So there we were, my mate Dave and I, enjoying a coffee as we sometimes do.

Then he dropped the bombshell.

“Neil”, he said, “ I’m thinking of moving house – what do you reckon ?“.

I thought about it for a second or less – then yelped “you mad mad crazy fool – DON’T DO IT !!!”.

I’m jesting of course, but it did make me wonder how he’d fare in the jungle we call Property.

Interestingly, at the very first house he viewed, the opening gambit of the owner was to tell my friend “it’s a funny old market !”.

Mind you, the house had been on the market for over a year – with 2 big price reductions along the way.

To cap it all, Dave considered that the house was still overpriced and didn’t proceed to make an offer.

Visits to 2 separate agents continued the theme. One agent remarked that the market was difficult to call, with many properties dragging on for 12 months or more before a sale is firmed up. Or, in some cases, agreed sales not reaching completion for a variety of reasons. In street parlance, bordering on total pants !

However, the same agent related the tale of a house sale before it was marketed. A chance drop-in by an eager punter who wanted a property in a specific street timed his run well. At the same time, the agent had been instructed to market a property in the perfect location – and within the prospective purchaser’s budget. Bingo !

The upshot of it all was that the agent sold the property before a board was put up and pictures reached the papers.

The second agent proudly announced they were the top sales agent in the town – and had the figures to prove it. But even they conceded that price was key – and sales needed to be carefully managed right through to completion to give the maximum chance of success.

So, I’m pleased to see “at the coalface” that agents are prepared to concede that buoyant times are a distant memory. Sure, properties are still selling – and agents are still in business. But for some time now, it’s not been a case of talking the market down – it is down.

Thankfully, some agents tell it as it is and advise their clients with a healthy dose of realism.

For sure, it’s never been more prudent to seek sensible, informed and proactive advice when selling your home.

He hasn’t moved yet, but my mate Dave is up for the challenge. I’ll keep you posted…