It’s time to improve the UK housing market

Today is a poignant day to publish a statement about remembering the ills of the past and also to acknowledge the continual need for change for the better, in our modern society.

Unlike James Murdoch, Chairman of News International and the hacking scandal perhaps, we are actively wishing to rid the world of another scourge of our society; that of bad estate agency. It’s because of bad and unethical practices that people are experiencing poor performance and the inability to be able to move house when they need to. We’re saying, someone needs to sit up and take notice of this.

Property Match (UK), has developed a new strategy for getting the housing market back up and running as well as for keeping it active, by stopping the recurrent house price booms and busts from being influenced, to quite such an extent, by big fluctuations in the main economy, like the one that we’ve recently witnessed.

Peter Hendry, a Consultant in Housing Valuation, working at Property Match (UK) based in Nottingham says “My theories are not rocket science but are based on the valuable experience I have gained from having worked in the property sector for more than thirty years, and from carefully observing the issues involved”.

Change is the only way forward in everything. No-one can dispute that. Change for the better is what is desperately overdue - to improve the way the UK housing market operates.

It’s now important, for the politicians making our laws and running our country, to realise that they need to intervene to resolve the financial crisis impacting the housing market. That is their proper function. By doing so, they would help to resolve the our economic and trading imbalances because the housing market is a part of our national economy. In fact it’s the perfect place to begin the whole process of economic recovery.

We say, like the people braving the cold and sleeping in tents in towns squares and other prominent places, this change is overdue, they are right.

Like them, we are asking the same questions: For example, “Why is nothing being done to confront bad practices, of the kind that are crippling our nation’s housing market?”

It’s essentially a question of those who see no evil, being myopic (or exhibiting short-sightedness) when it comes to seeing the need to change things for the better. That is what is so sad about our country, at present.

If estate agents themselves don’t sort the mess out, someone else should instead, sort out the estate agents themselves, and that ’someone’, would ideally need to be our Government.

Unfortunately, as nothing effective is being done by Government, then exactly like the protesters camping and campaigning against many other issues ranging from inequality to corporate greed, those wishing to sell and move house need to protest, by acting for themselves, and selling direct.

Fortunately, instead of everyone having to camp out in town, what we need to do, driven on by the enthusiasm of these intrepid demonstrators, is simply ask ourselves the question ‘What DO estate agents do, that we can’t?

The answer is essentially what Phil Spencer explains in his ‘Secret Agent‘ series recently broadcast on Channel 4. Selling a house, is really just about knowing what price to ask and secondly knowing how to present the house for sale, in an effective way.

However, rather like cooking a sumptuous meal for a close friend, it’s best to have a bit of knowledge and practice if you want to be sure to get it right.
If you don’t have all the experience you’ll need, it’s best to get this advice from people who have. “That is exactly what we’re offering,” says Peter Hendry.

“Instead of using an estate agent to provide this advice, it’s now OK to use the Internet direct. After all, that’s what the Internet was originally devised for.”

“The web site, Property Match (UK), is designed not only to enable people to sell or let houses direct, it also provides all the necessary advice and expertise that they would need to do this.

Understandably however, such advice cannot be free. In order to provide such objective advice, people using our new service need to value it enough to pay a small sum to use it. Unlike the notion of providing free services for all (which often tend to be poor services) we wish to revert to the old maxim “Anything that’s worth something has a value”.

Good advice is, and always has been, worth paying for. It’s paying too much for too little (or ending up paying for no advice at all) that has been the main problem. For this reason everyone should stop using estate agents, who charge excessive amounts for poor advice.

Secondly, free house advertising web sites need to be avoided - because they have no intrinsic value. If they did, people would pay something for what they have to offer. It’s communistic to bring in the notion of being able to have useful services free of charge! For that reason these sites actually need to go. It’s obvious if you think about it.

Why? Because a lot of property advertised on free to advertise web sites is overpriced, poorly presented and inadequately marketed - just like many of the houses sold by estate agents! Do you really want your property to be in amongst all of that? Property Match (UK) says, hopefully not!

People need the Internet but they also need a little help, to get everything right in order to maximise their marketing potential. Property Match (UK) is online to provide such advice, not only by assisting vendors to set the correct asking price in the current market using our informative online advice, but also to enable them to show their property in a way that demonstrates that they are serious about selling to genuine online viewers.

It’s time to stand up and make the changes needed to straighten-up our stumbling housing market, and thus help the rest of our economy in the process.
If our Government won’t do it for us, we should be doing it for ourselves?
The World would become a better place, if many of us were to start doing that.

Posted by: Property Match (UK): The modern way to market houses


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  1. hard_line says:

    Quite agree with all this article says. As an investment specialist (trading background), efficient and transparent “asset pricing” is a rather fundamental building-block for any well-functioning market.

    As a recent re-entrant to the property market (in the SE) - and having worked through the credit crunch - I am quite simply shocked at how asking prices look remarkably similar to the highs of 2006/2007…but the real problem is how these prices seem to “stick” with vendors. The house-market has all the hallmarks of a broken, crooked ill-functioning system. Price setting is “opaque” and price discovery was (until very recently) hard to obtain.

    A quick look at property-snake yields dwellings that have been on the market for an eye-popping 300+ days..sitting at 2007’s asking price…which the agent undoubtedly used to reel in the vendor, playing upon their greed and ignorance of macro-economic conditions, coupled with the bonus of getting a %-based fee for the agent - if it does get flogged for an inflated value.

    Much talk seems to take place about what can/needs to be done to “reform/fix” this market, and this discussion needs to take place. Clearly - any market broke to this degree is in need of some fundamental changes.

    For starters - if agents worked off a flat fee (non % based) it would remove part of the agent’s incentive to see sold prices raised-up beyond fundamental values. Secondly - if the “sole-agent” clause was made redundant - it would naturally force agents to directly compete and again remove another incentive for agents to inflate asking-prices (ad-infinitum) to win business. Profit would be made by volume and “turnover” and thus the upshot of all this would be to provide liquidity to the housing market…at realistic prices…which is what any “market” is supposed to do, in the first place!

    Where I disagree slightly with the author of the article above is that a properly functioning market cannot (almost by definition) be insulated from events which happen in the wider market and economy..such a circumstance is known as a “bubble”. I’d rather have a larger degree of market forces in control of my (and by extension - all other) property value - rather than a 19 year-old agent with no qualifications simply ramping up prices as the answer to any and every shock in the economy.

    House price shocks (up and down) would be much more quickly translated to asking prices…and the market would function somewhat normally (relative to how it currently functions).

    In short - the agent needs to be cut out (with the help of proper regulation). And I hope this web initiative takes off…as the only way to have a proper market - is to have a proper market-maker!

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