Rod Christie, of CKD Galbraith's Elgin office, believes now is a good time to be putting properties on the market prior to the traditional spring selling season and outlines some top tips and expert advice for home owners who may be considering selling their property.
During 2013, the firm as a whole saw an increase of 34% of properties sold, with an average property value of 422,127, which was an increase of 25,250 on the previous year. Prices achieved were on average within 0.5 per cent of the asking price highlighting the firm's expertise in setting accurate property valuations.
The firm has experienced an improvement in the Morayshire property market over the last quarter (Oct Dec 2013) completing 33% more sales compared to the previous quarter of 2013. There has also been a 15% increase in the number of properties coming to the market for sale through CKD Galbraith's Elgin office over the same period.
Rod Christie said: "Over the last quarter we have seen an increase in business across all our offices in Scotland and we believe that this is set to continue throughout the spring months. Compared to the last quarter of 2012, we have witnessed a real surge in the number of viewings and prospective buyers registering with us in Elgin.
"Although the Morayshire market continues to be somewhat slow in comparison to other regions, we believe it will pick up throughout 2014 and are looking forward to a more confident and active property market on the back of our improved figures experienced last quarter.
"We would encourage early action this year as the Scottish independence referendum is likely to cause a slight slowdown in the property market leading up to the poll itself, a traditional trend which is experienced in any General Election year.
"However, there is no doubt that the Government Help to Buy scheme is assisting first time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder and consequently this is helping to revitalise the market. Furthermore, as a firm we don't expect the new mortgage lending rules, set to be introduced in April through the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), to be something to worry about and in fact the Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts that mortgage lending will grow to 195 billion in 2014, up 15 per cent on last year's figures.
"The forecast is bright for those looking to sell in the coming months but selecting an agent with accurate knowledge of the market in order to set a prudent price and give honest advice is of paramount importance."
Preparing your property for the market needs some considerable thought. Rod outlines some expert advice to bear in mind and help your property attract the interest it merits:
- Price is one of the most decisive factors so keep your eye on the competition. It's imperative to conduct some thorough research of your own to ensure you're well placed in 2014's competitive market.
- Look at your house objectively and ask yourself what the deciding factors that drew you to the property were. Once the unique selling points of the property have been identified make sure they stand out.
- It's true that first impressions do count for everything! Buyers have often made up their mind on a house within five minutes, so dressing your house well and making it clear that each room has a function will go a long way to establishing a good impression.
- It's also important that outside spaces and gardens are well presented and appear as spacious as possible. This counts inside the house as well spend time de-cluttering rather than costly alterations such as a new bathroom.
- Choose the right agent for you and your property. A good agent will be able to give you realistic advice on the local and national market. Investing in your agent will allow you to reap the rewards with dramatic increases in viewers and getting the best price possible for your property. With this in mind, trust your agent's expertise and try to leave the negotiations to them.
- Finally, try to keep calm throughout the whole process; a viewer will enjoy visiting a house with a happy atmosphere and an owner who does not seem desperate to sell.
CKD Galbraith Elgin has recently launched local Facebook and Twitter pages providing followers with updates, news and information on the local residential property market. To be the first to know about new properties available for sale and to let in the area like and follow us at facebook.com/CKDGalbraithElgin and twitter.com/Elgin_CKDG