Buy one, get one freebie

From puppies to Porsches, vendors are willing to throw in all sorts to get a sale
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The Independent Online

David Kirk, director of Savills, has watched several vendors of Spanish homes include bodegas that were full to bursting with precious wine collections, but one of his current vendors - "a mysterious owner of a terribly large house" - is offering rather more. "I haven't even met him yet, it's all rather bizarre, but it's obvious that he's got an enormous amount of money and wants to get rid of everything - and quickly."

The property in question, Palm Ridge, is a private estate, midway between Estepona and San Pedro, on the Costa del Sol, which Kirk describes as "highly bespoke" and furnished in a style he terms "Versace meets Liberace".

With views of Gibraltar and Morocco, the nine-bedroom, nine-bathroom house has every convenience, including tennis courts, heated pool, waterfall, vineyard and wine cellar, conference rooms, cinema and even a famous rock star neighbour.

However, the "extras" are even more spectacular: jet skis, quad bikes, plus a nine-car garage, complete with cars that include a Porsche, a Lamborghini and, not least, a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. When Kirk went to view the property, he was told to leave his own vehicle behind: "I was collected and driven there in a beautiful Rolls-Royce Phantom which is probably worth €320,000 [£223,000] on its own."

Kirk estimates the car collection alone at about €750,000 (£522,000), which he believes would be better sold privately. He said: "Clearly this owner wants to break away quickly. He's saying: "Here's the legacy. Take it or leave it.' " The estate has a guide price of €15m (£10.5m), so could such a collection help clinch the deal? "If you were buying an apartment for £500k and the owner offered to throw in their Mini Cooper, would it make you buy it? No, me neither."

And sometimes including something unusual within a sale has the opposite effect. Hamptons International's Trinidad Morena has been trying to sell a well-maintained, three-bedroom apartment in the popular location of Porto Cristo, on Mallorca's east coast, but believes that the "extra" included in the sale, a fishing boat, could actually be deterring buyers.

"It's very strange. Usually, when we advertise, we get a great response, particularly for a property such as this that is frontline to the coast, but the response so far has been less than we expected. I think that the responsibility of owning a boat is actually putting people off."

But even without the boat, the apartment is well priced, says Moreno: "You can pull this boat out of the water and leave it, so it needs little maintenance and will not cost a fortune in mooring fees."

Camillo de Simone is selling his huge house on Ischia, one of the loveliest islands in the Bay of Naples, and for the full asking price of £3 m, will include in the sale his beloved boat Bambolina.

A former tour operator, de Simone now prefers "taking things easy" and spends much of his time in the UK. "I thought I'd be here for ever, but in reality my friends and son are in London, which I love, so I'm spending more and more time there."

He describes the island of Ischia and its sparkling waters as "the perfect place for sailing", with small harbours and fish restaurants everywhere. When there, he spends most of his time on his 50ft, two-berth yacht. "It's not, in Abramovich terms, a yacht, but that's what I call it."

The house has eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, two pools - one outdoor, one indoor - containing spring water, plus a separate caretaker's three-bedroom house, set in flower-filled gardens. But de Simone now finds his house is simply too large. "I'm single, and this house should be enjoyed by a family."

Aylesford's Alison Macpherson is selling the property and, while finding the sale of a much-loved boat and house doubly sad, warns that practicality must prevail: "There would be no point in keeping the boat if you had nowhere to moor it, so this makes much more sense. It is advantageous to both parties, as the buyer can buy a fabulous holiday home complete with boat and mooring. They're buying into the whole lifestyle package."

Macpherson describes the boat as "a lovely sweetener which may well help sell the property". It isn't the first she has come across: "We've sold many properties complete with boats and sometimes vehicles, particularly if they're Jeeps and the property lies on rugged terrain."

Sometimes she finds properties sold complete with staff - but she has a current owner including something even more unusual. "I've got a lady in Tuscany who's trying to sell her villa. Her West Highland terrier has just given birth to puppies, so she's willing to leave one or more behind if the buyer would like one."

Savills International: 020-7016 3740 www.savills.com

Hamptons International: 0870 458 3631 www.hamptons-int.com

Aylesford International: 020-7351 2383 www.aylesford.com

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