Alastair Woodgate looks at how important making the right choice of agent is when planning your next property move.
Markets are forever in flux. That is their nature. So our handling of them must be flexible too.
In the stock market we can buy, hold or sell depending on conditions. In a fruit and vegetable market we can buy the freshest produce early in the morning at the full price, or at the end of the day we can purchase what no one else has bought at a cheaper rate.
The property market is always in flux too. There are occasions when there is a lot of stock and buyers have so much choice they can take their time and sometimes make cheeky offers.
But we are not in that market now. In many places around the UK it is quite the opposite. Figures show that there are up to half as many properties on the market as there were this time last year – and 2017 wasn’t particularly good for stock. So, at present, there is much less choice. Also, with more people chasing fewer properties, there is not so much time to make important buying decisions.
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 good property gets onto a portal nowadays the early bird will have already caught its worm.
Serious buyers behave differently in this market. They know that they need to find a property before it ever reaches a portal – and that 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 local experienced agents know the local market best. They know local people. They know when someone is about to make a move. Then they match who they know wants to sell with who they know wants to buy. Property portals don’t do that. Nor do most of the so-called, on-line ‘local property experts’, who, sadly, often don’t even live and/or work in the same town, never mind the same locality.
So if you are serious about buying get to know your local, well-established, estate agent. You will find his or her knowledge and experience provide the very best value in professional advice – because it won’t cost you a thing. And if you are selling it’s pretty good value too because your local high street estate agents won’t charge you a brass farthing until they have achieved a great sales result for you.