01932 221 331
38 High Street, Walton on Thames
01932 221 331
38 High Street, Walton on Thames
Walton on Thames

Is the heatwave of the Surrey property market starting to cool?


Things have been hot, hot, hot this year. After the UK seeing record temperatures, trying to keep
cool has been a challenge. And then there has been the property market that has again seen the
price of property coming to market this month hitting a sixth consecutive record, up 0.4% in the
month according to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index. Scorching as the price of property has
become, with the average price of a property now being £369,968, is the heatwave over? Will we
soon see the property market start to cool in Surrey?


Lack of properties remains
One of the main factors that is causing this blistering property market is the distinct lack of
properties available compared to strong buyer demand. Exceeding ‘historically normal levels’,
Rightmove’s research has shown that buyer demand is now 26% higher than it was at the same time
in 2019. Even with the cost-of-living crisis stretching all of our personal finances, people’s desire to
move continues.

There does seem to be a light, though, for buyers, as the number of people selling their properties is
up by 13% compared with this time last year, yet sadly the number of available homes on the market
is still at 2019 levels, down by a whopping 40%. It is no wonder, however, that buyers within Surrey can still find their search for a new home challenging.


“Having more new sellers this month is a win-win for the market, as these sellers will likely achieve
good prices for their homes given the sixth asking price record in a row that we’ve now seen, which
may help to explain the increase in new stock coming to market over the last year. For those looking
to buy, it means more choice, and a slight easing in competition against other buyers while the
market is still moving very quickly. In the current fast-changing economic climate, those looking to
buy who find a suitable home they can afford may choose to act now rather than wait. While more
choice is welcome news, the number of homes available remains well below the more normal levels
of 2019 and is unable to satisfy the continued high demand that we’re seeing. Though a softening in

demand is moving the market from a boil to a simmer, it remains 26% up on 2019. With such an
imbalance remaining between supply and demand, prices look underpinned, and we would therefore
only expect typical smaller seasonal month-on-month falls, rather than more significant price falls in
the second half of the year. This has led to us revising our annual price growth prediction for the end
of the year from 5% growth to 7%, although this would still mark a slowing from the 9.3% seen this
month.” Tim Bannister Rightmove’s Director of Property Science

Do interest rates play a role?


It is predicted that demand is likely to return to normal levels, especially because of the strain of
affordability due to the cost-of-living crisis. Interest rates could also play a part in buying decisions,
due to the fact that buyers may be wishing to lock in a longer fixed-term mortgage rate and thus
make some decide to act. To put this into perspective, for example, the average first-time buyer
who has taken out a two-year fixed mortgage is now paying 20% more than those who secured the
same mortgage at the start of the year.
Rightmove’s House Price Index found that because of the ever-growing uncertainty for finances,
buyers are choosing longer mortgage terms rather than shorter. Who can blame them when the rate
offered by lenders is virtually the same for five-year fixed or a two-year mortgage!


The right time


It is always wise to understand the property market when making a decision to move, and only you
know when the right time is for you. For an honest and open discussion on selling your home in
Surrey give our sales team a call on 01932 221331.

The 7 deadly sins that could kill the sale of your Surrey home


The property market has been on the sellers’ side this last couple of years, and, as such, some
people have become complacent. Yet with the high cost of living prices and predictions of the
market starting to slow, the tables are starting to turn. If you are considering selling your home you
can no longer rely on a crazy market to get your house sold; if you want the best price, you need to
put in some effort. Therefore, if you are committing any of these seven deadly sins, you could very
easily kill or hinder the sale of your Surrey home.


Pride


We know you love your home, but one of the things that can really be a hinderance is loving it too
much and having your blinkers on. You may have made some unique decorating choices, have some
DIY jobs to do, left rooms without a purpose, or taken the decision not to declutter – well, buyers
can see through these flaws can’t they? Remember the same essential rules for presenting your
home are important in any property market; don’t let your pride effect your sale.

 

Greed


Greed is a behaviour that home sellers fall into often without even realising. Of course you believe
that your home is worth a particular amount, especially when you see what has been happening
locally. Every home is different, even if they may look the same; therefore, as they say, you cannot
judge a book by its cover. When we value a property, we have to take so many things into account,
and this includes what the market at that particular moment will pay for your home.


Home values can change from street to street, from house to abode and, although doing your
research is a good starting point, it is important that you listen to what the experts are telling you. If
you overvalue your property you may end up selling it for a lot less than your initial appraisal. This is
because if buyers think your property is overpriced, they may not view thus leaving your home

gathering cobwebs in an estate agent’s window. If you put greed to one side you may even receive
an offer close to your dream amount.


Lust


One of the reasons you may have decided to move is because you have seen your dream home and
are desperate to make an offer. Your lust for a new property can often see you making rushed
decisions on your current Surrey home, which may not be the best for the property or its
pending sale. If you have seen a home your want, your best course of action is to put all your efforts
into selling your home and achieving the strongest offer you can, as this will place you in a better
position when it comes to putting an offer in on your dream home.

 

Envy

Oooh, that little green-eyed monster is never good unless you twist those little feelings into a
positive. We often see the envious side of a seller when they have watched a neighbour sell their
home for more than the valuation they have received for their property. Rather than seeing this as a
negative, find out the reasons why and discover if there are any upgrades you can make to your
home to help you achieve that envied sale price.


Gluttony


Are you someone who always wants more? You want more online views, more viewings, more
offers, more, more, more. When it comes to selling your home, gluttony does not sell houses, what
you need is not quantity but quality. Therefore, even though you may only have three potential
buyers through your doors in the first couple of days, if those three buyers are serious and translate
into offers, what more could you need?

Wrath


There is nothing like a house move to bring out a wealth of emotions, and although some of these
emotions are wonderful to experience, others are completely not! There is no doubt that there will
be stress, and often there will be things you don’t expect, so allow us, as your estate agent, to take
on the strain so you don’t cause your sale to collapse due to the wrath.


Sloth


You may not be in any hurry to move but that doesn’t mean every other buyer or seller in your chain
has the same thinking. Whilst you may be very happy to see things plod along, your lack of haste
may be seen as delays by your buyer. Delays are a deadly weapon when it comes to house sales, as
we always say, delays cause doubts, and doubts are one of the biggest reasons for people to pull out
of a sale. So think more like a cheetah and help the sale to a quick and graceful completion.

The biggest sin of all

One of the biggest sins is to not choose the right estate agent, as they will ensure that no other sins
are committed and that your sale will be a heavenly experience. Give our team at James Neave Estate Agents
a call today on 01932 221331.

5 Signs it’s time to sell your Surrey home

On average, we stay in our homes for around 12 years yet Covid saw a surge in people wishing to make that change sooner, although this is slowing a little in Surrey today. The decision to sell your home can be for a variety of reasons: it could be something that you have been considering for some time, a snap decision or one you have come to due to a change in circumstances. Often there can be financial and emotional factors behind such a move yet you may still be unsure whether to take the leap. How do you know if the time is right? Here are five common signs that it’s time to sell your home.

1. The current market

Before you make the decision on whether it is time to say goodbye to the home you love, it is  always good to understand the current market, especially if you’re thinking of a move due to finances.  According to the latest House Price Index from Rightmove, the average price of a property coming onto the market has risen by 0.3%, reaching another new record high for a fifth consecutive month. Although the demand for each property by potential buyers was down by 8% in May compared with April, it is still more than double (+113%) the pre-pandemic five-year May average.

 

 

“The exceptional pace of the market is easing a little, as demand gradually softens and price rises begin to slow, which is very much to be expected given the many record-breaking numbers over the past two years. When we look at the number of buyers contacting estate agents compared to 2019 or the pre-pandemic five-year average, demand is still very high compared to what was once considered normal. We’re hearing from agents that though they might have had slightly fewer enquirers for each property in recent months, they’re still seeing significant interest from multiple buyers and are achieving successful sales. Entering the second half of the year, we anticipate some further slowdown in the pace of price rises, particularly given the worsening affordability challenges that people are facing. We expect this to bring the annual rate of price growth down from the current 9.7% towards the 5% increase that Rightmove predicted at the beginning of the year.”  Tim Bannister Rightmove’s Director of Property Science

  1. Local influence

Although this is a national view, it does reflect what we are seeing locally – buyers’ demand still remains high and the quality of those buyers is strong. Today’s buyers know they will need to make quick decisions should they find their ideal home and, therefore, they have to be in a robust position to proceed.

 

If you’re thinking of selling, you may have been following what is happening in the local market, which of your neighbours’ properties have sold, and, of course, making note of their asking prices.  This is always a good starting point, but if you truly wish to understand how your property will perform, you should always request an appraisal from a small number of estate agents.

  1. Feeling the pinch

There is no doubt that we are all feeling the pinch right now as the cost of living crisis continues to affect our household finances. Hopefully you are still able to make ends meet, but we have started to see several buyers who have made the decision to move to ease the burden. We know this will not be a decision you make lightly, but it is worth investigating if you want to reduce your mortgage and any other associated costs. Deciding to sell for this reason, we know, will be an extremely difficult one filled with a wealth of emotions, but we can reassure you at James Neave Estate Agents we will support you each and every step of the way.

 

 

  1. The size isn’t right

    As we move through life our family can grow, spread their wings, and come back together. Your needs for your home change as your home and work life continue to evolve. There may be times in your life when your home feels too big and others where you are crying out for more space. One of the main deciding factors for many homeowners looking to sell their home is when they know the size isn’t right. Therefore if you are looking to upsize, downsize or, what has now become increasingly popular, find a home that can bring generations together, if there is a lack or an overabundance of space, it may be time to find a better fit.

 

  1. Too much work

Every home has its needs; you may have fallen in love with a property due to its extensive garden, been swept away by its period features, or been excited by the potential that is hidden within its walls. You may or may not have been aware of how much work you were taking on, but what once was a dream is slowing turning into a nightmare, as the reality of living in and maintaining or renovating such a home hits you.  Keeping hold of a property you have fallen out of love with can be a drain, emotionally as well as financially, as decisions can be rushed rather than thought through properly. Should your feelings start to change about your property, it may be wise to move before how you feel starts to show in the presentation of your home.

What does your gut say
There are never any guarantees when selling your home, but whatever the reason for your move you should always consider all aspects rather than making a hasty decision. If you would like an honest appraisal of your home and the opportunity to discuss the reality of selling in today’s Surrey market, give our team a call on 01932 221331.

How to prepare your Surrey home for a viewing

The viewing is where the magic happens, the time where potential buyers, who have bottled up their hopes and dreams, get to experience the reality of your home. No doubt, they will have devoured the photographs, been addicted to the video and scrutinised the floor plan, which is why your property has made their cut of possibles. Therefore, you don’t want to dampen their enthusiasm at the first hurdle, which is why we have put together our top tips on how to prepare your home for a viewing.

Change your outlook

Hopefully, you will have already done the work to prepare your home for sale, so now it is just about checking everything is ready and adding those finishing touches.  It is often the little things that buyers notice on a viewing, and it is these things that you can easily miss as a seller. Our eyes can play tricks on us because everything is familiar and comfortable, so this is why you need to change your outlook. Instead of looking at your house as a home, you need to walk around from room to room, and round the exterior from front to back with prying eyes, just as a buyer would. You are not looking to make any major changes at this stage, just those quick fixes that add that final touch of pizzazz to your already beautiful home.

 

 

A memorable welcome

It starts at the very beginning: decisions and opinions are formed from the moment they arrive at your property in Surrey. If you don’t have off-road parking, are you able to keep a space for them to be able to park? Check if any litter has blown into your garden and give your front door a quick wipe so it is looking its absolute best. As the front door opens, what are your buyers met with? How can you make that more appealing? Adding a plant and a lamp will add warmth if you feel this is missing.

Remember it is a home

Where some sellers go wrong when preparing a property for a viewing is that they tidy it to within an inch of its life and by doing so can rip out the heart of what makes it a home. Of course it needs to be clean and tidy, but it also needs to feel the warmth and affection, as it is this emotional connection that buyers will fall in love with. So make sure you think about how you dress your home, little vignettes will provide an insight into what it would be like to live there. A couple of place settings and a bottle of wine on your dining table, a throw and book on a garden bench, flowers, candles and cushions all add to the ambiance.

 

 

Make it light

One resource your home has that you must take advantage of is its natural light; it is a powerful asset to any room, making it feel brighter and more spacious. Ensure all your curtains and blinds are fully open and add lighting in rooms that could do with an extra lift. Even in the summer months, arriving at a dark, ill-lit home can be extremely unwelcoming, and we know that is certainly not the impression you want potential buyers to leave with. Open some windows too if the weather is mild, as it will fill your house with a natural freshness.

 

Keep it simple

In your kitchen and bathroom it is about keeping it simple, sleek and sexy. Keep surfaces clear and ensure that your cupboards are organised and looking lovely. Buyers tend to open cupboard doors to look at space, and you don’t want them to see a disaster zone behind the sleek façade. Add finishing touches that add freshness, such as a vase or glass bowl of lemons in the kitchen and a plant or two in the bathroom, and always make sure the seat is down!

 

 

Share the love

You have loved this property, and even if your feelings have dwindled, you know what it has meant to you over the years. When you are preparing your home for a viewing, share this love in each area of your home through your final staging and it will be hard for buyers not to lose their heart to it as they view.  For more advice on how to prepare your home for a viewing, contact our team today on 01932 221331.

Problems that home staging can’t solve when selling your Surrey home


Home staging is a powerful tool when it comes to selling your home; the right staging can work
miracles in most cases. Simply put, home staging is the term which describes preparing your home
or ‘setting the stage’ for a potential buyer. This involves decluttering, organising, redecorating,
cleaning, rearranging furniture and other strategies to make your home as appealing as possible.
Staging is not designed to hide issues with your home, instead you should resolve these before you
place your home on the market. With this in mind, here are some problems that home staging can’t
solve when selling your Surrey home.


The big two


Adding some carefully positioned plants and flowers can not hide the obvious when it comes to
outdated or tired kitchens and bathrooms. These are two rooms that can make or break a sale and,
therefore, you need to ensure that you have done what is required to bring them up to standard.
Broken doors or shelves withing kitchen cabinets are not only a turn-off but can ring alarms about
the condition of the rest of the property. New grouting and a fresh lick of paint can make a huge
difference, and should your kitchen doors need some love, could painting or re-spraying be a
solution? One thing is for sure, you need to work harder in these rooms to make other areas of your
home shine.

 

Outdated and odd features


All homes, especially older ones, can charm buyers with their character and quirkiness, but should
this uniqueness be odd or outdated it will have the opposite affect. Home staging won’t distract
buyers from the weird and wonderful, in fact it will focus their attention completely and away from
the property as a whole and could also impact the potential value of your home as well. Therefore, if
you have neglected to update or remove such features we would certainly recommend that you
consider undertaking the work before you take the step of inviting estate agents round to value your
home.

Rushed makeover


You may have been working hard to get your home ready for sale but decided that you don’t need to
decorate. Adding the most stylish and exquisite pieces to a room won’t disguise a tired paint job,
and buyers will notice. But in the haste to get your property on the market your paint job may not be
to a professional standard, and this will stand out a mile. If you are not up to the task then investing
in a decorator will take away the stress and also leave your home looking like Britain’s Next Top
Show Home.

 

Damaged flooring


Rugs are often used in home staging to define spaces within a room; what they are not designed for
is to hide damage or other floor issues. Some flooring problems can be felt underfoot when walking
across the area, and hiding them with a rug will look deceitful, which is the last thing that you want
when selling your home. Take a look at your carpets as well – have they seen better days? If so, it
could be worthwhile replacing them or at least having them steam cleaned so they are looking the
best they can be for potential buyers.


No hiding smells


Your home could look immaculate, be beautifully staged and be the dream that buyers are seeking,
but if there are unwanted odours, the image that you have created will be shattered into pieces. If
you are a smoker or have pets, having rugs, carpets and furniture cleaned will help to remove those
lingering smells which potential buyers will notice immediately. Also, be wary of using plug-ins, air
fresheners or scented candles – these can have very strong and dominant fragrances which can
overpower a room. Using such strong scents can also start buyers wondering if you are trying to hide
other smells which are lurking underneath.

 

 

Do the work


If you wish to get the best price for your Surrey property, you need to put in the work
before you look to place your house on the market. Home staging is there to enhance your home’s
natural beauty, not to be used as a tool to hide its issues. It is important that you look at your home
through critical eyes, only then can you see its flaws just as a potential buyer will do on a viewing.


If you would like advice on how best to approach getting your home ready for sale, call our sales
team today on 01932 221331.

 

01932 221 331
38 High Street, Walton on Thames
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