How can so many people overlook the best opportunities? How can a property like the one I mentioned in the last post stay on the market for so long? How can people miss it when it is clearly advertised on the main property portals?
To refresh your memory, the apartment in question had been on the market for months and was 15% undervalued in my opinion,
Well the main reasons are:
1. Most buyers only see a small percentage of the market- they only register with nine or ten agents when there are over 240 offices in prime central London.
2. Most buyers do not really understand the market- they think they understand values but actually have a very poor grasp of their target market.
3. Most buyers follow the herd- the stampede is invariably for the latest properties on the market which leads to a frenzy and quite often sealed bids.
But there is another reason why bargains often go unnoticed for weeks and even months- buyers show an incredible lack of imagination. In this instance the apartment was in good condition and numerous buyers had viewed the property, but it felt cramped and indeed slightly dark because the owners had far too much furniture in their home. Consequently the apartment felt smaller than it was to the untrained eye.
In this case the reception room which was a good size was home to:
- A huge, dark leather sofa that should have been in a room twice the size
- An oversized coffee table
- A grand piano
- Various other chairs
- A number of sculptures and statues
- A wall that had been painted black…
- Extravagant curtains that blocked 30% of the light even when open
So the sellers were certainly not helping themselves.
I also believe that the herd mentality has slightly taken control, i.e. people had started thinking: “if other buyers don’t like this and haven’t offered clearly it is cramped and cannot be improved”. But this thinking is madness (although I love it as it means more opportunities for me and my clients).
And this is not an isolated incident. In December I bought a house for a client at a lower price than had previously been accepted and again the house had been available for months. Then there was the apartment with views over Hyde Park which we bought for a client in November at a significant discount to the asking price while 17 buyers were involved in a sealed bid on an inferior property less than 300 meters away.
Of course my clients have a significant advantage as I have been acquiring properties in London for over 13 years, have personally inspected over 20,000 properties and seen the details for over 120,000 more, so I have a much better frame of reference than you can possibly have. This allows me to not only spot the bargains but also gives me unrivaled knowledge which helps when negotiating the most favourable terms possible.
Now, of course, this does not mean I am successful in every negotiation. Sometimes we have to walk away because the seller is insisting on a price that I think is unreasonable. However, I am successful more often than not, so you need to either follow the proven strategies I reveal or you can remove all the wasted time, money and stress endured by the typical buyer and ask me to represent you.