Estate Agent - Friend or Foe?

2014 looks like it might be a year for the seller. Demand has outstripped supply and prices are rising.  Estate agents often get the blame for pushing up prices.  But it is buyers who set the pace.  Whichever way you cut it a property is still only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. So here are just a few hints to take into account if you are keen to move home this year. 

Yes, keep your eye on local websites and the big property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla, but by the time a new property hits those sites it could well be too late – there may be several people ahead of you in the queue.  That is because they know what is coming on to the market before it actually does.  So it is essential for you to get to know your estate agent and ensure that you stay in regular contact.  In this market it will be the squeaky wheel that gets oiled.  Making yourself  known and heard is the best way to keep ahead in the buying game.  Make your estate agent your friend not your foe. 

Within reason, in a rising market, prepare to buy at a future value rather than the present one.  Offer what you think the property will be worth by the time you complete several months down the line.  By the time you do move the value of the house may have risen by about one per cent.  This means you can sometimes afford to outbid more timid buyers.  So don’t be mean with your offer – you could lose a really good property. 

Make sure you are in a good position to buy.  If you have a property to sell then sell it.  At least have it under offer.  If you were deciding between one buyer with a house to sell or another who had already sold which would you choose? 

This year we could see many more initial asking price offers.  Yet some buyers, still believing that they can wait or make low offers, will be left behind.  So do the best thing, enlist the help of an estate agent who experienced the market the last time this happened – and preferably the time before that. 

However, this doesn’t mean that sellers can ask any price for their properties and expect a stampede.  Buyers may be keen but they are certainly not desperate and definitely not stupid. 

We have been around for 26 years and have seen and dealt with it all. If you need advice, please give us a call.