I was surprised to be asked the other day if it was a good time to sell or whether I thought they should hang on for another year. .
This is unusual since it has been some time since people had the confidence to open up this kind of conversation and it made me wonder what had triggered it.
The good weather and great sporting success we have enjoyed this summer have given us all the feel-good factor, but there is no doubt this was in fact sparked by the Bank of England giving its first positive prediction for the economy in some time.
This is hugely important as in the past they have been very realistic about the prospects of economic recovery.
They have not been scared to give negative predictions in recent times.
This is a clear indication that the market, especially in property, is likely to improve. I think now is a good time to sell but I have three pieces of advice.
Firstly, be realistic about the price. There are many mortgage products in the market compared to a year ago and the Governor of the Bank of England has judged that interest rates are set fair.
However, surveyors acting for lenders are taking a very cautious approach in terms of valuations. Valuers will not want to be caught out over-inflating prices: they would rather see steady prices.
Secondly, choose an expert who understands the market place and how it is changing. The Bank of England’s assessment has been based on a nationwide improvement but the regions are seeing markedly different conditions.
London and parts of the south-east have continued to rise throughout the downturn while the north-east and West Midlands are only just seeing a halt to the decline. Here in Harborough, prices have returned to where they were in 2005 and 2006 but are not yet reaching the levels we saw in 2007.
Thirdly, ensure the expert also has an appreciation for your particular property and the profile of your likely purchasers. Remember, you only need one purchaser to love your property as much as you, so it is not always about numbers of viewings but about fitting well with the needs of your prospective buyer.
Make sure the agent you choose has the patience to find the right buyer for you.
I am delighted to hear that the national conversation about property is full of promise and hope and I hope we can have a similarly positive conversation about our sporting successes too!
Market Thoughts column by Peter Buckingham
Mr Buckingham is the head of residential sales at Andrew Granger & Co in Market Harborough