By Nick Eley, chairman of the Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents
I am sure many of you have picked up on the recent reports regarding the property market and in particular the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Housing Market Survey for August. The EDP reported recently on a bleak warning from estate agents with sellers often having to cut the price of their home significantly to find a buyer. Surveyors expected house prices over the next 3 months to continue to drop but predict sales numbers to increase as a result, so maybe not such a bleak outlook! When valuing, one of the first questions owners understandably ask about is the current state of the market and in the main I am encouraged by vendor’s expectations. It is certainly a challenging market and here lies the real value of utilising a good quality estate agent and a member of the Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents. Buyers expect to negotiate, so the skill is striking a balance between a realistic asking price to bring potential purchasers through the door and allowing scope for negotiation. My firm recently brought to the market a very interesting detached bungalow in Thorpe St Andrew. Built in the early 60’s and standing on the best part of half an acre with very little updating since its construction. It was described by one client who considered it similar to marmite – you either love it or hate it! We anticipated a good level of interest so held 4 viewing sessions over a 3 week period. Even we were surprised with over 150 viewers! Granted this property was something rather different and the guide figure realistic, but it does demonstrate there are plenty of potential buyers out there. I have heard a number of owners suggesting they are not going to start house hunting until they have some serious interest on their own – please don’t! I would encourage everyone to get serious about buying; more viewings will bring more sales. So stay positive, make sure your agent is proactive in marketing your home encouraging offers, taking fresh photographs especially as we approach autumn, change the emphasis of the wording within the sale details and newspaper advertisement to encourage different types of buyer and don’t be tempted by the highest value and the lowest fee when choosing your estate agent. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is!
Nick is a partner at Watsons in Norwich on 01603 619916.