September Update – Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics

Wednesday 15th September 2021

Hi all, and welcome to a September newsletter!  The year is running away with us, and who knows where summer went!

We have been wonderfully busy throughout the last few weeks, and it is heart warming that so many people continue to come to Sam and me to ask us to market their homes for them.  The overwhelming feedback we receive is that people are liking the 1:1 boutique service they are receiving from us; they are appreciating our decades of local knowledge, that we allow ample time for every viewing; and overall making the marketing of their home an altogether more pleasurable and relaxing experience.  Most of all, they appear to appreciate our honest advice on the market, the accurate pricing of their homes, and also (when asked) how to present their homes to the best effect to achieve the best reaction for buyers.  This doesn’t take away from the other agents at all – if you are looking for a larger team, with shiny high street offices, then what we offer is possibly not for you.  However, we keep our numbers of available properties low, to offer best service to our buyers and sellers, and the recommendations, and new clients we are getting calls from, attest to this being something the market is appreciating today, and some say is something the market has been lacking over the past few years.

On the subject of customer service, we do appreciate how important this is.  I have had run ins this month with a luxury London leather goods company about a faulty item and their assertion about charging for the repair vs doing it for free;  and our otherwise favourite car company about there strangely being oil in the coolant shortly following an oil change, and then the car breaking down with no coolant at all in it just a few days following their ‘repair’ and their assertion that it could not be their fault(!).  Either I am going through a bad patch or have ridiculously high expectations of customer service.  Either way, our standards of customer care are extremely high towards our clients, as we recognise how important this is, and (again) this is why people appear to be coming back to us.

So back to the housing market itself, and what we are seeing this month.  The overwhelming advice I can give of how we see the market at the moment is that quality housing stock is low, and demand remains relatively high for properties priced reasonably. We find that if a house is right correctly, it will get a strong market reaction and sell well; if a house is on the market for too much money, even as much as 5% over, it will struggle to get a viewing, and then end up potentially reducing in price, and possibly selling for lower than it would have done had it been priced correctly in the first place.

I think it was Disraeli who said there are three lies – “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics” … which is a phrase describing the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments.  We are always wary of statistics waved around by any property professionals as they can often be moulded to suit the argument, like inputting a reduced postcode area in which they might have had exceptional success in the previous week etc but might not give the overall picture.  I also read one the other day which said that mortgages were up 98% in June this year compared to June 2020 … well, this wasn’t hard. In June 2020, there was a national lockdown and mortgages were vastly reduced, vs a rush of the market in June 2021 to hit the end of the stamp duty incentives.  My point being, if you are looking to choose an agent in Winchester, please don’t be swayed by statistics, but maybe consider an agent whom you like and trust, and who give you the best advice, which likely correlates with the thoughts you had already with regards to your home.

That all aside, and meanwhile, we are having a lovely time this week, marketing the most charming thatched cottage, literally with roses and passion flowers around the door; and a fabulously contemporary detached house in Teg Down, with a large garden and incredible views. Each very different, and yet each wonderful homes and priced competitively, in great areas, and generating large numbers of viewings.

If you are thinking of marketing your home in the next few months, and would like Sam and me to pop over and chat about the market generally, give some advice, and discuss how we might represent your home for you within the market, please give us a call! We would love to hear from you.

Finally – a ‘funny’ to finish off with …. “what’s an estate agent’s favourite drink?” – answer, “proper tea” (rubbish really, mine, as everyone knows, is white wine!)

Have a lovely (rest of) summer, whilst we may, and I look forward to catching up again next month.