Nick Churton of H.J. Burt’s associated Mayfair Office looks at the difference between someone who wants to buy a property and someone who does buy a property.
Even seasoned estate agents say that there has rarely been a property market like this. “Property prices rising at pre-banking crisis levels”, “Properties for sale - numbers lowest in decades”, scream the press in reaction to comments made by lenders, property websites and other interested parties.
Moving might not be complicated for buyers who don’t need a mortgage and have no upward chain, or for sellers with no downward chain. But for everyone else, these can be testing times.
The problem is getting chained up with nowhere to go - becoming stuck in a line of dependent deals, especially when the top of the chain can’t find a property to buy.
It’s a wonder anyone moves anywhere with the market so thin on stock, and when getting a deal through often takes between 16 and 20 weeks. Four to five months is a long time in a property transaction – a lot can happen. But the miracle is that even in this market people do move. How? Mostly it is down to the desire of buyers and sellers, coupled with the skill of their estate agent.
If buyers and sellers were to sit or work in an estate agent’s office for a week, they would begin to understand that the tricky bit isn’t so much finding a buyer but getting a chain of deals, sometimes with four or five links, across the line. Finding a willing buyer is one thing, finding an able one is a very different matter. Everyone gets to see the sold board go up. But few get to see the effort that went into getting it there.
So, when choosing an estate agent in this market don’t just go for the one who says they can get you a buyer – everyone says that: instead go for the one who can get you through to completion. There is a vital difference between the two.