After 18 months of unsuccessfully searching for the ideal place to set up home for their family, our client concluded that he needed specialist property advice.
Our client had a very specific set of requirements; they were looking for a large plot (up to an acre) in Stamford, Wothorpe or one of the four top Rutland villages.
On the plot there needed to be a substantial 5000+ sq. ft. modern house or the plot needed to be in a state that it could be developed and provide space for the footprint of a future home.
The challenges of this search related to the size of the plot – after all, most modern houses do not have up to an acre of garden and likewise, if a large plot comes available then there is a great deal of competition from local developers who look to purchase and develop the site with multiple properties (thus changing the pricing dynamics).
However, the limited search area was an advantage as it lent itself to intense, focused research which is necessary to unearth rare or difficult finds such as these.
Garrington started the search by reviewing the market and talking to estate agents to establish if there were any properties that the client had overlooked as potential opportunities.
Three properties stood out and whilst the client was already vaguely aware of these it was agreed that Garrington would help to review the properties and share their professional opinion.
Garrington found that one property was quickly discounted because the road noise from the A1 was too great, the second was too dark inside and had an awkward site layout and the third after, some weeks of investigation, was found to be wrongly priced and lacked scope to be developed into the prestigious property for which our client aspired.
Whilst the market review went ahead Garrington commenced in tandem an intense search of off-market opportunities. This involved speaking to a wider network of industry contacts such as architects, landowners, the Burghley estate, as well as diligent internet research and direct approaches to homeowners.
As a result, a number of off-market and pre-market plots were identified but on inspection many were found to be too small.
Nine weeks after commencing this search, Garrington received a response from a homeowner in a well regarded village saying that they may be willing to sell their house. Garrington arranged to view the property and it immediately became apparent that this was exciting find.
After viewing the property, the client confirmed what had been expected; the property was perfect. The only problem now was that in Garrington’s view, the homeowners pricing expectations were over inflated.
Over the following weeks, Garrington handled some delicate negotiations; aware that off-market properties often demand a premium and concerned that the homeowner who now was mentally ready to sell, would decide to put the property on the open market and mindful that our client didn’t want to pay an unrealistic price for the property.
Without the presence of an estate agent to represent the wishes of the seller, Garrington had to take on a careful mediation role; representing the best interest of our client who had retained our services but also being fair to the unrepresented seller. A careful balance needed to be achieved and this was ultimately reached after two months when price was agreed.
In this situation, Garrington played a critical role on several levels.
Firstly, we had the time, expertise and tenacity to investigate every potential property or plot in the search area and this unearthed some opportunities that our property savvy had not been able to find.
Secondly, even though the homeowner had been approached by potential buyers before, they reported that it was the professionalism of our approach which made us standout from previous enquiries and made them pick up the phone.
Finally, our role as negotiator, mediator and industry expert enabled us to broker a challenging deal which would probably have been impossible for a buyer acting alone.