Sitting Pretty by Christmas
Finding your ideal new home is not easy in the current climate. Many existing property owners are still reluctant to put their property on the market harbouring worries of having to accept a lower offer to secure a sale and be faced with the perceived difficulty of finding a new property themselves.
Yet, it’s not all ‘doom and gloom’. With a greater variety of mortgages available from an increased number of lenders throughout spring and summer, many properties have been sold since the beginning of the year achieving prices that have enabled sellers to move on happily to either a new home or rented accommodation.
But how do you find your ideal property? Gone are the days when this was achieved by simply spending a few Saturday mornings browsing the local estate agents’ office windows. Today, many people begin with viewing properties online from the comfort of home using the estate agents’ web sites and property search facilities.
Yet, what do you do if you still cannot find something to buy? In our July edition I explored the possibility of buying a plot of land and building your own dream home, or buying an existing property, demolishing it and building on the plot. This is not going to suit everyone – so what are your options? An increased number of people are employing a bespoke property finding service. Able to help buyers identify the type and locality of desirable properties, they can source properties that are not on the market and encourage reluctant, or more possibly, dormant sellers to agree to a sale.
Fiona Gilbert of Prestige Relocation reports that 50% of the properties found by her business for clients in the last 18 months have been ‘off market’ and therefore not available to the general property buying public. This also has the obvious advantage for the sellers, as they are contacted by the relocation business with effectively ‘warm leads’, thus avoiding time wasters and a stream of people viewing their property and disrupting their lives.
Many buyers who find themselves short of time and moving to a new area ask the property finding service, not only to find the ideal property, but also to research the local schools, transport links, employment opportunities and other requirements and facilities. Whilst the fees charged are an added expense of moving this is offset by avoiding hours on the Internet, tramping the streets and expensive mistakes being made as desperation sets in and you end up buying the wrong property in the wrong place.
Many years ago I acted in a series of transactions where five families moved and not one of the properties had been advertised on the market for sale and all the families were very happy with their new homes. With good guidance, a realistic seller, a willing buyer, a good property finding service and an experienced property lawyer you could find your ideal property and be sitting pretty by Christmas!