With demand continuing to outstrip supply in the Cotswolds, the market is running hot. If you are to stand a chance of securing your dream home, you need to be organised, proactive and decisive.

  1. WHAT - Know what you want.
  2. WHERE – Know where you want it.
  3. BUDGET– Set your budget
  4. FINANCE  – Have it in place.
  5. SELL -   Your own home    -  if you need to.
  10. BE SMART - not Sharp


The Cotswolds has always been, and remains a very attractive area in which to live. The pandemic has strengthened demand in the area, which offers easy access to London, Oxford, Bristol and Birmingham, together with an ability to work form home, and live in a beautiful part of the country.

We have consistently seen over 30 years about 70% of our buyers from the local area, 25% from London and 5% from out of area and overseas. In the past 18 months, the scales have tilted more towards those coming from outside the Cotswolds than London. 47.7 % Local Buyers   30.3% Out of Area   20.2 % London  1.8% Overseas. This is explained by the desire of many young families now to live in the Cotswolds, as one can work from home and go up to town occasionally in the week. Their parents, when downsizing, sell elsewhere in the country and move to The Cotswolds to live close to their family. Londoners looking for second homes do still of course feature in the market. Both these categories have helped increase demand and spending power.


To compete and be able to make decisions, you need to make yourselves familiar with the area.  Decide whether you need to be in a town, a village or a more rural  location; be clear as to whether you need easy access to rail and road links, and decide how far you are willing to drive to a station, or on the school run, in terms of time, as much as distance. If you are not local, spend time in the Cotswolds getting to know it. It is a very varied area in terms of topography and demographics. The area has an extensive selection of good public and private sector schools and colleges.


Setting a budget is often something that people find hard to do. Somehow whatever your top figure, the dream house seems to be just outside the bracket!  However, it really is sensible to decide at the outset what you can genuinely afford without breaking the bank. In addition, consider whether you would be keen, willing and able to take on a project, or certainly not! Improvement works, which can add value in the long run, are often a great way to buy a property which you would not be able to do, if it were the finished product. However, building costs and the cost of materials are rising exponentially at the moment, so do your sums carefully.


Cash is king in this frenetic market. By this we mean cash in the bank, not realisable assets, not properties that are under offer, but hard cash to the full amount of the purchase price. There is no doubt that sellers look more favourably on those buyers who can perform immediately. Related or dependent sales are not attractive in this fast moving climate. This seems very hard , especially on first time buyers, but at least even if they have some borrowing, they are not in a chain, which should help them. Those with some form of loan will need to have the mortgage agreed in principle, at the very least. The lower the loan to value, the more attractive the buyer appears to the seller. Those needing to sell a property to buy the next one, must to be flexible and prepared to sell, and go into rented or stay with family if they are to maximise their chance of selling at the best price, and securing a property.


If you need to sell to make your next property purchase, get on with it. Put yourself in the best position to be able to actually perform for a seller. Be prepared, do all the paper work preparation before you launch it to the market. This will ensure that there are no surprises in the legal process, which can otherwise derail negotiations at a critical stage with devastating results. Check out  Rights Of Way, any charges on the land,  questions of access, indemnities taken out when bought, planning permissions obtained or not, compliance of private drainage systems, boilers etc with current regulations. Clear up any anomalies at the outset to ensure that the sale can proceed smoothly.


Select and instruct your solicitors at the earliest opportunity, in respect of both sale and purchase. Have your  building surveyor pre-warned that you are likely to purchase in an attempt to try to get him to book a slot to do the survey as soon as you have an offer accepted. In this busy market, surveyors are heavily booked. If you need a mortgage, try to badger your broker to ensure the mortgage valuation is booked as soon as possible. Delays associated with mortgage valuers are common and irritating to sellers who will be keen on cash for exactly this reason.


It is very hard to find your perfect home! Occasionally you will drop lucky, especially if you are looking in the higher price ranges. Most properties fall short in one area or another  - be it a footpath runs through an area; there is a farm close by with pigs; or the road is slightly busier than you want; there is more or less land than you want; the school run or commute is 10 minutes too long, or the property is up a long track – heaven for some, and not for others. To be happy, you do need to be clear what you want, but in all likelihood you will need to compromise in some way. Those who view endlessly and are too pernickety, get a reputation for kicking tyres and will be lucky to find a house in any market, let alone a fast moving one.


Buying a property is probably the biggest financial purchase of most peoples lives. It is understandable that people can become emotional about it, as the property, for most, is their home. Sellers can find it hard to let their home go, and buyers become very invested in the property they have fallen in love with and wish to buy. To achieve as smooth a sale as possible, people need to think with their heads, not their hearts, be logical, clear, determined and detached. If issues do arise in the buying process, decisiveness will be beneficial to all parties.


Having sold your own property, register your details with all agents in your area of search, as well as on the property portals. Do not wait to cruise Rightmove at 9.00am every morning, you will be behind the curve and miss out. All agents match properties to their own databases first, and about 12-24 hours later they are uploaded to the main portals. Plenty of viewings are booked in the time frame, and in this market offers can be received and prospective buyers miss out.


Buyers and sellers who think they can buck the market, be clever with offers or guide prices, and play fast with the other party, tend to get their just desserts. Honesty and integrity will serve everyone well, and professionalism and discretion are keys to good practice and successful, transactions. Be prepared and ahead of the game, stack everything in your favour, as far as you can.


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Cirencester Estate Agent

Patience, Gorgs and Alex Geikie, April 2021

We are a returning client of Butler Sherborn and we would highly recommend them if you’re looking to sell your property. The two properties we sold with BS were very different, but the BS team have always been extremely professional, approachable and friendly. And their communication skills are second to none! Thank you again!
— Patience, Gorgs and Alex Geikie, April 2021