The VPR Blog

Best and Final Offers: A Flawed and Immoral Practice

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Estate agents increasingly call for best and final offers particularly on run down properties. The practice lacks transparency and is so open to manipulation that it should be illegal.

It’s a seller’s dream, several offers on the table and a perfect opportunity to play one off against the others. To fuel nervousness the agent is not revealing what offers they’ve received. Enquiries are met with a polite: “I’m sorry I can’t release that information”. Can’t release that information? Is there now a law in the UK against transparency in market transactions?

There is a law against giving information to one party and not to all and EAs are obliged to take instruction from the seller. However, the logical, transparent and morally coherent procedure is to publish offers openly on-line and ask for higher bids. The Property Ombudsman’s 2014 code of practice authorises this practice.

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Auction Bargain

lawnswood lodge Despite the explosion in interest for auction properties you can still snatch up a bargain in a good neighbourhoods from under the hammer. The property left is the former caretaker's lodge to the rear of Lawnswood School, Leeds. It sold in Edisson’s February auction for just £200,000. 00 plus 4% cost to the Council.

The house was the latest in a succession of gate lodges sold off by Leeds City Council in the last few years. Vintage Property Restoration purchased and restored the corresponding rear gate lodge of Roundhay School a couple of years ago. The Allerton Grange gate lodge was also auctioned in 2014.

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Unearthing the Hidden History of Property In Leeds

case 02 gallery 01Old houses hold and preserve history. Unlike other possessions, old houses predate us and may well outlast us. With a bit of rummaging you can often produce an exact date when an old house was built. The Lodge pictured left was restored by Vintage Property Restoration in 2012. It appeared on the 1890 ordinance survey map of Leeds but did not appear on an 1880 layout of the area. Eventually a search through the West Yorkshire archive in Morley uncovered a certificate of planning permission granted to one time owner of Tetley’s Brewery, Sir Charles Ryder, in 1882.

But property history is about more than dates and one of the riches of restoration work is that it puts you in direct contact with the social history of houses. Secrets of the times houses were built in; secrets of the people who lived within; and secrets of the men who have built, repaired and converted houses over the years can all be revealed once floor boards come up.

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Sound Insulation in Old Houses

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If you live in a flat in a converted house with neighbours above, then you will know that sound insulation is an issue.

Floors of most old houses are divided by wooden floorboards, an empty joist void and a one inch thick lath and plaster ceiling. Even when carpeted airborne noise (voices, TV etc.) and impact noise (footsteps or thing being dropped) can be clearly heard below.

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