As we trundle our way through the first quarter of the year, the good intentions we all subscribed to in those early days of January are but a distant memory-as are the days when Brexit wasn’t on the front of every paper, we had politicians who actually tried to carry out the wishes of the people who voted them in in the first place and I had hair. With all the zeal of a mung bean munching, yoga practising so right-on that it hurts, ‘me too’ espousing disciple, I too vowed that in 2019, I would change for the better. I know, I know, to improve on almost perfection is a big ask, but…Well actually, oh ye of little faith, I have embraced my inner chakra and have learnt something new. Twice in 2018, I listed a property that-let’s be blunt-was hugely overpriced and way above my personal, professional valuation. So why did I do it? Well, because the vendors, “really liked me”. Always a suitable grounding for listing a property… and the same vendors wanted to start at another agent’s valuation to see how it goes before following my, “superb expert advice”. Alarm bells should perhaps have been ringing as a. I hadn’t appealed so much–on paper at least-that I had been called out first and b. They were clearly not interested in hearing “expert advice” and the real value of their property from a professional, but the biggest number that could conceivably be attributed to the potential sale of their house (however unprofessional and ‘inexpert’ it might be). Of course, what happened next? Having listed the property-against my better judgement -at too high a price, with zero interest from any potential purchaser, the vendors flatly refused any of my efforts to gain a price reduction. Having liked me almost as much as Simon Cowell likes high-waisted trousers I soon became as likeable as rabies in a dogs home. The reason for the volte face? The lack of interest and the price, I quote, “has f”*k all to do with it”. Ok. I was disinstructed and the property went on with another agent at my original valuation. Well, worse things happen if… you are Donald Trump’s (former) lawyer I suppose, but I have in 2019, walked away from 3 instructions because 1. They wanted it on at a hugely inflated figure and 2. They also wanted a fee for next to nothing.
I have learnt that professionalism is as much sticking to your guns-and ‘expert’ valuation-and walking away rather than compromise on these. There are many agents out there who will cry that boards breed boards. No they don’t. I will continue to allow myself a small smile when a vendor tells me, “no board mind, I don’t want nosey f%^$ers round here knowing my business”. Because of course those same nosey f%^$ers along with 5000 other mildly interested f%^$ers won’t see it on rightmove will they?