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Apparently the saying "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" dates as far back as 1450, and in the property industry, it often occurs to me that it's a good mantra to live by.

The value of a property can be affected by so many variables including planning, politics and economic conditions; all of which are almost entirely out of a seller's control. With that in mind it's very often the case that the highest offer is not necessarily the best offer.

We were instructed as joint agents in the marketing of an industrial site in late 2016, and at the time we only sought unconditional offers from buyers with a proven track record. This was a prime site; allocated in the local masterplan and of a sufficient size to attract the big name developers. We guided at £12M, and received several cash offers in excess of £14M.

Despite having the joint representation of two long established local agents, the seller had been entertaining interest for years, and ignoring his own mandate for an unconditional sale, instructed us to accept a conditional deal at £16.7M.

Suffice to say it took over a year to exchange contracts, another 18 months for a planning application to be submitted and even after a further 12 months of negotiation and deliberation, there was still no light at the end of the tunnel. Fast forward to Spring 2020 and the business had closed, and the contract was heading towards expiration. With seemingly little other option, the seller sold unconditionally at £10.7M.

Not an inconsiderable amount of money, but how does that saying go again?...

PROJECT ADDRESS: Eagle Wharf, Peckham Hill Street, London SE15 5JT

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