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Do you have an ‘undercover’ property?

What I mean is, you know you are thinking about selling – but nobody else does.

If you live in a lovely home already and you would like to move but you haven’t seen anything you prefer that would make you put your house on the market.  

It’s that Chicken and Egg story again.  Which comes first?


If you know your home will sell quickly and you don’t want to risk putting it on the market and getting an offer when you still haven’t found anywhere you’d like to move to, and, you think either the buyer or the agent, or maybe both, will put you under pressure – you decide to sit tight until the right house comes along.


You’ve realised you’re a discerning buyer and the problem is you are particular about what you want.


Why is it a problem?  Because you are only going to want the best of properties that only come along every now and again. 


Then when they do come up for sale they are snatched up within days, if not hours because you are not the only one who thinks it is a highly desirable property.  Other discerning buyers have been waiting too.


People who are ready to move immediately – they can be cash buyers or people who have deliberately been brave and sold their homes and moved into rented accommodation to enable them to be in a better buying position i.e. chain free.  Or maybe, they are just lucky enough to have been ‘sold subject to contract’ at just the right time.


Another kind of ‘undercover’ property is when you know you want to move but don’t want the neighbours or family to know until you are actually about to move out.


This isn’t as rare as you’d imagine.


Frightened of upsetting long-time neighbours who just wouldn’t understand why you could possibly want to move and leave them.  Especially if you have lived side by side for years.  Or family who think you’re mad, or you’ve moved too often, or can’t believe why you’d want to leave the home you’ve lived in forever or raised them in.


Before Rightmove existed, I sold property in Selby without houses ever being ‘displayed’ in the window, or advertised in the Selby Times and without For Sale signs.


How did we do it back then – Every negotiator had a ‘hot box’.  It contained details of people who wanted to move and were ‘good to go’.  They were either cash buyers, first time buyers, in rented accommodation or were sold subject to contract.  Their finances were in place and were ready to move at the drop of a hat.  There were also of course ‘warm’ buyers – their property would be on the market for sale but not under offer.  Once they had an offer, they moved up to being ‘hot’ and the ‘cold’ buyers were those who had registered their interest but hadn’t put their properties on the market.


Everything was paper based back then, before the Estate Agency world relied on CRMs (customer relationship management) systems and everything became automated.


This was in the days of ‘knowing your customer’.  When Agencies didn’t rely on just adding you to their system and putting property details out on Rightmove, and the CRM system automatically sending out any property details that the system decides you might be interested in.


JP Harll have now created an ‘undercover’ box.  This is for those of you described above.  Who are interested in moving, but in a low key kind of way.  Who want to take it at your own pace.  Where you don’t want the agent ringing you weekly or even monthly to ask if you are ready to put your property on the market or if you have seen something you like.  This is a place for those of you who would like to have a conversation with an estate agent who will listen and help and even come and give you a market appraisal, if that is what you would like.  Take photos and measure up, if you’re ready for that.  Even create a marketing video.  And, then wait.  Wait until you are ready to make the next step.  Whether that be next week, next month or next year.  It will also be a place for people who want to sell now, but don’t want the ‘for sale’ board, the brochure in the window or listing on Rightmove.  They only want people to know they are interested in selling if we, the agent, have a conversation and tell them about it.


And, it works the other way too.  Back in my Wm H Brown days, I agreed the sale of a home to some buyers, who specifically wanted a particular type of property in a certain area for personal reasons.  I won’t go into details here but that sale was agreed before a brochure was even typed and the family still live in that property some 18/19 years later.


This is what I call a personal service.  Estate Agency is a ‘people’ business.  We can’t all just be listed in a system or put in a CRM and become part of an automated service.  It might work for a lot of people but it doesn’t work for everybody.  At the end of the day, we are individuals and buying and selling your home or potential home is an emotive business.  CRMs, online and internet systems do not even know what love is.  I love my house.  I love some other people’s houses.  Where does that fit in with the land of computers?


So, if you have an ‘undercover’ property that you don’t want everybody to know is up for sale, or are thinking of selling ….


Get in touch with us and find out how we can help you.  Our telephone no. is 01757 709955 or email me at


You can call in to the office at 24 Finkle Street, Selby.  YO8 4DS (next door to Gotch’s).


Still too big a step?  Have a read about us on or you can find us on Facebook @jpharll or Twitter or Instagram.  You will also find me on Linkedin.