The UK property market is amid a mini-boom, and many of the best properties coming onto the market are being snapped up right away. This is leaving a lot of potential purchasers very frustrated. In this article, we give you the secrets to make sure you’re not one of those missing out.
Currently, the UK property market is experiencing an incredibly buoyant period, and this is in no small part to the government’s stamp duty holiday coupled with pent-up demand and the exodus from overcrowded urban areas. At some point, it will obviously quieten down, but for now, we find ourselves in an unexpected situation where there appear to be far more buyers than sellers, and they all want the best properties out there.
It seems that although some fantastic property is coming to the market, many never get to hear about it as it’s finding a buyer almost immediately and this is, of course, leaving a large number of other potential buyers more than a little frustrated.
I remember my days as an estate agent. I had a box of cards with people’s requirements along with their position, e.g. how fast they could move, needs and price range. People in a position to proceed were at the front, and people I genuinely liked were at the front of them. Those people at the very front of my box were my personal ‘hotlist’ and more often than not received very special treatment.
What many potential buyers frequently ignore is their personality and demeanour plays a significant part in the service they’ll receive. If a buyer came in with an arrogant attitude and acted aloof, the chances are, I’d remember. In my case, I would indicate it on my card, and that person will always be a fall-back or last gasp resort. They wouldn’t even get a sniff of the best and newest properties I was listing.
On the flip side, if someone came in eager, friendly and appreciative, I’d do my best to find them a property and this often resulted in them being the first person to view a new listing which resulted in them finding their dream home.
Therefore, if you want to avoid joining the throngs of frustrated buyers in the UK, make friends with the estate agents, warm yourselves to them, and this is likely to reap significant rewards.
As I’ve written in numerous articles recently, many estate agents are feeling a little overwhelmed with the volume of enquiries and phones are always ringing making it challenging to offer a great property to all applicants and this is where something called ‘quiet marketing’ comes into play.
Obviously, the internet has been a great help to estate agents, allowing many buyers to see the latest properties with an equal chance. But getting a property online takes time, and if an agent has a hot property along with someone they liked in mind, it’s the simple matter of a quick call, a meet-up, sale agreed and everyone’s happy.
To help prospective buyers out there, Anthony Pearce of Stacks Property Search has put together some thoughts. Below he outlines the current state of the market, what quiet marketing is, the view from the perspective of the estate agents and advice to help to get you to the front of the queue for the hottest instructions:
1. The Pandemic has changed the way estate agents operate. Due to extensive protocols, viewings have become more time-consuming, and as a result, agents are only interested in the ‘hottest’ buyers. Agents have a list of potential buyers which details areas such as position to proceed and their financial position. For the most desirable properties, they’re tending to lean towards quiet marketing to ensure they can find a buyer fast without the hassle of multiple viewings.
2. What is Quiet Marketing? This is where an estate holds back a new listing from the property portals. The agents will often contact one, but sometimes a few buyers on their list whom they are confident will want it, and this often results in it being sold before it hits the open market.
3. Quiet Marketing or Grey Marketing as its also known, has been around since the earliest days of the industry. It was reserved for sellers who didn’t want it to be common knowledge their property was for sale. However, with estate agents reporting a list of buyers as long as their arms and with many of them working remotely, they’re taking the simplest, most time-efficient way to get a sale agreed, and this is achieved by calling one or a handful of their hottest buyers.
4. If you’re fortunate to have been given a ‘leg up’ by the estate agents and are interested in a property on the grey market, there are some things you should understand. With a shortage of homes and an abundance of buyers, sometimes a premium will need to be paid to secure a property. The best advice is to agree to pay what is necessary asap to secure the property. If you try to haggle too much, you can be sure there will be others in the queue behind you that will be happy to pay what is necessary.
5. Get yourself onto the estate agents ‘favourites’ list and if you have to badger them (in the nicest possible way), so be it. The key is to get yourself on the list in the first instance and make it clear to them that you can proceed and have the right professionals in place to make it happen.
6. If you’re on the list and you get a call to view a property, make sure you are available to view whenever is necessary and follow all protocols. If you’re viewing on an open house day, make sure you go ready to buy, don’t be thinking you’ll make your mind up after three or four visits, this is a guaranteed way to miss out.
7. Research is the key to ensuring you buy the right property, so the best advice is not to expect the estate agent to have all the answers. Conduct your own detailed research, walk around the area, if you can talk to neighbours and ask them what life is like living there.
8. When you get the stage of making an offer, make it clear that you expect a speedy answer and it’s not an offer being left on the table. The last thing you want is an agent going down their list to try to find a higher offer.
So there you have it, the secrets to getting ahead of the pack and finding the best property in this current buoyant market. Don’t forget you’ll need to sell yourself to the estate agent to get on their list of preferred buyers. Take this from someone who spent many years working in the industry, if you want first shot at the best property coming onto the market, warm yourselves to the estate agents and much of the battle will be won. – Paul Godbold.
To get in contact with Anthony Pearce and for more information on Stacks Property Search & Acquisition, visit www.stacks.co.uk.
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