The Value Of Sold….

Sold boardOur last article considered some of the dangers associated with pricing your home in relation to other properties available for sale (ie those remaining unsold). This time we’ll consider pricing in relation to properties which have actually sold.

When considering what asking price to quote, common sense dictates that the price of other homes which have sold locally could be a good indicator of the price you should be quoting. However, your research could well prompt you to price your property at a level which could under- or over-estimate your optimum sale price.

Irrespective of national trends, the property market is very sensitive to imbalances in supply and demand even on a street by street basis. When there are many qualified buyers all seeking a rarely-available house in a popular street the price goes up. If fate dictates that the following week five such houses become available in the same street, the price will inevitably fall.

Likewise there can be situations where a property is sold at a record price to an individual who particularly wanted a specific property for personal reasons. Conversely a situation could arise where a desperate seller, who might otherwise suffer repossession, agrees a sale at a very low figure for a quick sale.

Only the estate agent involved in any of these transactions knows how the individual circumstances of sale can affect value. So a word of caution – leave the science of valuation to an experienced local estate agent who is highly active in the market and has a good track record of achieving swift sales at or close to his/her suggested asking price. Time for a chat? We’re here to help.

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The Value Of For Sale…

For Sale BoardWhen considering the value of a property prior to putting it on the market, many vendors understandably look at the asking price of other properties currently on the market locally, and draw pricing conclusions based on this research.

Whilst this is not an unreasonable way of determining value, there are some traps for which to look out.

Firstly, an important observation is that if a property is on the market, it is by definition “unsold”. An unsold property is invariably one that is overpriced. If it had been priced correctly then it would have sold, but in the event the market has rejected it and it will probably only sell if the price is reduced. So if you have a similar property and you price it at about the same level as the unsold property, then the chances are that yours will remain unsold as well.

We know that purchasers buy by comparison. So your property has to compare favourably when seen alongside others on the market. If your property is similar to another on the market nearby, then yours only becomes readily saleable when it is priced favourably and offers better value for money.

Additionally, if you feel that your property is slightly better than a neighbouring property for sale (as you are bound to, as you chose the décor and it has your own possessions in it) then surely it makes sense to quote a similar price, rather than attempting to offset the extra features with a higher price.

Ultimately, correct pricing is all about seeing the world through the eyes of the buyer and making responsible and effective pricing decisions which always point to offering better value than that offered by competing properties available locally.

We’re experts in this field. If you’d like to know how your own property compares to others currently available then please feel free to contact us on 01933 224400 for a free and intelligent consultation without obligation.

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Should I Make An Offer?

Should IAs a buyer you are in a powerful position, both in terms of the effect your buying decision will have on your own life, and on that of the person from whom you buy.

If a property were some form of commodity like petrol or milk, then you would simply buy the cheapest stock available. However, buying a home is much less mercenary, and emotions run high.

Over the years, homebuyers have become used to the idea of making a “starting offer” below the asking price, but it might be worth considering a few aspects of the implications of making a low offer.

Firstly what does a low offer say about you to the vendor? That you don’t have the money and that any subsequent increase might stretch you beyond your ability to complete the purchase? Does it suggest you don’t really like their home, risking offence? A low offer can often start off the relationship with the vendor on the wrong foot.

And what if your low offer is accepted? Will the vendors experience regret and continue to market the property hoping to find a higher price with someone else? The chances of such a buyer being found are high as people usually want a property that someone else wants. We receive more interest about properties which are “under offer” than we do about those for sale!

Ultimately it’s about commitment. An offer at, close to, a realistic asking price tells the vendor you are committed to the property. In return the vendor is likely to demonstrate a level of commitment to you that will result in a successful purchase.

Ultimately, you are buying a home; is it worth losing your dream property for the sake of getting (and possibly losing) some sort of “deal”. Most properties sell for about the “right” price – all you have to be is the “right” buyer!

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October 2018 – Market Comment

October CommentIf anyone thinks that the confusing political shenanigans of the past few weeks have destabilised the property market, they’d be wrong. If anything, we are seeing more “lubrication” in the market, as sellers realise they’d be foolish to hang on for an overly ambitious sale price in the run-up to Christmas. This in turn has freed up the market, with more undecided sellers committing to moving, as there now appears to be more choice of properties available for sale. Indeed, Rightmove reports a 16% jump in new properties coming to market in the first week of September.

In support of this increased buoyancy the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reports a “broadly stable” housing market, once again emphasising the wonderful “Keep Calm and Carry On” mentality of the British!

Asking prices are “behaving”, with the price of newly marketed properties for the last reported month averaging a 0.7% increase. This is broadly in line with the medium-term average for September, although the annual 1.2% is somewhat subdued. Of course, asking prices do not always reflect actual sale prices, which will be a more accurate barometer of the market in the coming months. But the signs are good.

In terms of sales volumes, the prime London market (over £750,000), which can be seen as an indicator of confidence levels overall, is finally improving with a jump of 6% over this time last year, as the previously stretched buyer affordability ratios are now levelling out. Everyone knew London was overheated!

The Land Registry figures show an annual 3.1% increase in UK house prices, the lowest for five years, which can only lead to continued sense and stability in the market.

Interestingly, rents rose in 40% of cases last month, despite the number of tenants registering falling by 19% nationally (source:ARLA) and stock availability rising by 7%. Could this be pointing towards a rent peak in the coming months? Research by Paragon suggests that 21% of landlords expect to sell some of their buy-to-let properties in the next 12 months, versus only 9% who expect to add to their portfolio. Certainly, we are seeing some exceptional yields for our landlord clients, although we always urge them to buy with caution.

Whatever your plans, please regard us as your local experts in property, and call us for advice on 01933 224400 before you make a move. We know what we’re talking about and we offer straight-talking, good advice with a smile, to anyone who’ll listen!

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Relocation Agent Network and Land & New Homes Network Unveils New PX Partnership For House Builders

RAN header

Relocation Agent Network and Land & New Homes Network have announced a collaborative referral partnership to support Land & New Homes Network’s part exchange and assisted move offering that will benefit house builders across Britain.

With the assistance of Relocation Agent Network members in areas where Land & New Homes Network doesn’t have member coverage, this new service will link leading independent estate agents, and enable developers to market part exchange and assisted move properties from any region – a move that Land & New Homes Network believe will lead developers to break free from the often costly and unenterprising national corporate agents.

Richard Tucker, Managing Director of the Relocation Agent Network adds: “Having been established since 1994, many house builders will already be familiar with our members and will know the extent of our reach, awareness and performance – our members sell a property every three minutes across approaching 600 member offices. Plus, we have the backing of Cartus, the world’s premier relocation company. We are delighted that Land & New Homes Network has chosen to partner with us and to utilise our referral platform to support their builder clients.

Kevin Ellis, founder of the Land & New Homes Network says: “Until now, house builders had been forced to stick with the national chains to handle their PX properties, but we offer a credible, effective alternative. We are delighted to be working with Relocation Agent Network; this is yet another demonstration of our commitment to offering a cohesive service to the UK’s leading house builders and is part of our Developer Solutions offering, which also includes part exchange, assisted move and Shared Ownership sales.”

The collaboration will enable buyers from any location to move with ease, while offering house builders the flexibility to market their developments with a more agile, effective partner. This new working relationship with Land & New Homes Network will deliver another level of service that will cover any and every eventuality, and give house builders the confidence to strike new profitable new relationships with outstanding independent agents.

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Maximising Your Sale Prospects

maxThe vast array of property-related TV programmes proliferating our screens is certainly an indication of our appetite for home improvement. Presumably this has something to do with pride of ownership and making the most out of “an Englishman’s home is his castle”.

However, once you come to sell, you may understandably be more focused on your next property than the one you are leaving. It is surprising how many properties we see offered for sale where the vendor has not taken advantage of some simple things that can be done to increase their chances of selling whilst maximising their price.

Bear in mind that we are not just selling bricks and mortar, but an aspirational lifestyle, as most people purchase a better property than the one they are leaving.

A recent survey among estate agents identified key aspects of property presentation that they regard as important to get right when selling. 77% said that decluttering the interior was among their top three tips, 68% included a thorough interior clean, 48% highlighted the need to tidy the garden, 40% suggested neutral decoration, 35% recommended a fresh coat of exterior paint, and 24% felt a new kitchen or bathroom was important.

Interestingly, gadgets, technology and security features ranked surprisingly low, with less than 1% of agents citing these as important, presumably as these are things that can easily be added at a later date as required although a fast broadband speed is of course critically important. A survey by Rightmove suggested that homes with slower broadband tended to sell for up to 20% less than those with fast broadband!

It is interesting to note that, apart from the broadband issue, the above figures overwhelmingly point to the need to create a strong first visual impression, and this concurs with our own findings that whilst buyers do not always know precisely what they want, they certainly know it when they see it. Our job is to help them get to that point!

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Why Use High Street Agents?

Richard TuckerThe third post in our blog series Why Use High Street Agents offers property sellers some what else to consider when selecting the right agent.

Richard Tucker, Managing Director of Relocation Agent Network, says:
“In the first two posts of this series, I highlighted some considerations for the marketing strategy and the progression of the sales process. I’d like to conclude this series by looking at what else makes a good agent in our opinion.

“High street presence means you can see how an agent presents properties for sale in their window. What is it about the display that catches your eye? How involved is the agent in the local community? And of course a place to meet with your agent.

“Local knowledge is a must for someone looking to move into a new area. The agent will be able to share key information about the neighbourhood with potential buyers.

“Can-do attitude can provide you with the assurance that your sale is in a safe pair of hands. The agent is realistic and will explain to you the challenges that may occur and the solutions to overcome them; the key point being that you are in the hands of a professional who is proactive and knows how to help their customers make a successful move.

“Client testimonials tell you about the quality of the service and the impressions left on both buyers and sellers. This is not only a financial transaction, but an exchange between real people.

“Face-to-face support brings us back to the people aspect; seeing a familiar face, someone you can trust when you need advice can really help reduce the stress associated with certain elements of selling and buying a property.

“Taking personal ownership of your sale and purchase means the agent is dedicated to finding you the best buyer for your property and the right property to move to. The agent is willing to invest their time and resources to be your advocate and to give you the support you need to make a successful move.

In conclusion
“I hope this series has helped you and wish you a smooth sale!”

Thinking of selling?
Richard James is a selected member of Relocation Agent Network, who has chosen us as ’s Local Expert, based on our customer service and a variety of other criteria. Not only does this prove our credentials as one of the area’s leading estate agents, but through our Network membership, we are able to offer sellers a completely unique channel of buyer that no other estate agent in can provide. Visit www.relocation-agent-network.co.uk/how-we-can-help-you.aspx to find out more.

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September 2018 Market Comment

September Market CommentAs we move from a scorching summer to a cooler autumn, will the property market return to “normal”? Certainly the latest HMRC figures indicate a positive outlook, with a 0.3% increase in the number of transactions over last year. That’s not bad considering increased political uncertainty and two interest rate hikes.

Transaction volumes are currently the most reliable indicator of the state of the property market, not prices, although these have risen by a not-unhealthy 3% over the past year (HMRC). It looks like the number of transactions will approach 2.2million nationally in 2018, which is still much more than the years following the 2008 credit crunch, when it took five years before the number rose over a million.

Certainly, we expect to see more activity in the first time buyer sector, for two reasons: firstly, according to the latest Ministry of Housing report, nearly 4,000 buy-to-let properties are being sold by landlords each month, resulting in the first decline in rental property availability for 18 years. The problem is most acute in London, which has seen a 20% drop in the number of rental properties in the past year. This will inevitably push up rents further, meaning that buying is seen as a more cost-effective option to renting.

Secondly, some mortgage lenders are relaxing their criteria for first time buyers, with an increase in the both number of 95% mortgages and 35-year terms.

Confidence levels are improving once again, as many people start to think about moving by Christmas. If this is you, then you’d better get your skates on as, according to Rightmove, the average time from agreeing a sale to completion is 13 weeks, and it typically takes an average of eight weeks to find a buyer.
As ever, correct pricing is the key, especially as there is 2.1% more stock available than there was a month ago. Rightmove reports that average asking prices of new-to-market properties have seen a seasonal reduction of 2.3% over last month, as late summer sellers seek to find a buyer quickly.
So if you are thinking about moving, why not give us a buzz on 01933 224400, as we can usually provide you with an idea of value, timing and confidence level within 48 hours.

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“Maximising Your Sale Prospects”

MaximisingThe vast array of property-related TV programmes proliferating our screens is certainly an indication of our appetite for home improvement. Presumably this has something to do with pride of ownership and making the most out of “an Englishman’s home is his castle”.

However, once you come to sell, you may understandably be more focused on your next property than the one you are leaving. It is surprising how many properties we see offered for sale where the vendor has not taken advantage of some simple things that can be done to increase their chances of selling whilst maximising their price.

Bear in mind that we are not just selling bricks and mortar, but an aspirational lifestyle, as most people purchase a better property than the one they are leaving.

A recent survey among estate agents identified key aspects of property presentation that they regard as important to get right when selling. 77% said that decluttering the interior was among their top three tips, 68% included a thorough interior clean, 48% highlighted the need to tidy the garden, 40% suggested neutral decoration, 35% recommended a fresh coat of exterior paint, and 24% felt a new kitchen or bathroom was important.

Interestingly, gadgets, technology and security features ranked surprisingly low, with less than 1% of agents citing these as important, presumably as these are things that can easily be added at a later date as required although a fast broadband speed is of course critically important. A survey by Rightmove suggested that homes with slower broadband tended to sell for up to 20% less than those with fast broadband!

It is interesting to note that, apart from the broadband issue, the above figures overwhelmingly point to the need to create a strong first visual impression, and this concurs with our own findings that whilst buyers do not always know precisely what they want, they certainly know it when they see it. Our job is to help them get to that point!

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Why Use High Street Agents?

 

Richard TuckerThe second post of our blog series Why Use High Street Agents offers property sellers some tips to help ensure their agents take personal ownership of progress and process of their sale.

Richard Tucker, Managing Director of Relocation Agent Network, says:

“In my previous post, I mentioned the importance of paying close attention to the quality of the agent’s service, advice and trust, as well as commission rate. Today, I would like to share my thoughts about the progress of your sales and the process itself.

Traditional agents have evolved hugely, blending technology and good customer service; what can your agent do to give the right balance? It’s worth checking what systems the agent has to allow you, as their customer, to communicate online with them at a time convenient to you. By the same token, you will want to feel that your agent is willing to take personal ownership of the process.

I recommend you discuss sales progression (the agent’s process for ensuring they help manage your sale through to exchange of contacts and completion) with the agent, as sellers often overlook this area and it is where a good agent’s service really comes to the forefront. This may seem far off to you right now, but just as you plan your marketing strategy, you also need to think about what happens next. Who does what? What are your expectations?

Looking even further head, it’s also worth thinking about completion and the process for handing over of keys on the moving day

A good estate agent is a useful one-stop-shop in terms of mortgage and insurance advice as well as conveyancing and survey services, so do ask the agent for recommendations on the associated move services. This will take away some of the headache from what is a stressful time.

Thinking of selling? Richard James is a selected member of Relocation Agent Network, who has chosen us as East Northants Local Expert, based on our customer service and a variety of other criteria. Not only does this prove our credentials as one of the area’s leading estate agents, but through our Network membership, we are able to offer sellers a completely unique channel of buyer that no other estate agent in East Northants can provide. Visit www.relocation-agent-network.co.uk/how-we-can-help-you.aspx to find out more.

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