Selling a famous property: from music legend to murder.

From the former home of a music legend to the site of a murder, the history of a property can arguably affect its selling price and can make it hard to value, as a number of recent examples illustrate.

At a recent auction, the former childhood home of Sir Paul McCartney in Speke, Liverpool achieved a sales price 50% higher than market value. The winning bid of £150,000 was reached in 6 minutes and was £50,000 over the guide price.

McCartney-home Liverpool Echo

Pic: Liverpool Echo

The property was sold by estate agent Entwistle Green.

“We are delighted for our client as we were consciously aware that there was a lot of interest in the property and we wanted to ensure that this translated into achieving the best price possible for them.” commented Stephen Giddins, regional sales director at the company,

Of course, it’s not the first former home of members of The Beatles to be sold at above market value. George Harrison’s former home in Speke sold for £156,000 and John Lennon’s childhood in Wavertree, sold at auction for £480,000 – all considerably over the value of similar properties in the area – its history had a quantifiable monetary value.

Famous homes on the market recently included Liz Hurley’s gorgeous country property, on with Knight Frank. Bought for £3.3million in 2003 and now for sale at £6 million, is it worth this without the famous connection?  I guess it depends on whether she leaves THAT amazing black and safety pin Versace dress in the wardrobe for the next owner!

liz hurley house rightmove

Pic: Rightmove

Selling a property with positive notoriety and ‘bragging rights’ arguably significantly increases the value, and definitely helps achieve online and offline media coverage.

However, what if you are the agent selling a property that is famous for all the wrong reasons? A notorious house with a grim recent history…

Last year, according to IBtimes.com, over £60,000 was wiped off the value of the property in Perugia, Italy where British student Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death in 2007. This property’s horrific history is now world famous.

amanda-know-murder-house-perugia ibtimes

Pic: IBtimes.com

The initial asking price for the property was £380,000 but estate agents Tecnocasa were quickly forced to drop the price to £312,000 for a quick sale, saying,

“…it has not been easy to find potential buyers who are willing to overlook the fact that a murder took place there.”

Some good advice on selling a property with problems comes from Oliver Clarke, Sales Manager at Barton Wyatt, who points out:

“We are legally obliged to disclose a fact which could alter a person’s decision process, as the positive and negative examples above illustrate. Fortunately no murders that we are aware of are currently on the market – although it has been known to happen…’’

Oliver continues,

“Information in the public domain about a neighbour with an ASBO should be mentioned before the sale is agreed.  Likewise, if agents know there has been a string of burglaries nearby, they should also point this out. If there has been a murder or suicide in the property, the buyer should be told.”

Have you been the agent selling a famous or notorious home – we’d love to hear all about it! Contact editor@stagingsite.estateagentnetworking.co.uk with your story.

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