More so than in the previous few years my perception of how the residential property market is shaping up for 2013 is very promising.

Justin Smith, Branch Manager, Hook Office

I have noticed an increase in potential buyers waiting in the wings; be it people upsizing, a rising number of people looking to downsize, first time buyers taking advantage of better mortgage availability or investment buyers keen to secure a good and safe return on investment.

More investment buyers and first time buyers are good news for the market, providing the ‘chain ends’ needed for many house sales to progress. These buyers are keen to secure a purchase and often are not time sensitive, they are more interested in securing the right property, and generally time frames are not a major concern.

There could be the perfect property for them, owned by someone who is looking to move, but as that property is not on the market the whole process draws to a standstill.

One of the biggest issues in this positive market is potential sellers holding off putting their own property to the market. When asked why they are hesitating I usually hear they don’t want to put the house on the market until they see a property to buy, either because they would feel under pressure to buy a house they didn’t want if a buyer was found, or they cite that many people are looking for a house like theirs so it won’t be difficult to sell once a suitable property to buy is found.

Both of these reasons are not well founded and have a negative impact on the whole. If you are considering buying a property the likelihood is that you will need to sell, so why delay. If everyone decided to wait until they had found something to buy there would be even less properties coming to the market.

A case in point…

A few weeks ago a proposed buyer contacted my office to book in a viewing on a property in Hook, our seller had requested that any potential person wanting to view the house must be in a position to proceed. When we asked the applicant what was her position she confirmed that they had not put their property onto the market, we explained our clients wishes and the applicant fully understood this and we advised her that to put her property onto the market sooner rather than later and once sold to inform us.

Last Thursday the same applicant called back and confirmed she had put her house onto the market and had secured a deal with a first time buyer (who would offer a flexible moving date). The first time buyer at the beginning of the chain was aware that our client did need to find a property to move to and the buyer of our clients’ property re-confirmed that he would hold on in the background and would instruct on a survey until he was aware the chain had closed.

All parties are happy to wait until our client has found a new property as they are all getting the property that is right for them at the end of the day. Now the sale has been agreed and our client has secured the sale they are looking for.

So, to any potential buyer looking to move this year, with a property they need to sell, my advice is you must make take a step forward and put your home onto the market. We are increasingly finding that our clients will only accommodate viewings from on market or sold applicants, seen as serious potential buyers.  If every potential buyer did this we would see an increased availability of property, more choice, and see a situation with more people being able to find what they are looking for, so the whole market would get moving more quickly.