This week a number of the UK’s leading lenders announced that house prices have seen their first drop following 18 months of continuous rises – about the only thing that is dropping at a time when the cost of everything else seems to be going up. 
The UK has always been heavily reliant on the slow and steady growth in real estate prices for its economic growth, and this has proven reliable in recent years – it’s little wonder the UK has remained an attractive destination for both foreign and domestic investors. So, a downturn in the property market can be one of the first signs of an economic slowdown – something that seems to have been on the cards for a while now. Add to that inflation and the cost-of-living squeeze, compounded by rising interest rates and tighter mortgage lending by the banks, and it looks like the property market is going to be in for a rocky ride. 

But what does all this mean for homeowners and movers? 

For most homeowners the majority of their wealth is tied to property, so a drop to their value is never going to be welcome news. We are already seeing a slowdown in the number of properties hitting the market as potential movers rethink their plans and finances. On the other hand, though the market may have already passed its peak, waiting even longer to get your house on the market may prove even more harmful to your bottom line. 
So, for the movers, choosing the right agent has never been more important. Your home is your most valuable asset, and your agent should be working their socks off to negotiate the best price for it, whilst at the same time realistically managing expectations. We are seeing estate agents competing for an ever-decreasing pool of properties for sale, but what determines the vendor’s selection of an agent? At one end of the scale there is cost – we are all aware of the plethora of online agents who will offer to sell your home for a small fixed-fee (and sometimes even for ‘free’). At the other end is service, reputation and reliability. The agents who find themselves somewhere in the middle are going to need to work harder than ever, and no doubt we are going to see several of them dropping from the picture in the months and years to come. 
Of course, you should always do your research, and certainly you should be meeting with more than one agent before making a decision. The fit should be right for you in terms of service, timescales, commitment, marketing, reputation and of course, fees. If your primary reason for choosing an agent is any of the following then you run the risk of being left extremely disappointed by the house-selling process: charging the lowest fees; offering the highest valuation; they were the selling agent when I bought this house; my neighbour used them. I always say that it shouldn’t be difficult to stand out as an estate agent, but it is a complacent industry precisely because it’s a challenge to pull vendors away from long-standing biases towards established agents. 

What we believe. 

At Mendy & Watt we don’t believe that the status quo with estate agents need to be this way. We are proof that you can offer exceptional service at a fair price, ensuring a stress-free and timely sale or rental of your home while often going above and beyond to achieve this. How many agents do you know who would mow the lawn of an elderly client before a viewing? Or take a vendor who doesn’t drive on viewings so they are ready for their next move once their house sells? Or help with the house clearance of a relative who has died? We have done all of these and more, as well as all the things you should expect from a reputable agent: 
• Owner-run and -led business with a strong reputation across several industries 
• Local experts with high-street premises in Holmes Chapel 
• Bespoke marketing including high-quality, professional photography and 3D Matterport virtual tours 
• Your property on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and more 
• Straight-talking and honest team at your side at every step, from valuation to handing over the keys 
In other words, we are different, and (I like to think) better. We really should be shouting about it more. 
So make the right decision when choosing your agent – it’s more important now than ever. 
Tagged as: Agent, Leasing, Property
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