We asked the Secret Estate Agent: What does the recession mean for the Herts housing market?
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Let Hertfordshire’s Secret Estate Agent answer your property questions and give an insight into the world of estate agency.
What does the recession mean for the property market in St Albans and Harpenden?
The recession by definition was inevitable, but it doesn’t seem to be having an effect on the market which is white hot at present. Clearly, the stamp duty concession is having a major impact; the government is determined to underpin the housing market and additional stimulus measures may also be introduced to protect the economy.
I’ve seen a few examples lately of very similar properties having wildly different asking prices. It seems like even estate agents don’t know what a property’s worth at the moment. Am I right?
Yes. It is a moving target at present on valuations as sold comparables are now obsolete as the market conditions have changed so quickly.
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Luckily, I work for a market leader and we have our finger on the pulse with the offers and sales figures we are currently achieving, and can use this information to accurately value.
What’s the poshest St Albans house you’ve ever visited?
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The poshest wasn’t the most expensive. I only ever met the gardener and he wore a tie. Quick related joke: Do you know you really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.
Have you ever advised a seller not to go with a particular buyer because you don’t like them?
We try to maintain professionalism and not to allow personal opinion to cloud our judgement.
However, there are always some questionable characters out there and usually if they are trouble from the start, they are trouble throughout. Paradoxically, I have found the overzealous buyers promising the earth don’t deliver the goods.
Parquet: yes or no?
I am in the ‘yes’ camp and it can be a pleasant revelation as often smothered with thick 1990s curry house red carpet.
I once wanted to view a property, but was advised by the agent that it was tiny - much smaller than it looked in the particulars - and probably not worth looking at. What was that all about?!
The agent was either serving their notice period or perhaps using reverse psychology and then overdelivering on your expectations after you viewed it.
How do you pretend to like a property you actually think is horrible? Do you have go-to phrases in such situations, eg. ‘the rooms are a good size’?
Every property is saleable as by definition the current owner liked something about it. We have a list of stock phrases to deflect most deficiencies and every turd can be polished. We see the good in every person and property.
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