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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Don’t Look Down!

    Don’t Look Down!

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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Don’t Look Down!
    Don’t Look Down!

Don’t Look Down!

Jun 2023

By Jack Merriott-McMillan-Duncan, Managing Director

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Hello again folks, and thank you in advance for reading my blog. Sometimes I need to say things that may not be so positive or easy to hear, but they must be told. Speaking the truth is not always easy, and truth speakers are sometimes not the bearer of good news. This is indeed the case now. This blog covers what you should expect from the property market in the next few months.

Last week most of the high street banks pulled their lower rates mortgage deals from the table, and before the Bank of England announced a general interest rate rise to 5%, the lenders had already put their borrowing rates up to over 6% now, with the average (75% loan to value, 25% deposit) being at 6.44%.

If you are looking at a house purchase of around £250,000 with a deposit of £50,000 (20%), the average variable repayment is now well over £1,500 a month. This, of course, is harming the housing market already. Buyers are getting cold feet on properties that they agreed to purchase a few months ago and are already re-evaluating the cost implications and how much of their income will now be swallowed up by mortgage payments, let alone the fact that we are still in a cost-of-living crisis with inflation hovering just below 9%.

The more mature people out there (no, I am not being ageist) that have been through this process before will not necessarily be the ones that are worrying about mortgages as they may well have either paid them off or have a lot less borrowed. Still, younger buyers or first-time buyers will be reconsidering their options.

When the property market finds itself in this position, we find ourselves in shark-infested waters. This is when some of the less scrupulous agents out there start resorting to less respectable methods to keep their available stock levels high.

Now, this is where other agents will protest, but we have been here before, and we’ve seen it before, and we know the warning signs to look out for.

  1. Has an agent given you a surprisingly high valuation that you weren’t expecting – This is what we in the trade call buying an instruction; the agent knows full well that your property has no chance of achieving this price but also knows that if they can persuade you that they can achieve the impossible than they stand more of a chance of gaining your business.
  2. Has the agent offered you a generous low fee – again, any proper business person knows full well that all companies are facing increased costs for absolutely everything that they pay for, from electricity to phone calls, petrol, paper, envelopes, websites, staff wages, photocopiers, membership to recognised bodies to the tea boat in the office, so if they are offering meagre fees, you know that they are not anticipating selling your property, just using you to make their property stock look better than their competitions and make other potential sellers want to use them.
  3. How quickly do they ask you to reduce your price after coming to the market – On one of the property portals that we use, there is a tab that shows us which agents are bringing the asking prices of their properties down (Price Reductions), here in Plymouth there are the usual suspects. Still, there is always that special one that must rely on price reductions consistently to try and gain any credible interest in their stock of properties; quite often, though, this has the opposite effect and will deter potential buyers from putting in offers as it can come across as negative marketing. If you keep seeing properties that are dropping in price, do you ask the same question as me? What is wrong with it that it needs to keep coming down in price?
  4. Multiple Agent Listing – This is where you feel you have no choice but to list your house with more than one estate agent. If your agent recommends listing your property jointly with a specific agent, maybe this is not the right thing to do. As with the previous point, buyers will question the necessity for your property to be advertised with more than one agent when if you chose the right agent, then your property could have gone under offer already.

There are obviously some exceptions to these general guidelines, but any good, proper, qualified agent should have already factored in these shifts in the market; they should also know what is expected in the coming months and have worked out and planned around this for selling your house.

If the agent reacts to the market, they must be more proactive.

The last thing that any seller wants to be is chasing a down-turning market, as this usually leads them to achieve a much lower selling price than they could have if they planned the marketing price by the changing state of the market. This is a clear case of age and experience, combined with qualified and regulated service, winning against youth and enthusiasm, usually married with the more corporate companies (or companies who try to emulate corporates) who rarely keep / pay for their more experienced staff, as this invariably cost them much more in staff wages.

As usual, I will end this blog positively; last week, we achieved marvellous sales levels across all different market price ranges. We regularly call our clients and let them know what is happening to the property market so that we can change/amend their marketing ahead of the competition and still achieve the best possible outcomes. Cross Keys Estates prides itself on the honesty and integrity of the advice given to our clients by all of our staff, and this is why we are a multi-award winning company with over 1,500 5 star ***** reviews on from our clients, making us the best estate agent and the best-letting agent in Plymouth for many years in a row now.

If you would like to pop into our friendly office for a chat or call us on the phone (01752 500018) for any help or advice or to book a valuation on your property, please rest assured that you will be in the best possible hands in this industry.

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Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 1

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