publication date: Aug 6, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
What to ask the Agents to better understand your Local Property Market
Estate agents are often given a bad rap by the media, but Kate Faulkner, one of the top UK’s property experts believe this is unfair and now a ‘myth’. “Just like not all of your work colleagues are great at their job, not all agents are brilliant at theirs.” Kate believes that most agents, if approached properly with sensible questions, will work really hard to help you and make sure you make the right decision, whether you are a buyer or a seller.
The first thing you need to know when buying or selling in any market is what’s happening to properties. Ignore media headlines on property prices, they are very misleading as different properties in different areas can be going up, down or staying at the same price. Check out agents that have ‘sold’ properties ie not just got lots of ‘for sale’ signs up locally, but lots of ‘sold’ signs too.
To find out what is happening locally, check out our article and secure your ‘Hometrack’ information on the local market, then ask the agents the following questions:-
- What is happening to house prices this month, are people reducing or increasing their asking prices?
- What sort of offers versus the marketing price are buyers making, is it near to or some distance away? If they say ‘some distance’ away give them an example, such as ‘OK so if I had a property advertised for £100,000 would I expect to get an offer £80,000? £90,000?
- How long is it taking to secure an offer on a property?
- Are there lots of new properties for sale coming onto the market?
- I am looking for a two bed terrace (or whatever it is you are buying) are there lots of properties on the market to choose from?
- Are there many first time buyers or investors around?
- Are any properties not selling at the moment? If yes, what’s the problem?
- Are many purchases falling through after offers have been accepted? What are the reasons they are falling through?
- Are there lots of repossessions locally? This will help you know if there are any bargains to secure.
- If I was to put a three bed house (or whatever property you are looking to buy/sell) on the market today how much would it sell for, in how many weeks and how many buyers do you currently have looking for a properties like this? Feel free to give the agent particular areas you are looking at.
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