As previously discussed, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday has certainly added fuel to pent-up demand among buyers and spurred many into action. The result of which is sky-high property prices, and a severe shortage of stock on the market.
As either a buyer or seller, moving can be stressful at the best of times. But, in the currently overheated market, there is a sense of frenzied urgency, and many are feeling enormous pressure to make fast decisions.
If you have chosen to sell or buy a property through a traditional estate agent, you must remember this is one of the largest transactions you will ever make. With this in mind, it may be helpful to be armed with a little knowledge about how the system works and what to say and what not to say to estate agents.
Estate agents essentially represent sellers – that is who they are getting their commission from. Therefore, as a buyer, agents are not only going to do their best to squeeze the very best price out of you, but in the current market they are going to want to know why you are the right/most reliable buyer amongst the pool of other buyers they have lined up considering the same property.
There is a really fine balance, particularly when buyers are asked to submit sealed bids, between putting in an offer that will ensure you secure the property and over-paying in a desperate attempt to ‘win’. While demand is high for many homes at present, never consider overpaying for a property because you think it will be your “forever” home. It is still just bricks and mortar and has a market value.
It is important to look beyond just price. Sell yourself as a buyer on your ‘proceedability’ and ‘flexibility’. Being able to move faster and complete quicker than others could give you an advantage over other buyers.
One other issue in the current market is sellers are putting their houses on the market to achieve the top price and selling them straight away – but in many cases they haven’t found anywhere to move to yet. If you can get a mortgage agreed and be flexible about time frames, even be in a position where you have nothing to sell (i.e. you have already completed on yours) but have somewhere to stay, that can be a huge bonus for a seller, just as much as price. It means as soon as they find somewhere, they know you are ready to go.
Similarly, if you are a seller, don’t be too short-sighted by only considering the highest offer. Understand from your agent each of the prospective buyers’ personal circumstances. Have they sold? Do they have a mortgage agreed or are they cash buyers? Are they in a long and complicated chain which could increase the risk of them pulling out?Many estate agents offer other professional services, such as mortgage brokers, solicitors, surveyors etc. They will usually get a kick-back whenever they introduce a client to one of their associated services, which is why they will often try to upsell.
Whilst this can be a really great way to ensure a smooth transaction, especially when all parties are used to communicating on a regular basis, it is important to know that as a buyer or a seller, you are under absolutely no obligation to use an estate agents other professional services.
It is always a good idea to shop around for a deal before you commit to anything and make sure you are comfortable with the company you select. If you have absolutely no idea, speak to friends or colleagues who may have moved recently. Find out how much they paid and what kind of service they received. Were there any hold ups?
My final word on this, is that that the current market is like nothing we have seen for many many years. In some ways it is false, as nobody really seems to know what anything is really worth any more. If you have to move right now, be cautious. Make sure you are selling because you want to move, not just because you want to achieve top whack (you will also pay top price for whatever you go on to buy, so it is all relative). If you are buying, be sure you can really afford it, even if interest rates were to rise…which in time they will.
Of course, if entering what has been described by Henry Pryor as a Bankers Drinks Party is not for you, and you would rather sell your home privately without the frenzied home-moving politics currently surrounding the market, perhaps consider giving WeBuyProperty a call.
We will offer you a no obligation quote, you won’t pay agent fees and we will transact within a matter of weeks – you neighbours need never know until the removal van pulls up!
To discuss in more detail or for any queries, please contact us by:
Phone: 0207 449 9797