Ian Camplin, Head of Prime Residential at Grosvenor Cobham
As the markets begin to stabilise and mortgage rates start to fall (Carbon, our mortgage broker partner, can now secure a five-year fixed rate of 3.99 per cent), the mainstream property market looks set to enjoy a period of recovery. But amongst the weekly economic fluctuations, what does it all mean for Surrey’s prime market – and what do you need to know if you’re considering selling your luxury property this year? Who better to update us than Ian Camplin, who recently joined us as Head of Prime Residential.
It’s rare that you get the opportunity to say – with certainty, at least – that you’re the most experienced person in the room. However, with over 40 years’ experience of selling luxury properties in Cobham and the surrounding villages, I’ve realised that I’ve proudly become that very person.
It’s a double-edged sword of course. After all, there’s nothing like being reminded that you’ve worked in property for over four decades to make you realise that time really does fly by. However, for those I work with, it means that they’re getting the very best estate agency service available.
So, with all those years under my belt, and having seen the whole gamut - from boom to bust (and on more than one occasion, too) – I’m well placed to say that against the backdrop of a turbulent economy, Surrey’s prime market should remain largely unscathed this year.
Tough at the top? Not necessarily …
The top end of the market tends to be more resilient than the mainstream market for a number of reasons. Firstly, those who own luxury property tend to be less affected by mortgage rates and inflation. This provides buyers in this market with more freedom to purchase a property based on how it makes them feel as opposed to solely approaching it as an investment (or trying to balance the two).
Secondly, they are generally less reliant on borrowing to fund the purchase. Finally, those with the purchasing power required to buy into the top end will wait for the right property. Then, when they’ve found it, they won’t let anything get in the way of the purchase, regardless of what shape the economy is in. A home doesn’t have to be all about investment, after all.
Another point to consider, particularly following the Bank of England’s latest analysis, is that whilst all signs point towards the fact that the UK economy will experience much less pain in 2023 than first anticipated, we’re unlikely to suddenly see a huge swathe of properties enter the market.
The result of this means that people are likely to have less choice, and if demand is greater than supply, then those in the prime market will see their property prices remain stable.
There is a common misconception that a large proportion of prime market buyers are from overseas. However, this is not the case at all. In fact, almost 80 per cent of prime market buyers are UK-based.
Therefore, it becomes even more important that you choose a local estate agent that knows the local area and understands the local market. I cannot emphasise this enough, so much so that in all the years that I’ve been helping people buy and sell properties at the higher end of the market, this point is arguably the most important.
Close behind this point are the following three, which are crucial when it comes to selling your luxury property at the right price.
1. First impressions count
Those in the market for luxury homes are discerning, so pay attention to the small details when it comes to presenting your property to prospective buyers. When I visit clients, I’ll offer guidance and on anything and everything that I know will help them achieve top price. Decluttering is essential, as is depersonalising, so that any prospective purchaser can see the property in their vision, and without distraction.
2. Collateral with clout
If you’re selling a property that falls within the luxury category, then you need marketing collateral that accurately reflects it. All marketing materials used to market your property must be outstanding, so don’t be shy when it comes to putting pressure on your agent to produce the very best. Every detail – of the property and the sales particulars – needs to come shining through in the best possible light.
3. Choose the right estate agent
It sounds so obvious, but it’s often overlooked. From instruction through to completion, the entire sales process can take several months, so it’s imperative that you choose a property partner that you, as a seller, want to work with. Choose one that’s honest and will offer you valuable and realistic advice. Any agent who says that they will get you the highest price for the lowest fee is trying to buy your business instead of earning it. If you don’t feel that there’s scope to build a relationship with your agent, then keep searching until you find one that you can.