Phil Spencer – Secret Agent

Phil Spencer - Secret Agent - new program starts today at 11am apparently. See Ch4 page about it

In each episode of Phil Spencer: Secret Agent he'll target one particularly hard-to-shift home. But before he meets the struggling homeowners he will don his surveyor's hat to assess the property, looking at it through the eyes of a buyer, as well as researching the local area and housing market.
Phil Spencer Secret AgentThe house he's looking at is this one
Armed with all the information he needs to make a realistic judgment on why the house isn't selling, he'll surprise the owners as their secret agent and outline his opinions - all the good and the bad - before recommending what needs to be done to get their home sold.
My review! Phil views a house and almost mocks the estate agent description as he probably should - it says recently updated. The house is worn and shabby and this is one of the reasons it's not selling. The bizarre stable door nearly catches him and knocks him over. Worn carpets, scrappy wallpaper, chewed door fittings,

He notices he garden is multiple level and thinks is is stopping it from selling. It's also the reason the family want to sell the pretty as they have a child with a medical condition where a sloping garden means he's more at risk of breaking bones,

The advert break is filled with amusement too as there is a house buying ad that's almost as annoying as the "we buy any car" ad.

What can Phil digest?. Will astute viewers realize than spending money on a proper to do it up is the same as lowering the price?

It was filmed in he summer of 2011. He views the house on his own and then meets the family, who seem really surprised to see him. I can’t imagine taking part in a tv show without knowing what celebrity would be involved and given it's a channel four show Phil is a likely candidate.

How do they take the news? They think they have been living in a show house for. Phil is gobsmacked at the difference between the agent's description and the actual house - it's not how he’d describe the place.

It appears she’s never heard of a safety gate that would have allowed her to keep an eye on her child. Cutting a door in half is probably cheaper.

Dirty washing, ironing waiting to be done make the house look messy and puts people off.

The outside needs tidying up and the parking space is a bit odd but given the height of the road from the house it's needed.
Phil plans to have the house read to sell in two weeks.

He puts together his own particulars to point out just the brutal truth.

He checks out the competition. 130 similar within a 3 mile radius. Would have been interesting if they had mentioned floor space as a comparison,

Again he is pointing out the misleading estate agent details can mean you get viewings but people aren't prepared for what they actually see.

He's pointing out to other vendors to show potential of the property and to tidy up outside.

Phil gets a decorator in and tells the kids to tidy up. They also get a carpet fitter in.
£850 on new carpet.

The show is an hour long. The house doctor and Andrew Winter have all done this before Phil. It’s nothing new although he's not actually told the, to decluttering yet. Although their house isn't that bad, apart from the garden, just some Painting and sorting the doors out and getting new carpet will make a difference.

Now he's got people viewing houses. A couple who want a family house are being sent to view a tiny flat. He shows them the house he looked at before - the one that has potential. It's still not looking 100% but bits have been done.

Phil asks what feedback the viewers have had. Lack of privacy and lack of one level in the garden are a key issue.

Landscaper comes in to see what could be done with the garden.
Suggest tidying up and maybe bamboo screening. The landscape gardener gets to work! How much does that cost?

£31 on dressing dinner table, £850 on carpets, £1300 on garden. Just over £2500 spent on improvements about 2% of asking price.
The garden looks loads better with plant screening around the car space.

Open day arrives; Phil has a few buyers lined up.
Phil admires the changes including the bowl of fruit lifestyle touches, and a copy of hello magazine. Garden is very tidy, laurels around car space, make t look much more private. Pictures and bedding refresh the bedroom along with a new cook making it feel like a sanctuary inside the busy house.

They get other propel including an investor to look at the made over house. Landlord reckons 600-650 rent a month for it. He would pay 90-95k for it - a huge chunk below the offers over 115k asking price.

Jonathan. And his wife Anna comes back a few days later to view it. I get the impression she didn’t like it.

At the very end Phil says they have accepted an offer of £116,000. We don’t know if it’s from the couple but I think if it had been they would have said.

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12 Responses to Phil Spencer – Secret Agent

  1. Gaye Timbrell says:
    Phil hello. I have had my 4 bed detatched house on the market for over a year now and i cannot sell it. I have tried 3 Estate Agents to no avail and i am currently back with Kingsley Pike. The house is immaculate. Everything works, and i need to move now to Devizes (or very close)in the next 7 months.. Equally there seems to be nothing on the market that is within my price range there that fits the bill. Can you help? I have contemplated renting out, but the mortgage lender wont' let me. Am quite happy to rent in Devizes if the suitable house is found for a couple of years. Kind regards. Gaye Timbrell
  2. Diane says:
    Gaye Timbrell - have you asked any of the estate agents why your property isn't selling?
  3. says:
    Hi Phil.s Agent I have had my property on the market for approximately 3/4 years off and on. the property is a lovely large detached property sited on a third of an Acre and has potential for further development . Immaculate condition and provides complete privacy to the south facing garden. price wise I have reduced it by over £50.000 since first purchased. Eh47 7qS IS THE POST CODE. My near neighbour is our latest nearest and Dearesr Miss Susan Boyle.. Can you advise what more I can do to find a purchaser.
  4. Cynthia Neul says:
    hi Phil, I desperately needs your advice as we have had our 3 double bedroomed bungalow for sale for 3 years plenty of viewers but no offers.Our home was built 22years ago to our own design but unfortunately by rough builders. We found 10years ago it had been built without a slab even though they should have been solid floors with floating floors on top.Unfortunately we found the floors collapsing with 3ft water below We live in a beautiful village in Lincolnshire and although the whole of the inside of the propertyhas been demolished and rebuilt we are wondering if any stigma has been left in the area. We have all the legal details if you felt you could advise us at all. All the cost had to be covered by ourselves. Thankyou Cindy
  5. Cynthia Neul says:
    Thankyou I will look forward to your reply
  6. Stephen Draycott says:
    Just today I've been discussing the need for a house doctor for a very dear friend. She and her husband are stressed like hell, their Estate Agent has, frankly taken awful photo's, poor copy and the house was not presented as it could be. It's a gorgeous house. A family who are all really hardworking, and in need of your help. I only heard about you tonight at 9.05pm, when another friend I'd rang told me about your programme I'd just missed! If you are doing another series, they don't know about this contact, so I hope you get back to me, they are a really special family and, although they don't know it, desparately need your help!(and I won't tell them, just in case of a "miracle"! It's on the market now for between 300 & 400K (I daren't put the actual figure here for obvious reasons!) Best wishes, Stephen.
  7. mr dale williams says:
    HI THERE, I am just wondering if you can possibly give me some advice on where i could stand with my landlord as i am renting a property but have serious rodent problem and the landlord is not prepared to help solve the matter,i am also on a council homemove scheme and the council will not upgrade me me and my family to a higher grade as they say its not their problem i do have alot more in depth information to share and some pictures too if you will find them of any use. i hope to hear from you soon
  8. Suzanne Rae says:
    My mum is wanting to downsize and her house (Detached, 4 bed, Off road parking, gardens etc) has been for sale since July (2012) and she has not had one single enquiry / viewing. She's not happy with the estate agents but has already spent a fair amount on them and is reluctant to go to another. Is there any way she can get them to do more - what service should they be offering (I have seen it adverised in the local paper once and I believe its online somewhere)? Also, her house is 'old' (built at the end of the 80's) and clutter city but she won't listen to my suggestions e.g. house clearance, tidying / rearranging a couple of rooms etc Any advice would be welcome Many thanks S.Rae
  9. Diane says:
    What has she spent money on already? Upfront fees would strike me as strange unless it's for the EPC and PIQ? Declutter - neutalise - and get pictures retaken? Hard if she thinks her house is lovely - which most of us do whether it is to other people or not!
  10. Lena dormer says:
    Hi Phil, I have a custom built house built by owners 10 years ago all built to a high standard. 5 bedrooms 3 sitting areas in house music , in house Hoover system and all the usual modern amenities . We are in a rural situation with views of clyde estuary I have never had one enquiry through agents and nothing from adds I have put in papers myself . This would be a lovely house for holiday or corporate house for golf as we are quite near Loch Lomond . Can you advise me what papers or magazines I could Advertise in the house has been on market 4 months £ 365 000 then reduced it to £ 336000 offer over . Any advice would be appreciated . You viewing this property would be great . Please let me know your fee for this consultancy To advertise outside Scotland but where .
  11. Diane says:
    Hi Lena, I've located your property on rightmove. There are a lot of photos but the last 4 are not going to encourage anyone to view. The first shot of the house lacks kerb appeal with the front area looking quite random and unappealing. The pots look accidental and the metal fencing to the right looks quite out of place. I'd work on improving the kerb appeal of the property for the headline photo on the listing first, and perhaps ask the agent to retake some of the internal photos too. There are a couple like 12 and 13 that would benefit from either decluttering or a little staging. Most of the bedroom pictures are fine and the bathrooms look very clean and modern. The baby's room looks a bit odd with the blanket hung on the cot like that. I'd make some changes to the outside - sort out the pots and perhaps get some large bamboo grasses in pots for picture 8 to hide the house to the left. Getting that first image right is really important - the house has to look really appealing to get people in and it just looks a little disordered outside at the moment. If the view at the front is where you sit out and enjoy a glass of wine then stage that for one of the photos - get the photographer out on the sunniest day possible so it looks glorious. Once you've done that then ask your agent about an open day and advertise this at the local golf courses if you think that's a target market. Your local agent should be happy to relaunch your property and work with you to get a sale. Do you have any facilities at the property that would appeal to golfers? eg: extra storage for clubs etc? Diane
  12. KJones says:
    Hi Diane, Just wondering if you or Phil are looking for more people to help? My friends are having problems selling there home and need some help.

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