I met the owner of Gladwell Road after an introduction from a trades guy friend.

He was frustrated after being on the market for more than six moths combined with two large local agents.

I met with the owner knowing he wouldn’t have heard of our agency, as we’re based in East Dulwich and his property was BR2, Sundridge Park.

In fact, the first question Joe asked me was ‘whether I knew the local market well enough?’.

My reply was to ask why he felt the two ‘local and reputable agents’ hadn’t been able to attract a decent offer for him with their superior local knowledge?

Using my Homesearch database I could compare all local recent sales and also compare with properties that were a similar size (because I can see the square foot size).

In fact, Joe remarked that my report was the most detailed he’d received of all the agents.

The reason why he was getting so few viewings and had only one very low was pretty obvious.

The property was tired, unloved and looked like the rental property it had been for a few years.

How it looked Previously

The owner needed more than a simple paint job if he wanted to get the very best result possible.

The Refurbishment

We talked about who might be interested in a small two bedroom terraced house in an affordable area.

We both agreed it would appeal mainly to a first time buyer, and discussed why they might be ‘put off’ by a property needing obvious upgrading.

In fact, Joe had said most of the viewers previously had been first time buyers and the feedback he had been given was that the house needed too much work.

The agents had in my opinion mis-judged the market completely and had reduced several times over a few months.  This is never conducive to getting a good result.

However, not one agent had asked Joe if he’d be willing to make some changes to the property, to increase its saleability.

And that’s exactly what I did.

We walked through the property and prioritized what would add the most value and be most important to a buyer and talked about Joe’s budget and what we improvements we could make within that budget.

The Result


All of the work was carried out by my trade guy friend (who is brilliant too!), and the work was a fantastic standard throughout.

I helped with the styling, making sure we worked within Joe’s budget.  Furniture was sourced as off-pieces from TK Maxx and was all good value.  Some pieces were the owners that he borrowed to stage the property.

With a little over £10,000 of investment from Joe, a sale was agreed at £70,000 more than the previous agents could manage!

You don’t need to use a local agent.

What you need to use is an agent who places your interests first, and not their employer’s needs.

Valuing a property higher than it’s really worth DOES NOT help the client.  It positively ruins the chances of getting the best result, and it leads to price reductions.

If you have a property that needs upgrading that you want to sell and feel that you don’t have the experience to know what styles will be more desirable to your core market of buyers, I can help you with all aspects, even recommending brilliant local trades guys.

The owner naturally was over the moon.  So much so he left me possibly my most favourite review ever!

If you would like to discuss this in more detail call James on 020 8432 1505 or email me at james@fishneedwater.com