Top Five London Selling
‘I worked for an agency with a shop-front for three and a half years,’ says Russell. ‘I found it was probably as awkward for the agent as it was for the buyer. To walk into an open room and suddenly announce how much they had to spend, whether it was a little amount of a large amount, and then everybody stopped talking and looked at the people rather embarrassed, and I just thought, “Is this really necessary?”’
Today his family business remains ‘very private’: ‘When I started my company in 1979 people thought I was a bit mad, but now with computers and the internet, life has changed.’
An astute market observer, Russell has recently noticed that where properties are in poorer condition, prices are having to be lowered to attract attention. Buyers are increasingly keen on the ‘immediate self-gratification, turn-key type of situation’.
‘A lot of us living in these houses don’t know quite what the buyer might want,’ he says.
‘The problem is, if you’ve lived in a house with a family for twenty years and you’ve loved the house, it’s probably better to just leave it as it is — you can’t just put in a new stair carpet, redecorate the ceilings, or just one room, because it just makes everything else look bad. You’re better off listening to the agent’s advice and being realistic on the price, rather than quoting the highest price you think you might be able to achieve.’