Monthly Archives: July, 2016

What Brexit Might Mean To The UK Housing Market

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BEWARE THE BREXIT DOOMSAYERS

You may not be surprised to read that we’ve had a little difficulty coming to terms with the fallout from the Brexit vote – but it’s not necessarily what you may expect.

If you follow the property press, you will no doubt have read that many were predicting a drop in house prices if the UK voted to leave the EU. By how much depended on who you listened to but figures being bandied about went as high as 15 to 20 per cent. Of course, once the result came through, the doom mongers went into overdrive. London agents in particular were forecasting a collapse and even some of the usually level-headed sources were talking about the “moment the bubble burst”.

But what we need to remember is, when it comes to house prices, no one – not George Osborne, not the National Association of Estate Agents, not the property pundits and not even the Bank of England – has been dealing in cold, hard fact. It’s mostly conjecture and the truth of the matter is that no one knows for sure what your house will be worth at Christmas time. There are just too many variables.

As an example, at one point, it looked like the UK would be largely rudderless for as long as four months while the Conservatives sorted out a new Prime Minister. We’ve actually ended up with a semblance of a Government much quicker than that, which has seen Sterling rally a little on the foreign exchanges. Then it looked like the Bank of England would lower interest rates, making mortgages even more affordable – but that hasn’t happened either.

Both of these events could have a bearing on property prices as they affect our confidence in how the country is being run, how much of our capital we’re willing to risk on significant purchases and therefore –albeit indirectly – on what value we place on our homes.

It is therefore hugely frustrating to listen politicians – and even fellow property professionals – damaging public confidence by forecasting that house prices are on the edge of a precipice and edging ever-closer to a dramatic decline.

Guess what? If you tell enough people often enough, it’s likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In our local paper, one story focused on a Rightmove study which shows the value of the average Yorkshire home has fallen by over £2,000 since the Brexit vote. Okay … that’s a fact, largely brought about by post-Brexit pessimism. However, no one seems to be reporting – at least not with any emphasis – that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reckons, come 2021, homes will be worth 14 per cent more than they are right now. Admittedly, that is less than the 20 to 25 per cent per cent forecast about 18 months ago but it’s still an increase. In other words, if you buy a home today, it’ll still be worth quite a bit more in five years’ time and, to be honest, that doesn’t sound very much like a bubble bursting to us…

Caution is understandable in the current climate and it’s perfectly normal in the wake of an election for buyers and sellers in the property market to adopt a watching brief while they assess the lie of the land. It’s also normal for things to stagnate a little in the summer months as people take their annual holidays. The shock Brexit result may well be exacerbating that and prices may have dropped a little more as a result. However, as events unfold over the summer months and the UK returns to a more even keel, there’s every chance – left to their own devices – property prices will recover and, although the pace of growth may not be a meteoric, they could quite easily continue to rise.

Why? Well, simply because the drivers which have pushed house prices higher and higher over the last few years haven’t simply gone away overnight. We’re still desperately short of housing stock as well as people with the skills to build new homes. Until that’s resolved, it’s difficult to see any lasting change as there will still be too many buyers for too few homes.

You may not like the Brexit result. You may have much preferred to have remained a part of the EU. But when it comes to the property market, we would encourage everyone to stick to the facts – even if, right now, there aren’t that many of them …

Online Estate Agency Fees

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SO HOW WOULD YOU LIKE £2,500 TO SPEND?

Like car salesmen, lawyers and journalists, estate agents are not always top of the list when it comes to favourite professions. Although many would accept we’re needed when it comes to selling your home, not everyone understands what it is we do so, sometimes, it’s a little bit harder to convince a customer that they’re getting value for money.

If you’re washing machine breaks down, a plumber will turn up and mend it; if the lights go out, there’s probably an electrician on your contacts list who will come and sort it out. When it comes to restaurants, we’ll even happily pay over and above the bill laid before us.

But, when it comes to an estate agent, some will admit to feeling a bit bamboozled by the cost and therefore a little reluctant to part with the fee.

But what if an agent was to offer you a money-back guarantee if you weren’t completely happy with their work? What if their customer service was rated excellent anyway? But – even better – what if, at the end of the whole house-selling “journey” they handed you £2,500 to spend on a bit of a holiday to recover from the move, perhaps that three-piece suite you had your eye on or maybe to put towards that new kitchen? Would that help you feel a bit better about settling up?

The thing is, at esaleuk.com, we already do all those … sort of. Admittedly, at the moment, we can’t actually place cash in your hand on completion but, on an average sale of a property priced at around £250k, it’s about what you’d be able to keep in your pocket if you compare our packages to those offered by a traditional high street agent working on a commission of 1.5%.

Yet, bafflingly, some will still tell you to steer well clear of online agents – and simply because their business model is based on effective use of the internet.

If truth be told, we’d love to offer our customers a £3,000 package and then give them £2,500 cash back when the deal is done. However, as our biggest online rivals are currently using high-profile television advertising to market pay-up-front deals for under £800, the focus is on bottom-line price, which means our best bet is to continue to offer similar packages for a very competitive price of £595 (including VAT).

It’s a shame really as agents are often criticised for not really celebrating with clients when the deal’s done. Recent research suggested, on “Completion Day”, customers sometimes get the feeling their agent has already moved on to the next sale. Wouldn’t it be great then if, instead, we could say congratulations and hand over a “cashback” sum large enough to make a difference?

Sadly, at the moment, the market restricts us a bit of a joint buzz, maybe a high five and some verbal congratulations which, although sincere, never seem quite enough to register the significance of the moment our customers pick up the keys to their new home. One day, though, we’d like to think that will change and we can add the “cashback” option to our no-quibble guarantee, our low prices and our drive for exemplary customer service which we hope already set us apart.

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About esale

eSale  Estate Agents, founded in 2012, bringing a fresh, clear and easy approach to online estate agency in England and Wales. We are a group of professionals with years of experience in helping people sell and buy property.

We have the skills to ensure the correct price is set for your property and we can negotiate the right sale price between buyer and seller.

Additionally, we can arrange accompanied viewings and also see the sale through to completion.

Your property will feature on Rightmove , Zoopla  and Primelocation esale have a wide advertising network, come and join our approach to selling a property, no matter what your property value is.