An uncertain market brings testing times

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Matt Smith Knight Frank discusses an uncertain market.
Matt Smith Partner and Office Head Knight Frank Riverside

The Word with Matt Smith Partner and Office Head Knight Frank Riverside finds he has to work ever harder to secure a sale in an uncertain market.

There are lots of reasons to be cheerful. It’s been a decent summer – not too hot, not too dry, not too wet. Gardens look lush and appealing.  The traditionally busy autumn market is imminent. The market generally has gained momentum throughout the year and the Americans, to name but one nation, are over here spending dollars that now go much further, due to the drop in sterling.

Leaving the EU may be something that leaves you cold or leaves you fuming, but leaving is something that we will be doing by the end of October, according to Boris Johnson.

This has separated the men from the boys when it comes to property. Those that are looking to buy for any reason other than “need” have nerves of steel and hardened negotiating skills. They are armed with data expunged from numerous websites and data bases. There is no smoke to hide in and mirrors to trick you in the property market in 2019.

Everyone is well educated and well informed, so agents must be expertly prepared and equipped with comparable evidence of their own to assist buyers to see the entire spectrum and most importantly to also ensure that their clients have realistic expectations. Prices that are too high will not result in a sale. They just won’t.  In a buyers’ market an agent must work harder than ever to defend prices and to gain as much interest for sellers as possible. They must work longer hours for less reward and they must go the extra mile whenever possible.

Would you sell now during the final countdown? Many have decided not to sell until Brexit is behind us (will it ever be?) but people do need to buy, canny or otherwise. Families expand and contract, people relocate, die, get divorced and so on, so a genuine shortage of stock has meant that, actually, some buyers are finding that even though it should be the best time to negotiate and they have an armful of data to say that the price should be lower, then find that they can’t procure a property because there is so few from which to choose.

For best in class properties,  buyers must be prepared to face the fact that they may, even now, need to submit a competitive bid to secure their desired new home.

Will the new year bring an influx of new properties the market – probably. Will the market suddenly return to pre Brexit condition – almost certainly not. The dust will need to settle and may be whipped up into a storm if we have a general election once we have left the EU. This is the dilemma – if you wait, you may wait for a very long time, if it’s not one thing, it will be another. Sometimes one must simply grab the bull by the horns and hope it doesn’t turn into a bear.


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