With questions and uncertainty surrounding the housing market at the moment, you perhaps feel lost and confused if you are selling your home. It’s nearly impossible to predict what life will be like in a few months, so it is understandable if you are wondering what you can do to reduce any risk to your financial security.

These are extraordinary times to say the least. Nothing like this has been seen before. Here, we’ll explain what you can do to put yourself in the right position for when the housing market is back to normal. Whether you were planning on selling your home or buying a new one, or just in need of some guidance on what the next few months might mean for the property market, we’re here to help put your mind at ease.

Selling-What you need to know

With the suspension of physical viewings, you may be wondering what this means for your selling and moving plans. Although people tend to be reluctant making major decisions due to uncertainty about their future, we believe that buyers who are truly interested in your property will leave their details with us (the agent). This means when these unusual circumstances end, you may have lots of viewings immediately. We ensure contact details of any interested parties are recorded, so you can immediately find a buyer.

Let’s not forget the digital world has proven extremely useful during this pandemic. With most of the population confined to their homes, you may see a spark of interest in your property online. A lot of these interested users may turn into buyers which can be a signal that the property market will bounce back in a few months, so it’s worthwhile to be prepared.

Accepting a lower offer than what you had originally intended may be tempting due to the ambiguity of the current climate. We suggest, if possible, to wait until a bit further down the line until a better offer comes along, where you’ll certainly get a better price for your home.

It can be tempting to withdraw your property completely from the market with everything that’s going on but, in our opinion, there is currently no real advantage to taking your home off the market right now. We think you should stick with it, while reviewing the situation frequently with your agent. We are currently making sure that our clients feel supported in their decision-making process, and to be ready for an increase in viewings when normality returns.

What to do if you’re buying

With fewer homes on the market therefore less buyers (and less competition), now could be the ideal time to buy your dream home. Check if you can attend a virtual viewing with an agent or if possible, a video tour of the house. We are currently conducting virtual valuations through Whatsapp video or Zoom, both platforms which have surged in popularity in recent weeks. Once you can view the house in person, you can view a much-reduced shortlist of your very favourite homes.

The potential to receive a lower price than what was asked is a strong possibility in the current climate. Vendors who can afford to wait to sell their homes will do so, and relaunch when things begin to settle down. However, some homeowners don’t have an option but to sell and move to a new house quickly, meaning that certain properties could be discounted to quickly attract a buyer. This is certainly something to keep in mind if you are an investor or cash buyer.

Predictions for the property market in the next few months

It is difficult to predict what way the property market will reveal itself in the near future, with Daft.ie figures showing that the number of properties put up for sale the past two weeks were halved compared to the previous fortnight. It is unlikely that there will be an increase in properties on to the market until limitations are eased and everyday life resumes.

It is worth noting that when the dust does eventually settle, there will most likely be an influx of homes coming onto the market, that otherwise would have been introduced during this ‘pause’ period. The increase in choice of homes on the market means more potential buyers for your home and most importantly, more choice for you and your family. Things should be looking to regain momentum by June or August as the market improves and uncertainty is decreased, and people will become more confident in their spending again.

What to do if you have already agreed to buy a property

Congratulations on your new home! There is no need to retreat or call the sale off, and we recommend you proceed as planned. To put your mind at ease, maybe check to see if you can obtain better mortgage terms than you were previously offered. It is worth remembering that house prices rise and fall periodically, which means that if you’re planning to stay in the property for more than say, a year, any risk is limited.

What should you do if you’re thinking of moving soon?

Timing will play a crucial part in selling your home for the right price and it is more important than ever to take this into consideration in the coming months. Putting your home up for sale before the situation has been resolved would be too soon, as any uncertainty and practical issues with conducting viewings will decrease the likelihood of getting the desired price for your home.

Waiting too long to put your home on the market could lead to it competing with an influx of other properties, meaning you could miss out on the inevitable comeback in the housing market.

Having a plan and making sure you are prepared is vital, as currently the right time to hit the market to benefit from the bounce-back is difficult to forecast. We don’t know when it will be safe to leave our homes again, but what we do know is that everything is only temporary. When circumstances have been resolved, we can get back to doing what we love and putting you and your family first.

Can we help?

We understand everything is up in the air at the moment. Maybe you need some clarity or assistance with your moving plans, or maybe some advice on selling your home. Whatever it is, we’re here to help you. The Haines team is currently working from home for the next few weeks, but we’re more reachable than ever. Email Barry, Haines Director, at bfinnegan@haines.ie or you can find him on his mobile at 087 2722222 (that’s five 2’s!). Haines Associate Director, Ruby, is available at rslazenger@haines.ie. If it suits better, you can reach her at 0879495187. If you’re looking after the kids during the day and need to chat in the evening, just let us know, and we’ll pick a suitable time. From the get-go we’ll be straightforward and precise on what best to do in your current situation, whether waiting or taking action is the best option for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us–we love helping people whenever we can, and however we can.

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