There’s never a dull moment in this industry!
As most of you will know, property prices have declined over the last few months, however we still have plenty of motivated buyers calling in. August and September were quieter than usual for viewings, but the buyers we saw were serious, and the ratio of viewings to offers improved dramatically.
October, right from the get-go has been incredibly busy for viewings so for us at least, the market isn’t slower, but keener.
So who’s moving? There are several demographics who are buying:
We work with a lot of downsizers both as sellers and buyers. They’re looking to reduce the cost and time implication of running houses bigger than they need, to free up funds and time to travel and enjoy their retirement. La dolce vita!
Mortgage rates have stabilised so those looking to grow their families and/or work from home are keen to upsize to accommodate their needs.
As always, we’re seeing buyers from London looking to move from apartments in the city to houses in the countryside.
The majority of our buyers come from overseas. Often, they’re cash buyers looking to move back to the UK to be nearer children and grandchildren.
A large number of buyers sold their homes in the last two years and went into rented accommodation. With a chronic shortage of rental properties driving rental prices up significantly, renting is no longer a long term solution, so they’re looking to put down roots.
So how do you appeal to these markets?
Moreso than ever, correct pricing is imperative – correctly priced homes are getting a lot of interest. For those who check how long our properties have been on the market, we only mark properties as under offer when a survey has been carried out and the buyer has confirmed they’re happy with the results. In some cases our sellers ask us to keep them marked as available until contracts are exchanged. In the meantime, we keen a wait list of interested buyers in case a sale does fall through. So those properties marked as available with us may be under offer. Do call us to find out if you’re interested.
The pain point
Meanwhile, this year we’re seeing an increase in conveyancing issues. Buyer’s solicitors are asking for indemnity after indemnity after indemnity. Solicitors are covering their own behinds, sometimes at the cost of reason or sanity, and indeed a successful move. For example, I’ve just dealt with a situation where a buyer’s solicitor wanted an indemnity for a car-port being removed. Planning permission has been granted to build an extension on that exact spot, with no requirement that it’s built around the car-port, so it stands to reason the car-port is coming down. It’s really important to apply common sense on such matters.
Fixing the pain point
With this in mind, we’re working on an approach that will reduce the time the conveyancing process takes, providing up-front information to address issues that may arise in the conveyancing process and ultimately, reduce the time it takes to complete the sale/purchase of a home. The Scottish system is so much better than ours, and this approach mimics that to a degree.
Dare I say it, fixing this issue shouldn’t be our job, but we’re in the business of selling homes so whatever needs to be done to achieve that, we will do. Unlike mass-market estate agents who work on a volume basis (list enough properties and some will sell) we’re very focused on getting every property across the line.
Watch this space for an update – we’ll have it in place for next month’s newsletter!