How should buyers and sellers deal with continuing political uncertainty?

By starting accepting that abnormal is the new normal, says Stacks...

It’s been estimated that over six million people are living in the wrong property because they are anxious about moving in these politically uncertain times, says Stacks’ James Greenwood – those who really need to move should accept that abnormal is the new normal and start the process…

Historically the property market would stagnate temporarily as we waited for general elections, Budgets, and other major political events. But since June 2016 we have been in a permanent state of political flux, and there is no end in sight. A big question mark hangs over our Government, and there will be no resolution to the Brexit issue for several years.

Of course it’s not these events in themselves that stop people buying and selling; it’s the fear of the unknown and that the outcome might affect finances, jobs and property prices.

Fear makes us more tentative. Instead of getting on with the job of moving house, potential movers are dipping their toes in rather than jumping in. They are looking, but not putting their property on the market. So they have no clear idea of what their property is worth. They are also not hearing about a great deal of property that might never find its way to the portals; and they don’t know the real value of property they might want to buy as much of it appears on the portals at an inflated price.

The alternative is to go on putting lives on hold for years

For those who, due to changed circumstances or growing/contracting families, have a real need to buy, or sell and buy, our best advice is to accept that abnormal is the new normal and start the process. The alternative is to go on putting lives on hold for years.

If you have a property to sell, put it on the market. You will soon get a clear idea of what it’s likely to sell for and how quickly.

If you need finance, start talks with your mortgage provider and jumping through the now necessary hoops. This will give you further clarity about how your finances will stack up.

Don’t just surf the internet, speak to estate agents about what you’re looking for. You will hear about many properties that might not appear on the portals, and start to build up a good picture about the market in your area.

Don’t restrict your search to properties that are on the market at a level that’s affordable to you – look at those that are 10%, or even 20% above your limit. Depending on area, there’s a great deal of flexibility in asking prices.

Our clients who have made a move in the last four years are sitting pretty, and are quietly smug. The market has been stable with no volatility to contend with, there has been plenty of opportunity for good negotiation, and prices for carefully selected properties have risen. Embrace abnormal, and jump in!

James Greenwood is Managing Director of Stacks Property Search & Acquisition

stacks.co.uk

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