As we head into spring, Nick Churton of Mayfair Office looks at what’s required to win the race to buy a home.
Markets are forever in flux. So our handling of markets must be flexible.
We can buy, hold or sell in the stock market depending on conditions. In a fruit and vegetable market we can buy the freshest produce early in the morning at the full price. Or we can purchase what no one else has bought at a cheaper rate in the late afternoon.
The property market is also in constant flux. There are occasions when there is a lot of stock and buyers have so much choice they can take their time and sometimes make low ball offers.
But we are not in that market now. In many areas around the UK it is quite the opposite. Figures show that generally there are twice as many buyers as there are properties to buy. This is hard enough for buyers. But, in hotspot areas, there are many more buyers per property – result, a feeding frenzy.
So forget a leisurely, late evening, glass-in-hand, browse through your preferred property portal. It is not going to help very much. Because by the time a property gets onto a portal nowadays, the early bird will have already caught its worm.
Serious buyers behave differently in this sort of market. They know they need to find a property before it ever reaches a portal. And the best way to do this is to get to know their local independent estate agent so they can be first in the queue for the pick of the properties.
You see the experienced local agents know their own market best. Years of working in their area mean they know local people and – crucially - often hear first when someone is about to make a move. Then they carefully match those who want to sell with those want to buy. Property portals don’t do that.
If you are serious about buying this spring, get to know your local, well-established estate agent. You will find their knowledge and experience provide the very best in buying advice. And if you are selling, their knowledge, experience - and list of buyer contacts - is vital in a hot market.