Principally Speaking

Standing on principle can be an expensive position to adopt when buying and selling property. In a level or falling market hanging out for a high price because – in one’s own view – it is worth itcan often backfire, because aproperty which is too highly pricedcan look out of step with the rest of the market. Can sellers really know what their properties will fetch? Surely they are worth what others will pay for them.

Property purchase and sale is seldom an end in itself.It usually forms part of a life-changing event such as gaining independence, committing to a partner, starting a family or reaching retirement. These events are bigger than any property in the scheme ofthings. So standing on principlecan sometimes stand in the way of moving on.

We have just had twofairlygood years of rising prices. We have got used to this. But all good things come to an end – until the next time.

Despite the lowest interest rates and some of the best mortgage deals in living memory the property market is showing signs of cooling. Some prices set in the spirit of acceptable optimism earlier in the year are beginning to look decidedly over-inflated now. And, as any skilled negotiator will tell you,oneshould always open realistically.

Ageneral electionison its way, the European economy again looksworrisome and Christmasisround the corner. If you have any big personal or family eventswhichinvolve property purchase or salenow is thetime to be reasonable about your expectations. Listen to buyers, listen to the market and listen to your experienced estate agent. Listen to your heart – and not your wallet. Wallets make poor property advisors. Good estate agents make better ones.

Published on 3rd November 2014