Confidential Agent: How reverse psychology can sell houses

I still haven't forgiven her for the hours I can never have back. If you are going to make a huge detour, go and see the historic sites not the eyesores.

Once I drove a couple who were down from London and looking for the Good Life 15 miles out of the way so that we could go through the Hundred Acre Wood (actually the Ashdown Forest but they loved the Pooh Bear connection). Naturally, this gave them the idea the house was in the middle of nowhere, whereas it was actually near Crawley.

I would also recommend a detour if you have a Waitrose. Everyone knows that the store adds value to your house, or they should since the press devoted a ridiculous amount of space to the opening of the 300th Waitrose near Glasgow last year.

"Property prices rise due to new supermarket" trumpeted the local paper, while a firm of lawyers offered a special Waitrose conveyancing discount before the opening.

We have the most sophisticated class system in the world, so I am led to believe, and it certainly extends to supermarkets; a posh store can add 25 per cent to the value of your house, according to Savills.

All this is in the estate agent's bible but last month a report claimed that the presence of a Lidl also boosts house prices by as much as 15 per cent. Come to think of it, why not? Its wines are excellent value.

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