Whilst most home buyers move within a relatively small geographical area there is still a significant proportion who will relocate. Relocation can happen for a variety of reasons, most commonly employment but I am seeing an increasing number of homeowners relocating to be closer to family (usually the grandchildren!).
Whilst the media tends to discuss national property market trends the reality is that there can be dramatic regional variations within Scotland. This is where the potential problem lies. Over the years I have met clients who have relocated for one reason or another and find themselves with a property that is worth less (sometimes significantly less) than they expected. What went wrong? The answer is very simple; at the time of purchase no local knowledge or advice was obtained to gain a true reading of the regions market conditions and trends.
Why is it then that a buyer moving into an area they don’t know particularly well will make this mistake? The answer is usually one of either convenience or habit. It is to some extent convenient to use the same solicitor to buy as you did to sell. This is problematic if the solicitor has no local knowledge or no means to obtain local knowledge. Other buyers have taken the cheapest possible option in terms of conveyancing and have effectively bought into a basic service that offers no additional advice or guidance.
With this in mind I thought it would be worth putting forward some handy tips to avoid such a disaster;
- When relocating ask your solicitor whether they know the market where you intend to buy. If they don’t, ask them if they have the means to obtain local knowledge from a third party i.e. a colleague or point of contact. If this is something they cannot offer seriously consider a change of direction.
- Take some time to get to know the local market yourself. Look at recent online data relating to property prices and trends (there is plenty out there).
- Chat to local agents to gain a reading of the local market.
In an era where convenience is king it is worth taking time to pause, gain local market knowledge/advice and reflect as this can potentially save you a significant amount of money (and heartache) in the long term.
With offices in Aberdeen, Arbroath, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth Blackadders are well equipped to offer expert local knowledge in these areas and beyond to both sellers and buyers. For help and advice speak to a member of our Property Services team today.
Brian Main, Associate Director
The opinions expressed in this blog are of the author only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
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