For football fans January means the mid-season transfer window. It offers an opportunity for your team to address weaknesses and stave off relegation or to add that star player and help push for a title challenge.

Today we are looking at lessons you can learn from the world of football transfers and use when buying a property. Lessons such as:

  • Look for a motivated seller, irrespective of what you are buying
  • Buy low and sell high is a winning formula
  • Buy high and sell higher works as well
  • No matter what you are buying make sure you have a plan

As this year’s transfer window draws towards a close we look at what comparisons we can draw and what we can learn for your property transactions this year.

Two of the biggest transfers in January to date involve Liverpool FC. Their purchase of Virgil Van Dijk for £75million from Southampton, a world record price for a defender, was surpassed by the £142million they accepted to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Both transactions were protracted affairs which started in the summer and rumbled on until the start of the 2018 transfer window. They involved players who wanted to move on and clubs who didn’t want to sell their best players. The fees achieved by both clubs were substantial and reflected their reluctance to sell.

If you are looking to buy a property in 2018 and you are looking to negotiate or find a bargain, then you need to find a motivated seller. If you have your heart set on a “Van Dijk” or a “Coutinho” then you will have to pay the price for it. You will often find that vendors who have been trying to sell for a long time will accept a lower offer than those who have just listed their property or whose property is not yet on the market.

Another transfer which failed to get over the line in the Summer was that of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City from Arsenal for a reported £60million. The transfer fell out of bed on deadline day in August due to the inability of Arsenal to find a suitable replacement. Arsenal now look likely to agree to a transfer with Manchester United and a straight swap of Sanchez for Henrikh Mkhitaryan; a less financially profitable deal.

A property buyer can learn from this that a vendor will be more motivated to sell if they have another property lined up. Indeed, a vendor without a house to move to will only sell if they receive a great offer.

James Rodriguez lit up the World Cup in 2014 for Colombia which led to his reported 80m Euro transfer to Real Madrid. But after three years as a fringe player who never quite managed to make it at the Bernabeu he was deemed surplus to requirements. However, Real were unable to find a suitable buyer for the talented attacker.

In the summer of 2017 they agreed a 2-year loan to Bayern Munich allowing Rodriguez to get the regular game time he wanted and the German powerhouses to sign a world-class player without a huge financial outlay. This has allowed Rodriguez’s stock to rise (and the market to catch back up) due to a promising start to life in the Bundesliga which has now led to rumours of a permanent transfer away from Spain.

If a property has been on the market, empty and underachieving, for a long time the owner might be open to other ideas. If you are looking for a rental property and can’t find anything suitable have a look at what has been endlessly on the sales market. The owner might agree to a rental for a year or two to allow the sales market to catch back up with their expectations.

Be more like Pep!

Finally, we are going to look at Manchester City and their transfer exploits since the appointment of Pep Guardiola as manager in the summer of 2016. Guardiola is widely thought to be the best manager in football and his appointment was expected to bring immediate results. As it turned out, Chelsea won the league and City went through the 2016/17 season trophy-less.

However, as things stand at the time of writing, they are 12 points clear of their nearest rivals in the Premier League, safely through to the quarter finals of the Champions League, still in the FA Cup and in a strong position to progress to the final of the Carabao Cup against Championship promotion hopefuls Bristol City.

A lot of the success in his second season can be put down to his ability to identify where he needed to invest to meet his football philosophy. He focussed on “ball-playing” defenders and goalkeeper who were confident on the ball and complimented the attacking riches already at his disposal. His 3 most expensive signings to date have all been defenders and yet he has the most prolific attack in the Premier League.

What does this have to do with your house search? It emphasises the need for analysis and careful planning. When you are looking to move, do your research on the market. Find out which agents are the best and then put in the effort to get to know them, speaking to them regularly. Come up with a plan of how you are going to get the job done. Have your finance in place, know how you are going to search and decide on how you are going to negotiate. If you need a hand there are people out there who can help you through the process.

Get in touch with us at Oxford Property Consulting if you are daunted by your property search and want to chat things through. Or have a read here of how to make the most of a viewing.