Imagine being able to shave 26% off the asking price of the house of your dreams. Well, it’s taken one client two years to do it but last week we exchanged contracts on a lovely Hertfordshire house that was first marketed at £2.5m back in 2009.
Savills had the first run at it launching the 6 bed house and 19 acres to a market that was still reeling from the credit crunch in 2009. The price was to be reduced twice over the coming months but it came on with two similar properties both of which suffered similar fates;-
Eastwick Manor near Harlow came with a similar guide and was subsequently offered by Strutt & Parker and Mullucks Wells – now for £1.85m and…
Little Hallingbury Place which to me felt like it had rubber marks on the roof from the planes landing at Stansted!
This also came with a £2.5m ticket but has now sold after the asking price was dropped to £1.95m.
The house we bought sits in the middle of it’s land and with a separate flat and a cottage, walled garden and good pony paddocks has all the ingredients for a cracking family home. It’s a great package and will be enjoyed by it’s new owners just as it has been by their predecessors.
The vendors conveyancing lawyers did their best to frustrate the deal taking far too long to answer even basic questions but selling agent (Mullucks again!) kept it all together and at last we exchanged contracts – a full £650,000 below the original guide.
Perhaps it’s easy to be smart now looking back and seeing how the market has drifted down from the record prices that seemed common in 2006/7. I was sceptical then and said so on the Today Program - to the horror of my colleagues. Since then the records that have been set have mostly been those of homes that have stuck, of price reductions and of red-faced agents being sacked by vendors who often failed to listen to the advice they were given in the first place.
The agent who first showed me all three of these properties told me & a celebrity client I was with what great value each home represented. An agents job is to represent their clients best interests but as my client observed at the time “this guy is lending his firms credibility to these sellers and they are trashing that reputation!”
I now have a happy client who not only beat the £2m Stamp Duty threshold but is about to move to a home that two years ago for which he would have had to earn another £1m to have bought. It may have taken longer than either he or I would have wished but it was well worth the wait!