Autumn Round-Up

Amazingly, we are nearing the end of 2018 (I’m really not sure where it’s gone?!) and also celebrating a year of Surelet Gloucester becoming Sure Sales and Lettings. We’ve had a very productive year and we are looking forward to working with more homeowners in 2019, in what could be a challenging year for the UK’s property market. I’m pleased to report that, unlike speculation other parts of the UK, the prospect for Gloucester is a strong one with continuing demand in certain areas of the city due to an influx of more students and the ongoing development of Gloucester docks and Gloucester Business Park, increasing employment opportunities in our area. We have recently heard from Chancellor, Philip Hammond, on what the Government has instore for housing in the coming year and with ongoing concern over what the property market will look like post-Brexit, I thought it was worth having a round-up of where we are and where we might be heading.

Budget 2018

At the end of last month, Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced the budget and the Government’s plans for housing. Many of these plans are not specific to the individual homeowner, however, there is to be a £1.5 billion investment for England’s high streets, which can only be a good thing if we consider what the redevelopment of Gloucester has done for property prices in and around the city in the past decade. The Quays complex has brought about a significant increase in house prices in Linden. I can only hope that from that £1.5 billion, Kings Square finally gets that much needed makeover, but either way, with the current development of Blackfriars and the makeover the bus station has undergone, Gloucester is really upping its game and becoming not only a desirable location for students but for young families as well.

For those aspiring to become homeowners, the good news is the stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in England and Northern Ireland is being extended to the Help to buy shared ownership scheme, on properties worth less than £500,000. This will also be retrospectively applied to property purchases since November 2017. With many new developments popping up across Gloucester, this will be something many first-time buyers are keen to take advantage of.

Brexit

I couldn’t really write this round-up without writing about Brexit. The nation’s withdrawal from the EU continues to dominate headlines and divide the country. Whatever your point of view on Brexit, it is hard to argue that concerns of what all our lives will be like after our departure from the EU on 29th March 2019 aren’t influencing homeowners. If, like me, you follow property news online and in newspapers, you will be aware of reports every other day on how Britain’s housing prices are slumping, sales are falling and nearly 50% of properties are withdrawn from market as opposed to being sold, all spelling out one thing; indecision. This is a nationwide view, however, and as I’ve already discussed the Gloucester property market is proving resilient due to its desirable grammar schools, university, colleges and business growth. That doesn’t mean sellers and buyers shouldn’t be cautious and you can read my recent advice on selling and buying in Gloucester here: https://goo.gl/5t5FPV

Choosing an Agent

I thought it was best to end on the good news! According to Property Wire* estate agent fees have come down by 34% in the past seven years. In that time there has certainly been an increase in the ways you can sell your home. Online agents have increased, offering cheaper fees, which has inevitably made the market more competitive and forcing traditional estate agents, such as ourselves, to reduce our fees in order to remain in the market. Of course, I am going to advocate the use of a traditional agent, but I thought it was worth recapping the type of agents and why I feel so passionate about using a high street estate agent.

  • The DIY Approach

There are quite a few sites now, Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo being one, where you can – for a nominal, upfront fee – upload your property and do everything yourself. You will need to instruct a solicitor for conveyancing purposes, but apart from that, the marketing, viewings, negotiating is all up to you. Yes, you will save yourself, probably, a few thousand pounds in estate agent fees but if you are not experienced in the selling and purchasing of property, it does have its pitfalls. You do not have a negotiator to go between you and your buyer over more delicate matters such as the asking price or when your buyer discovers your electrics are quite dated and wants some money knocked off the asking price because they feel they need a rewire…

  • The Online Agent

This approach is a bit more than the DIY approach. There are several online agents now who, for a flat rate fee, market your property online and are involved with negotiations, although you are often left to carry out viewings for yourself. The positive aspect of an online agent is that it’s a flat rate fee, so you know where you are for budgeting purposes and it’s often cheaper than a traditional estate agent charges, saving you money. However, it is payable upon instruction, so if you don’t sell your property, you’ve already paid that money up front.

  • The Traditional Agent

The most expensive way to sell your home but by far, in my humble opinion, the most reliable. Firstly, we traditional agents, on the whole, charge our fee upon completion, which means if we don’t sell your home, you haven’t incurred any costs for marketing or viewings. Yes, it is more expensive; most agents charge somewhere between 1-2% so if the fee was 1.5% on a £150,000 property, the fee (upon completion) would be £2,250. However, you will be able to get an idea of what your house is worth and what you will need to budget to pay your agent when you set out to sell it. The great thing about the traditional agent is that we have all bases covered. Here at Sure Sales & Lettings, we have a website, we market your property on online portals, such as Rightmove, we use ‘For Sale’ boards, we have an office, so if a prospective buyer comes into our office we can promote your property face-to-face and we’re at the end of the phone too. Perhaps, what I’m trying to say is that, you get what you pay for and if you really want to give your property the best chance of selling, a traditional agent is the way to go. And, if estate agent’s fees have really dropped 34% in the past seven years, it’s cheaper now either way!

If you are currently looking or trying to sell in Gloucester, we would love to hear from you. Call us today on 01452 310999 or email us at gloucester@surepropertygroup.com to book your free market valuation. With highly competitive fees, we are here to help you make your next move.

Best wishes,

Rob Buckley

Director

Sure Sales & Lettings

*Read full article here: https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/estate-agents-fees-have-fallen-by-34-in-seven-years-in-the-uk/