Welcome back! That was as long a Summer as I’ve enjoyed without Sun as far as I can even remember!
Business however was brighter. There was none of the traditional slow down over the months of July and August whatsoever. Instruction levels were high and the interest accordingly. The buyers we needed to attract had obviously decided to not take gloriously long overseas holidays and instead concentrate on securing new home’s for themselves!
Such a successful Summer led me to review the market in general and a couple of valuations I was involved with.
Now, more than ever, the asking price for a home is so crucial that an overvaluation will have such negative effect it will simply show buyers what good value neighbouring homes are instead of your own. I am not saying undervaluing is the solution but, put simply, it bears no risk in comparison to its capitalist and heinous cousin, the greedy valuation.
If a house is truly “undervalued” whether purposefully or accidentally then the worst that will happen is the public will agree it’s exceptional value and numerous offers will then be received. Through negotiation the price then reaches the correct (and increased value!). Although as a buyer this can be an unpleasant experience, a good agent, if they handle it correctly and honestly, will offer advice and build relationships that will help those unlucky first time round (or third if you are like myself!) that will come good in the end.
I looked at the Purple Bricks very carefully. I saw more local instructions with Purple Bricks than any other agent. With false promises (semantics if you will) of no commission (fee’s instead) and a NO SALE BUT STILL PAY OUR FEE philosophy, there is no surprise to see that their “Price Reductions” are also the highest in the local area.
Without being too simplistic about it, the easiest way to achieve an instruction is to tell a client that there property is worth more than it is. Add that to “pay me whether it sells or not” and you have an agent whose ethos is for “being paid for instructions to sell houses for less than the listed price”. If you want annual statistics to prove this point in Black and White (not Purple) then contact me and I’ll be happy to explain that all that glitters isn’t Gold (but it is possibly Purple!).
After some careful analysis that we would be delighted to present to any potential client wishing to sell their home, we seem to have bucked a national trend somewhat.
The latest data from NAEA Propertymark has revealed that, during Februrary, agreed house sales rose to a 10 year high – 74% of which were below the original asking price, suggesting sellers are becoming more realistic when it comes to property transactions.
This, although clearly good news, and personally to me, a positive move in terms of reality and affordability, is not what we have observed ourselves. Since January 1st this year we have agreed 35% more sales than the same period last year. Of this and if we consider 100% of our agreed sales we have found that 70% have sold for the asking price or higher.
As a business we are delighted with these results. Now we find that they may be even bucking the trend.
If priced correctly and marketed without compromise and as well as physically possible then asking prices and over asking prices can certainly be achieved.
If your marketing is simply so so and your asking price is too high then what hope could a seller possibly have. Please don’t fall down into this trap.
I valued a house on Friday that needed decorating, offered nothing exceptional at all and had been marketed for 10 weeks by another agent. The asking price was close to 10% too high, the photography was poor and the “professional” advice he received (which achieved only four viewings in 10 weeks) was “don’t worry about the decoration, the new owners can do it themselves”.
Honestly, it’s no wonder Estate Agents aren’t taken seriously sometimes.
I’m not talking about braggadocio or arrogance here. I’m not even discussing an ability (or lack of) to point out a properties most “sellable” assets. What I’m referring to is our nations endearing strength in it’s own beliefs. With the trigger of Article 50 due later this week many conversations I’ve had over the last fortnight have asked for my opinion on “what will happen?”. Why anyone would ask me I don’t know, but it’s made for a few interesting exchanges.
The HomeOwnersAlliance, after studying recent data released by The Office for National Statistics, revealed the extraordinary evidence that self confidence has not only bucked a trend but stuck candles in it and launched it skyward.
The five regions which voted most strongly to leave the EU have all seen property price increases in excess of 3 per cent compared to June 2016, with the East of England the fastest-growing region at 4.25 per cent.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the only three regions which voted to remain have seen substantially slower growth.
Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance said
“There is a clear pattern here; areas that voted more strongly to leave the EU have seen property prices grow faster over the past six months than areas that were pro-remain.
“Of course, house prices are dictated by a myriad of economic, political and social factors, but confidence – the all-important ‘feel-good factor’ – is vital.
This really does show how “optimism” can “trump” negativity. The public feeling more confident in both their everyday lives and working environments is echoed by willingness to not only buy but also to spend. Of course, in regions where many incomes are generated by overseas trade and the associated industries that support it, a real nervousness about personal circumstances cannot be underestimated.
Why would you be willing to invest where uncertainty reigns? Like most aspects of life it all boils down to how confident you feel and no advice or opinion can normally alter that!
You’ve just won £250,000 on the lottery but need to pay £500 to have the cheque couriered to you! A relative has left £1.1 Million to you but it’s in a holding account in Nigeria! We Buy Any Car have told you your car is worth more than you could sell it for yourself on Auto Trader! You think your house is worth about £250,000 but an Estate agent with a low volume of agreed sales tells you it should be marketed at £325,000!
If these declarations sound too good to be true, it’s because they are! Since January 1st 2017 we have agreed sales on an incredible amount of new instructions. Sensible sellers, once the facts are presented, understand that if their home is worth “more” they will likely “get more”. Supply and demand in a market place with little stock dictates that buyers may have to pay the “asking price” but if the property is overvalued to start with, then they’ve no idea of the true value anyway. This is when property just sit’s there. And that’s no good for anyone.
If priced “reasonably” the public demand increases and in 70% of the cases this year, our properties have sold for the asking price or above.
Our advice, to enable a smooth sale remains the same. If the buying public think an asking price is reasonable, then the buying public will come. They won’t come one at a time either. You will have a choice of buyers to suit your needs and it’s this balance that makes for as little stress as possible. It’s also this balance that enable’s you to move onwards and secure you new home.
We always try to explain to our clients that if their home is worth more than the valuation we have placed upon it then the public will surely make that decision.
Since January 1st 2017 we have agreed sales on homes valued at a total of £7,967,950. The actual total of sales agreed is £8,010,006.
The consumer watchdog “Which?”has found that 1 in 5 houses had been reduced from there initial asking price . Most interestingly houses that were sold after a 5% reduction sold for an average of £19,000 less than those that were sold from their original asking price.
The indication here is that by overvaluing, greedy agents and sometimes greedy vendors will cost themselves 8% of the value of their home.
A fascinating indictment of these facts was realised by Paul Higgins, chief executive at The Homeowners Alliance. “Sellers shouldn’t just consider the price that agents claim they can get. They should be thinking about how the agent is going to sell the property and whether they are asking the right questions!”
Richard Headland of “Which?” states that if the valuation is not realistic you could end up thousands of pounds worse off and wasting a lot of time.
We completely agree. Think about your onward move with one hand and your proposed sale with another. Don’t get too caught up with the minutiae. Don’t hold out for another £500 for a light fitting if there is a risk of upsetting the sellers of your dream home. Ask your agent for advice. Don’t play games. Just be logical and hopefully your agent will guide you with the bigger picture in mind, not just the initial instruction.
Sometimes, reactions surprise you. Our new Office in Kenilworth has been really well received and comments from one customer in particular were fascinating. “This is great, my children can’t afford to buy in Kenilworth so I’ll send them your way!”. This was unexpected to say the least. I hadn’t even thought of that market at all. Residents of Kenilworth have children and children (and I’m talking 21 – 40 years old here!) can’t often afford to buy in Kenilworth. That’s why we advertise many South Coventry properties in the Kenilworth branch. It works and people are so interested, it’s almost as if they wouldn’t visit us if we were just a Coventry agent. On the flip side of this we have current sellers in Coventry looking to move to Kenilworth to downsize and also families within Kenilworth moving to Finham and Earlsdon. This is a fascinating market in itself because quite honestly the prices in Earlsdon and Kenilworth are surprisingly similar. A three to four bedroom period terrace in both towns are often comparable. The advantages of one over the other though are completely subjective. The schooling in Finham, Stivichall and Kenilworth is outstanding whilst the infrastructure with the A46 and A45 being so close allows easy access to the motorway networks. What’s for sure is that homeowners with property in Kenilworth, Finham, Stivichall, Earlsdon, Burton Green, Gibbet Hill and Westwood Heath could not find greater coverage for marketing their home than Elizabeth Davenport.
Once I’d stopped eating for more than 8 hours I realised that at some stage Christmas would end and that my routine over the last week would require a serious review. I was one of the lucky ones though. I remained in good health whilst some of the family were poorly. On a much greater scale though we’re all so much luckier than many of our international neighbours. It’s been a difficult year when we look at the World as a whole.
Whilst the festivities raged there was always the knowing that in a matter of days 2016 would be over and that all of the hard work undertaken that year would simply have to begin again come January 1st 2017.
All the successes achieved have now past. Buyers have bought and moved in and sellers having sold and moved on. There have been many lovely reviews posted on Google and plenty of grateful and enthusiastic thank you cards received. But immediate success means an immediate conclusion and once those keys have been collected, the show must go on.
We, like many businesses, are nothing without happy clients and customers. 2017 will only see our service standards to you improve with further commitment to greater staffing levels, better technology and certainly, without exception, more smiles and more handshakes.
To Clients and Customers alike, thank you for making 2016 such a good year and let’s try to make the New Year a much better one for all of us, globally, in 2017.
Whether you can believe it or not some of the most recent statistics released from Rightmove have revealed some really surprising and unusual activities over our Christmas holiday’s! I’m not talking about “Pie Face” or “Charades” here, I’m simply talking about online property views.
Rightmove reports show a whopping increase of over 20% activity levels between Christmas and the New Year.
The last published statistics revealed that on On Christmas Day there were nearly 14 million page views and over 10,000 people took time out from the festivities to send emails to agents.
On Boxing Day it gets traditionally busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million.
Views peak on New Year’s Day, with an average of over 38 million page views (This is no doubt due to many being unable to even step out of their armchairs!).
What does this really tell us? Well, unarguably it shows that when we have time, we use it. Christmas and more specifically the New Year, with the hopes and ambitions it promises (who can’t fail to at least have hopes and ambitions for the year ahead whether realised or not!), is time for prediction and planning. Physical viewings are not so common, but planning ahead and looking at what’s available, can be the spark that lights the fire. Having your property on the market over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that Mr and Mrs Smith are going to disrupt your Figgie Pudding and Brandy Snaps. It means simply that they will likely plan to visit your house after Christmas.
Seeing your home for sale may persuade them to sell their own property and enable them to move forwards. Yours could be the property that instigates those decisions. And more importantly, yours could be the property they buy as well.
There are plenty of times in your life when friends and family tell you exactly what you want to hear. “Did I do well at my School Play Dad?”, I asked nervously, “Of course you did Son, well done”. I was a Barn Door (better than a sheep though!). We’re already ten minutes late and my wife says “Are you sure this looks OK?”…….I think you know where this conversation is heading!
So if you want to buy a house for £350,000 and you need to sell yours for £270,000 to make this possible please don’t tell the Estate Agent. If you do, you know what will likely happen. The agent will know there is little chance of an instruction without persuading you that your house is genuinely worth, you’ve guessed it, in the region of £270,000.
At Elizabeth Davenport we know that the right advice and what you want to hear are often two different beasts. What we do know is that in order to attract the most interest and at the highest price possible you certainly don’t need to start marketing unrealistically high. It just doesn’t work.
Rightmove statistics have shown that since 1st January 2016 we have reduced a lower percentage of our properties than any other agent in Coventry and Kenilworth.
As the very bespoke nature of property alludes, we can’t always get it right but we certainly won’t advice you of the impossible just to win your instruction. Beware of listening only to what you want to hear! I’m not talking about my wife now ( I made that bit up!).
Kenilworth School plan to conquer all comers in Canada next year with thanks to Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents. April’s expedition is the biggest single Rugby and Football tour that Kenilworth’s only secondary school has ever undertaken. With a total of 56 children, many partaking in both disciplines, the need for parental and sponsored support is paramount. Two of the Directors of Elizabeth Davenport have a particular affinity for the School with Mark Walmsley having a daughter in Year 8 and Nick Luntley being a former pupil himself. “Having played and toured with both Rugby and Football for Kenilworth School, Mark and I approached George very quickly when we heard about the opportunity to purchase all of the sports kits for the pupils forthcoming trip to Canada” Nick commented.
Year 8’s football team have been very successful and sit currently as district league and cup champions whilst the Year 9 Rugby team are undefeated and have won the prestigious Solihull School Rugby 7’s tournament. “As Kenilworth’s only Secondary School and with the kids genuinely achieving so much success at both Rugby and Football at the moment raising the money for the tour is a massive ask. Pupils and staff are undertaking all kinds of fundraisers to support this trip of a lifetime and any support we can offer we are delighted to do so” Mark Walmsley said.
The purchase of Sports kits doesn’t come cheap with the quality having to be first class. Canterbury, who produce the British Lions and the England & Ireland Rugby kits, have been chosen as the supplier who despite being more expensive than most will hopefully offer the pupils an advantage when it counts. “The choice of kit is vital” stated Paul Flowers, “they’ve got to last, they’ve got stand the wear and the tear they’ll be put through. Our pupils are going to be representing our School as well as the Sponsors and they’re really going to look the part. We can’t wait to see them. They’re due in January so not long to wait!”
“We’ve got a lasting relationship with Kenilworth School now” stated Mark Walmsley. “Nick’s been working with Dave Peacey who used to teach him which is really full circle, and obviously my daughter’s a pupil now too. There will be opportunities for Netball, Athletics and Dancing events too so if we can give the support then we certainly will”.
With children at Finham Park School Elizabeth Davenport have also been supporting the local PTA with donations from completions sold in the Finham area. Every house sold by way of an introduction from parents or relatives at the school will see at £100 donation to this worthwhile cause.