The independent London newspaper

Covid results in uncertain times for home movers

Buyers looking to re-negotiate with cut offers

25 June, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

Estate agent Paul Rae

SOME homeowners who were about to sell their homes before the Covid-19 crisis hit are now being asked to significantly drop the price to get a deal done, according to a leading estate agent.

Paul Rae, director at BRW in Highgate Road, Kentish Town, told the New Journal that the market had been “uncertain” with some sellers unaffected, but others taking lower bids.

He said: “In March, it was fairly slow. We had started seeing and valuing new properties but there had been some delay due to Brexit and the election. There was some wariness from buyers.”

With some deals agreed only verbally before the lockdown, buyers are returning to ask for new terms.

“We have had to renegotiate some sales from March,” Mr Rae said. “People have taken pay cuts and can’t afford what they were offering. Others do not know if they will be in work in six months’ time.”

In a mixed picture, some lower offers are being accepted, while other sellers are finding a queue of people wanting to view properties now estate agents are open.

Mr Rae said: “It feels in some sense the spring market is happening now, though we are about 50 per cent below what are levels were this time last year. We have begun valuing a lot of things held off the market since winter. And there are people looking, so prices should keep firm.”

And there was a new addition to wishlists.

“People are also working at home now so they are looking at how their homes work and how they can best use space,” he said.

Chain estate agents Dexters said buyers were now more interested in outdoor space.

Kentish Town branch manager Oliver Sharpstone said: “In recent weeks we have seen buyers placing greater importance on outside space, ranging from balconies to gardens.”

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