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May is traditionally a strong month for sales in the property market. The better weather means owners can prepare their gardens for photographs. Spring blossom and colourful bulbs normally add a cascade of colours enabling us as marketing agents to present a garden as a major selling feature or an “extra room”.

The clocks have gone forward making the evenings lighter and brighter. Buyers can research potential houses by “driving round” in the evenings to spot suitable properties to view. We are finding that buyers use the internet to spot new instructions, but they often used old fashioned techniques to make a short list of possible homes to buy, ie walking round neighbourhoods, visiting the local pub to get an insight into a village or particular area, or using the car to quickly visit different areas or streets.
We always advise our client that “first impressions” count. You never get a second chance! So, the frontage of your home has to look at its best to convert those “drive bys” into viewings. The first picture on Rightmove or Zoopla has a significant impact on whether a buyer “clicks through” to the full details. If you have a front garden, its needs to look at its best with well tended lawns, shrubs trimmed, and it needs some colour – bedding plants are ideal and not too expensive. Jet wash your drive, clean your windows and garage door, paint any flaking facia boards and pick a sunny day for photos!
The other reason why May has historically been a good sales month is due to the school year. School catchment areas play a big part in the decision making. So, potential buyers want to move in the summer holidays in readiness for the new school year in September. With the conveyancing process taking between 12 and 15 weeks, you don’t need to be a mathematician to realise how important it is to buy in May!

Theresa May is bringing us a general election. How will this affect the property marketing this month?
When the surprise news was announced in April, we were a little concerned that it would put the usual buoyant Spring market on “hold”. However, we have been pleasantly surprised that April closed on a record sales month, In fact, not only was it our best month in 2017, it was our best month since April 2016.

I have analysed our results and one thing stands out. A good sales month always follows a good “new instruction” month. So, the supply of properties is key to sales figures. We used to talk about supply and demand, but I now think it is only about supply. Demand has been relatively constant for the last few years, so sales go up and down depending on the amount on new instructions coming to the market.
Asking prices obviously have a major effect on saleability, but if we do our research properly, then we can advise our clients accurately on the best strategy to get the best price. By “over valuing”, all you are doing as an agent is costing your client money. Research shows that if your initial asking price is too high, then you have to reduce it more to achieve as sale, than if you put it on at right price in the first instance.
The results of the Local elections today may bring a hint of which way the country will vote. Once we have all parties manifestos, then we can review how each party will effect the property industry.

Malcolm Thomas

Founder at Malcolms Estate Agents

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