publication date: Aug 10, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
If you need to sell: Listen to your local Property Professionals!
Unfortunately many sellers will trust what they hear in the media a lot more than they will believe from their local estate agent. If the well known and trusted BBC say ‘prices are going up by 5%' we will believe them rather than a local agent telling us ‘prices have slipped by 5%'. For buyers it is the same, certainly in the first few months of their home hunt.
The problem though is most of the estate agents will give a more accurate idea of what's happening to property prices. At the moment, we have areas that are recovering to the dizzy heights of 2007 while other properties and areas are selling homes at half what they were worth a few years ago.
And with few buyers around at the moment and the credit crunch squeeze still holding mortgage lenders back, sellers who don't carry out research to find out what their property is really worth from an agent that is currently selling similar property types, are likely to get left on Rightmove for some time!
The issue is that the current economic recession together with the different levels of wealth, particularly with regard to the amount of equity in people's homes, means some people (and areas) can afford to move while others were achieving over inflated house prices in the run up to 2007. This means that some areas - typically the more well off - have lots of cash rich buyers who can still afford to buy and sell while other areas are suffering from a whole host of repossessions. Repossessions are typically from buyers who over stretched themselves and now can't re-mortgage at reasonable rates or who have lost so much equity in their home they can't find a lender to lend to them and these properties are often being sold at less than half their value. Areas like Nottingham are selling out two bed terraces for around £45,000, other areas you can get them for a real bargain at between £20,000 and £40,000, prices not seen since back in 2000!
As such if you want to sell your property, you need to be realistic about the price you can achieve and to know this you need to listen to local property professionals such as estate agents and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. They know what's happening locally, despite popular opinion, it's not in their interest to ‘lie' about the market as they can't persuade a buyer to buy your home based on porky pies, especially as buyers can now check out how much properties are actually selling out for and websites like Hometrack show what the market is like.
To work out what your local property selling market is like, read our article How to check out the Local Property Market. Also take a look at Choosing an Estate Agent to Sell Your Home
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