Are You Watching The Housing Market This Autumn?

Richard Ashton of Allan Morris considers the changes facing the housing market as it enters autumn.

Eagle-eyed property market watchers may have noticed a change. Certainly following our time covering the Mayfair Office we experienced that those in London have seen a marked difference from a year ago. The market in the capital having done an about turn in favour of buyers. Fewer buyers, especially international ones, and more properties available have changed the fortunes of purchasers. What does this mean though for our market here in the Malverns? Well, often where London leads other areas follow like the ripples on the Hanley Swan duck pond.

In a buyers’ market purchasers have more choice, can negotiate harder and have the luxury of taking their time in finding a new home. There is no need for them to be rushed into quick action.

For sellers this new dynamic will create a different set of questions and decisions. Pricing will be key. So too will property presentation and condition. But one of their biggest decisions will be which estate agent to use. Some might not have sold a property for a long time and there have been many significant changes.  New options are available, but new is not necessarily better.

While there was a strong sellers’ market low-cost online property listing companies sprang up to cash in when selling property was relatively straightforward. But now things will change. Simply listing a property on a property portal will no longer be enough. Each house or flat will have to be competitively and accurately priced, serious and motivated buyers will have to be found rather than fallen over, and once a sale has been agreed it will take experience and expertise to keep it on track through all the legal, financial and dependent sales complications that are an inevitable part of most property transactions these days. These all take time, tenacity and training – things that the bargain basement operators aren’t well equipped for.

Of course one should always look for great value. But sometimes that does not mean the lowest price – or commission in estate agency terms. In estate agency good value means finding the firm that will get the top price from the best buyer, often in the quickest time. Anything else is of no value at all. In fact it is a false economy. It is hoping for the best and that has no place when it comes to selling such a valuable asset.

So if you are thinking of selling in what may soon become a buyers’ market it is best to shop around and ask your estate agent what he or she will do differently in this different market. Ask what makes one agent better – not cheaper – than another. It is very easy to be the cheapest choice. It takes skill, expertise and sustained performance over many years to be the best choice.

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