It’s official – Saffron Walden is experiencing a falling property market. Land Registry figures show that what I’ve been saying for over 6 months is true.
- The number of house sales has dropped;
- The length of time houses are on the market before selling has doubled on average in the last 12 months;
- The number of properties having to reduce their price at least once to sell has gone up by 100% in the last 12 months;
- Actual selling prices achieved in Saffron Walden have dropped over the last 12 months* and judging by the number of properties being reduced in price every week, this is continuing to get worse.
SO HOW DO YOU SELL IN A FALLING MARKET?
What I always say to sellers about really being clear about why you’re moving, how important moving is, not being over-optimistic with your finances and being genuinely committed to the moving process if you do decide to sell, is even more true in a falling market.
What do I mean by being genuinely committed to the sales process?
1. Demanding honesty. Honesty first from yourselves about the pros and cons of your home. Seeing your home through rose-tinted specs will lead you to over-price it and, in a falling market, will just leave you frustrated; And secondly of course, demanding honesty from the agents who give you advice. Any agent that tells you that the market is fine; that they aren’t having any problem selling property and they can get you just as much as you would have got selling 12 months ago is telling you what they think you want to hear to get your business – plain and simple!
2. Preparing your home. You must be prepared to spend time and money where needed repairing and tidying up your property inside and out AND keeping it that way until you find a buyer! This includes de-cluttering. It’s obvious but the more stuff in a room, the smaller it feels;
3. Following on from this, FIRST IMPRESSIONS REALLY DO COUNT! So look at the front of your home as critically as you can. Is it neat and tidy? Or is it scruffy and uncared for? – and this includes the state of the stone, brick or render on the house, not just the driveway and front garden.
Almost everywhere in the south of the UK is being affected by the market downturn, so if you have to take 10% less than you think you would have got last year, you’ll likely get the place you’re buying for 10% less as well. If you think, ‘oh crikey, I’ve lost £30,000’ or whatever, you’ll feel angry and cheated and will try and hold out for more than this market will give you, leading to real frustration as you fail to sell.
I know a couple who have had their house on the market with two different agents for 6 months now without a single viewing. They started at 15% over-priced and have reduced to a mere 10% over-priced. The house is very clean and tidy but the current market just won’t accept the selling tactics that only work in a rising market.
So, in a falling market, only try and sell your house if you really genuinely want or need to, and don’t work your finances out on over-optimistic figures. Sadly, the market doesn’t care about you or your circumstances.
YOU CAN’T MESS WITH A FALLING MARKET – YOU ACCEPT IT, PRICE YOUR HOME PROPERLY AND TAKE IT ON THE CHIN OR YOU WON’T BE SELLING! THE ALTERNATIVE IS TO WAIT UNTIL THE MARKET IMPROVES, AT WHICH CASE A CRYSTAL BALL AND A LOT OF PATIENCE WILL COME IN VERY HANDY.
If you or anyone you know is trying to sell and not getting very far, get them to call me, Steve Cass, on 01799 668233 and I’ll give them honest, professional advice on what they can do to give their house a better chance of selling.
*Data from Zoopla on 03.11.18