Looking for the unusual

From time to time Garrington are approached by buyers who are looking for something different from the norm.

In this case, the clients were frustrated that they were struggling to find a canal side property – with some very specific features.

Right from the start our clients were very precise with their requirements. The clients provided Garrington with a map showing the specific canals in Leicestershire that they would consider.

Specifically, the house had to be on the opposite side to the towpath; the garden needed to go down to the water’s edge so they could moor their canal boat there and it needed to have development potential (to add value) and fall within a limited price band.


Garrington began this search by talking to all the estate agents known (it is particularly important to spread your net widely, as rare properties such as these are spread out across the agents) and we rigorously searched property portals.

The initial sweep of the market unearthed a handful of waterside properties, but when reviewed and visited, were found to be missing some of the key requirements for this search.

As a result, Garrington set out to find some off-market opportunities (houses that are not currently for sale). This involved driving/walking around the area letter-dropping potential properties, using Google Earth and planning portals to identify relevant opportunities and talking to local people to find leads.

In time a couple of properties were unearthed in the weeks that followed but nothing was exactly right – until the client happen to mention a property they had moored up against recently.

Garrington picked up this lead and carried out extensive background research before writing to the homeowner to enquire if there was an appetite to sell. Within a couple of days of this letter being sent, Garrington received a telephone response saying that the homeowner was going through a difficult relationship breakdown and intended to sell the house in the coming months.

After viewing the property, location and garden, Garrington found that the set up looked to be ideal.


Given the sensitivity of the situation, Garrington was mindful to handle the negotiations carefully; ensuring that both sides felt that a fair and equitable deal had been reached. On reaching an agreement on a price, Garrington encouraged the client to obtain an independent valuation and share the report with the seller so she was reassured and included in the diligence process.

Taking this approach is particularly important when purchasing unusual off-market properties because it is not easy to value these properties as there are only few comparable properties which have been sold in the vicinity in recent years to support the estimation of value.


By working with tenacity and in collaboration with the client, Garrington were able to unearth an unusual opportunity and carefully broker a deal through to a successful purchase. Buying off-market is a sensitive process which can be helped significantly through the involvement of an experienced property consultant backed by a highly reputable brand.