Is it a good time to buy or sell a property? That’s the question I’ve been asked repeatedly lately. While predicting the future of the property market is challenging, one thing is certain – we are currently in a buyers’ market. This means buyers hold significant importance as prices remain subdued and bidding wars become a thing of the past.
However, I am concerned about the growing number of headlines suggesting that homeowners are being “forced” to accept lower offers for their properties. While some may face immediate financial circumstances that require accepting lower offers, it’s crucial not to create an environment where property owners feel pressured to believe they have no choice.
As industry professionals, it may be tempting to focus on short-term gains by encouraging clients to accept reduced offers and keep sales going. However, if we truly want to overcome this crisis swiftly, we must support property owners in securing deals that maximize the value of their properties.
In this changed landscape, simply listing a property online and waiting for viewings is no longer enough. We must adapt and add value to every aspect of our work, from refreshing listings with new photos to providing clients with suggestions for improvement works such as decluttering. By doing so, we enhance the selling process and increase the likelihood of receiving higher offers.
Unfortunately, we cannot rely solely on our political leaders to navigate us out of this challenging situation. A recent incident during Prime Minister’s Questions shed light on the divide between Labour and the Conservatives regarding landlord protections and tenant rights. While Labour aims to protect tenants and end no-fault evictions, the Conservatives have been hesitant to support such measures, fueling the perception of an anti-landlord stance.
However, it is important to recognise that the issues of rising rents, housing shortages, and homelessness run deeper than landlord protections alone. The mortgage scheme introduced to avoid mass repossessions serves a specific purpose and may not fully address the complexities of the rental market.
Ultimately, resolving these issues requires political will and substantial resources that neither party has been able to fully commit to thus far. It is clear that the path to a comprehensive solution is a challenging one, but as property professionals, we must continue advocating for the best interests of both buyers and sellers, seeking long-term stability in the market.