According to the latest data from HM Land Registry and the ONS, the numbers of homes selling continues to fall (12% down October 2016 to October 2018) whilst selling prices have stabilised/ risen modestly at around 1.7 percentage points above annual inflation (to the end of 2018).
Nationally, there is a great deal of talk and circumstantial evidence that the numbers of properties coming to the market are also continuing to fall and, that selling prices are beginning to level off. There are many discussions by industry experts and suppliers that buyers are also biding their time as we get closer to Brexit and the political parties appear to be tearing themselves apart. Whatever your view on Brexit (and I am firmly in the pro’ camp) a lack of clear vision and deliverable plan/ timescale by the two main party leaders is almost certainly a factor.
How does this affect you if you are selling?
I do not believe for one second that we are about to enter a market crash (despite what the doomsayers have been saying since well before the 2016 vote) nor do I believe we are likely to see a sudden surge in prices post March the 29th (if it happens). Assuming a Brexit (with or without a deal), I believe there will be a release of pent-up demand and the market will experience a brief surge in both sales and property listings; the latter most likely cancelling out any major price effects of the former.
If you are already up for sale: Whichever agent you are with, talk to them! If they are keeping in touch with you, talking sense and inspire you with confidence in their knowledge and abilities, stick with them; they probably deserve your trust. If you never hear from them, they spin you yarns and you have little confidence in their abilities or experience; now is THE best time to change! Changing to a new agent, who talks honestly, with market insights, can provide hard evidence rather than glossy hype and inspires confidence will deliver results.
For more information on whether you should change agents, read this article
If you are thinking of selling in the next few weeks: The next few weeks could be a smart time to sell, with little competition from other properties and the potential of a buyer surge after we exit the EU, you may just sell for a little more than you were expecting
Do your research on which agents are right for you and what you want to achieve (a quick sale, the best price, excellent service or a good balance of all of these factors). Despite what folklore or the ‘bloke down the pub’ might have you believe, not all estate agents are the same and there are some excellent ones out there, as well as some seriously dodgy businesses. Ask to see evidence of how they arrived at the price they want to list your home at. Was it based on selling prices of similar properties or, just impressive looking asking prices and a smooth patter? Will they accompany all viewings? Do they passively just list your home on a property portal or, do they actually ring up potential buyers and sell your home (do some secret shopping by posing as a potential buyer).
Did you know that the majority of buyers move just a few miles from their existing home? Having a national/ international presence is important when you employ an agent but, choosing one who uses social media and has an excellent local marketing reputation is, for the majority of properties (but not all) more important.
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