Are you considering a sale of your home or other property?

The high levels of both buyer and seller confidence seen at the start of the year seem to have continued throughout the summer market, but there’s also clear evidence emerging of a more stable housing market as the year progresses. The frenzy of the past two years has settled into a more manageable, steady environment, a ‘new normal’ or elevated version of the pre-pandemic market. There are several headwinds, including the rising cost of living and the potential for further interest rate rises from the Bank of England as it tackles external forces such as the fuel crisis triggered in part by the Ukraine conflict; these factors may yet impact sentiment.

While there may be further challenges to come, for now our data continues to show confidence in the markets. There are many reasons why people need to move and there are plenty looking to do so. This is particularly true in the regions outside the major conurbations as they look their best right now with the added colour in our gardens – an obvious reason why spring/ summertime is a such an appealing time to sell. 

The challenges of the past two years have ingrained a sense of positivity in the housing market which shows no signs of slowing and as such continues to thrive as serious property seekers get on with the business of moving. 

Estate Agency has changed over the years with the application of technology affecting much of what we do, and the ease with which we can do it. Yet we are firm believers in the maxim that we should act as professionals, “acting in the best interests of our clients at all times”.

Some of our competitors, particularly those well-known brands in the corporate sector, rely upon your instruction to advertise additional services to every person to whom the details of your property may be shown. The fees they can earn from referring solicitors, financial services, insurance and much else can often mean they can afford to discount their fees to encourage you to use their services. 

This can be an expensive mistake, potentially compromising the security of your sale, with some buyers recommended simply because they have opted for some of these services, whereas we would only recommend the best potential purchaser, all things considered. 
This is why we consider ourselves to be truly independent, acting in your best interest. Our staff are free to concentrate on finding you just such a buyer (or tenant) without the constraints of having to meet referral fee targets each month that jeopardise the service you should expect. “

Williamson and Barnes
The Canterbury Auction Galleries
Greenstone Chartered Surveyors

|Whatever the motivation for considering a move, knowledge is power, so we recommend you do some research when choosing an Estate Agent. Make sure that they belong to a professional body such as the National Association of Estate Agents or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Make sure they know the market and have long experience of sales in your area of your type of property. 

Homes are most owners’ most valuable possession, so why take a chance on their sale? All our managers have long experience in the areas they work in and are recognised as true local experts.

Make sure the agent you choose is solely focused on the purpose for which you engage them i.e. to market and sell/let your home at the best price the market will deliver. Referral fees are a scourge of Agency, where some agents are so entrenched in cross-selling other services, that their primary role becomes almost secondary. 

Agents who target their staff to refer both sellers/landlords and prospective purchasers/tenants to financial service providers, solicitors, insurance brokers, removal companies, utility packages and much else may see your instruction as simply a means to exploit a new group of potential customers to their referral services. 

Colebrook Sturrock take no referral fees whatsoever. Our staff are focussed on providing the service you should expect. 

Most homeowners want to achieve the highest price/rent that the market can deliver. So do we, as our commission is dependent upon doing so. But your property price/rent has to be sustainable and justifiable against the competition to have a realistic chance of securing a good level of interest - resulting in a secure sale/let, rather than one where the successful bidder is fretting from the moment their offer has been accepted. 

This is all-the-more important for sales if you have a family home where mortgage funding is likely to be required by the purchaser.

Lending sources are more nervous than ever that the loan being sought is sustainable against the evidence their surveyor has been able to find to support the agreed sale price. 

An owner, the agent and the buyer may all feel that the price agreed is fair, but if a surveyor disagrees, this can mean a lost sale, heartache and the prospect of re-marketing when other unsuccessful bidders may have lost interest. So BE WARY of high valuations by agents who are over-estimating. Ask to see evidence the agent is relying upon to justify their valuation. 

A home that is visually appealing is bound to secure more interest than one that is untidy, chock-full of clutter or has evidence of last night’s supper on show in the kitchen, and towels strewn around the bathroom. We work with a limited number of professional photographers to ensure your home stands out from the competition, so make sure your family are on-side to help and ensure that cars are off the drive, the lawns and beds in the garden have been tended, and bins are out of sight! 

The smell of baking bread or fresh coffee may be arguably the best first impression to aim for but be aware that this may raise suspicion amongst savvy purchasers. Such efforts will certainly be undone if you haven’t addressed the other elements that serve as deterrents, namely visible wall cracks, marks and stains, and children’s toys and pet clutter. Acres of family photographs may mean a lot to you, but should be reduced, along with personal toiletries in the bathrooms. 

Feedback is important and listen out for recurrent themes, be they a pet smell, comments on cleanliness or simply the price. To achieve a sale, you should act on any of these promptly.

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