The pandemic has seen the housing market go through a roller coaster ride, with an initial slowdown as viewings ceased during the March lockdown, followed by a mini-boom triggered in part by the Chancellor’s initiative of a Stamp Duty holiday. By the autumn, property sales continued to rise, with record mortgage applications recorded in November.
However, the news that the Stamp Duty holiday would not be extended beyond the 31st March 2021 deadline saw a lowering of confidence, with some commentators predicting that the housing market would not return to significant growth until 2022.
While many buyers and sellers are pushing to complete their transactions before the end of the Stamp Duty holiday, the property market is also entering what is traditionally one of its busiest periods through January and February and into the spring.
Make the most of the sales opportunities
To help you make the most of the sales opportunities in the coming months, we have revamped our ‘Concierge’ sales package which includes many important features and services to help you sell quicker and get the best price for your property. We recognise that the property market is going through very unusual times. We want to help maintain momentum in the market and help owners get the best return on their properties.
The services include featured advertising, special interior styling using CGI, virtual tours, the services of a Portico handyman, professional photography, preparation of a legal pack, free Energy Performance Certificate and a financial consultation.
A turbulent market
The property market has been largely shaped by the pandemic and the economic uncertainties surrounding it. Despite that, Nationwide reported the biggest annual rise in prices since 2016 with September values up 5 percent on their 2019 equivalent. Furthermore, data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showed continuing high levels of buyer interest.
However, the Government recognised that many homeowners faced hardship because of lockdowns and loss of income.
While mortgage holidays have delayed the effect for people in difficult circumstances, the economic conditions have also led to greater caution among lenders.
Difficulties in obtaining mortgages have reduced the overall impact of the Stamp Duty holiday and have led to fears that some transactions may not be completed before the deadline. Property viewings were also hit by the lockdown, with increasing numbers of sellers turning to virtual tours as an alternative. Feedback from agencies around the UK report that virtual viewings are popular with both buyers and sellers. Sellers also had safety concerns, particularly older homeowners who wanted to reduce the number of visitors coming to their homes. Sixty-nine percent of home sellers who did not think that 3D tours were a necessity before the COVID-19 pandemic, now feel that they are.The interest in virtual tours is likely to continue with the recent rise in COVID infections resulting in more areas including London moving into Tier 3 restrictions.
Related: Can I Move House And Keep The Same Mortgage?
Portico can help sell your home
It was against this background that we decided to develop our new Concierge sales package. We would also recommend using an experienced agent to speed up the sale of your property, particularly if you are selling a flat, which has proved to be more difficult to sell. These are the main features of the Concierge service.
Matterport virtual tour
This service provides potential buyers with an immersive virtual tour of your home using 3D rendering. It will be hosted on the Matterport site, one of the leading companies in this field, and linked to portico.com, Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.Buyers get a great preview of your home and can then either arrange a viewing in line with Covid guidance, or make an offer based on what they’ve seen. This tour provides a very effective supplement to existing marketing, including photography and your own videos.
Services of a Portico Handyman
Our trained, uniformed Handyman team can get your home in great condition before we develop the virtual tour or arrange viewings. The service will provide you with labour and materials up to a maximum value of £100 and can include jobs like repainting skirting or walls, re-grouting, repairing wooden floors, fixing door handles, cupboards, furniture, changing light bulbs and giving the whole place a professional clean.
You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes to the appearance and value of your property — and first appearances really matter. We’ll also make the essential checks and obtain an Energy Performance Certificate for your home.
There’s another service that can make your home even more appealing, thanks to ‘Home Staging’ using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). This is an interior styling service that will ensure your property is presented in a way that attracts the maximum number of buyers.We use the photographs of your existing rooms and add furniture and fittings or make other changes to the photograph digitally to create images that appeal to the market. Prospective buyers can imagine how the property might look if they were to move in. The service covers four rooms, but you can add more rooms at £50 +VAT.
Concierge provides premium and featured advertising on all of the leading portals. The adverts will look different, with an exclusive format that stands out and, we believe, will attract up to 30 percent more applicants.
As part of that service, we will arrange to have professional photographs taken to present your property in the best light and prepare a floor plan.
Legal pack preparation
To make sure that your property is ready for a quick transaction, we’ll introduce you to a recommended solicitor so that you can ask any questions about the sales process. The solicitor will provide the Seller’s Property Information Form and provide any assistance you need to complete it.
The solicitor will also draft the contract and attach it to a contract pack in preparation for an agreed sale.
To give you guidance on getting the value you want from your sale and progressing the transaction, we’ll arrange a consultation with a Financial Services Consultant who can help you make the most profitable decisions.
Get ready for the busy selling season
Buyers start their searches in January and February and that makes it one of the most important times of the year if you’re planning to sell.Our Concierge service will ensure your home looks its best, helping you sell quickly at the best price with the least amount of hassle.
If you’d like to find out more about how Concierge or how Portico Direct can help, please contact us on 020 7099 4000.