Is now a good time to enter the market?
Property finder Stephen Wolfenden offers advice on the current property marketplace to would-be vendors and buyers
It’s been over 3 months since the EU referendum and we’re fast approaching the end of 2016. We’ve had political upheaval, post-Brexit uncertainty and interest rate cuts in this year alone. For the fast-moving world of house-buying-and-selling, what does the future hold? Is now really a good time to enter the property market?
This is not easy to answer. Frustratingly, there are as many questions raised as there are answers. It all comes down to the location and type of property you want to buy or sell, as well as your budget.
To put yourself in the best possible position, here are the most important questions that you need to ask yourself, whether as a vendor or a buyer:
As a vendor:
- Will I get a good price for my property? This depends on the type of property. If you have a beautiful garden, for instance, it’s not a good idea to sell during winter as it won’t be looking its best; in any event, always take advice from at least one local estate agent.
- Are there buyers looking to purchase my property? There are no generalities, it really does depend on the location. I predominantly carry out property searches in Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. Here there is a sellers’ market for quality property and a dire shortfall of such properties, particularly in the medium and upper price ranges. So if you are looking to sell a house in Oxfordshire, you will most likely get a good price at any time of year.
- Will I be able to find a property I want to buy? With the current property shortage, it can be very frustrating. If possible, my advice is that you need to consider the transaction in three stages. First sell your current home, complete the transaction, then rent for a period before purchasing your next property. You need to put yourself in the same position as someone who can buy and move within 28 days.
- Is my property ready to sell? First impressions count and make a real difference to buyers. Declutter your house, make it look attractive but avoid large-scale refurbishments. Show off the potential of your house and be transparent with your buyers.
- When did you last have your property valued? Get an up-to-date valuation by contacting a local estate agent for advice.
As a buyer:
- Do I have the funding in place to purchase a property?
- Do I know the area in which I want to buy?
- Do I know what type of property I want to buy?
- Is my own property sold?
- If I was asked to exchange contracts within 28 days, could I do it?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions above, then now may not be the right time to enter the market.
As a property finder, I often find that most people probably find it easier to list the things they know they don’t want in their next property more than what they do want. Be clear about the location and the budget of your desired property, but be prepared to compromise on what type of property it is. Remember that estate agents act for vendors, not sellers, to get them the best possible price. Have an open mind and take advice from a property finder if you’re stretched for time. And be prepared to throw out your preconceptions – if you’ve dismissed everything you’ve seen online as it’s not detached, then you could be missing out on your perfect house!
In summary, from my own experience Brexit has had little, if any, effect on the local property market; my enquiries for help are as high as they have ever been, there is still a shortage of quality property out there and all the advice above would have been just as relevant before Brexit!
Good luck in your property search!