Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer has exclusively spoken to HELLO! to give top tips on how to haggle on a house purchase even in this climate. Plus, he talks "awkward moments" on the show with Kirstie Allsopp, his Ideal Home Show plans and reveals why he'd consider a move halfway around the world…
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How do house buyers haggle in this current market?
There's not a lot of haggling going on in the current market, because it's so competitive. Stock is low so it's very much a seller's market which dilutes buyers' ability to haggle. However, my advice which I will be sharing in more detail with Ideal Home Show visitors is…
1. Develop your rapport with the agent and vendor – keep it professional but show some personality
2. Demonstrate your commitment to the property, the process and to buying. So many potential buyers can walk the walk but can’t talk the talk
3. Get things down in writing, evidence how good of a buyer you are by listing what your what your deposit is, the fact you have your mortgage in principle offer and that you have a solicitor lined up ready to go
4. Be speedy – respond to emails and answer calls in a good time to prove how keen of a buyer you are. It’s not always about money, chains can be complex so think about how you can make yourself the perfect candidate
Phil Spencer shares his insider tips to help you buy a house for less
Have you ever regretted any of your own property purchases?
I can't say I have… but I have regretted some that I haven't purchased. But overall, when looking back, it's better to regret the things you haven’t done rather than the ones you have. So no, I’m super happy with my previous purchases.
What kinds of exhibitors do you have your eye on to see at the Ideal Home Show?
I am always keen to eye up new products for inside and out of the house. The Future Living Home is on my list of places to visit. This year it focuses on new innovative smart home technology, future interior trends and ways to make homes more sustainable and energy efficient.
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Phil has appeared on screen with Kirstie Allsopp for 22 years
You've settled in the UK countryside, but would you ever live anywhere else?
It's interesting to think about life stages, and what suits you and your family at different times in your life. Right now, I am surrounded by open fields, dog walks and a lovely little village which suits us just fine. But there may come a time when my kids want to leave home and live somewhere different.
The only other place in the world I could consider living in would be Australia where my wife's from. My favourite place in the world is Byron Bay, so more time over there would be great, if anything just for the great weather.
What's the most commonly asked question you get from house buyers? And what's the answer?
I am often asked, 'What should I offer?' The asking price is not a valuation, it's a price with hopes and ambitions attached to it. A house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. My answer is always to work out what it’s worth to them.
Gather as much information as you can from recent purchases in the area, go through them with a fine-tooth comb and build yourself a better picture of what you’re dealing with – how many viewings has it had, what are the prices like with other properties on the street, have the neighbours had planning permission revoked? My website Move IQ is packed with comprehensive, up to date and relevant information and advice for anyone who is buying or renting a property in the UK.
The presenter will be offering up advice at the Ideal Home Show
What do you like the most about speaking at the Ideal Home Show?
The Ideal Home Show is an exciting place for me as a property geek, it's full of other property enthusiasts with a fantastic atmosphere.
For me, having done Location, Location, Location with Kirstie for 22 years, people know the advice I share at the show is based on what they’ve seen in the programme. I’m so lucky to benefit from the longevity of the show and be part of the Ideal Home Show.
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Why do you think Brits are obsessed with property shows?
I think the love for property is deep routed in British culture. We aren't all keen cooks, DIY experts or car enthusiasts, but we are all fundamentally interested in where we live… Particularly over the last couple of years because during the pandemic when our homes became our place of work, school and gym. It’s more important than ever to love where you live.
Are there any awkward moments when filming your shows that don’t make it on air?
I think all the awkward moments go in; it really is reality TV in its truest sense. What happens, happens and what happens is shown. Things don’t always go right and that’s part of the process.
Kirstie and I were making the show for at least six years before we even considered what the production company were thinking when they got the footage. For us, it’s all about telling the truth and helping people who’ve exhausted their own searches find the perfect home.
Phil only regrets the property he didn't buy
How do you think the current increase to our cost of living will impact the property market?
I’m sure I will be asked about this a lot at the show. With the cost of living and inflation rising, people will be mindful of not only the price of the property but also the living in it and the running costs, like heating.
The housing market runs on sentiment, so you'd think during a global pandemic and global recession that sentiment would be really low, but we’ve had a blistering housing market, so it doesn’t always line up or make sense.
The Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest, the world’s longest-running home and interiors exhibition, will return to Olympia London from Friday 11 to Sunday 27 March 2022. Phil Spencer will be at the show on 11 and 18 March. For more information and tickets, please visit idealhomeshow.co.uk.
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