If you have been searching for your next home in recent months, you may be feeling disheartened or overwhelmed by the fast-paced market. With limited property options and a need to act fast, it is a competitive market for buyers, and many are struggling to secure their dream home.
The desire to move home, find the perfect space, and live in the ideal location has been amplified in the past 18 months. With many reassessing their living spaces and making the important decision to move forwards to find a new home, buyer demand is higher than ever.
The surge to buy is thought to have been fuelled in large part by the tax savings that were available due to the Stamp Duty holiday. With this now ending, will the market soon return to ‘normal’?
Sales are moving at a rapid pace
Whilst the UK is not currently in a government-imposed lockdown the pandemic continues to impact everyday life and, with the increased desire to buy, there is not an equal supply of properties on the market.
Whether this is due to first-time buyers and investors taking advantage of mortgage offers and the Stamp Duty saving, renters searching for future security, divorcees splitting assets, Park home owners wishing to return to bricks and mortar, or expats wishing to return to live in the UK, the low levels of stock have created a sellers’ market.
Zoopla reports that the total stock of homes is down by 26% from 2020 and, in addition to the low supply of properties, the market is moving at a far more rapid pace. Did you know the average time to sell is currently 26 days in the UK? This is down from 49 days in 2019, and the higher volumes of sales each month have aided in the erosion of supply.
House prices continue to rise
The current competitive market continues to affect house prices. While the top end of the market recently saw a slight decrease in asking price, average asking prices are still rising across the market, most commonly with three and four-bedroom properties.
The September House Price Index from Rightmove details the “hottest ever competition to buy a home and the highest ever prices”. Plus, there are “early signs of a better-balanced autumn market with more homes coming up for sale to help with buyer choice, with the number of new listings in the first two weeks of September 14% higher than the last two weeks of August.”
However, the continued rise of the “power buyer” dominates the competition, with those still needing to sell property on the backfoot when it comes to booking viewings and winning bids.
Finding the perfect property
With a lower supply of properties and a fast-moving market, you’ll want to act fast when it comes to finding your ideal home. Here are 5 fast-paced tips to beat the competition...
1. Register with local estate agents directly
Be the first to learn of new listings and be persistent with your agents, make sure they know how committed you are to buying in their area.
2. Sign up for instant alerts on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla
Check your emails for the latest activity and remember there are many other online portals to choose from too, such as OnTheMarket and newcomer Boomin.
3. Be available for property viewings
Vendors won’t wait so make sure you can be available to view as soon as possible, and try to view as many prospective properties as you can - it’s good to be able to compare and discard options to help you find the right home and ensure you do not impulse buy something which you may later regret.
4. Sell your property as soon as possible
You’ll want to be seen as a competitive buyer if you find the perfect property, especially if it has lots of interested parties, so be sure to avoid common mistakes and secure a buyer as soon as possible. This puts you in the best position to be making a competitive offer on your dream home.
5. Get expert help and support
Did you know Homewise have a free property finding service available to all customers? Not only can our team save you time, energy, and money but, with help from Homewise, you could boost your budget to secure the perfect property immediately!
Our team of experts are on hand to help and support you every step of your property search. From conducting thorough searches and liaising with our nationwide agent network to find your perfect property, to booking VIP viewings and handling negotiations with agents, our “Move Simply” service could be of great benefit to your property search, and it’s free!
Read on to learn more and see how Homewise could help you find your ideal home in the current market.
Benefit from expert support – for free!
You may be concerned that you could struggle to find the perfect property in the current climate but don’t be disheartened, we’re here to help. In fact, we’ve been helping people move home for more than 50 years!
We provide people aged 60 and over with unique ways to boost their moving budget and transform their retirement, through our Home for Life Plan.
Our complementary Move Simply service is available to all Home for Life Plan customers and offers a hassle-free way for you to find, secure, and move to your dream home.
“Excellent service all round from every member of staff. They were helpful and friendly from beginning to end. They take a lot of the stress of buying a home away. I would definitely recommend them to anyone” Ms Jones, Homewise customer
Moving home is a big decision, and whether you’re relocating later in life, wishing to downsize to a more manageable home, or simply looking for a fresh start free from financial burdens, we could help you find happiness and security for your future.
From your initial enquiry through to moving day, and beyond, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Through our free Move Simply service, we can help you to:
- Search, find and view potential properties
- Negotiate and make the right offer on your next home
- Sell your current property for the best price
Property search and viewing service
With our free property finding service, our in-house team of experts can help you find your perfect home.
Through our many years’ experience and extensive network within the industry, we can find properties that match your needs and book viewings right away, in some cases before they’ve even gone on the market!
The Home for Life Plan can be applied to pretty much any property that’s on the open market with any estate agent, so we work with hundreds of agents nationwide on a regular basis. They know us and are supportive of helping our customer achieve their moving goals.
Every day our dedicated Property Researchers will be conducting thorough property searches, liaising with agents, making hundreds of calls on behalf of customers, and producing due diligence reports on prospective properties.
“My job is to conduct research and find the perfect new home for our customers, making sure any prospective properties hit all of their goals. As we have such great relationships with agents across the country, we can arrange viewings for properties before they have even hit the open market. We work hard behind the scenes to ensure finding a property is as smooth and stress free for our customers as possible.” Jack, Property Researcher - Homewise.
When the right property is found, our team can arrange for virtual viewings with agents and vendors, book face-to-face appointments, and even come with you on the day should you wish.
“Excellent service. We found our experience really helpful; you can relax with no worries... Also when you are looking around a property so is [our property consultant] and she has seen things we may have missed. After your visit you are asked to give the property a score and discuss the pros and cons also look around the area which is very helpful when making such a big decision.” Mr & Mrs Wareham, Homewise Customers
We’ll handle the stressful processes and ask the agents the detailed questions; you can save time and energy just viewing properties that will meet your needs, in the hopes you’ll find the right home sooner.
Negotiations and making offers
Along with our Customer Support teams, our Property Department work closely with every Homewise customer to secure the perfect property for their needs.
Our in-house Property Researchers are responsible for helping our customers find their dream home and secure it with a competitive offer. Not only will they research and provide reports on prospective properties we find, but also any that you may be interested in that you’ve found independently.
Our goal is to buy the perfect property of your choosing, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you are armed with all the information you need to make an informed decision, for your current goals and future needs.
“Once you have found a home you love I will plan the best way to negotiate on the property and secure it for the best possible price. I will then take care of all the negotiating and keep you informed every step of the way. It is lovely when I receive that call to say the offer has been accepted, knowing it will make our customer so happy.” Melissa, Property Researcher - Homewise
We will take care of the negotiating, by making the offers and keeping you informed every step of the way. A key part of our process is to ensure the property you choose is suitable for the long term, with no hidden surprises. So, we will book a survey and review this in great detail, sharing the findings and report with you in plain English.
Our in-house Sales Progression team will then guide you through the solicitor and surveyor process, all you need to do is instruct your chosen solicitor and we’ll work with them through to completion. We’ll be in regular contact with you and all parties in the chain, including solicitors, and we’ll negotiate moving dates to suit your needs.
And the best bit, we will be delighted to phone you to say congratulations you can collect the keys!
Selling your current property
If you are selling a property to fund your move, you will want to find the right buyer as soon as possible. Many may think it’ll be easy to find a buyer in the current market, but some properties are still struggling to sell and there are common mistakes that can be avoided.
The team at Homewise have decades of experience and can help you navigate the selling process too. Whether you’re planning to go on the market, or are already actively trying to sell a property, we can help.
We have a network of trusted agent partners across the UK and can arrange for a free valuation of your property to take place. Having at least 3 valuations will help you to be sure you are advertising at the right price and will find the right buyer.
When you are on the market, we will work closely with your chosen estate agent and can cut through the jargon to talk you through any options that could help you sell the property sooner, and for the best price.
If you’re selling a property in the UK, we will carry out a free, no-obligation review of your current property (and the marketing effort from your estate agent) to report impartial recommendations on the expected value of your home, and how you could proceed to sell your property for the best price.
When you receive an offer, we can discuss what that price means for you and your onward move, so you are able to make informed decisions.
“Big decisions to be made and I was helped all the way. [My consultation] was brilliant, meeting and chatting over the way forward left me in no doubt I was doing the right thing. From beginning to end there was always someone available to chat. Brilliant, thank you for opening up my future life plan to me.” Ms Stevens, Homewise Customer
If you are keen to move on, did you know we have a part-exchange service that could provide you with a quick solution? Just as you may trade in your car with a motor dealer, you can use our Sell Simply service to ‘trade in’ your property to Homewise.
While your Sell Simply cash offer will likely be less than seen on the open market, you can benefit from:
- A guaranteed cash buyer
- A quick and uncomplicated process
- Competitive offer prices
- No estate agent fees (typically 1%-3% + VAT)
- Flexible timescales to suit you
Having a guaranteed buyer in place puts you in a proceedable position, and in a stronger negotiating position than the competition (potentially able to negotiate a price saving too!), which means you could be the prospective buyer of choice when offers are made! Plus, you will not need to host endless viewings to the public and can concentrate on finding your perfect property.
Sound good? Talk to us.
Our mission is to help people find happiness and security for their future, in their perfect property and ideal location. If you are aged 60 or over and are thinking about moving, talk to Homewise.
We’re here to talk whenever you are ready and could help you find your dream home, even in a sellers’ market. And don’t forget, you could be eligible for a significant boost to your budget and benefit from our free Move Simply service too!
Since 2007 alone, we’ve purchased over £263 million worth of property for our customers, boosting our customers' budgets by £79 million, which enabled them to clear over £42 million in debts too!
With a boost to your budget, you could achieve your dream move, be free from financial burdens, and even create extra funds to enjoy your retirement.
So, why wait? Discover what your first steps could look like on your journey to a happy future in your new home.