Are buyers offering less because they’re worried about a housing crash? The Secret Estate Agent thinks not...

The Secret Estate Agent has the answers to all your property questions. Picture: Getty Images/iStock

The Secret Estate Agent has the answers to all your property questions. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Let Hertfordshire’s Secret Estate Agent answer your property questions and give an insight into the world of estate agency...

What’s the goss from the local market this week? Are people offering less because they’re worried about a housing crash?

We had numerous offers from the weekend on a mixed bag of properties - none are insulting and they’ve all certainly got the sellers’ attention.

All our new instructions are receiving viewing requests and online enquiries and the sound of the phones ringing is a welcome noise. There are mixed messages out there in the media regarding possible housing market crashes but I can only say it as I see it.

What’s your house like?

I bought my house 28 years ago and it is a 1930s semi which we have extended twice.

The first property I bought was a city centre cottage; I had to pay the asking price of £95,000 but we outgrew it when our first child arrived, by which point we had one eye on the future. A well-trodden path from outgrown cottage to suburban school catchment.

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On our completion date, my wife and I were full of anticipation and excitement and, having collected the keys from the agent, we joyously opened the front door and walked around the property pinching ourselves.

We then peered into the rear garden to see a group of people sitting on deckchairs, merrily chatting between themselves. As we approached, we recognised the ‘owner,’ a dear old lady who had lived there for 40 years. Clearly in no rush to leave, sipping tea from her flask, she asked us to join them.

Do estate agents sell their own houses?

Yes. However, it is not straightforward and in my experience it’s easier to give it to a trusted colleague to deal with it. We have to disclose personal interest when we sell and the process can be tricky as there is an element of potential conflict, so it’s better to stay out of negotiations to avoid that. I would be cheesed off if a member of staff used a competitor to sell but can also understand it.

My wife and l are looking to sell our freehold two bedroom flat later this year. It was built in 1972 and is about a four-minute walk to Harpenden station. Are values increasing or decreasing?

Thank you for your question. Your flat enjoys a convenient location for commuters and has the rare benefit of being freehold which always appeals to buyers as opposed to leasehold where the dwindling length of the lease term and ground rent charges can be a deterrent.

Generally, the market is still taking shape and it’s still a little early to gauge price indicators so values are holding up for flats but not increasing. Happy to provide you a valuation as long as you don’t blow my cover!

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