It may be the final day of August but Propertymark has first out of the blocks with advice for agents to give to prospective vendors and buyers regarding ‘getting in by Christmas’.
It is warning that the average time taken from offer to exchange is now at between 13 and 16 weeks, and that conveyancers, mortgage brokers and moving companies - as well as agents - remain overwhelmingly busy.
“A lot of people who are new to the market may not realise how different things are right now. Historically we have all been very used to sales taking six to eight weeks to go through, sometimes maybe even four. The current market is a very different beast though and people really do need to be aware that they must plan ahead” explains Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson.
The advice for agents to pass on to consumers is as follows:
Ensure the property is sale ready - It sounds obvious, but once you’ve lived in a house for a long time you may not notice what others will. Ask the agent if they can spot anything that may put people off and maybe even ask some trusted friends who have fresh eyes. Anything that’s flagged could put potential buyers off so get it fixed before you enter the market.
Money, Money, Money - The current market is a strong sellers’ market which means you are most likely to secure a great price for your house. Propertymark’s data shows that 31% of houses sold for over the asking price in July. To help you make an onward move, interest rates are historically low and can be fixed long-term meaning it’s now cheaper to move than it has been for a long time.
Paperwork at the ready - To speed up the process, it’s never too early to get all paperwork ready for the solicitors. Completion of a Propertymark Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) at the outset will save a considerable amount of time later on. Dig out certificates for any work you’ve had done so you can easily hand them over when the time comes. Solicitors will also need to see ID so make sure everything is up to date.
Check the logistics - It may seem like there’s loads of time to think about removals and storage, but there’s no harm in calling ahead. Every aspect of the market has seen unprecedented demand and you don’t want to agree a sale and find out there’s no help out there. Calling van hire, removals, or storage companies to gauge their customer load and availability might save stress later down the line.