The property market has been modestly rising for the past few years – steadily recovering from the recession of 2008 and achieving new and sustainable levels of growth.
However the Brexit result on 23 June signalling the UK's decision to leave the EU has created an air of uncertainty. With the path forward for the moment unclear, people have understandably been less keen to make large financial decisions.
While some predicted a sudden and dramatic weakening of the market, activity and prices have remained stable. ESPC’s housing reports show that the number of properties coming to market immediately after the result dipped significantly, but this swiftly recovered in the following weeks. Buyer demand remains strong, indicating a continuing positive market for sellers.
Even in the face of some uncertainty, we know that property will always need to exchange hands. Younger generations will want to get on the ladder, older generations will need to downsize. Families grow, change and move and you may need to change your home in order to adapt.
For those who want to make a move it’s tempting to look for the lowest cost solution as a form of protection against uncertainty – after all, there are so many estate agents, and even websites, that claim to be able to do the job for seemingly bargain prices.
Getting the most for your money
But while everyone likes a good deal, as any savvy shopper knows – buy cheap and you will end up paying the price elsewhere.
With a shortage of available property and a growing population, there will always be demand from buyers so there’s likely an audience for your property out there. But how will they find it? If they find it, will it be positioned correctly in terms of photography and promotion and – likely most importantly for the seller – will it be marketed at the right price?
No matter the market conditions the one factor that can be a real game-changer in any property market is value for money - a quality solicitor estate agent may cost more but what they contribute to the process in terms of experience, local knowledge and expertise can be more than repaid in an enhanced sale price.
How to choose the best agent
If you are thinking of selling in the near future – or even further down the road, it’s worth considering the following points when deciding on the best way to sell what is likely to be your most expensive asset.
- - With an online agent you lose out on the personal advice and true local knowledge a solicitor estate agent can provide. The property market can vary hugely - even from street to street - so make sure your agent knows your location inside out.
- - Moving can be stressful, so appointing an agent that offers a dedicated point of contact throughout your transaction - someone that you have met, trust and that you can turn to for support whenever you need it - makes a big difference.
- - How are buyers and viewers vetted online? A quality solicitor estate agent is rigorous in checking the quality of enquiries and status of buyers to ensure that your time isn’t wasted.
- - What advertising and promotional activity does the agent’s standard marketing fee cover? Beware of add on’s and hidden fees – the headline price is often not what you end up paying!
- - Will the agent use professional photography and high quality brochures with a good online representation?
- - Does the agency have a database of potential buyers they can personally approach about your sale?
- - Are professional viewing staff available to show the property?
- - If it comes to a one-on-one negotiation or a competitive bidding situation, can you rely on their experience and expertise to achieve the best result?
Importantly it comes down to whether your chosen agent will be proactive in finding potential buyers, following up leads and maximising the value of your property – or will they let it sit on a couple of portals and see what happens? The latter will not drive the best sales price for your property.
In a potentially challenging market it’s more important than ever to make sure you get the most for your money – and that doesn’t always mean spending less. A quality agent is worth their weight in gold – another few hundred pounds for their expertise can achieve an extra few thousand pounds on the sale price and takes a lot of the stress and effort off your shoulders. Now that sounds like value for money!