Unique Living
January 17th, 2019 | by Serge Cowan

Why I Spend Too Much Time Dealing With Fantasists

Buying a luxury villa can feel like a dream come true. It’s the opportunity to invest in something that will bring pleasure to both you and your family for years to come. However, some people are a little less realistic about what they can buy than others…

Our job is to fulfil people’s lifestyle ambitions, aspirations and luxury villa fantasies. We introduce clients to a range of spectacular properties in some of the world’s most appealing destinations, then help them to find and secure the perfect villa to fulfil their lifestyle choices.

Now don’t get me wrong – we love working with our clients. We love meeting them face-to-face and finding out what they want. Most know what they’re looking for and what budget they’ve got to play with, but there are a few whose heads aren’t quite so grounded in reality.

The Case of the Hobbyist Fantasist

I get it, I really do. You see a luxury villa with a swimming pool and stunning views, and you want to make it your own. These aspirations are pretty standard, actually. However, occasionally I’ll encounter a client who finds it tricky not to drift off into a fantasist’s dream world… with alarming results.

We once had a client who used to book villa viewings as a ‘hobby’. Yes, you read that right. The man had no intention of buying, but he liked to imagine that he could if he wanted to.  He’d take his partner of the month to look at properties worth £20 million or more, just to make her weak at the knees. To be fair, it’s certainly one way to make an impression.

While he no doubt had great fun doing it, he’s now paying the price, as most top estate agents have blacklisted him permanently. Hey, there’s only so much time we can waste on people using the viewings simply to woo the ladies – we’re a buyer’s advisory service, not a dating agency!

The Case of the ‘Money’s Coming’

A few fantasists tell us that the money isn’t in their account quite yet. But it’ll be there soon, they guarantee, as soon as Great Uncle Frank dies and the inheritance in. Or after that phenomenal new business takes off and makes a million overnight. Trust me, we’ve heard it all before.

Some people swear blind that the funds will be available in just a few weeks. Just a couple more months. A couple of months more. Before you know it, the cash has failed to materialise, and what do you know? Another buyer has swooped in and sealed the deal on the house in question. You’ve heard the phrase ‘you snooze, you lose’? Well, the same goes for those who live in a fantasy world, although I’m not sure if it’s just tiredness making them sleepy.

Remember, it’s no bad thing to wait until you’ve got the finances ready. Fresh properties come to the market every week and there will always be something available to suit your requirements. We now insist on meeting all clients face-to-face. Being able to meet them and look them in the eyes, either in their office environment or at home, answers enough questions without the need to vet them through a specialist company.

The Case of Forgetting Other People Exist

I must admit; this type of fantasist frustrates me the most. They’re gagging to view properties, they like to dangle the bait and declare their interest in buying; but they’re nowhere near financially ready, and they haven’t considered how many people they’ve inconvenienced in the meantime. Three words, people. Not. Good. Conduct.

Advisors like me put in a lot of work to find the right property for clients. While we won’t object if you’ve got real reasons for not purchasing, we won’t be too impressed if you booked a viewing without being able to proceed with the sale. Even more importantly, the seller won’t appreciate being messed around. This is a big deal to them, and they deserve to be treated with respect.

The Case of the Haggling Horror

Sometimes, I also encounter clients who have their own version of what the property’s price should be. You’ll tell them it’s on the market for three million, then they’ll tell you (with a completely straight face) that they’ll give you one and a half million for it. The sellers usually refuse the offer…funny, that!

Of course, every sale is negotiable, but this doesn’t mean it can be reduced by a significant amount simply because you want to pay less, or you think you have a grasp on the market. By all means let us negotiate on your behalf to get the property for the best possible price, but please, please, please be realistic about what the villa is worth – for the sake of your sanity and my own headspace! Sometimes the Haggling Horror forgets they are dealing with other people’s emotions and livelihoods.

Go in With Your Eyes Open

One final word on fantasists – it’s also very easy to wear rose-tinted glasses when considering a property. You’re viewing some of the most spectacular villas in the world, so it’s hardly surprising. Don’t let practicality be drowned out by dreams though. The house might have some legal issues associated with it, or it might not be the right size for your family. Either way, if it’s not going to work logistically, it’s not the right house for you.

Approach the viewing with both eyes firmly open and don’t let your desire to fulfil your dream lead you down the incorrect path to the wrong property.

Do you have any advice for people who want a luxury villa but can’t quite afford it yet? If so, do share with us via social media.

Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
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