The Nationwide announcement that house prices fell by 2.5% in May is alarming for home owners looking to sell, but falls like these and the property market slowdown are starting to demand real estate agency skills.
Firstly, lets consider what a 2.5% fall in one month actually means. The average house price is now £173,583 so a drop in this price by 2.5% means that the average property lost a staggering £4339.58 in one month!
A £300,000 house in April is now only worth £292,500, having lost £7,500 (£250 per day), even if you can sell it.
Selling a property, even at a realistic price is becoming a real challenge, made ever harder by the fact that buyers know that the house prices have a long way to fall, before the market stabilises.
The days of estate agency being ‘money for old rope’ have gone. In my local town there are rumours that two estate agents are close to going under. Those that are to survive will have to demonstrate significant skills, patience and a real ability to think outside the box to match sellers with a dwindling and reluctant bunch of buyers.
I came across an example of a high level of estate agency skill this morning. One seller can’t sell his large house and would consider investing in a smaller buy to let property. Another seller is looking to move to a bigger house, but can’t sell his house too.
The estate agent, acting for both of them, came up with a suggestion. Why don’t they part exchange their properties?
It will be interesting to see if that happens, or not, however it does show that life can be breathed into a dying property market by a skilled estate agent, even in these difficult times.