Vendors back in force, but how can estate agents maximise sales?

Richard Donnell

Vendors have returned to the housing market in force in recent months. Sales agents listing homes on Zoopla have an average of 31 homes for sale (excluding SSTC), the highest level for five years.

The pandemic, changing working patterns, rising living costs, tax changes and higher running costs of homes are all supporting an ongoing desire to move home or sell a property. We have seen a surge in family homes being listed for sale. Seller volumes are up across the UK and particularly in the south west of England. Four plus bed houses have seen the biggest growth and account for one in four homes for sale across the UK.

These larger homes are listed at the highest prices and will typically be marketed to attract upsizers who are facing higher borrowing costs and are likely to pay more stamp duty. This group of buyers are serious but they need the right information and selling on the benefits of a home and its vicinity, as many are coming from ‘out of area’.

Upsizers account for one in three buyers looking to move in the next two years according to our latest consumer insights. This is the same proportion as first time buyers who are looking to make the jump from renting or living with parents into home ownership.

Our survey shows that upsizers are very focused on the features and benefits of a home. This group also acknowledges that they need to look further afield to get what they are looking for. This has important implications for how agents market and present these larger homes to secure sales and the resulting sales commission at a time when there is a lot more choice of larger homes for buyers.

While the majority of sales applicants look local, rising mortgage rates and cost of living pressures are forcing more people to look ‘out of area’. Half of upsizers state they need to look out of their current area to get what they need.

We can see from our sales applicant data that up to 50% of all agent enquiries from households currently living in the south of England are coming from more than 10 miles away. The proportion of people looking more than 10 miles increases for larger homes.

 

In addition to looking further afield, 55% of upsizers want specific features from their next home whether that be in relation to accommodation, proximity to services or external features of the home. 4 in 5 of these feature seekers know they need to move out of area to get what they want.

The key message for agents and developers is that while there are more vendors in the market there is also a lot more movement beyond traditional local markets. Agents need to factor this into their marketing strategies and how they reach the right audiences and market homes to the widest possible audience. It may sound obvious but when writing sales descriptions and presenting homes for sale it’s vital to double check you have covered all the key features of a property and the factors that will appeal to these upsizers and households that don’t know the area at all.

Despite slightly higher mortgage rates, the underlying demand for homes is there, it’s the agents that go the extra mile to reach all potential buyers that will secure that extra revenue for 2024.

 

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One Comment

  1. MrManyUnits

    Can many afford to upsize at these interest rates and obviously with a Labour Government in the wings and their policies of bowing to the pitchforkers with the politics of envy, middle class households will pay.

    I understand in the SE many large housing sites are being mothballed due to the lack of sales.

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