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By Colin Shairp

Director, Fine & Country Southern Hampshire


OTHER FEATURES

What should agents do with cool customers in a hot market?

Property owners who play it cool when it comes to marketing their home find their frustration soon becomes overheated.

The constant we hear from people planning to sell is that they don’t need to do so until they have found something to buy.

If I had a pound for every time I have heard this wisdom, then I would long ago be retired to a floating gin palace in Monte Carlo. But the fact that I’m still working is not because I haven’t heard the refrain. It’s more that I didn’t grasp the pound!

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The truth is that in a hot market such as we have right now, vendors holding off until they have found the home they want places them at a potential disadvantage. Many estate agents will only show properties to people who they classify as ‘hot’ buyers. This means those who have pre-sold and are ready to proceed.

I have approaching 2,000 people on my books who tell me they want to move but a low percentage of those are ‘hot’, so they get first offer of a viewing when a home that looks right for them becomes available.

So to be a hot buyer and therefore be among the cool, satisfied home movers, we need to convince the public that there needs to be a change in attitude.

Playing it cool over selling will see home owners get hot under the collar when they lose the home they want because they didn’t get themselves a buyer lined up well in advance. And, naturally, that will be down to us even though it was them failing to heed our warnings!

It’s also good to see that the so-called stamp duty holiday is having little effect on the market.

People accepted at the start of the year that they wouldn’t make the original deadline of March 31 for their purchase to complete and when this was extended until June 30, there was no new expectation of achieving a tax saving.

Instead, driving the market is the post-Covid ambition to move to a home that really suits future needs rather than making do with the current property, where the shortcomings were made only too obvious due to the amount of time being spent in it.

There will be few foreign holidays - green zones, flight corridors, or Covid passports notwithstanding -  and staycations are fast getting booked up. So why not spend the time this summer getting the home situation sorted? That’s what many people seem to be doing, and who can blame them?

With billions of pounds allegedly saved up during the lockdown as people stopped using retail therapy, there is now money waiting to be spent on property moves, often easier than property upgrades as the latter still needs almost as much furniture moving as the former.

If you have to get it out and put it back, why not put it back in a place that better suits your needs is my message? Anyone disagreeing with what I consider sound thinking should just try getting a builder, electrician, and plumber lined up together to achieve their dream alterations any time soon!

*Colin Shairp is director of Fine and Country Southern Hampshire and Town and Country Southern. He is also south eastern regional representative on the Fine and Country National Advisory Council.

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