03 January

If wishes were sales, sellers would move

Nick Churton of Mayfair Office looks at what it takes to make things happen in the property market this New Year, because wishing is no longer enough.

This time last year Russia hadn’t set foot on Ukrainian soil, the chickens were still to come home to roost for Boris Johnson, we had hardly heard of Liz Truss and were barely out from Covid restrictions: nor had interest rates reached a 14-year high or the nurses, train drivers, postal workers, etc., embarked on strike action. Also, the property market was only showing tentative signs of cooling.

It is difficult to imagine now how the property sector could not have been greatly affected by all that has happened at home and abroad during 2023.

Yet despite all the political and economic turmoil, the property market is still active. If anything, the market has reached a more normal level of activity. It’s just that most activity is down to the doers and not the wait-and-seers.

There are two ways to sell property. The first is to let it happen. That has been fine over the past few years when all many had to do was to open the door to lots of open-house viewers and then bask in the flood of cash offers that ensued.

The second way to sell a house is to make it happen. Now that the market has turned in favour of buyers, sellers can’t sit back; they have to take the initiative. So, to location, location, location as a strong buying feature we must add price, price, price and condition, condition, condition.

Just as the recent seasonal festivities wouldn’t happen without people taking control and putting up decorations and cooking meals, a property won’t sell without some effort from sellers to prepare it for the market. If that means setting a competitive asking price and keeping a welcoming exterior and neat and spotless interior, then so be it.

Good estate agents are doers by nature, training and experience. But they can’t do it alone, they need their clients’ support and agreement. This teamwork is essential to get things done. To make things happen in the property market in 2023, don’t be a wisher be a doer.

We wish all our clients and friends a very positive, healthy, and happy New Year.