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From the colour of your walls to the colour of your political allegiance, there are some interesting factors that may affect the success of a property sale in 2024. Here, Open Property Group looks at the factors in play.

1. A change in Government

A new Government is a distinct possibility. The Prime Minister kicked off 2024 by dropping a major hint that he will call a General Election in the second half of the year. Who will sweep to power really does hang in the balance.

Many of those buying a property will pause any plans until they know who’s in charge – or at least until the Budget is delivered in March. Labour leader, Keir Starmer, was quoted in 2023 as saying he wanted Labour to be the party of ‘homeowners’. To aid this vision, he would restore housebuilding targets, would give first-time buyers preference on what’s built and would restrict the number of new homes sold to overseas buyers.

The devil is in the detail, however. Sceptical voters fear Labour’s mansion tax may make a reappearance, while many landlords worry about a Labour Government who, in the past, has frowned on private landlords and their perceived exploitation of tenants.

2. Misguided pricing

New year, old mentality regarding pricing? Yup. It’s one of the biggest issues home sellers will face in 2024. According to Nationwide, house prices fell 1.8% during 2023 and the extraordinary demand seen during the pandemic has passed. As a result, all corners of the property market are encouraging vendors to price realistically with current conditions in mind.

The message is starting to get through as in December 2023, Rightmove reported the average new seller asking price had dropped 1.9% (-£6,966) during the month. There’s still work to do, reveals the portal, with a very telling line in its December report: ‘sellers still need to price more aggressively than their local competition to secure a buyer, especially those with a pressing need to sell’.

When speaking to Property Reporter on the challenges when selling this year, Ruth Beeton from Home Sale Pack said over-emotional sellers were most likely to overvalue their homes. She added this can ‘deter buyers from the get-go and in current market conditions, where the buyer has the upper hand, this can cause significant delays.’

3. The condition of a property

It’s an oldie but a goldie. The average buyer will always struggle to reconcile the value of a property with its condition. Housebuilder David Wilson Homes recently released a list of the top 15 aspects that will deter purchasers from making an offer. If any of the following resonate, you may find your home classed as an unappetising problem property.

The most off putting feature was a smell of smoke accompanied by nicotine stains. This was followed in second place by pet smells and hair, then unclean rooms. The other 12 spots were taken by an overgrown garden, cluttered rooms, not enough light, house being too cold, viewing at the same time as other potential purchasers, textured walls and ceilings, partially complete renovations, dark coloured walls, too much furniture in rooms, patterned wallpaper, bright coloured walls and decorative murals.

4. Competition from other sellers

More sellers will be looking over their shoulders in 2024, especially if the latest analysis by Rightmove is true. It says a record number of new homes were listed for sale on Boxing Day 2023 – with more than 10,000 fresh properties appearing on the portal. Competition to find buyers is certainly hotting up and if you were worried by the previous point about a property’s condition, you may find your home is overlooked due to other available properties in better shape.

5. Mortgage rates

Many home buyers need to secure additional lending if they’re to buy a bigger/more expensive home. Any new borrowing will be at a new rate and those whose current mortgage was secured before 2022 are in for a shock.

While rates are slowly decreasing from their 2022 highs of 6% to 7%, today’s fixed-rate mortgages of 2, 3 and 5 years are still generally between 4% and 5%. While historically this is quite normal, it compares unfavourably to the 1% and 2% deals seen in the very early 2020s. We anticipate many looking to borrow more money will find additional finance repayments unaffordable, which will delay their moving plans.

6. Your estate agent

The research by David Wilson Homes also highlighted how the very person you have employed to sell your home may scupper a sale. Of the 1,000 respondents, 1 in 5 said they had been put off making an offer when the estate agent didn’t know anything about the property, while a further 1 in 6 were deterred when the estate agent didn’t leave them alone during a viewing.

If only there was a way to sell your home without an estate agent? Well, there is. Selling directly to a buyer will cut out the middleman. Open Property Group is a professional house buyer – working as a member of The Property Ombudsman and The National Association of Property Buyers.

Why choose us? We’ll make you a quick, secure offer without the property going on the open market. You won’t have to involve an estate agent or pay their fees, and you can sell to us without a single viewing. What’s more, we will never ask you to redecorate or finish renovations – simply sell ‘as is’ to Open Property Group.

We also buy homes with short leases and with sitting tenants, and we’ll even step in and become your buyer if your chain is in danger of collapsing.

Choose Open Property Group for a straightforward sale in 2024. Sell your property fast and for cash by using our online offer generator or contacting the team.

Published on 15th January 2024

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