2 August 2017
A guest post for the NAPB by ‘the BBC’s favourite property expert’ Henry Pryor.
“Just under half of all properties listed never sell. Most people don’t hear this statistic and are amazed by it when they do. The reason is simple – everyone connected with the selling process is an optimist. Would you instruct a depressed estate agent? Borrow money from someone who thinks interest rates will quadruple?
Estate agents learnt a long time ago that two things get them business – how much they value a property at and how low their fees are. Honest, objective, professional advice is rarely rewarded. Understandably the optimistic and cheap is favoured.
There are about 600,000 properties for sale across the UK today, topped up by about 120,000 new listings each month, while roughly 95,000 sell. Estate agents boast the typical branch has 40 listings and 400 buyers – but last month they sold just 10! At the end of each month 75% of an agent’s clients are disappointed.
Most people decide to sell when they find something else they want to buy. The majority are motivated by the Three Ds – death, debt and divorce – so are often in an uncomfortable place emotionally. And, having been led to believe their property is wonderful and should sell quickly it comes as a shock when it doesn’t. What are their options if they want to buy that other property? What can they do to raise the money their business needs so badly? How can they afford to keep their late mother’s home heated? Enter the professional property buyer.
I’m a buying agent – I act for a third party, the buyer, helping them find, negotiate and acquire property. A property buyer acts for themselves, moves faster, is used to the process and should be able to deliver what any seller wants – certainty and peace of mind. A recent survey of members of the National Association of Property Buyers found half bought £20-£50m of homes last year. The fastest purchase went through, legally, in 4 hours! Just like the motor car buying service WeBuyAnyCar.com these property buyers offer a fair price rather than a premium price that might be achieved over time – but they offer certainty.
For many the actual amount they sell for isn’t most important. Many appreciate that if they are buying another property then what they sell for is relative. What’s more important is they get an offer which enables them to get on with their lives. If they’ve waited months for a buyer, have listened to endless excuses about why their property hasn’t sold, have changed estate agent and reduced the asking price this is something they are prepared to pay for.”
Henry Pryor is a buying agent and market commentator with over 30 years experience of the property business. An unusual expert in that he actually gets his hands dirty doing the deals he is asked about he is a regular contributor to the BBC and widely quoted in the national press. Henry bids on a house every week and buys one once a month. This year he hopes to buy £100m of residential property. Visit his website www.henrypryor.com.
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