Monday, October 20, 2008

Stop the negativity!

Someone said the other day that they hadn't had anything new to read on my blog for a while. After I told them they should get out more I realised that I was just building up a head of steam!


This week has been exasperating. For estate agents all over the UK that is probably an understatement and I think even my favourites in Government might have something stronger to say about the way the country's lenders have responded to being bailed out by the tax payer i.e. you and me.


To step away from the 'Big Picture' for a moment my exasperation has been caused by so called fellow professionals at a local level.


We have sold a development of high specification 2 bedroom apartments in a very central location, all bar two plots. Our client told us to get them sold and I found a first time buyer prepared to pay £120,000. This offer was duly accepted on a property where similar apartments had sold between £184,950 and £190,000 in the last 9 months. I make that a reduction of about 35%. After the buyer's broker had been unable to find a mortgage for 90% of the purchase our mortgage adviser was able to produce a viable product. Showing loyalty to her original broker the first time buyer went back to them to be told along the lines of "....ooohh, I'd hang on to your deposit if I were you. You don't want to be buying anything."


What??? Was it sour grapes because they had boobed on the mortgage? Or did they genuinely believe that 35% off was not enough. They are in danger of creating a self fulfilling prophecy if they keep advising buyers to stay out of the market.


The second was a firm of solicitors who must only do conveyancing as a small part of their business, or at least I hope it is!


A client of theirs rang them to say they had made a cash offer on a property. The response was "Oh no! You really shouldn't be making offers and buying houses in this market". Ask anyone the best time to buy anything and the answer is when the market is down. The fact that these people were offering on a fairly unique property that rarely comes to the market is pertinent but not totally relevant. Their position allowed them to pay cash now and take advantage of a poor market leaving them time to do works to the property whilst staying in their own home which could be sold when the market improves.


It's unfortunate that we are all going through the times we are but we don't need the professionals among us depressing things further and creating the climate for further inactivity.


By the way we're selling more than the national 'average' estate agent – but then you'd expect that wouldn't you!