Rightmove.co.uk released its monthly House Price Index, reporting on the state of the housing market across England and Wales and gives its predictions for what house sellers can expect in 2012.
While Rightmove cites figures which for the most part highlight trends nationally with some regional analysis, this month, Rightmove has gone to great pains to emphasise that 2012 will see the state of the market varying widely from neighbourhood to neighbourhood or even property to property.
Using the phrase “micro-markets”, Rightmove believes that prices will be dependent on the very specific conditions in your local area.
Prices Rose Year on Year Nationally
With many buyers and sellers busy celebrating the holiday season, it is not surprising that Rightmove’s national figures show that new sellers coming to the market in December, listed their properties for 2.7% less than the new sellers in the month before. Perhaps more surprising is that asking prices are marginally up year-on-year (+1.5%) across England and Wales.
Rightmove predicts that 2012 will be as challenging for the property market as 2011 has been. The property website feels that current status quo will be maintained, “resulting in another small rise in nominal average asking prices.”
The Key to Success in the Property Market in 2012
The latest Rightmove report is careful to point out that the success (or failure) of selling property in the new year will be dependent on how well buyers and sellers grasp that “national” or generalised view of the market will simply not apply.
This is where the term “micro-markets” comes into play.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove explains: “The market fragmentation caused by the credit crunch means that success in selling now requires a very careful and complex local market analysis. As always it involves location, but the number of mortgage-ready buyers you can attract is now dictated by the type and size of property that you are selling. With all but the most appealing properties, pitching at too high a price and waiting for offers is a route to stagnation. Four years of increasingly dire economic news have also trained consumers’ brains to look for stand-out value from day one of marketing. Welcome to the complex world of your very own local ‘micro-market’”.
Advice for Home Sellers
Rightmove has advised that sellers must see their estate agent as their ”most trusted advisor”. While estate agents’ stereotypical image defies the “most trusted advisor” label, estate agents will provide a seller with not only a method of marketing their property but also the in-depth local information necessary to manage to sell a property in the “micro-market” atmosphere.
Rightmove advises that with an experienced estate agent’s expertise behind them, a seller will only then have “the competitive edge needed to attract what buyers there are in their local marketplace.” If the location, character, and accommodation are truly above the ordinary then the estate agent will be able to match a buyer to the criteria met by your property.
However, the Rightmove report also cautions: “In a market where buyers are driven to hunt for value, the surest way to sell a standard-sounding property is to make the price well below the standard. That is a financially painful step for many sellers, and a step that is not possible for those on the borders of negative equity or who need a large deposit to fund their planned move.”
Miles Shipside, CEO of Rightmove adds: “In the volume market of 2007 an average property at an average price had a good chance of selling. In 2012 average on any count will not be good enough.”
So as a seller, you need an estate agent with a great deal of local knowledge who takes the time to get to know their buyers. You also need an estate agent who does not resort to flattering you and your property with a higher than achievable asking price at the valuation in order to secure an instruction.
How Do You Know What Estate Agent to Trust?
So if your estate agent must be a “most trusted advisor”, which agent do you place your trust in?
1. Choose one with professional memberships – Just like you would choose an ABTA registered travel agent, choose an estate agent, like Northfields, who voluntarily belongs to regulatory bodies. You will be assured of professional standards and will be protected from sharp practice.
2. Choose an award winning agent – An award winning agent will be acknowledged by property experts as exceeding industry standards will give you peace of mind that your property sale is in the best hands. Northfields regularly wins industry awards which keeps the company’s high standards at the forefront.
3. Ask for Proof of Prices – To avoid an estate agent who tells you want to hear at your valuation by inflating the achievable asking price of your property, ask every agent who comes to value your property for “comparables”. Comparables is a term used by agents and surveyors to compare similar properties to find the most realistic price for your property. An agent who is giving you a realistic and achievable price, will have done their homework. They’ll know what similar properties in your area will have sold for recently. They’ll know at what price properties similar to yours are currently being marketed and therefore what properties you will be competing with for buyer attention.
Call Northfields today on 0208 840 6666 or click here to request your valuation online - for a realistic valuation and local advice you can trust.