Richmond Estate Agent David Cantell looks back at a testing year for a sector where accurate property valuations proved to be the key to successful transactions.
A challenging year for the sales market is drawing to a close, the question is what really happened to the market in 2017. Undoubtedly we have seen a slight softening in prices, some would speculate this has been caused by Brexit, higher stamp duty, base rate speculation and the new buzz word uncertainty. These perhaps have all contributed to properties in Richmond exchanging at fair values rather than inflated prices.
The old estate agent mantra of get it on (overprice) get it down (bring in line with its real value) get it sold is as endemic as ever, very often damaging the properties end value. Having celebrated our fourth anniversary in June this year, we have agreed the most sales in 2017, having had the fewest price reductions in Richmond. I’m not implying we get it right 100% of the time, in a changing market that would make us messiahs, however the figures demonstrate our ability to advise our clients pragmatically.
If we drill deeper into the detail, 2014, 2015 and 2016 saw only 7% of purchasers that bought through Cantell & Co dependant on selling to buy. This year has seen that rise to 33%, with chain free and cash buyers accounting for 67% of purchases. We are seeing motivated buyers unable to link a sale to a purchase. Selling and buying in England and Wales is like trying to align the planets. An estate agent needs the experience to understand, not just the position of their own transaction but also the link to sales and purchases.
Most solicitors are advising purchasers not just to rely on a mortgage valuation report and that a full structural survey needs to be carried out, regardless of the age or structure of the property, this causes delays. Despite advances in technology the mortgage and conveyancing process still takes weeks, indemnity policies are now required on the majority of transactions. These delays cause anxiety in both buyers and sellers, the role of the estate agent and their experience in understanding and overcoming issues during the process, has become critical.
When we first went into business we had a number of clear goals. Whilst we’re immensely proud of the position we hold in the Richmond market, we feel there is far more to achieve and some of our successes are likely to come from a challenging market will naturally favour experience and knowledge over hard-sell techniques. If you would like considered property advice from our team please get in touch. Alternatively meet our business associates at our property forum on Tuesday’s between 6.30pm and 8.30pm in the White Horse, Worple Way, Richmond, TW10 6DF.