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​Property Report October 2006

October 2006

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Charles Street

Charles Street
Charles Street
Charles Street

Finest Apartment

Buying a Home

By Peter Wetherell

“Do not buy a convertible sports
car in the summer” recommended
my Father. Likewise good advice
is not to buy your umbrella when
it is raining; so why are buyers
frantic to buy property when
there is so little available?

The classic economics of low supply and high demand
means that vendors are back in command and
commanding high prices! So why do people buy?
Well as far as Mayfair is concerned the stock is always
in low supply and astute buyers realise that the
product that they see today might not be available
again for a considerable time. What seemed
expensive today might seem reasonable when the
next comparable property is available.
There is also a great deal of money in the system
wanting somewhere to go and property is still seen as
a safe haven. If you’re looking for an area to invest
your cash, where better than the geographically
bounded area of Mayfair which is constrained on
supply by planning restrictions and returning to its
residential heritage through former office buildings
reverting back to their original residential use.
Mayfair is still playing catch up on value with other
prime residential areas of central London, so Wetherell
still see investment growth and value. Even for those
Aston Martin Volante drivers who have popped out
for lunch in a thunderstorm and needed to purchase
the umbrella, they will still have the satisfaction of not
being soaked and can drive home in an engineering

So what is available to buy?

The answer to this question is the problem, there is
very little and that is where the problem starts; it is
very boring seeing so little property with most of it
being so inferior to what buying perceptions perceive.
Also with so few properties to look at, how are you
meant to compare value on a like for like basis?
This is a market for either a desperate buyer or a
sophisticated and knowledgeable purchaser who can
see value in what they are buying. For those with the
faith and the will to buy, here is your hit list of how to
prepare for your purchase:

“Cash Offer”

Cash is cash, not finance to be arranged subject to
valuation at a later date. Sort out your finances prior
to your search. Cash is king and it is not just vendors
who are looking for a quick exchange, it can benefit
the buyer by beating the competition in a rising

“Best Offers”

When vendors have more than one acceptable offer
they tend to instruct their agent to seek best offers by
a certain date. Remember that all offers are “subject
to contract” and not legally binding until exchange.
The best offer does not have to be the highest offer; it
can be the strongest offer through either speed or

“Contracts Race”

The vendor has decided to issue a second contract on
a first come first served basis. Be prepared to
“attend” whereby the purchaser’s solicitor attends the
vendor’s solicitor’s office, goes through the contract
and subsequently exchanges contracts, hopefully in
working hours but the most exciting ones tend to
exchange at about 10.30 in the evening!

“Fall Through”

In a fast moving seller’s market, buyers tend to bid first
and think later! Second thoughts results in either
withdrawing from the purchase or re-offering at a
lower price. The fall through rate rises in a strong
sellers market, so be prepared for the call from the
estate agent telling you the property has just come
back to the market. You need to move fast to secure
that deal.

“Modern Technology”

Forget about looking on the internet to buy your
property; look on it as an Open University course for
learning about values, areas and markets. The only
way to buy in a fast market is the old fashioned way,
speak to the estate agents, decide which one you are
going to make your “best friend” and keep in touch!
In the modern world of websites and computers it
takes a while to upload a property for the world to
see but only takes a minute to pick up the telephone
to gain valuable market information.

The Next 6 Months in Mayfair?

Historically we are now entering our busiest period
being the last quarter of the year (everyone is back
from their holidays and wanting to purchase before
Christmas) and the first quarter of 2007.

Why Wetherell?

If you’re actively looking for a property in Mayfair to
either buy or rent speak to the people who have the
knowledge, the property and the reputation of not
only being Mayfair’s leading specialist estate agents but
also the agent who markets Mayfair’s finest properties.


Shaun Crockett, residential sales
director of Wetherell was recently
interviewed by The Times for their
property section.

Q: Mr & Mrs Anonymous asked three local estate
agents to value their two bedroom flat. The
suggested guide prices varied widely and the couple
want to know which agent is quoting the most
realistic price and which agent should they choose.

A: This is a dilemma for many sellers. When
agents report back with their thoughts on your
property’s guide price, it is vital that you the buyer,
ask exactly how they arrived at that figure and how
they justify it. Ideally, but depending on the number
of homes like yours in the neighbourhood, the
agent should be able to give a minimum of three
price comparisons of similar properties that have
sold in the past 12 months. Any price comparisons
over a year old should not be used because they
are out of date. Variable factors such as the aspect
of your house and main garden, exterior and
interior condition of a property, and positioning
within a street/neighbourhood will have affected the
exact prices achieved but will certainly indicate
whether the agent is quoting a sensible figure.

Q: Is the highest price the best?

A: Although human nature tends to make us veer
towards the highest guide price, keep a lookout for
agents quoting big prices simply because they want
the instruction and/or perhaps have not sold
anything in your area and are plucking figures out of
the air. Similarly be wary of agents quoting unusually
low prices because they may well be from the
school of “pile ’em high” “sell ’em cheap”.

Q: What can I do as a vendor to be more

A: Always run regular searches on good quality
property websites, such as propertyfinder.com and
rightmove.co.uk, to see what your neighbours are
asking, scan the property sections in local
newspapers and magazines, and look in estate
agents windows. After doing this kind of research
over a four to eight- week period, you will have a
much better idea of what property prices are doing
in your area, the agents who are most prolific in
your area at your level of the market and which
agents run effective and efficient property
marketing campaigns.

Finally there’s nothing better than personal
recommendation, so ask your neighbours, local
solicitors and surveyors to see which agent seems
the most appropriate.



Mayfair’s Leading Estate Agent



We sell well

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No.121 102, Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2TH October 2006