Quality homes always in demand...
Managing Partner, David Boyden tells us a bit about himself and also gives his take on the current state of the property market with some advice for home movers this year...
Where do you live?
I live in a village just outside Colchester. The Boyden family have lived in Colchester for generations and my family have played a major role in the development of the town. My father was instrumental in securing the sale of farmland which later became the site for the University of Essex when it was constructed in the 1960’s. My great Grandfather was a builder, responsible for constructing houses in roads such as Beaconsfield Avenue and King Coel Road, so Colchester really is in the Boyden DNA.
As much as I love Colchester it is nice to “retire” at night to the Stour valley and appreciate the beauty and tranquillity we still enjoy in rural Essex and Suffolk. We have two dogs who enjoy plenty of exercise as well!
What is a common mistake buyers make?
Take your time! The market has been building and buoyant for quite a few years now and so buyers are therefore becoming accustomed to chasing properties to view even before they have checked room sizes and location so as not to “miss out”, only to find that the property is just not for them. A buyer should always take their time. Decide what your priorities are and the factors on which you would be prepared to compromise should the need arise. If you have secured an accurate valuation of your property too, you will then be in a position to take full advantage to get the deal done.
And the common mistake sellers make?
Selling your home is a big undertaking. People are proud of their homes and I think it is important for sellers to imagine that they are visiting their own home for the first time so as to be able to view their home impartially. Agents will always give you an ideas of what buyers will be looking for but why not ask a friend to give an honest assessment of your home as they will be viewing it in a different way to you. Sellers should also be aware of building up unrealistic expectations on price but not having spent enough time on maintenance and, again, some straight-talking advice can help here.
How do you see the local market developing?
Colchester is a growing town, as evidenced by the amount of housebuilding going on at present. We know that nationally, not enough houses are being built and so the trend for more housing is likely to continue. It is also likely that renting as a ‘life choice’ is here to stay and so the types of housing and its design will need to reflect this. Colchester has seen lots of commercial property disappear to be converted for residential use, which is a trend I think is likely to continue with future redevelopments including the former Odeon cinema in Crouch Street and the Essex County Hospital site to get underway in the future. Good quality homes will always be in demand and Colchester, with its access to coast, countryside and the Capital all combine to make the town an attractive place to live.
What, in your view, do most buyers look for first in a property?
This really depends on the type of property being sold. A first time buyer is clearly going to be looking for different things to someone wishing to downsize. However, buyers love light, airy properties (or the potential to create such, which is where the skill of the agent comes into play in helping prospective buyers see the potential of a property). Factors such as parking, a decent size garden and open plan living spaces will always help attract more buyers to a property.
What is the biggest problem estate agents face?
This is still a people business – selling, negotiating and helping conclude a move, which is one of the biggest transactions in anybody’s lifetime. I do think that, as an industry, Estate Agents need to make a better job of spelling out what we do for our clients as an industry. There is a lot of work which goes on behind the scenes by agents such as ours to push deals through to exchange, and we rarely explain this enough. A good agent will help to make sales happen and progress. The future of the conveyancing process will always need good Estate Agents making the calls between sellers and buyers up the chain. We are finding that customers and solicitors are experiencing difficulties when a purely ‘online’ agent is involved in the chain when urgent decisions need to be made. We consider that generally around half our fee is earned in the stage from sale agreed to completion.
If you would like to see how hard we work to complete your property sale, contact your local Boydens branch today.
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