Monday, December 17, 2007

Monopoly without means…

Selling a house is not an easy task. Anyone who has been involved in selling their property knows that it is emotionally draining on you. There are so many things to get right in order to achieve the best price and a speedy sale. We recently sold a property in The Greatest Britain, in Gloucestershire to be precise. We believe that we are level headed people who have years of business dealings both domestically and internationally, so the basics were there before we started. Like with most property sales we decided to use the services of an estate agent and called around four of them to give us a valuation and tell us what they thought of the property and its ability to sell. Since our property was a rather large one, we invited specialised estate agents in the local area of Cheltenham to give us their low-down. Three of them had one thing in common, they had all been taken in by a fantasist who bids on properties he cannot afford, the fourth one, the one we choose, had been spared…until now…

After a very busy three weeks of marketing the property a Mr Stephen Chesney, of 104 Welch Road in Cheltenham, came around with his wife Christine to view. He was very enthusiastic, explained that he was a cash buyer, as he had sold his property and could move very quickly. Mr Stephen Chesney went on to explain that he worked in international finance, a former employee of Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants, and he was very keen to proceed. He explained to us and to our estate agent in great detail, how he was going to extend the swimming pool and how his wife enjoyed the large landscaped 3 acre formal garden. At the next viewing they brought their adult daughter along, and then after a third viewing he was ready to strike.
After seeing other people doing second viewings he made an offer, which was rejected. He then made an offer very near the asking price but insisted that we take the property off the market and we accepted and agreed.

Mr Chesney and his wife went to a solicitor known to our estate agent, presented and formally identified themselves, arranged for a surveyor to do a survey and then signed the contract. This is when his story started to fall apart. It turned out that the money he was bringing in from the British Virgin Islands, via his “agent” Pendragon in London, was delayed. He apologised and explained that whilst he had been putting money into BVI he had never brought money back into the UK. We now know why…he didn’t have any…!!!

However, he went on to explain that his money was on a 14 working day call back, which meant that he could not pay the deposit as ALL of his money was coming in at the same time, so no exchange of contracts could be done. When he was asked if he could find a nominal sum for the exchange he also failed to do this. We smelled a rat and decided to remarket the property even though Mr Chesney (of 104 Welch Road, in Cheltenham) insisted he would have the money on the 7th of November. The 7th of November came and went and Mr Chesney explained that there was a problem with his agent Pendragon (if I worked for Pendragon I would get in contact with him and sue him for defomation, contact details below) as they had made a screw up…another week went by and still no money so we decided to make some calls…

We started by calling the estate agents who we had invited around to value the house, three of them had dealt with him in the past two years. He made offers on properties in the range of £800,000 - £1,250,000, then when it came to the crunch, he could not come up with the money, wasting a lot of time for people who were trying to sell their homes.

This fantasist has in the last two years put in offers on at least 8 known properties in the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire area all with the same story… money is abroad, Pendragon is not doing their job and so forth. In addition to this, at least two surveyors have been conned by him as he writes “rubber cheques”, he even wrote out a cheque to a solicitors firm for £174.00 which bounced.

So all in all we lost two months of valuable time selling our property. Mr Chesney, we found out, lives in an ex-council house at 104 Welch Road on a sprawling estate in Cheltenham, a pretty grotty place to live by all accounts when you claim to have millions in an offshore account. His wife is either as deranged as him or she is being fooled, together with the rest of his family. What wife would agree to buy 8 properties only to be told that it has fallen through again!!!

I am writing this as I have reported him to the police for gaining entry to our home under false pretences, and in the hope that he gets known enough so he cannot do it again to someone else…he has no funds to buy the properties he puts offers in for, and the expression “Walter Mitty” comes to mind...

If you wish to check his story out he can be contacted at the following;

Stephen Chesney
Telephone +44 1452 574 001
Mobile +44 7905 734 077

It should be noted that this clown will always outbid any other offer with his monopoly money…

Finally we found another buyer, however when their surveyor arrived it transpired that he to had been paid a "rubber cheque" when Stephen Chesney hired him for another property earlier this year. Luckily we sold to someone who had real money so all is well…Stephen Chesney though is not…
Picture © Woodsy

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