I’m a millionaire mum after becoming an estate agent at 18 – it’s not chance, I know exactly what makes a house sell | The Sun

AN ESTATE agent who has sold over 10,000 homes has shared the red flags to look for before buying a house – and why 8 pm viewings are a must.

Lorraine Jordan, 52, is an expert in buying and selling property, having spent 34 years carefully looking at homes and advising clients on how to get more for their money.

She built her own multi-million-pound real estate empire while raising four children, buying her first property at 18 after working as an estate agent for just six weeks.

“It’s the little missing things that you need to worry about,’ the real estate agent, who has over 24,000 Instagram followers (@lorraine.jordan.kw) and is from Ontario, Canada.

"Last year, I went and bought 56 investment properties with some partners.

"Most estate agents sell four homes a year. That's the industry average.

“I have personally sold 100 properties a year for decades."

From why you should never ignore the roof to why the small details always matter and the most common pitfalls, here are Lorraine’s secrets to the property business…


Small details often give away that people have skimped on the decor – or tried to cover up problems.

Lorraine said: “People will often skip things like a backsplash or tiling near the cooker in the kitchen.

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“If that’s not there and they put in a brand new kitchen, I’m going to look a little closer to see what else they have missed out.

"Look at the woodworking: if you’ve cut corners on that, what did you do behind the wall where I can’t see?

‘If there is carpet, look for water signs.

She continued: “Check the roof, check the windows, check how old the boiler is.

“Those are the real pitfalls.

“Those are the areas where if it’s wrong you will end up paying thousands.

“But people end up getting caught up in what colour the walls are. That’s the cheapest thing to change.”


‘I have shown people homes which have new windows and a new boiler, but they’re put off because it looks dated,’ Lorraine said.

“People buy on emotion most of the time.

“They're looking for that dream home, instead of looking at it like a practical investment.

“People end up paying more money because it’s storybook-looking – rather than looking at all the practical stuff.”


Another warning sign is fresh paint, especially in basement areas.

Lorraine said: “If I see that, I’m going to look for water signs.

“I’m going to take a flashlight and get down on my stomach under the staircase and see if there’s a water stain line underneath the back of the stairs.”


Even in homes that have been done up to a high standard, Lorraine recommends to stay on the lookout for problems.

She said: “I was in one recently that was all done up.

“It had a fantastic-looking deck but there was no permit for the decking. It probably cost $15,000 (£8,800) – but as soon as I looked underneath I knew they didn’t get a permit, because it didn’t match the building code.”


Lorraine said that some of the common pearls of wisdom that people believe in about selling houses – such as that you should never sell in the autumn or winter months – are simply wrong.

She said: “There’s less competition if you sell at other times of year.”

The real estate agent adds that having viewings at 8pm can be a fast-track to closing a deal – rather than day-time viewings where the property might look nicer – simply because buyers who come in the evening are more likely to be serious prospects and not just looking for a tour.


Additionally, selling houses without furniture is a mistake (although it helps to get rid of clutter and clean the windows before viewings).

Lorraine said: “A bedroom or living room actually looks smaller without furniture in it.

“Furniture helps you with spatial visualisation, not just aesthetics.

“Staging’ a property so that people get a ‘warm, homely feeling’ is extremely important, including details such as cleaning the windows.”

For anyone keen to get into the property business themselves, Lorraine offers some additional advice.

‘You have to pay attention to people’s emotions to be successful in real estate,’ Lorraine said.

‘People have an emotional connection to their homes. If you were there for 10 years, and you've had children’s birthday parties, and your children’s heights are marked on the walls, there's emotion involved there.

“They are homes, not just houses.

“Even if someone's excited about upgrading, there's still an emotion of letting go of the other one.

“It’s about respecting that, treading lightly, and putting people first.”

Lorraine has written two books – ‘Truly Winning in Real Estate’, packed with tips from her three decades of experience in buying and selling homes, and 'Freedom to Live'.

She added: “With one couple, I got them their house for 10% less.

“I told the seller that they could be flexible on the moving date and leave stuff behind, and that the buyer didn’t have any other money.

“I took a pool table as part of my commission to make the deal come together.

“Those people are still in the house like 22 years later and happy as can be.”

But Lorraine said that if you want to make money in property, ‘I always say, a year for each apartment to fix it up and move around a bit.

She said by focusing on ‘climbing the ladder’ with real estate and rental properties, you can reach a point where it replaces your daily income.

She said, ‘It's nice to have a shiny red sports car in the driveway, it's lovely to have a boat.

But in the end, you know, that can be a trap. Anything with a key costs money. You need to focus on your financial plan.’

“That’s the point of real estate investing.

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“The goal is to get to a point where it replaces daily income.

“You now have choices: you can choose to keep working if you love what you do – but it’s a lot easier to love what you do when you don’t feel you have to do anything.”

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