Tuned in to the last bit of Location, Location, Location on Channel 4 last night.
I didn’t get the whole scenario but gleaned that one home hunting family wanted to buy a house in Torquay and had a budget of £550,000 and another couple were seeking something in the village in which one of them grew up, at £400,000. One chap’s a football coach and one had a surfing obsession. Peripheral stuff but worth filling five minutes of tape with it seems.
With this brief, Kirsty Allsopp and Phil Spencer are dispatched (plus researcher team who really do the finding) to locate a suitable selection of des res’s that might fit the bill(s).
No offence, but 60 minutes of prime time TV is then devoted to the trials and tribulations of the weary home hunting couple being hauled from house to house, tears and all, to be shown which of the the items on their property search shopping list can be ticked off on each find. A voyage of the bleedin’ obvious.
The mandatory tour of each example conjured up by the C4 team is an interesting bit of voyeurism for those interested in how people decorate their lounges, where they keep their kitchen pots and pans and whether they leave the toilet seat up, but it’s not exactly ‘informative’ stuff.
Ultimately comes the negotiation from Kirsty and Phil once each potential purchaser decides on which house they like from those provided. And this is the bit that makes for wincing.
With the best intentions, Mr Spencer and Ms Allsopp challenge the respective estate agents. But, with Phil especially, it’s akin to being savaged by candy floss. Middle East peace negotiator he is not. Hard nosed ducker and diver? Not a chance. Nice fella for sure, but nowhere near being a tough buying agent that can out logic and persuade the best, canny estate agency negotiator.
Phil’s home choice is quickly settled at £500k and just below the 4% stamp duty threshold, no doubt exactly what the owner and the agent anticipated from their asking figure which was just slightly higher. But despite the damp squib of a result on price, there’s champagne and kisses all round.
For the remaining subjects of last night’s show, Kirsty wades in with an offer on their behalf of an uber generous 96% of the asking price. That’s the opening offer, usually refused as such. But the couple seem content with the formalities that get them their house at a far higher figure than probably would otherwise have been achieved. Kirsty’s ultimate lacklustre efforts do though, as is often the outcome, result in defeat being grabbed from the jaws of victory with the buying couple, after so much ‘effort’ by the Location team, then withdrawing from the purchase having changed their minds. So much for something ‘ticking all the boxes’ as is the oft used phrase on this programme.
A viable alternative to Location, Location, Location doing your searching for you, would perhaps be to venture to Rightmove? Or Zoopla? Or Prime Location? Or Findaproperty? (All of which we advertise with). That ‘effort’ would yield a whole bunch of properties that you could instantly ascertain the suitability of, minus the patronising and the camera crew, from the comfort of your own sofa and leaving ample time to tune in to the latest pointless property programme?
And as for the negotiation element? You’re rather better off tackling that yourself. Or getting your kids to do it. Or the local Bible club. They would be more ruthless. And more effective.