Here’s the experience of a lovely family who sold their home with us for 62% higher than they expected, and the impact it had on their life and the lives of their family.
What would you think if you got three estate agent valuations and one was over 60% higher than the other two?
Would you be sceptical? Doubting? Or over the moon?
Let’s look at what that would be worth. 60% is the difference between £500,000 and £812,500. Or £1,000,000 and £1,625,000.
Or in the case of the family in this story, other agents gave valuations of £2,000,000.
Ours was £3,250,000.
That’s a huge difference. A life-changing amount of money.
IAN AND JO’S STORY
But let’s go back to the beginning, to delve deeper into this family’s story:
This couple, let’s call them Ian and Jo, bought their Lakeland farmhouse back in the late 1990s for around £250,000. At that time, the average home in the UK was selling for half that sum, so although it was certainly a relatively expensive home when they bought it, it was only the equivalent of buying a £600,000 home today.
The farmhouse was a little down-at-heel, but was set in one of the best valleys in the Lake District, with fabulous mountain views and even a little paddock. It was Ian and Jo’s dream home, and over the next two decades, Ian and Jo lovingly restored their old farmhouse, doing much of the work themselves to make their modest budget stretch further. They brought up their three children there, sending them to the local village school and the whole family enjoyed the sense of community there, feeling welcomed and accepted by the locals.
Fast-forward to 2022, and Ian and Jo’s family had dispersed and grown, and they felt that they were missing seeing their grandchildren grow up. Also, with just the two of them, they really didn’t need the space any more. So they made the difficult decision to put their much-loved farmhouse on the market.
They carefully shortlisted the best three local estate agents, and invited us all to share our valuations with them. Having told us in advance that we were their agent of choice, it’s fair to say they were astonished by our valuation, which (we now know) was £1,250,000 higher than the next highest valuation.
As you might imagine, Ian and Jo questioned our valuation, asking for evidence of their farmhouse being worth that sum. At that value of home, and in that area where sales are rare, evidence is sparse, but we gathered as much evidence as we could to reassure them that this valuation was achievable. After all, this was a unique home, in a unique location – who could know for certain what this home was really worth?
All that remained now was for us to put our money where our mouths were, take this home to market and find a buyer who would love their home as much as they had.
TIME TO GO TO MARKET
We went to market in May 2022. The first couple of weeks were quiet, which is perfectly normal for homes of that level. But Ian and Jo were nervous, and they began to have concerns that the valuation was too high.
At this point in time, the easy thing to do would have been to reduce the asking price to make a sale easier, but our experience in selling homes of this calibre has taught us that interest often comes in waves. Sometimes you don’t get any interest at all for a few weeks then suddenly competing buyers appear. And that’s what happened here.
Two buyers, equally keen to buy the farmhouse, both made asking price offers, and we spent lots of time with Ian and Jo, helping them choose the right buyer to sell to.
HAPPY EVER AFTER?
Now they’ve moved on, what do Ian and Jo have to say about their sale?
“When Phil first told us that he thought our home was worth £3.25m, we simply didn’t believe him! We assured him that we were intending to use AshdownJones so long as his valuation was in line with our expectations, but genuinely we had no idea our house could ever be worth what he was suggesting. It was difficult to put our faith in such a high asking price, but thank goodness we did! We still didn’t believe it until the day we exchanged contracts though, and opened a bottle of Champagne to celebrate!
Had we not believed Phil or he and the AJ team hadn’t been as confident, we wouldn’t have realised the true value of our home. Now we can help out our family and we’re planning a big holiday with all the grandchildren. It’s made what could have been a heart-wrenching move so much easier knowing we have financial security for the rest of our lives.”
A LIFE-CHANGING AMOUNT OF MONEY
To most people, £1,250,000 is a life-changing amount of money, as it was to Ian and Jo, and we take that responsibility very seriously. But we also have a duty to make sure that our clients never leave money on the table, and instead reap the rewards of their astute property purchase, and their hard work over many years, so that they leave with the sum they deserve.
The moral of this story is, be careful who you choose to value your home. Get it wrong, and your buyers will be enjoying the fruits of your labour. Get it right, and you could not only change your future for the better, but also the future of your family too.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Invite us to have a look at your home! Over a cup of tea (Yorkshire is preferred), we’ll share with you our thoughts on its value, and also fill you in on exactly what the market is doing right now, so you can make the right decision for you – whether that’s to sell now, next year, or never; the choice is always yours.
Sam and Phil