As an estate agent, I’ve always thought to myself that those in the business should move house every two years or so, to remind us what our clients have to go through. My wife and I, along with our two children, have moved five times since 2007 and each move has brought its own challenges, but none so much as the highs and lows of a recent purchase in Cornwall.
We had our fair share of grief on this occasion, and there were times we questioned whether it was all worth it, but I am pleased to say that, having ridden out the bumps, we are now well on our way to creating something really special in a place that is already feeling like home. We started our journey in July 2020, viewing anything and everything within our budget and, despite my line of work, I was still surprised by the huge variety in space, quality and styles within our search area.
An important lesson which I reminded myself of was something I often say to buyers; ‘you’ve got to think outside the box’. A statistic I often refer back to is that only 31% of people buy what they had originally started looking for. Following my own advice, we found exactly what we were not looking for! A cottage which could best be described as ‘uninhabitable’. Its potential, however, was immediately evident. More importantly, we got ‘the feeling’ – that same feeling we got when we set eyes upon our last house – even before we went inside. You just know you want to live there.
This is something I see time and again when working with buyers. Trusting our instincts, we took the plunge to begin the challenge of turning our dream into a reality.
All this has undoubtedly deepened my appreciation of our clients’ experiences. This is important as there is so much more to being an estate agent than just ‘selling houses’. A house move is as scary and stressful as it is exciting and ultimately wonderful and so working with an agent who you can trust to guide you through makes all the difference.
As for me, I’m hugely grateful that my job enables me to live and work in a county that so many aspire to and so enjoy helping others to realise their Cornish dream, too.
Chris Clifford is the Head of Residential Sales for Savills Cornwall.