The residential sales market in Brighton and Hove has seen strong demand over the last six to nine months with a distinct shortage of available property, and it is clear that demand continues to outstrip supply.

This has impacted on much of the property coming to the market, with asking prices rising across the city.

While we are not experiencing the frenzied property market similar to the years running up to 2007, low interest rates, government help to buy schemes and the desirability of our local area combine to create the busiest market we have seen in the last few years.

Recent trends in the city saw sale prices rise steadily in 2013 with an average increase in the region of 5% and some prime properties seeing a 6-8% increase or more.

The first few weeks of 2014 have proven buoyant with the trends of 2013 continuing and no indication of a change in the coming months. This is evidenced by several new developments that are presently under construction and selling off-plan, even before a show suite is available to view and often long before the development is due to be completed.

TARGET MARKET AND TIMING: I often get asked ‘when is a good time to sell?’ and ‘what is the market doing in Brighton & Hove?’ Naturally the answer is ever-changing depending on the many factors that affect the market. It is worthwhile seeking advice from an estate agent weeks and sometimes months before putting your property on the market.

People often have misconceptions about the property market, like ‘spring is the best time to sell my property’ or ‘my house will be bought by someone from London’ both of which are not necessarily true.

FRESHEN UP AND DE-PERSONALISE: Presentation has never been more important if you want to achieve the highest price possible at the time of sale.

When selling you need to cater for the likely target audience or simply the widest audience, depending on the property and as agents we can offer suggestions on how best to achieve this as we often know what the feedback will be, before any potential buyers have viewed.

ENHANCE AND EXPAND: Similarly, if you are thinking of carrying out major works on your home it is essential that you ask your agent ‘Am I doing the right things?’ Less could be more; there isn’t always a need to spend a lot of money.

HOLDING IT ALL TOGETHER: Even with a more buoyant market, problems can still arise when selling, such as buyers and sellers expectations of the process, chains, surveys and buyers seeking a high proportion of finance.

This is where your agent should excel, solving potential problems before they arise or tackling them head on when they do.

REMEMBER: Buyers nowadays are much better informed than those of years gone by. As a seller, taking early advice on all aspects of selling your property and setting the price correctly when going to market are the key to achieving success.