Our thoughts

“New” homes

When an estate agent is faced with the tricky problem of trying to sell a property that just won’t shift, it may have to dream up more ingenious ways of hoodwinking the public. Such agents are regulated by the Misdescriptions Act 1991, so how do they do it? Like a magician, a degree of imagination is called for.

No 16 Hesper Mews, is situated on the borders of fashionable South Kensington and less fashionable Earls Court. Newly modernised by the developer with all the latest state of the art gadgets you would expect from a superb finish of some 3,650 sqft priced at £4.95m. Launched in March/April 2010 it failed to find a buyer and was withdrawn from the market during August. Buyers had sniffed but none had offered.
Re-launched in September and offered as “new” on various websites including Primelocation, both the appointed selling agents, Savills and Ashdown Marks were keen to breathe fresh life as they had exhausted their pool of existing buyers. It was also on for sale and for rent, which any informed buyer would have deduced, that this owner was getting desperate. To further enhance the new image, the old front elevation photograph was replaced by one of the interior. Keeping the price unaltered this was a gamble and perhaps a last throw of the dice for this developer who only had a small window before the Christmas slowdown. At last a rental offer materialised which put pressure on those viewing the house as a potential purchase. As is often the case this did induce an offer to buy and an exchange of contracts took place in two days.

The gamble paid off and credit should be given to the estate agents for their fresh approach. However, the next time you see a property advertised on Primelocation as “new”, not all may appear precisely as it seems.