The latest survey by the Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors (RICS) has painted a grim picture for buyers and sellers alike, and paired with political uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations, the UK property market continues to lack the vigour it once boasted.
In recent years we have experienced a slight uplift within the housing market around autumn time before the festive season commences, however that does seem to currently be the case.
The RICS survey helped to shed some light on the current state of the property market, with the headline house price balance falling to a four month low of -2, whilst the number of enquiries from buyers fell from -9 percent to -11 percent, and the time taken to complete the sale of a property increased to 19 weeks.
It is in the wake of the RICS report and the decreasing faith in the unstable political system, that both recreational and professional buyers and sellers are postponing activity until the market stabilises post-Brexit.
If you’re looking to sell your house, buy a new property or simply expand your portfolio, then knowing the top tips for selling and buying in a slow market could be the difference between your success and your defeat.
Choosing the right estate agent
Picking an estate agent that is suited to your particular circumstances and individual goals is arguably the most important step when selling or buying property in a slow market. Whether you opt for a high street agent, an online agent or a hybrid mix of the two, the most important factor to consider is performance.
Reviews are a great way of measuring an agent’s previous performance, and you can get real life relatable advice and suggestions from those who have already been through the process.
Whilst it might be nice to save yourself a bit of money, choosing a cheap estate agent could create more problems than it solves. If you aren’t prepared to sell for less than your original asking price, then you should look for estate agents that sell above the average asking price – these are usually the ones that charge a little more and have more expertise in the field.
Research, research, research
The importance of research cannot be understated. If you take statistics, reports and news stories regarding the property market at face value, then you’re likely setting yourself up for disappointment.
Despite the unsettled market, some regions and cities continue to prosper and buck the trends seen elsewhere. Likewise, you may believe that your property is in a prime location with steep house prices, but until you undertake in-depth, area based research, you cannot set any expectations.
Being realistic with property prices goes hand-in-hand with doing your research. If you’ve gained a deeper understanding of the market in your area, then you should have a realistic price expectation in mind that is reflective of other properties on the market, house price growth and transaction levels – this applies to both buyers and sellers!
You must also take into account external factors such as current and future political affairs, for example Brexit. In the wake of political uncertainty, buyers simply aren’t willing pay the high entry costs that they once were as a result of increasing caution and decreasing faith.
Despite daunting trends, the market continues to welcome new buyers and sellers, and with lenders now offering attractive low-rate loans in a bid to increase market activity, we could begin to see a slight uplift in the coming months.