Bijou Property In Need Of A Little DIY

Of course, if you look at the photo above you will realise immediately that the property concerned is in need of considerably more than ‘a little DIY’ and if we truly advertised it in this way, our credibility would definitely suffer.

In fact, we often have discussions on how to describe properties, since one man’s ‘ in need of DIY’ is another’s ‘total ruin’ and even amongst ourselves, the definition of ‘habitable’ is open to many interpretations. So in most cases we prefer to err on the side of caution rather than oversell – in fact one client the other day looked at me very hard when in answer to a question of ‘What is this one like,’ I said ‘Aabsolutely vile’. It is, but in fact with some work (serious work, not DIY) it could actually be a great investment and a lovely spacious house, but if I had said that first he would have been disappointed when he saw the house in its present state.

However, it seems that not all estate agents share the same philosophy. I looked today at a handout from a local Greek agency and recognised a property which we also have on our books. The property description was of ‘an estate’ with main house, stables, etc. ‘in very good condition’ and a very nice photograph, making the property look like the bargain of the century. Don’t misunderstand me, I love the property, it is one of my favourites and it is indeed a very good price for what it is. But the photograph must be more than 20 years old, many of the buildings shown on it have virtually collapsed and it needs a massive investment to restore it to its former glory. Once restored it will be fantastic – but anyone travelling to view it on the strength of that agency’s description and photo will feel completely deceived when they arrive. On the other hand, with the right information and expectations, at some point I am sure the right buyer will appear, knowing what to expect, and able to fall in love with it as we did.

On reflection, I think we will continue with our rather more factual descriptions.

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