Are house prices going to fall in St Albans and Harpenden? We asked the Secret Estate Agent
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Let Hertfordshire’s Secret Estate Agent answer your property questions and give an insight into the world of estate agency...
Are house prices going to fall in St Albans and Harpenden?
There may well be a correction at some point but there is a real appetite from buyers at the moment. Homes are increasingly being seen as places to live and work and are becoming more emotive and precious with the changing times. Truth is, no one knows.
Have you dealt with many hoarders when selling houses?
I’ve just been to a client’s house who has spent most of his weekend at the local tip - sorry, recycling centre - disposing of his hoardings to ready his house for market. It’s a tough place to visit for fear of castigation for putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong container. I’ve driven out of there with more stuff than I arrived with as couldn’t cope with the decision pressure and spotlight.
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I’ve had extreme hoarders who have accumulated rooms full of books (remember them?), CDs/DVDs in alphabetical order, Russian dolls, taxidermists with stuffed animals, etc. I had a client who’d had a full-on model railway track in his loft for the last 20 years. Oh, the fun we had watching that steam train pull into the station bang on time at 13.32pm.
Can anyone be an estate agent or do you need to be a certain sort of person?
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You do need to be think-skinned, a good listener, part-time counsellor and take the highs with the lows. It’s not how you fall but how quickly you pick yourself up.
What are your career goals?
Just one. To be able to walk though St Albans high street with my family without fear of people crossing the road to avoid me.
What has been your most memorable marketing endeavour?
I attended a property exhibition a few years back at Chelsea Town Hall, where we had a stall representing my previous company. It is a pain to get to and I had to leave early on the train armed with marketing boards and material. I met a colleague there to set up and we were amongst London agents who I soon discovered had higher marketing budgets as they displayed an array of exotic cheeses, fine wines and slick property brochures against my tin of Quality Street and creased property details.
In eight hours, we saw two people. I missed the train connection on the way home as I fell asleep – the wine and cheese had taken its toll and I got in at midnight having left the marketing material on the train.
Have any clients guessed that you’re the Secret Estate Agent? How have you responded if so?
I must confess, quite a few of my wife’s friends have commented on the articles and asked if it was in fact me - but fair play, she has kept my anonymity intact. She has always been very good at keeping secrets from me.