Spring has sprung for sellers of sen­si­bly-priced prop­erty

Yorkshire Post - Property - - FRONT PAGE - Tim War­ing

NO doubt aided by a large dose of north­ern down-to-earth com­mon sense, I am pleased to re­port an event­ful res­i­den­tial prop­erty mar­ket across the county this spring, with a strong em­pha­sis on the word event­ful.

Even al­low­ing for sea­sonal vari­ance; view­ings, of­fers and sales have all in­creased in re­cent weeks. One might there­fore per­haps con­clude that the worst is over and good times are on the way. This is cer­tainly not the case, it is sim­ply the fact that re­al­ism has fi­nally ar­rived and, as a re­sult, the mar­ket place has started to move.

So what is mak­ing it event­ful? Per­haps the re­cent ex­pe­ri­ences of my team in Har­ro­gate are a good barom­e­ter of what has been hap­pen­ing. One house we han­dled in the el­e­gant Duchy area of Har­ro­gate gen­er­ated 18 view­ings in 10 days, with more than 50 per cent of po­ten­tial buy­ers in a po­si­tion to buy quickly with the prop­erty now un­der of­fer fol­low­ing a clos­ing date for of­fers.

With a sen­si­ble price guide from the out­set, we adopted a high pro­file, tra­di­tional and elec­tronic mar­ket­ing strat­egy with the com­bined power of our web­site and iPhone app, na­tional mail­ing list, eye catch­ing For Sale board, mar­ket lead­ing prop­erty sale brochures and ac­com­pa­nied view­ings all merged to cre­ate a highly suc­cess­ful sales en­vi­ron­ment.

How­ever, by con­trast, an­other in­struc­tion we have been han­dling for some months has been re­duced by al­most 25 per cent but so far has yet to cre­ate any view­ings; not­with­stand­ing util­is­ing all the afore­men­tioned mar­ket­ing tools.

An­other sen­si­bly priced house (or at least it is now, fol­low­ing a price re­duc­tion) has stim­u­lated a num­ber of view­ings re­sult­ing in a sale, in what might be con­sid­ered more se­date cir­cum­stances.

Con­tin­u­ing the event­ful theme, while not of our mak­ing I has­ten to add, we have also been in­volved in a case of gazump­ing, where com­pe­ti­tion, de­ter­mi­na­tion and per­haps even a de­gree of bloody mind­ed­ness has high­lighted one of the flaws of the Sub­ject to Con­tract sys­tem of sell­ing prop­erty in Eng­land and Wales.

So what can one learn from the above, whether you are sell­ing, buy­ing, con­sid­er­ing ei­ther or sim­ply an avid fol­lower of the hous­ing mar­ket in York­shire?

You have to be re­al­is­tic and ac­cept that if a house has been for sale for a num­ber of months, you need to adopt a dif­fer­ent strat­egy. The best of­fer ex­am­ple I men­tioned above is rare but it demon­strates that where a com­mod­ity is con­sid­ered to be cor­rectly priced, the mar­ket­place re­sponds ac­cord­ingly.

Un­for­tu­nately there re­mains a lot of op­ti­mistic pric­ing at the mo­ment, some be­ing owner driven, but of­ten by agents who are, shall we say, keen for busi­ness.

Af­ter all the house doc­tor and life­style tele­vi­sion pro­grammes, you would think that sellers recog­nise the need for suit­able pre­sen­ta­tion. Un­for­tu­nately some don’t and they won­der why po­ten­tial buy­ers say no. But it’s not just own­ers. It stag­gers me that when en­trusted to sell res­i­den­tial prop­erty, some agents still think ama­teur pho­tos taken by the of­fice ju­nior, on a dull day are ac­cept­able. Pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy to show a home in the best pos­si­ble light is es­sen­tial to my mind.

With­out en­cour­ag­ing view­ings, how do you re­al­is­ti­cally ex­pect to re­ceive of­fers? And when it comes to of­fers, do bear in mind it’s not just the head­line fig­ure that’s im­por­tant. Will the buyer ac­tu­ally get the mort­gage fi­nance they want; is there a chain of as­so­ci­ated sales? Buy­ers do ex­pect to ne­go­ti­ate, but we are see­ing sen­si­ble of­fers be­ing made where buy­ers view prop­erty priced prop­erly.

For sellers it’s also a ques­tion of be­ing re­al­is­tic and ac­cept­ing that if you buy and sell in the same mar­ket, it’s the dif­fer­en­tial that’s im­por­tant, not sim­ply a ques­tion of get­ting your price be­cause “we do not have to sell”.

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