So the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, Christmas is apparently just around the corner, the “uncertainty” hype over Europe continues and those balmy summer evenings only a few months ago seem a distant memory. “So why would I want to sell my house at the moment”, said a potential client earlier this week? I suspect this question has been asked of many agents across Yorkshire of late, no doubt attracting an interesting array of responses.
So for what’s it worth I give you my take, particularly given the perception in some quarters that not a lot is happening in the residential property world at present.
Any marketplace is a function of supply and demand. A quick online search will soon tell you there has been a limited supply of homes coming up for sale this autumn. As such it could be argued you will not have as much competition if you decide to sell now, and you will be ahead of those who are holding back until the spring. Whether that is because of Brexit, or because gardens will look better, is a moot point. There is an increasing number of potential buyers who are frustrated they cannot find what they want and if they in turn have a property to sell, they are not going to market either, and we have inertia.
So how will this impasse be broken? I am firmly of the view there is plenty of intention, but it’s clear the drawn out nature of Brexit is simply proving to be an extended equivalent of what happens prior to a general election; namely a lull beforehand and then a burst of activity afterwards. The winter is often a period where estate agents revert to their traditional roots, namely matching buyers and sellers with only limited use of modern technology, nor the attendant cost and publicity associated with a formal sales campaign because properties are offered for sale “low key”.
I envisage this winter will see much more of this type of selling than normal, endorsing my belief the market place in reality holds much more intent than is currently apparent. Are you are thinking of moving? Then do make sure estate agents in your area are aware of your requirements. With the growth of discreet marketing, there is a strong chance they will know of individuals who are willing either to sell or buy now, rather than wait until well into 2019.
So if this appeals, let me dispel a few potential concerns. Just because there are no leaves on the trees, does not mean a property is worth less than when a garden is in full bloom. It might be cold and wet outside, but a south-facing terrace is still a sales attribute. If any view is shrouded in cloud, a selection of summer photos will whet the appetite. The number of bedrooms, the standard of the kitchen fittings, the size of the sitting room, the décor are unlikely to change in the next six months. And if gutters are leaking because it’s raining, then repairs can be made before any damage gets worse.
Agents will often tell you the best property sales take place without “going public” and I am no different. It does give you the chance to test the market discreetly, leaving the opportunity to openly market your property in the spring by which time you will have put stripes on the lawn and tidied the garden.
Tim Waring is spearheading Lister Haigh’s regional residential expansion. email: firstname.lastname@example.org