In 1st century BC, Publilius Syrus wrote: “Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”.
Never has this statement been more true than in the context of house buying. This is in effect what a seller does, they put their house out there and see who is willing to bite on the price. However, if they get plenty of viewings and no bites then one has to question the asking price. You may be saying in your head but what about the house, is there something wrong with it or is the location wrong? However, one has to focus that no matter what a house’s flaws, there is likely to be a price someone is willing to pay for offsetting the issues. The truth in London housing, is that we are seeing a considerable enough change in house sales in London over the last year that we cannot ignore may give us an opportunity to offer. Prices are less likely to sell for their asking price, more properties are being reduced than ever before and there is a general slow down in mortgage applications are all trending concerns.
London house prices suffered a sharp slowdown in the second quarter, rising at the weakest rate in five years and falling behind the rest of the UK according to the latest snapshot of the property market from Nationwide according to the Guardian. The slowdown in London is being associated with the most significant change in the housing market in 2016 – a stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let and second homes of. Coupled with consumer anxiety, is it a good time to buy or at least start looking if you have a good chance of making an offer and are likely to come up against fewer interested buyers?
In addition, some of the key data facts, show that with the Bank of England tightening mortgage rules, means obtaining a mortgage is already getting and going to get harder. What does this mean for me? Well it means less people will be able to afford the property they may be viewing. This is if they are misaligned with what they think versus actually can borrow. So why are the estate agents frequently saying to us only 2 our of 3 property sale are actually completing? This is being thrown around as fact but, the concern that estate agents have, is with whether you can complete on your house sale in order to complete on the offer you’ve made. Estate agents don’t release viewing data, it’s not in their interest to really reveal how many viewings a house has had. How revealing it would be to know a house has only had two viewings and no offers. Yet is this is more likely to be the case than not or are we being given a different impression by estate agents?
With the current down tone within the housing market, our strongest piece of advice is hold off and carefully review every offer you make and don’t rush be pressured into thinking you’ve lost a great home by not offering high. It may happen you’ve chosen a street and set your heart on a visual of the house you want. If you want to land a good deal though, don’t have this mindset in place, be open to view all kinds of house, larger 1930’s houses have fantastic proportions but often are ignored if someone has their heart set on a victorian terraced front. Don’t ignore unusual layouts, that with a good architect cannot be quickly rectified. Really look at areas you may not know anything about but walk around them one weekend. Timing is everything with Spring and Summer being perceived as the most active buying and selling period but never discount outside these as a time to view. In fact more likely people are more in need of a sale if Christmas has just past and they’ve been on the market for a while. Family homes often mean families are moving around term dates so likely that when they linger on the market they are open to offers.
There is no clear strategy to what exactly will ensure your offer gets accepted but, from our own experience there are a few types of property one should view to ensure offering a lower offer is likely to be accepted. There is never a risk in offering what you feel it is worth, the only risk is never placing an offer for fear of it being rejected.
Tips for finding a property deal to offer on various websites:
Search for Oldest listed on Rightmove.co.uk – These are homes that either haven’t sold over the longest period or simply haven’t been removed by the estate agent. Why not view these first, these are the homes who may be more open to offers and who have not attracted any potential buyers in their first few weeks so will welcome any renewed interest.
Zoopla.co.uk allows you to view reduced properties – Under the filter/featured tab when searching for properties you can view properties that have been reduced in price.
Mouseprice.com – allows you to view houses that have been reduced the most in percentage by postcode. It also allows you to view sold and for sale house prices.
Within these areas ensure you don’t limit yourself to houses within your budget but be prepared to view houses slightly over your budget. These houses may simply not be selling for the price until an offer is presented that reflects more realistically what it could sell for. Estate agents, have in our experience, encouraged a seller to accept our offer as the estate agent believes it may be the only offer they are likely to receive and are driven by commission and completing sales.
Never say never to offering what you can afford and seeing if someone bites. In recent months we’ve watched two cases of people having offered a low offer and had it rejected, only to be contacted a few weeks, even months later to see if the offer still stands on the table. Don’t risk the chance of not at least trying to get a home for a reasonable price in this day and age when house prices can be crippling.
In addition to this article we suggest you read Estate agents want no chain! An article that looks at how to ensure you are in the strongest position prior to making an offer.