CHATTERIS: Kathleen Dack closes her estate agency business and says she's lucky to have sold shop
ESTATE agent Kathleen Dack has shut her Century 21 office in Chatteris having decided to jump before I was pushed. Mrs Dack, who bought the High Street premises last year and spent thousands converting it to an estate agency, has sold the freehold and
ESTATE agent Christine Dack has shut her Century 21 office in Chatteris having decided to "jump before I was pushed."
Mrs Dack, who bought the High Street premises last year and spent thousands converting it to an estate agency, has sold the freehold and it will re-open as another business on December 1.
"I'm very fortunate in one sense that someone walked into the shop to buy it," she said. "From an estate agency point of view I was in the right place but at the wrong time."
Her franchise operation, which began trading 15 months ago, will now join a growing list of estate agents who have shut up shop. In March Gilson Bailey has closed and in Wisbech Principals has gone.
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"Everyone is looking at their options," said Mrs Dack. "In truth High Street locations are no longer sustainable in the current market. They may still be plenty of people wanting to move, and plenty of people wanting to sell but the offers are ludicrous."
She said that those forced to sell for financial difficulties "and to get the millstone from around their neck" are often selling for less than they paid for their home in the first place.
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"They simply want piece of mind," she said. "But while people are taking these huge losses on their homes the market will not return to normal, whatever that means in the current climate." Some houses worth £175,000 were changing hands for as low as £135,000, she said.
She was not optimistic trading conditions will improve and so decided to sell when she found a buyer for the freehold of her shop.
"As for what other estate agents think well they're probably sitting nervously on their hands and thinking 'it could be me on Monday.' Everyone knows it's a hard market and the reaction has been that at least I've found a buyer for the shop.