Date: 17/01/2014

Buy or Sigh

At Samuel Wood we have been taking a look at what property buyers can expect in 2014 and it looks like it might be a year for the seller.  In many parts of the country stocks are already dwindling. Demand has outstripped supply to such a degree that prices are rising.  Estate Agents often get the blame for pushing prices up, but it is the buyers who set the pace.  Whichever way you look at it a property is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.

So here are just a few things to take into account if you are keen to move home this year.

Keep your eye on the big property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla but by the time a new property hits those sites it could well be too late – there may be several people ahead of you in the queue.  Get to know the Estate Agents in the area and ensure that you stay in regular contact with them.  In this market it will be the squeaky wheel that gets oiled.  Making yourself known and heard is the best way to keep ahead.  Make your estate agent your friend not your foe.

Within reason, in a rising market, dare to buy at a future value rather than the present one.  Offer what you think the property will be worth by the time you complete a few months down the line.  By the time you move the value of the house may have risen by about 1%.  This means you can sometimes afford to outbid more timid buyers.  Don’t be mean with your offer – you could lose a good property.

Make sure you are in a good position to buy.  If you have a property to sell then sell it.  At least have it under offer.  If you were deciding between one buyer with a house to sell or another already sold – which would you choose?

Be careful of gazumping. Outbidding on a property where a deal has already been agreed may seem clever but it often leads to misery.  First, the original buyer may top your offer.  Second, of the owner is prepared to go back to the original deal to take a better offer he could well do the same again with you.  Gazumping is not illegal but many would agree it is far from moral.  Take if from one who knows – avoid gazumping like the plague.

Don’t get too excited about the amount you get for your property – the price you pay for the next one could wipe the smile off your face!! In other words what you win on the swings you lose on the roundabouts.

This year I think we will see many more initial asking price offers yet some buyers, still believing they can make silly low offers will be left behind.  I would advise you to do the best thing and enlist the help of an experienced estate agent who is familiar with the market.

However, this doesn’t mean that sellers can slap on any old price for their properties and expect a stampede.  Buyers may be keen but they certainly are not desperate and definitely not stupid.

Happy House Hunting in 2014!

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