String a sentence together

Here at Chantries, we do not claim to be great literary minds, but we do like to think we can string a sentence together and write a reasonable set of sales particulars for a house. Under the Property Misdescriptions Act of 1991, we do have to base what we say on facts and try not to be too flowery (Chris always finds this difficult and has to regularly reign in his Mills & Boon flights of fancy).

However, things didn’t used to have to be quite so bland. Opening the doors of his estate agency in Chelsea in 1936, Roy Brooks caused quite a stir with his caustic descriptions of both his clients and their houses. His tell-it-as-you-see-it approach ensured that his services were much in demand and reading his witticisms in the Sunday Times became somewhat of a national past-time. For those of us who are too young to remember him, here are a couple of examples of his fine work:

DARKEST PIMLICO. A large Victorian family house, entrance flanked by pillars, pathetically waits for purchaser. The bath shrouded by thickening dust. Torn up by its roots the missing geyser leaves a gaping hole…. Groping in the basement (3 rooms), our intrepid representative stumbled against an ancient brick copper: presumably the kitchen. Long 80 yrs. lse. G.R. £60 p.a. A gift at £6,990. If you are too late to secure this gem we have a twin (a much lighter house, equally repulsive) next door in Sutherland Street coming on the market this week at the same price.

FASHIONABLE CHELSEA. Untouched by the swinging world of fashion, an early Vic lower-middle class family dwelling, which has sunk to a working class tenement (2 lousy kits & 3 sinks). The decaying décor lit by, “high speed gas.” 6 main rms & revolting appurtenances which could be turned into a bathrm. & kit….A few doors away, houses sell for over £18,000 & tarted up twin houses to make this one almost double the modest £8,500 asked for this dump. Lse 51yrs.

Now, compare that with some of the drivel you see being espoused by today’s agents and it’s no wonder our profession is much maligned! Only yesterday, I found Chris sniggering at the description below, penned by one of our erstwhile competitors:

“Throughout the house rooms that are bright and airy also have an uncommon feeling of space to them and with a very workable basement room the house also works very well on a practical level as well. The kitchen and the upstairs bathroom have been refitted in stylish and contemporary fashion with quality fittings and very much add to the overall pleasure of the house.”

So come on ladies and gentlemen – if your client entrusts you to sell their house, put some effort in to the description and if prose is not your forte, find someone who can help you!

If you are thinking of moving, or require any property advice, contact me on 01483 405222, or (ideally before 6pm please!)


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