Hello again folks and welcome to autumn. Did you know that according to researchers, autumn is the least liked season of the year, colour goes from the garden, days get shorter, wetter and the temperature goes down. Well, the current housing market is just the same as autumn, it gets harder to get good photographs of properties due to the changing weather conditions, any vacant properties that do not have electricity on have reduced hours to view them due to the darker evening creeping in, and the prices, like the temperature, are going down.
I have been keeping a close eye on the available properties either already on the market or the new ones that are coming to the market over the last six weeks, it seems to me that there is a clear downward trend in the prices that the properties are coming on at but what is more concerning is the number of properties that other agents are having to do “Price Reductions” on. Some agents that are so proud of having hundreds of properties on their website are now having to slash the prices of their available stock.
Could this be because they over valued in the first place, probably. When choosing an agent to sell your property, remember that if an agent has more that 100 properties on its own website, then it obviously cannot be selling many at all. If an agent claims to have multiple offices selling your property for you, if it is a corporate agent, why would the lead office allow another office to claim a selling fee? I used to work for a corporate and this was never allowed to happen, as the offices are all in competition with each other but they still use this tactic to try and win your business.
When you see the properties appearing at the top of Rightmove listings, look carefully to see if it is actually a new listing or whether it has had a price reduction instead. The reason I say this is more than 50% of the top properties on Rightmove searches that I have done in recent weeks have all been price reductions and not new properties coming to the market.
When reading this blog, you may think it is coming across as negative, I would disagree. The market will always change, sometimes daily, but one thing remains the same and that is experience. An experience, and dare I say, a qualified estate agent will be used to these changing times and will be able to advise you accordingly to suit both your expectations and the reality of selling in a downward facing market.
This week, Cross Keys Estates had two enquiries from potential vendors both with differing needs. One family that did not live in Plymouth but had an older relation based in Ivybridge that needed to move into an assisted living property, as she was about to come out of hospital and her own property would no longer be suitable. We attended the property to value it, spoke in great detail on the phone and came up with a bespoke marketing plan. The property was placed on the market and enquiries came in straight away, a viewing was carried out within 24 hours of the property going live which led to the property being sold immediately towards the top of the guide price, meaning that the assisted living property was able to be secured for them.
The other vendor had been on the market with another (corporate) agent and tried their “Modern Auction” experience, they had tight timescale needs as they are moving abroad and had a date set for this move. The auction was a complete failure and didn’t generate nearly enough interest needed to gain offers on the property. A good neighbour of theirs recommended that they come to see us for a much more traditional and proven way to sell their house, after they popped in to our office and talked everything through in detail, we came up with a marketing plan, placed the property on the market and sold it within 5 days of the initial meeting in the office and at a price that exceeded the original agreed bottom line price.
There is a simple truth to this blog, if you have a need to sell your property, you also need to see a fully qualified and time served experienced agent. As the property market gets tougher, this experience will be what get you the results that you need. If you are unsure about which agent to choose, look them up on www.allagents.co.uk or if you want to be a bit more thorough, you could also look them up via PropertyMark to see if they are qualified, you can put your postcode in to their website and this will tell you if an agent is qualified or not.
In this day of scam artist and rogue traders, you could also try Companies House to see if the company that you are thinking of using is legitimate or not, you might be surprised at what information you can find on this website. When all is said and done, you cannot beat a good referral from someone who has been or is in the same situation as yourself and has been through the entire process.
I would also like to point out that as it stands with the current interest rate, properties that are currently on the market for prices over £300,000, are being affected by the higher cost of borrowing. If buyers are putting down a 10% deposit on £300,000 (£30,000), for a 2-year fixed rate 25-year term mortgage, the cost of borrowing £270,000 is now roughly at £1,500 per month. I got these figures from Compare the Market website. I am also sure that we will see more interest rate rises before Christmas which will push the property market prices down further.
The last thing that I wanted to point out is this, if you are selling and buying on in the same market conditions then your sales price is always going to be relative to your purchase price. In other words, if you are having to sell for a few thousand pounds less than you could have got a year ago, it does not matter, as the property that you are buying will also be a few thousand pounds cheaper as well.
Please feel free to call me, pop in to our office, or email me with any questions you may have or any advice that you may need with regards to your property buying or selling journey, as I am always only to happy to help.