GET THAT SALE WRAPPED UP FOR CHRISTMAS

Published 22 September 2017

Christmas present house right onlineDespite the fact that it signals the end of summer, September is very much a month of renewal.  As the schools have started their new year, in the property market the autumn is traditionally a time when activity picks up after a summer ‘lull’.

If you are to believe reports in the national media, the usual autumn ‘bounce’ hasn’t happened this year – there are plenty of gloomy reports of falling prices.  But as ever, these statistics are completely skewed by the London market, which is indeed experiencing a drop in confidence.

Elsewhere in the country, the story is different.  If you remove the capital from the latest figures, there is barely any drop in prices at all, and there is still an under-supply of homes on the market to meet the demand from buyers.

Whilst prices may not be soaring in the way that we have seen over recent years, this autumn is still a good time to be on the market.

Many buyers at this time of the year have a clear target: being in their new home for Christmas.  I’m sorry to mention the ‘C-word’ so soon after the summer holidays, but with too many transactions taking too long to complete, realistically those seeking to move before Christmas will want to be looking for their new home in the next few weeks.

For vendors, there is another good reason not to delay putting their homes on the market.  The leaves are still on the trees, the flowers in those hanging baskets are still ‘hanging on’, and your home will look considerably more photogenic this month than next, when the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness will be well and truly upon us.

Early evening viewings conducted in daylight are far more likely to wow a potential buyer than showing off your garden by torchlight; despite the season, buyers want to be able to imagine sunny outdoor living just as much as cosy evenings in.

With strong demand, this is a very good month to be going to market – but those potential buyers will also have read the national headlines, and so an element of realism needs to be part of the equation when it comes to setting an asking price. 

Home-owners have enjoyed a sustained period of rising prices, something which cannot continue for ever.  We may be somewhere near a peak, or at least a period of consolidation.  But by getting on the market now, and setting a fair and realistic price, it’s perfectly possible to get that sale wrapped up for Christmas.

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