Hurrah! At last someone talks sense…

Hold the front page; there is at last an article in the press with which I concur. I know, editors across the fourth estate are breathing a collective sigh of relief that The Chesh has given his approval…In a week where Gideon-I mean George- showed that a. He may well have played a blinder b. His tailor needs to add an extra two inches to his trousers (all men will empathise about needing an extra two inches…) and c. With his Gladiator/Antonio Banderas haircut, if it all goes awry on 7 May, Hollywood may beckon… I was pleasantly surprised to read an article by Max Davidson in the Daily Mail on how not to sell your property. “The seven deadly sins of house-selling…” Max Davidson, Daily Mail, Friday 20 March 2015 Max writes about research conducted by David Grundy of My On Line Estate Agent who lists what vendors should really try and avoid when showcasing their property to prospective buyers. What is omitted from the report is how before even getting to the stage of an expectant buyer stepping across the threshold, how some vendors do nothing to help present the property in the best possible light at the listing stage. I have lost count of the number of times that I have gone to a house to prepare the details and take photos to be greeted with, “I’m sorry, I just haven’t had time to tidy up”. What, for the past 20 years? Invariably, the vendors of such properties-whose vacuum is usually lost under a midden of detritus requiring forensic gloves and/or the use of a gas mask-are wholly unembarrassed at the state of their home. What tests most estate agents’ diplomatic skills and requires them to tap into their inner Henry Kissinger is when a vendor asks an agent to, “Tell me the truth, what do I need to do to get more interest?” Believe me, the truth is not what they want to hear. “Clean the £$%^&” place”, however tactfully put can elicit any number of reactions, ranging from effusive thanks (?) to questioning one’s parentage.
The real challenge as Mr Grundy’s report highlights, is the viewing brouhaha. The house has been cleaned to CSI standards, the coffee is percolating merrily, the artfully scattered scatter cushions are doing their thing, but this idyll of domesticity still has one glaring error: the vendor. The first rule of showing a property to an interested party is get the vendor out. I am always amazed by estate agents-several in the Cwmbran locale-who do not accompany viewings and leave it to the home owner, who it should not be forgotten, is on completion of a successful sale going to be paying a fee for their services, which I have always been led to believe included showing the property to people who are considering parting with their hard-earned cash. Most vendors do take our advice and leave us to do our job, but we have had vendors who have insisted on pointing out; “That is where Mimi the dog is buried…We spent a fortune on all that artex and I hate it… That is a picture of my wife, who chose the artex and then ran off with the milkman…I have to move because I have had a promotion at work and now earn a fortune.. Due to my promotion I don’t want to live in this £$%^(9*£” Max Davidson is on the money when he says that agents like to show the property when the owners are miles away. If someone has placed their faith in an estate agent then they should avail themselves of their professional expertise and get their money’s worth. An integral part of this is the agent accompanying the viewings and highlighting certain features of the property; this does not include a pet cemetery or why the vendor now buys their milk at the supermarket.