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Stand out from the crowd

Stand out from the crowd

Something very rare is happening in Leigh on Sea that we haven’t seen for a good few years. There are actually quite a lot of properties for sale currently on the market. For as long as I can remember, local agents have been moaning that there aren’t enough properties available for waiting buyers and that demand far outstrips supply but this might not now be the case.

To give you an idea, there are currently nearly 450 properties on the market for sale in area. To break that down a bit, as I write this blog, there are currently 120 two bedroom flats for sale in Leigh on Sea. That is not including Chalkwell, Westcliff on Sea, Hadleigh or any other surrounding areas.

This is obviously a very good thing for the consumer. They have a good choice of properties and can pick and choose which one they want to go for or even take their time and carry out second or third viewings before being forced into making a rushed decision because they think they will lose out. Last weekend, I showed a young chap around a flat who was viewing 6 others that day and a couple around a house who were viewing 12 over the course of the weekend. Personally, this would make my head spin and I would forget what I had thought of the first one I had looked at, but if you are in the market to buy, then there is something else you can try.

You may have narrowed down your search to a certain area, type of property or even condition, and still have a choice of 2, 3 or even more. Then it will all boil down to price. People are making offers on multiple properties and seeing who will take the best offer. This is obviously human nature to try and get the best possible deal and depending on the vendors circumstances, it could be that someone is willing to accept an offer lower than the others and this will no doubt be agreed.

If you are a vendor then there is no need to panic just yet but you may have to do a bit of work to get your house sold. There is of course the obvious, make your property stand out and stick in the memories of any potential purchasers that are viewing. Front gardens and the fronts of the properties need to be as immaculate as that marketing photo and first impression has real impact. Interiors need to be clean, tidy and presentable. You may not need to go to the lengths of decorating but look critically at your property as if you were a buyer (or get a friend to pretend they are) and see if there is anything that stands out that really could do with a bit of attention.

This time of year people don’t expect rear gardens to look at their best and lots of people don’t even bother to go out into them when viewing properties. But if you have had a fence panel blow down in the recent winds or have leaves strewn across your lawn, then give these a tidy please.

Also, and probably more importantly, be realistic with your asking price. Of course everybody thinks their house is worth at least £1,000,000 but if next door sold 2 months ago for £400,000 you may have to readjust your expectations. Before you get estate agents over to value your properties, do a bit of research yourself. You can easily see what is currently on the market for sale and if anything is comparable to your property and you can also find out what properties have sold for within your vicinity.

Once you have decided on an agent to market your property, you must work with them to get you a buyer. If you think that the suggested asking price is hugely optimistic, then potential buyers might think the same and you may have to suggest to your agent to be a bit more realistic or at least to make sure that you react to the market and reduce the asking price in a couple of weeks if you haven’t already sold. Make sure your marketing material is the best it can be. Don’t rush to get the property on the market if the photos aren’t good enough. You get one shot for your property to appear new and fresh to the market and, if you have a horrible front photo with grey skies and rain, or if you still (bizarrely) still have your Xmas decorations up, better to leave it a couple of days to get this right.

And lastly, when you have your property on the market and are getting viewings and have offers, it may be that you have to lower your expectations of what you will get. It may be a few thousand under what was previously your bottom line of what you would accept, but the potential buyers have no chain or are cash buyers or ready to meet your timescale. Or the other thing to consider is if you are moving house but looking to buy locally, you might just be able to get a bit more off the asking price of the house or choice of houses you were hoping to buy and this may ensure you can take a bit less on yours.

There are still plenty of deals being done and houses are selling but us poor impoverished estate agents are actually having to work for a living rather than selling everything in sight immediately.

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