There is never a definite answer to this as we can only rely on our experience and average statistics to give an estimate. Each property will take a different amount of time to sell. Depending on the buyer profile of the property, ultimately who is likely to buy it, and how big the portion of that market is i.e. there are more family buyers in the market than investor buyers in our local market.
2016 saw our Barnard Castle office selling properties on average 8 weeks faster than the previous year, with an average timescale to agree a sale in 2015 being 31 weeks compared to just 23 week in 2016. There are obviously properties that will take far less time than this and properties that will take much longer than the average but it is difficult to predict this until a property is launched to the market and will depend on the individual circumstances of the buyer and seller and how proactive the agent is.
Overall the statistics show that activity from buyers has increased. However, as buyers are now party to a wealth of information online relating to sold prices and available properties and as people become more au fait with using the internet they become more savvy about what they are prepared to offer. In addition to this lenders are far more cautious when approving mortgage applications with surveyors giving strict valuations that stifle the market growth somewhat. We therefore have not seen the sharp rise in house prices in our region that previous historic booms have given us.
That said, it is comforting to know that things in the property world in our region are picking up, which is reflected in our Barnard Castle office in relation to quantity of sales and time taken to sell as we continue to see an improvement year on year. However it is important to note that this upturn still relies on the seller taking the correct advice on pricing and marketing strategy in order to create the maximum competition when negotiating a sale.
It is imperative to factor in to timescales the time it takes to complete the transaction once the sale has been agreed. Looking at conveyancing timescales in 2007 the average amount of time the legal process took was 6 weeks which increased drastically to between 14 and 17 weeks following the property crash.
Whilst this was often down to the length of time relevant documentation was taking to come back to the solicitors from third parties i.e. searches, together with the delay from lenders and their more stringent application process, it was also reported that law firms had restructured their staffing to reflect the lack of conveyancing required at that time.
Over more recent years and months we have seen solicitors recruiting to cope better with the volume of sales. Therefore more proactivity from the legal side means sales can reach exchange and completion more promptly.
This again is shown in our Barnard Castle branch where the average time between sale agreed and completion is now at an average of 11 weeks. Whilst is not back to the swift 6 weeks timeframe previously seen, it is promising news for our local property market as we see the cogs turning and turning more quickly. We hope to see a year of further improvements to the market and are confident that this will be forthcoming.
Should you require any advice on marketing or you would like to understand the sales process in more detail before deciding to sell then please contact us where we would be delighted to speak to you. If you wish to discuss either your sale or lettings queries with us please telephone your nearest office:
Gemma Miller – Alnwick, Northumberland – 01665 603581
Lindsay French – Wolsingham, County Durham – 01388 529579
Victoria Linsley – Barnard Castle, County Durham – 01833 690390
Sheryl Sowden – Bedale, North Yorkshire – 01677 425301