MARKET COMMENT

The million dollar question – how long will it take to sell my house? If I was paid £1 for every time I have been asked that question over the last 35 years, I would be a rich woman … after all, it depends on a number of factors, not least the time of year.

The perception is that spring and summer are the best times to sell your home and as March draws to a close, and fine weather and Easter are upon us, there are encouraging signs that spring 2012 will be a busy one! … And our statistics support this.

We have actually registered 80% more buyers in March 2012 compared with March 2011, and so far in March, we have carried out approaching 350 viewings on properties (the highest monthly number since we opened in 2009), compared with just over 200 in March 2011. In fact, viewing activity levels and sales are up ‘across’ the board, which has got to be a good sign.

So, why do we think this is? My personal view is that so many people have put their lives ‘on hold’ over the last three years waiting for the return of normal market conditions, and by normal, they mean a booming property market. Now they have realised, in fact, that the current difficult market conditions are, and will, be ‘normal’ for the foreseeable future. Someone said to me last week, “I couldn’t care less about the Greek economy, I need a larger house and can afford to make the move, so I am getting on with it.”

Have we all now become immune to the national media pastime of reporting bad news only!

Putting your home on the market at the right price is fundamental to achieving a sale and another positive indicator is that Rightmove reports that new seller average asking prices are up 1.6% this month and the internet based homes portal is seeing its strongest start to the year since 2004, fuelled by the continuing shortage of suitable stock and a jump of 16% in search activity in the first quarter. This could, in part, be due to agents over valuing to gain stock as the marketplace shrinks, and this certainly can be and is the case in parts of this area.

My only advice is to talk to an agent who can demonstrate that they are active and selling homes in your area and who has the experience to make the property market, whatever its state, work for you.

 Debbie Fortune opened her own estate agency in January 2009 in the depths of the property recession. She has quickly expanded her team and area, and now handles the sale of property in North Somerset, theChewValley,Somersetand the Mendips. If you would like to talk to her, call Debbie Fortune Estate Agents on 01934 862370.

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