Lindsays: Solicitor agents make critical differences as Scottish property market evolves
House buyers and sellers need the experience and expertise of solicitor estate agents now more than ever, according to Lindsays’ Andrew Diamond.
Mr Diamond, partner and head of residential property at Lindsays, believes the easing of extremes has enhanced the importance of valuations and negotiations provided by firms such as his.
And he is seeing signs that the evolution of the market is opening wider opportunities for people to trade in it.
Mr Diamond, who is also chairman of solicitor estate agency collective ESPC, spoke as Lindsays strengthened its residential operation with the appointment of experienced Edinburgh housing market professional Simon Donaldson as a property manager.
He said: “More than ever, people are realising that good advice is critical. The market is changing, it continues to change. We’re now seeing a more evenly balanced market between buyers and sellers.
“This makes it more tradeable than we have seen in recent times - and it’s opening opportunities for greater numbers of people. Navigating that requires careful advice, particularly given that most buyers are also sellers.
“We are moving from a market of extremes to one that’s more balanced - more tradeable. People who were locked out by those extremes in prices - perhaps those wanting to step on to the next rung of the property ladder - are finding the confidence to get into the market.
“It’s also a more nuanced picture where you need advice from people who really understand what’s happening and how to secure the best all-round package. That’s where solicitor estate agents really stand out and we are seeing a growing realisation of the value that firms such as ours deliver in the markets in which we operate.”
Mr Diamond added: “This more balanced market is creating opportunities for buyers and sellers. Sellers can consider their next move with more certainty about what they will get for their existing property than they could 12 to 18 months ago.
“That allows them to plan better – but making the whole package of getting the best deals when selling and buying hang together really needs to involve your solicitor. This is a market that requires understanding, negotiation and contacts.
“When extremes were at their greatest, we were seeing cases where people were selling their home - and getting prices significantly over the home report valuation - but they were then struggling to find something affordable for their next move because of the ripple of extremes.
“We are now in a situation where many of the big premiums over valuation are gone, and lots of properties are moving at or around their Home Report valuation. For those who are both buyers and sellers, it is still a game of swings and roundabouts – but this is a much more predictable and manageable version of the game.”
Mr Donaldson, who has joined Lindsays after 17 years with Simpson and Marwick, said: “This is a reasonably good time for buyers and sellers in the city market. Property prices are relatively stable, which provides a degree of certainty for everyone involved. Demand certainly continues to outstrip supply, so when people see a home that’s right for them, they are going for it.”