Wait and see or go on the market now, that is the question.
To be honest, with what happened in the last budget, the reform of Stamp Duty, this Budget is probably not going to make a lot of difference to buyers or sellers. The thing which could, and was highlighted again on the ‘Today’ programme this morning, is a likely rise in interest rates later in the year.
With the Election less than two months away, people thinking of selling or buying may want to see what it will bring. Any new government, whether the existing colour or not, will take time to make changes or reforms. Therefore, it is unlikely that we will have a clear idea of the direction of travel with regard to property till very late in the year or even 2016.
So, if you want to move, what should you do? We have carried out many valuations over the last few months and often, when we talk again to the sellers, they are still unsure. They want to sell but, for one reason or another, seem to lack some confidence. My feeling is that some people are worried they have ‘missed the boat’ of really high prices from last year, or hope that this is a lull before another price rush, a wave they want to be on. To be honest, it is a bit of a quiet period now and we all in our hearts know why: people have not been putting their properties on the market in the usual numbers for the time of year due to this ‘wait and see’ philosophy. So, the problem and the solution are rolled into one. If people are active and sell, there are buyers to buy, and other properties going on the market which they can then buy...it’s pretty obvious really, isn’t it? If everyone is waiting and seeing, the market will be a bit lacklustre.
This is not doom and gloom. In fact, any properties going on the market are tending to sell quite quickly as there are buyers out there wanting to get on. This is because buying at this time of year is critical for many people because of school moves and if there is not the choice of property, their plans can be stymied.
I can certainly understand why you might be tempted to wait and see how the land lies. The world seems a very complicated place and we try to take it all into account in our decision-making, trying to leave nothing to chance. Of course, reality is never quite the same as our plans. Maybe we need to simplify.
I still recall ‘back in the day’: if you wanted to sell and move, guess what you did? You called your preferred agent around, showed them around, sat them down over a cup of tea or coffee, agreed an asking price and a commission rate and...put the property on the market and sold it. Sounds too simple for 2015 but, believe me, it’s the way you will get moved.
Paul Bonett F.N.A.E.A. M.A.R.L.A.