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Property, Brexit and the Executor

Property, Brexit and the Executor

Published on February 26, 2019 by Darren Leggett

The property market: a subject that most people have an opinion on, regardless of their experience of buying or selling. A matter that we see on the news and read in the paper on almost a daily basis.

Brexit: another subject that occupies a lot of media attention at the moment. With the scaremongering surrounding every aspect of this drawn-out process (some may use the word fiasco) and the impact it could have on the UK, it is obvious that the attention would quickly be directed to property and what will happen with prices.

Whether you favoured leave or remain, one thing everyone can agree on is that no homeowner in the country wants to see house prices drop. In February, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published their latest research report, the UK Residential Market Survey for January, which reveals the housing market has dropped to its lowest level since July 2016.

“Alongside weakening demand, the number of new properties being listed on the sales market also deteriorated”, says the RICS. This is fundamentally believed to be due to buyers and sellers reacting to the uncertainty of Brexit.

The Bank of England has reported that worst case scenario is that there could be a drop in prices of up to 35%. Although this is simply nothing more than ‘guess work’, it does give us an idea as to how serious things could get.

We are not talking an interest rate problem here, as it is believed there could be a cut in a no-deal scenario. The issue is that banks may be less willing to lend as the market could be deemed too risky. Anyone remember Northern Rock?

This will place further pressure on property prices, with less buyers available to purchase, sellers will find it harder to sell at the price they require to move on, resulting in nothing short of a ‘crash’.

According to the latest data from the Land Registry and Office for National Statistics, the average price of property in the UK dipped by 0.1% in November from the previous month to £230,630 following declines of 0.4% in October and 0.3% in September. That left the annual growth rate at 2.8% in November, which is the weakest since July 2013.

Property Values in London fell by 1.2% month on month and dropped 0.7% on a year ago, although it should be pointed out that this is the only region with an annual price decline. The West Midlands posted annual growth in November, up 4.6%.

Where the UK housing market recently thrived and prices boomed, things have become slightly less optimistic, leaving sellers of property unsure of what they should be doing. Do they retain their property until after Brexit? How long will it take to find a buyer if they want to get things underway as soon as possible? Will they take a hit if they decide to sell now?

This leaves executors in particular in an unenviable situation.

If you are a professional executor, your duty of care states that you must ensure you achieve the best price for the estate and indeed the beneficiaries. If you are a non-professional looking after a loved one’s property, the pressure and stress could become too much to bear.

With more and more estate agents closing their doors, and the online agent model also starting to struggle, what really are your options?

The good news is that Executor Solutions are breaking the market trends. The national average time to sell a property in the UK is 61.6 days according to Rightmove statistics, where it is taking us only 30 days. Our driven approach to selling property by way of a controlled multiple agency approach ensures we generate higher viewing numbers which quite simply leads more offers. This allows us to achieve the highest possible price for every property we market, whilst doing so in the fastest possible timescale.

Buyers proceed with urgency, realising they have competition for the ‘house of their dreams’. This puts us, and ultimately our clients, firmly in the driving seat when it comes to negotiation and pushing through exchange of contracts as soon as legally possible.

Yes, there is uncertainty in the marketplace right now and no, we cannot predict exactly what will happen with Brexit and therefore the housing market.

Our clients, however, are seeing great success in using a method that has given solicitors, probate practitioners, genealogists and the public greater confidence in the process. Contact us today for more advice.

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