22 February 2016, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. This maxim is perfectly suited to the house buying process whereby goodwill and common sense can take so much of the stress out of the transaction.
For the first time in a long time, there is a relatively balanced market with neither vendor nor purchaser being in the most dominant position. While, as agents, we want to see as wide a choice of stock as possible, currently there is a reasonable supply of all the ingredients in place for a sale and purchase: vendors, instructions and buyers. No estate agent wants to operate in a market which plays out too heavily in favour of either buyers or sellers.
Past times have seen an imbalanced market with more purchasers than stock and, in the worst points of the cycle since 2008, so few buyers about and ‘surplus stock’. Such tough times saw buyers and sellers characterised as opposing forces where one party’s position prevailed.
Not so in the present market, so long as guide prices aren’t inflated. Vendors, in particular, should be encouraged not to create false log-jams when it comes to marginal elements of the sales process such as the fixtures and fittings.
A sale can be held up if vendors fixate on fixtures and fittings as a way of realising a substantial sum of cash beyond the accepted offer price.
These should be points for negotiation once the sale is agreed, neither party should take a fixed position beforehand and such things are best negotiated through the agent and solicitors once a sale is agreed.
By all means, fixtures and fittings are considerations which should be discussed with the estate agent by both parties but it is important to put them in to proper perspective.
Nobody should become intransigent to the point where the bigger picture of the property itself becomes obscured. After all it is the decision to sell or to buy the property itself not chattels like the ride-on mower – however coveted - that has brought the two parties together in the first place.
Achieving a sale, at the right price, in as swift a timescale as possible. That is what vendor, purchaser and all property professionals involved are, ultimately, focused on and it gives all immense satisfaction in knowing each has played an equal part in making it happen.