Local property experts are essential to help buyers and sellers in 2013

publication date: Jan 2, 2013
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Local property experts are essential to help buyers and sellers in 2013


With property prices being so different on a regional basis, never before has it been as important to secure the help of local property experts before you make your decision to move – or indeed to stay put. 

Since the boom from 2000 to 2006, it is fair to say estate agents, surveyors and conveyancers had it easy. There were huge numbers of new builds in city centres and surrounding suburbs, and prices were on the up and up, so people were finding it easy to buy, gain equity and sell on again. 

From an estate agent’s perspective, it wasn’t about desperately seeking properties to sell, it was about maximising the price for a property and getting the sale through as fast as possible, so there was no room for further negotiation and less likelihood of sellers gazundering buyers. 

Now the market is very different and is likely to remain this way for some years to come. With the supply of properties for sale being less than 50% of pre-credit crunch levels, all agents are doing what they can to secure properties for sale – at a fair price. If they do get a bite from a buyer, they have to deal with huge number of spanners the mortgage lenders are throwing into the works, coupled with nervous buyers and sellers, so just holding a chain together is increasingly difficult and an increasing skill required by property professionals. 

What this means for both buyers and sellers is that expert local knowledge is key. Some agents only care about the instruction and are aggressive in securing a seller’s business or trying to get a buyer to offer. A few agents however, are starting to take the longer term view, appreciating that they may need to invest time and money in explaining to their local market what’s happening in the area. The really go ahead ones are running property clinics during the evening or are investing in ‘no sales pitch’ seminars to help explain what’s happening at a local level. 

It’s these kind of agents, the ones you can pop in and have a chat to about your circumstances and your property without a hard sell, that you should be looking to work with. 

How do you find them?

Here’s my five point checklist to find the local expert agents in your area and ensure they:- 

  1. Provide independent information and back it up with figures, about what’s happening in your local market, for example, are prices are going up, down or staying the same. Is the time to sell above or below average in the area, and is the number of buyers growing versus the number of sellers.
  2. Show you comparisons of similar properties they have sold to yours, or if you are buying, they will have an idea of properties that may be coming onto the market in the future.
  3. Explain the pros and cons of buying different types of properties, for example old properties may require more maintenance, new properties are typically better energy efficiency wise.
  4. Will give timely and genuine feedback about viewings and may even have an on-line system which gives you instant access to feedback at any time of the day or night.
  5. Will work hard to progress the sale to completion on your behalf once an offer has been made, leaving you to worry about everything else!

Over the next few years, many agents may still go bust. They will be the ones that offer poor service and don’t take time to talk or engage with the local community before and after your move. 

There are some good agents out there. They can be hard to find, but if you really want to buy and sell in the current market, you need their expert help to get you through what may be a tough time. 

If you want more help selling your home and are considering trying to sell to a quick sale company or rent out your property, visit Property Checklists which will help you understand whether it’s right for you. The site includes award winning property companies, checked by me, so you can be assured of best advice. 

If you are thinking of selling, then visit Property Checklists or why not buy into our unique One to One Property Services. You can purchase our Sellers Service which will help you value your property to secure a sale and choose the right agent to sell your property for you.

Our unique, independent service gives an A4 ‘how to’ guide, containing dos and don’ts, factsheets, checklists, handy tips and forms. Plus, access to Kate and her team, by phone and email, for an essential 3-4 queries you might have during your project. 

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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