When putting in an offer, say the price and then nothing. Silence. Any other comment you make puts you at a disadvantage.
If, when you name your bid, the estate agent makes a “ffffssss” noise by sucking in air, ignore it - it’s the oldest trick in the book to make you instantly raise your price.
But if you’re making a really low offer, give a reason, such as damp. If you’re selling, appoint two agents. The rivalry will keep them on their toes. As a vendor, never tell your agent the absolute lowest price you’ll accept. As a buyer, never reveal the highest price you will pay. Write a regular newsletter to all those involved - agents, solicitors, surveyors etc - highlighting who’s not pulling their weight. No one likes to be shown up. Don’t complete on a Friday - the banks will be shut all weekend; awkward if there’s a problem.
- £1.4m - What the only surviving photograph of Billy the Kid has sold for ($2.3m) at an auction in Denver, USA. The tintype, which was expected to fetch around $400,000, was bought by the Florida billionaire William Koch. An early form of photography using metal plates, tintypes create reversed images, so the Billy the Kid tintype taken in 1879 or 1880 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, appears to show him left-handed, which led to the mistaken belief (hence the title of the 1958 movie The Left Handed Gun, starring Paul Newman).
- £2.7m - How much Andreas Gursky’s photograph Rhein II has sold for at auction, making it the world’s most expensive photo. It features a river and some fields. £1,250 - What a biscuit has been auctioned for in London. Explorer Ernest Shackleton took it to the Antarctic with him in 1907.
QUOTES OF THE MONTH
- Anon: “It’s not that rich people are more savvy investors; they can just afford better advice.” Tom Peters, management guru: “Obsession does not guarantee success. On the other hand, a lack of obsession does guarantee failure.” Martin Feldstein: “A second reason why science cannot replace judgment is the behavior of financial markets.”
- Ellen Glasgow: “A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.“ Robert Kiyosaki: “Academic qualifications are important and so is financial education. They’re both important and schools are forgetting one of them.”
Getting Credit In Britain Is A Lottery
A bad credit rating can ruin a business. Either loans are refused outright, or they come with exorbitant interest rates that make your local loan shark look like a charitable trust. Your rating may also determine whether trading partners extend credit - invaluable in industries such as manufacturing and electronics. All of which highlights the terrifying recent findings of a study which confirms that getting a favourable score is a lucky dip. Agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Creditsafe all dish out completely contradictory ratings. In one example, a company that commanded a credit limit of £108,000 at one agency was judged as being safe for just £8,400 at a second. This confirms the worst fears of small businesses. It’s tough enough to get credit in the current environment without an undeservedly poor rating muddying the waters. We urgently need a code of transparency that makes the process robust and fair.