After a very quiet late summer and autumn the phones have started ringing again with potential clients though three of them have subsequently found houses – I must be giving very good advice over the phone or in meetings that have opened their eyes to other opportunities. All the houses they are buying have been on the market for a number of weeks.
There is still a shortage of good property though the good agents are expecting to launch some properties in the early spring. I am sure I said that last year and nothing happened!
If you not already seen it then get a copy of the Cotswold Life Christmas edition. They have printed an article by me saying why this is a good time of year to buy.
See the article in full:
” Nobody wants to, but everybody should, says George Barkes of Stacks Property Search.
The fact that property looks so much better in spring and early summer is of course a very good reason NOT to buy at that time of year. Wait until the garden is bare; there are no leaves to block the view of the scrap yard, or to muffle the sound of the main road; the gutters are overflowing; the water’s pooling around the front door; and the condensation is streaming down the windows. This is a safe time of year to see property – warts and all. If you like it now, you’ll love it in May. But in the meantime, your head will be firmly in charge and your heart won’t get a look in.
Choose your viewing time wisely, factoring in the limited daylight hours you have available to you. There’s little point viewing a property in the dark. Take warm clothes – you don’t want the cold and wet to prevent you from having a really good look outside, not just at the garden, the surroundings and the view, but at the fabric of the property itself. Without the benefit of the sun, you’ll need a compass to establish the aspect, and check what trees and buildings will obscure the sun at various zeniths when it reappears next spring.
Once inside, ask the agent or vendor to turn out all the lights (they will have been instructed to turn them all on!) so you can establish how much natural light the property gets. And check whether the heating’s turned up to the max – it may feel warm and cosy, but at what cost?
Wait until the weather’s particularly bleak (snow and ice is ideal), and drag yourself away from the fire for a drive-by of the property you’re interested in.
There’s plenty of research that can play into your hands at this time of year. How long has the property been on the market? If it came on in the spring, there’s a fair chance that the vendor’s beginning to feel desperate, and a mid-winter chilly offer could receive a warm reception. There’s no better time for an aggressive offer than the second week of December.
While pre-Christmas is always a good time to negotiate a good deal, don’t be unreasonable about timing. There’s little benefit to trying to exchange and complete in limited time before the festivities. Solicitors close early for Christmas and remain closed for two weeks while stress levels will rise.
Do exchange before Christmas then let the vendors enjoy a last festive period in their house and look to complete at the end of January so there is no rush to pack those boxes over the holiday. If you do complete and move before Christmas, you’ll spend the holiday staring at cardboard boxes and trying to figure out how to use the Aga and the central heating system.