim to be as flexible as possible over viewing times and completion dates.
• Agree to listen constructively to your agent’s feedback and recommendations.

As your selling agent, we share your objectives – to achieve the fastest sale at the highest possible price with minimum disruption to your lifestyle. So help us to help you. After all – we’re on your side!

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Split Opinion on Whether Brexit is Impacting Local Markets – Says National Estate Agency Survey

BrexitAs the Government debates the intricacies of Britain leaving the European Union, widely known as ‘Brexit’, local estate agents across the UK are experiencing mixed trends with regards to its impact so far.

From the responses received, following a recent survey conducted by Relocation Agent Network amongst its members – including Richard James – there was a relatively even split between agents that have already begun to experience market trends that can be attributed to Brexit (46%), and those that have not (54%).

When looking at regional differences, the survey found that more respondents from the South (67%) and South East (65%) had experienced an impact from Brexit, compared with other regions in the UK. The regions with the least respondents experiencing an impact from Brexit were those in the East Midlands (12.5%) and Yorkshire (14%).

A similar divide emerged when member respondents were asked if they were expecting Brexit to impact their local market in the next six months. 58% anticipated that the UK deciding to leave the EU will have an impact in the first half of the year, with 42% believing it will not.

When it comes to specific trends experienced as a result of Brexit, a quarter of member respondents reported a decrease in sellers entering the market. Whilst a decline in the number of prospective home buyers was cited by respondents as the second most significant trend that may be attributed to Brexit.

The Relocation Agent Network survey tells us is that there are strong regional differences with regards to the impact that Brexit is having on local markets across the UK. In Wellingborough, Irthlingborough & Rushden, we’re currently seeing little change in the number of prospective buyers registering.

“Despite the wider implications of Brexit however, we are seeing plenty of motivated buyers searching for the right property. We encourage sellers to continue with their plans to move, as springtime is only weeks away and is traditionally a popular time to enter the housing market, with 2017 being no exception. So contact us today, as Relocation Agent Network’s appointed Local Expert for East Northants, we have exclusive access to out of town buyers moving into the area.”

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What Does Viewing Feedback Really Mean?

FeedbackSellers often approach us after an unsatisfactory experience with another agent, particularly in relation to poor levels of feedback following property viewings.

Surely prompt and constructive feedback should be a fundamental part of any estate agent’s service to their clients! Only when agents understand what buyers think of a property can they deliver practical advice that will enhance its sale prospects. The agent and the seller should be working hand-in-hand to achieve the desired outcome, based significantly on buyers’ comments.

We also understand the seller’s anguish in simply not knowing whether a sale is imminent following a viewing.

Sometimes, feedback is obviously positive: “When can you move out?” is clearly a strong buying signal; “What are the neighbours like?”, “Could I bring my partner round?” or “Will you be leaving that cupboard?” certainly indicate that the property is a distinct possibility, and a good agent should be able to move this interest towards a firm offer.

Some feedback can be helpful in confirming whether the asking price is positioned correctly in the market. Buyers buy by comparison, and sometimes a swift price adjustment can be imperative to avoid the house going stale on the market. For example, “The property is too small for us” usually means, “We have seen larger houses for the same price”. “The street is too busy” usually means “We’ve seen similarly priced properties in quieter streets”.

Of course, many people are just being polite when they say, “We’ll think about it”, or “I’m sure you’ll find a buyer easily”. The key to good estate agency is identifying which comments point to a sale, which point to a negotiation, and which point to a problem with the price. And we think sellers deserve to know, via prompt and supportive feedback.

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