By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Agent reveals how he cut-out the middleman to buy his own home

It turns out even estate agents have to go off-market when finding their own homes.

Paul Clarke, of Belvoir-owned self-employed agency brand Mr and Mrs Clarke, has revealed how he went direct to a seller to buy his own property, but he admits a property professional may have been useful at times.

He is featured in an article in The Times where he reveals he struggled to find a new home after selling his house in the Warwickshire countryside in March 2021.


Clarke moved into rented accommodation in Warwick town with his wife and their two school-age children but couldn’t find anything suitable until a property came up two doors down when the owner passed away.

He said: “I felt very forward, but I went out and knocked on the door. The son, who is probably in his mid-sixties, answered. 

“I was upfront and straight about it, saying ‘we’ve heard your mum’s passed away — we’re so sorry. You’re going to think we’re mercenary plonkers, but we love living here and this house is perfect for us, so if you’re thinking of selling please let us know.’”

The son let Clarke look around, they exchanged numbers and he made an offer. Solicitor details were exchanged two days later.

Clarke added: “We didn’t use an estate agent, which was a bit awkward at times.

“Without one I was having to go directly to the seller and ask technical questions such as: ‘Did your parents have planning permission for this 1970s extension?’

“And house purchases can get emotional. There was a fixtures-and-fittings form detailing what was included with the property. We told the seller that we didn’t want the greenhouse, and it escalated a bit — he said that we either buy the house with the greenhouse or it goes on the market. So we decided that it wasn’t a big deal and said we’d love the greenhouse.”

Clarke described the process as tricky but worth it and said he must have had a hundred cups of tea with the seller as they discussed each query, adding: “Emotion can be a bad thing when buying property, but in cases such as this it binds you together. We got the property at a brilliant price because it was a person-to-person conversation. 

“He could have negotiated a lot harder — perhaps he would have done so if an estate agent had been involved — but this was a personal relationship. We stuck to our word and he stuck to his.”

  • icon

    He asked the seller to pull the greenhouse down for him? Do it yourself once you own it! ****.


    Why the anger - he asked a question was told no and bought
    It is called NEGOTATION
    The ++++ is you

  • icon

    not really a story is it. person buys a house privately.

  • icon

    exactly, this is how I've bought two of the three houses I've owned, can I have an article written about me now? Give me strength


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up