So, is it a good time to sell?
Whether you’re involved in the property industry, thinking about moving or just a nosey neighbour, you will have noticed that houses are still being listed on a weekly basis.
But why would someone try to sell their house when this pandemic has everyone worried about their jobs, their finances and mental wellbeing?
We have looked into this and want to answer all those questions you have and offer a few insights along the way for you to decide whether or not it is a good time to sell.
What’s your Reason for moving?
We all have a reason for moving. It could be you need more space, you want less space, have health issues, relationship breakdowns, the list goes on, but your reason is the number one priority when you make the decision to move house.
What is your reason?
Now, what has changed? Do you still need to move for that reason?
So what’s stopping you?
Getting our lives back to normal is priority for everyone. With some businesses remaining open and adapting their services it now makes it possible to have your house valued right up to agreeing a sale without worrying about contracting or spreading the virus.
How will people buy?
Again, if you’re checking the online portals regularly then you will see that houses are still being sold, but it’s difficult to understand how people are buying houses whilst adhering to the government guidelines regarding social distancing.
This is done in 2 ways.
The first is virtual viewings. Yes virtual viewings. Estate agents and vendors are turning to FaceTime, Zoom and Whatsapp video calls to set up a 3 way meeting to walk around and view a property and then make an offer.
The second is physical viewings but only for vacant properties. Some estate agents have created guidelines to follow for any viewing on a property that is vacant, definitely not ideal given the governments guidelines, but it is happening.
Even with an offer, will the sale still progress?
A number of solicitors are now working from home meaning all the work that could be done in the office is still getting done. Fewer houses are being sold, which means the workload is getting lighter so, if anything, this is allowing the admin work to progress faster than ever before.
Searches and mortgage valuations have naturally come to a stand still, but all the work that needs to be done before can be completed without worrying about losing any time.
Before going on the market it is always a wise decision to look at the properties around you. This helps determine the price that you should enter the market at and shows you the other properties your buyers will be viewing.
Lets look at the data from March 2019 and March 2020. This has been taken from Rightmove and includes LS8, LS7 and LS17 postcodes.
|1st – 28th March 2019
|1st – 28th March 2020
|Difference as %
|New to the market
|Sold Subject to contract
There are 178 fewer properties on the market than there were this time last year which is 26% difference but there is only a 12.5% reduction in the number of properties that have had an offer accepted compared to March last year.
This shows that people are still buying houses and with less available, it could mean that marketing now is the right thing to do.
But is the market going to crash
Majority of people are assuming the market is going to crash given all that is happening over the world, but we can never predict whether or not this will happen. We can only live in the present and right now we know exactly how the market is and can see that people are still buying properties.
Would it be so bad if the market did crash? Does this mean it isn’t a good time to sell? Depending on your next move it could even prove beneficial if it was to happen.
Moving into rented
Having conversations with vendors over the previous weeks have shown that they are willing to sell up and move into rented accommodation. Why is that?
Cash rich investors are the ones that benefit from a crash in the market, so how can you put yourself into this category. One way is by selling your house and leaving the money in the bank and renting for a few months.
People upsizing could potentially benefit from a crash.
Lets say you have a house that is worth 300k and want to buy a house that is worth 400k.
If the market was to crash by 10%, you would stand to lose 30k on your house but the house you are buying would lose 40k, which puts you 10k better off than before.
So is it a good time to sell during Covid-19?
We would say it all comes down to your number reason. If you NEED to sell then you know that it is possible to do so. However, if you want to sell, then it could be worth waiting until this passes before officially going to market.
Doing nothing either way is definitely not an option. The majority of people that want to sell now are waiting for the lockdown to be lifted, which means you could find 3 or 4 properties on your street with a for sale board at the same time as yours. This gives the buyer the power.
Our next blog “5 ‘must dos’ now to beat the competition” will give you steps you can take now to ensure your property has every opportunity of selling before your neighbours come to market.