It's a busy time for estate agents

It's a busy time for estate agents

Apparently the UK economy is growing faster than any other country in Europe, but all I know is that it’s a busy time for estate agents, the market is moving, the sun is out and buyers are for a change being decisive!

It’s still a buyer’s market though and I’m meeting viewers who have seen between ten and twenty properties and they still haven’t made up their mind. It’s a big decision.

Unless your house is located in a very desirable area, in immaculate condition and priced correctly, you will not be party to a feeding frenzy of the like that I witnessed last week. For the first time in a long while, for one particular property, we had an abundance of offers and decided to put the sale to a closed bidding process. Think ebay but without seeing what the other party is offering. It sounds like it’s clearly open to abuse, but we gave a timed deadline, didn’t let on to anyone what the bids were (including the seller), and at 15.30 the highest bid won. All buyers had been qualified, were in the same position and could proceed. The house was sold within a few days of entering the market, and achieved a price above the initial asking price.

It can be very frustrating when a house doesn’t sell though. All the reports in the media are that houses are moving and being sold, and the expectation levels are raised. Reports of prices rising add a sense of urgency into the market for the buyers, and at the same time attract higher asking prices for sellers who wish to test the market.

Finding the correct asking price isn’t always as easy as people think. You could check Zoopla which will work out an automated valuation for you, but in reality the price depends on the condition of your home, the age of the property, the style, the presentation, the competition, local schools, amenities, the list is endless and of course your house is only worth what a buyer is prepared to spend.

Some sellers are frustrated because they bought in the boom which peaked in 2007, read the media reports and think now is the time to sell – I’ll get my money back now! However, in Hinckley we’re not quite there yet. The “bubble” hasn’t reached us. In fact I was talking to an Estate Agent from Nottingham last week and he was bemoaning the fact that the price rises haven’t reached them either and yet media commentators are pushing for the brakes to be applied to the economy. Another agent from Rotherham who I spoke with said that prices are still going down in her area.

Who knows what will happen in the future, but as long as new houses are being built, old ones bought and sold and people buy new kitchens and bathrooms and redecorate, then the housing market will contribute well to the growth of the economy.