A Call To Action To The Good People Of Bristol

My Haigh Report for the Bristol Post – Friday 29th April

Call to action

Come On Bristol, Let’s Lead The Way

In my Report a few weeks ago, I suggested that I would organise a “speed dating for property” event. It was, admittedly, a little tongue in cheek (well, it was to be first published on April 1st, after all; how could I resist?) but it has got me thinking.

There is a log-jam in the property market. A shortage of properties. And it’s been that way for well over a year. This is why we’ve been seeing bidding wars, “best and finals”, sealed bid auctions and the like. This is why, on one half-million-plus property we dealt with recently, the range of submitted offers spanned £140,000 from lowest to highest.

And this is why people don’t want to sell. Because there’s nothing for them to buy.

But, don’t you see? This is exactly what is fuelling the problem. For every potential vendor who withholds their home because there’s nothing for them to buy, there will be 5 or 6 other vendors who would take the plunge if they knew that property was available.

(Oh … and please don’t try to tell me that it’s Brexit holding up the market! Even if we do vote out, it’ll be ages before anyone really knows how that outcome will affect the economy. And, let’s face it: whether we’re in Europe or not, if you want to move and your dream home becomes available, you’ll do everything you can to buy it!)

So, Bristol: let’s lead by example. Let’s show the rest of the UK the way to get everyone moving. Get your estate agent around to your house … NOW!

You don’t have to go all out, bells, whistles, for sale boards and Rightmove ads. You don’t have to have an Open Day and endure the neighbours, nosey parkers, as well as some potential buyers traipsing around your home on a Saturday morning. No-one needs to know your home is even on the market at all; no-one except serious buyers who are prepared to wait for you to find something to buy, that is.

You see, as long as your estate agent is sensible and not all gung-ho (and aren’t we all? Hm? Oh, well, except that one, maybe. Oh, yes, them too… okay, I get your point, but there are some out there you can trust), your home can be subtly and discreetly marketed.

You won’t get as many viewings; but do you care, as long as those who do come around are genuinely interested and prepared to give you time (they might be in rented, living with parents, or they, too, might be discreetly marketing their home)?

Then, when a property crops up that blows your socks off, there is less risk of you losing it because you are not in a position to proceed. You will be able to say: “fabulous, I’d love to buy your house and I have a buyer lined up”, or “my estate agents already have the floorplans, photographs and details of my place, so I’ll ring them now, instruct them to list it on Rightmove today; expect me to be proceedable by the weekend”!<