Wed 12 Sep 2018 View all news articles

Property market comment: Moving? It pays to do your homework

Autumn is traditionally a popular time to move house.

Sebastian Hipwood from Savills in Cirencester, recommends doing your homework before taking your property to market.

As the long hot summer draws to a close and autumn makes an appearance, many people will be thinking of a new start.

For some this means making the decision to put their home on the market.

But how much is your home worth?

And what is demand really like in your neck of the woods?

Likewise, what are house prices actually doing?

When it comes to selling, you’ll want to know the answers to all these questions – and more – and, of course, the agents you invite to pitch for your business will be happy to furnish you with their views and advice.

Good agents will give you straightforward information based on experience and sound market knowledge but, if you haven’t moved house for years and you’re not a follower of market minutiae, it may not necessarily be what you expect to hear.

So how do you judge whose opinion to listen to?

Just as many of us do before any major purchase, be it a new car or state-of-the-art fridge-freezer, I would always advise anyone considering putting their house on the market to do a little research of your own before meeting any agents.

That way you are better placed to weigh up what you are hearing, especially when it comes to value.

The market remains price sensitive so realistic expectations are very important.

A good place to start is to seek out what the leading players are saying.

Look for recognised brands and check out their research reports online.

See who is quoted in the property press and read their take on the market – don’t just rely on what can sometimes be sensational headlines.

Remember though that national and regional overviews can mask a multitude of local variations.

You should also be aware that hotspots can and do change over time – a high or poor performing school can make a big difference to the desirability of an area, as can improved local infrastructure and amenities.

Arming yourself with some background knowledge will allow you to make an informed decision about how to market what is likely to be your most valuable asset.

If it transpires your home is not worth quite what you thought, or your area isn’t bang on trend, then challenge an agent to come up with a strategy that will maximise exposure to potential buyers and so stand the best chance of a successful sale.

Find out more about selling your property with our Sellers Guide.

Source: Stroud News & Journal

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