Homebuyers, get active now.

James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search says, “If you were serious about selling and buying before the lockdown, and are still able to make that move, then you should get yourself actove now as the market os open.

“We expect the market to be tight, but those that are in it will be serious, so you’ll need to have a good game plan. In the new agency world of difficult viewing protocols and nervous vendors, browsers and casual tyre-kickers won’t get the same attention as determined buyers.

Bill Spreckley of Stacks Property Search says, “This summer will be busy. There was already pent-up demand from buyers who’d been waiting for a Brexit resolution, and this will be exaggerated by buyers who’ve spent a long period of lockdown in what they are now sure is the wrong house – they will be anxious to move on in with a new ‘life is too short to spend it in the wrong property’ attitude.”

Stacks advice for being ready to leave the starting blocks includes:

“Revisit your family discussions about what your priorities and must-haves are – these may well have changed over the course of weeks of lockdown. And clarity of thought is more important than ever with travel and viewings more difficult to arrange than in the past.

“If you’ve found lockdown bearable, then the chances are you’re in the right kind of property, in the right location, with the right people. You will be much clearer as we come out of this process if there are any elements you’d like to change!

“Your relationships with agents will be crucial as they will be more meticulous about qualifying who is serious and who isn’t. They will be reluctant to go through the paraphernalia of arranging viewings for non-serious buyers. Now is a good time to be chatting to them and making it very clear what you’re after and what your buying position is.

“Demonstrate your seriousness, discussing how you’re happy to meet viewing protocols when they are (inevitably) introduced by the industry, and work with the vendors’ own levels of fear.

“The old ways of finding out about a locality and its community will be harder to access. Visiting an area, and taking a wander around, chatting to locals at the pub or cafe, and generally immersing yourself in the community was a great way of discovering what lies under the bricks and mortar.

“What has become useful in our Covid society is a multitude of online community groups, set up largely to help each other out. These are easily found and reveal an awful lot about a community, generally leading you into other local groups and societies that will give you even more insight.

“This is the case in towns and cities as much as villages, with streets and squares becoming micro-communities.

“Instagram is a good online resource; follow hashtags for localities, there’s an upsurge of residents posting local pictures.

“Walking is the new everything, and a dog is a great talking point. If you don’t have one, borrow one, and set off to the local walking spots. Socially-distanced chats on dog walks with acquaintances and strangers alike is generally acceptable and welcomed by many locals. But read the body language, if somebody wants to steer a very wide berth, respect their reluctance to engage.

“Be careful about what you’re NOT seeing and hearing. Noise levels everywhere are dramatically lower than pre-lockdown, so it’s difficult to get a feel for road noise, flight paths and underground noise in the current situation, and we probably won’t get a true idea for some time to come. Ask locals, estate agents, and look carefully at maps.

“On the flip side, you’ll get a good idea of who your neighbours are as they’ll all be at home!

Using a buying agent:

James Greenwood says, “Buying has unquestionably got more complicated, and there are ways we as buying agents can overcome hurdles that didn’t previously exist for most buyers.

  • We can undertake remote viewings for clients, something we’ve been doing for overseas clients for decades.
  • Virtual tours undertaken by one of our directors are a good alternative to a first visit.
  • This won’t be a brave new world for us – just our normal modus operandi!
  • We have great relationships with local agents, we are often the first to hear about new properties, and we know about off-market properties too.
  • We’re well-versed in national and local markets and will be able to offer sound advice in terms of values, something that we expect to be tricky to interpret post-lockdown.

“We’re offering buyers free on-line consultations. If you’re planning a move and feel you need some property therapy, please get in touch.”

Stacks Property Search, 01594 842880 / www.stacks.co.uk

Ends – 

    • For more information, jpgs and interviews, contact Amanda MacCaw, 01386 700068 / 07977 238175 / amanda@wildmaccaw.co.uk

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