Sunday Times, 10.6.12
How to sell for the price you want
When Linda Jeffcoat, 51, decided to sell her deceased parents’ holiday cottage in the Lake District last year, she knew she faced a challenge, even though the three-bedroom, three-bathroom converted barn had wonderful views and was only five minutes’ walk from Lake Windermere. Sales for holiday homes had “dropped by half since 2006”, says Matt Dixon, a director at Matthews Benjamin, a local estate agency. In addition, prices had fallen by 10%-20%, depending on location.
Jeffcoat, who works for the buying agency Stacks, put the cottage on the market for £545,000 in June 2011, and finally received an offer of £500,000 after six months: “That was as high as the buyers could go.”
She and her family dithered, but eventually decided to accept — with the proviso that they could use the cottage for three weeks a year for the next three years, “so I, my sister and sister-in-law would have a week each”. The buyers agreed, providing it was outside peak times. “The extra weeks made it easier to accept the lower offer,” Jeffcoat says. “It was a convenient payment in kind.”