ASK THE AGENT

A. All in all, I think the best thing is to try and forget about last year! Seriously though, it is the state of the property market going forward that really matters. And of course, while it would be disingenuous in the extreme to suggest that things are likely to be anything other than very challenging over the coming 12 months, it is worth remembering that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people still managed to successfully sell their homes and move house last year - and 2012 will surely be no different.

So, the short answer to your question is: yes, it is certainly worth putting your home on the market. And as it happens, if you are serious about moving, then now is a very good time to do so. That’s because – despite all the widely-publicised difficulties the market experienced during 2011 - estate agents everywhere were actually running out of properties to sell towards the end of the year. As a result, people looking to buy now, early in the new year, are very much primed for the moment when fresh stock starts coming onto the market.

What all this really means - particularly if you planning to move early in the year - is that now is the right time to be talking to your friendly local independent estate agent (no surprise there!). Importantly, he or she can advise you about anything you can do to prepare your property for sale and maximise its buyer appeal. If like most of us you are also looking to buy something else, they can also help refine your own requirements. Who knows, they may even have the ideal property on their books - or know of one soon coming onto the market.

Ultimately, however, whether you achieve a successful sale or not within your chosen time frame will depend on pricing. The fact is that the market is not necessarily as bad as the media would have everyone believe. Sales are still happening, and will continue to do so – as long as asking prices are in line with market expectations. So, listen to your agent!