We ask the Secret Estate Agent: Why do Londoners love St Albans and Harpenden?
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Let Hertfordshire’s Secret Estate Agent answer your property questions and give an insight into the world of estate agency.
Why do Londoners love St Albans and Harpenden so much?
The main attraction was the easy and fast commute, but the times they are a-changing. There is less reliance now on the five-day-a-week commute, which I thought may lessen the popularity - but perversely St Albans has become more appealing since and because of lockdown.
Londoners are now longing for houses with gardens and home offices and moving to suburbia as opposed to walking distance to the station.
What do you really think of Chiswell Green?
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A leading question as if something is not quite right? I’ve always sold homes there and Killigrew school is very popular with buyers and the location is also convenient for the major trunk roads.
Back in the day, I dealt with a brand new development of 20 houses by Charles Church with buyers queuing up on the open day for reservations, so fond memories.
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Not so fond coaching my son’s football team on a wet Sunday morning at Greenwood Park.
Has anyone ever tried to bribe you (for example, to ‘forget’ a rival offer)?
I can’t say I haven’t received approaches, but I can generally see them coming and head them off at the pass. We don’t disclose other buyers’ offers and some people will always try to gain an unfair advantage.
Have you ever worked with a really rubbish estate agent? What did they do that made them so bad?
I first started out with a corporate agent and it was a steep learning curve with sharp practises but, on reflection, a good way to cut my teeth.
I did also work for a more upmarket agent and found their approach quite cringeworthy and stereotypical. All style and no substance - and that type are still out there
Is property viewing tourism really a thing? Do you get ‘regulars’ who never seem to find a place to buy?
We do, unfortunately. The viewing history story is all logged and we do ask why they haven’t found anything and question their motivation. We are also aware of unreliability and buyers pulling out without a valid reason, which can shape our clients’ opinions.
What types of property are hardest to shift at the moment?
Apartments have to realistically priced as there has been an oversupply; new homes developers have reduced their prices to shift stock units, which in turn affects the second hand market. Generally, most house types are selling as the market is fast moving and very busy at the moment.