The Wicklow woman whose YouTube house sale was blocked by her bank is now attempting to help others caught in the negative equity trap.
PR executive Jillian Godsil attracted attention all around the world when she ‘sold’ her house with the help of a YouTube video – only for Bank of Scotland Ireland to block the deal.
Raheengraney House in Shillelagh is now back on the market after the bank refused to accept a €500,000 sale to an English buyer who has since lost interest.
Divorced mum of two Godsil, dismayed by the bank’s refusal to accept the offer as settlement on a €900,000 mortgage she can’t afford after her ex-husband went bankrupt, is now helping others in a similar plight sell their houses.
Together with Australian video expert Shane Michaels, Godsil has set up a website at www.thehousehunters.ie which offers sellers a unique opportunity to market their property via YouTube.
“After all the publicity I received about my attempts to sell my own house, in all corners of the globe, I was inundated with requests from people in a similar situation asking me if I could help them,” revealed Jillian.
“About 20 people asked me to help sell their property for them and then six people came forward and asked if I could make a video for them. I met up with Shane when he saw my own house on YouTube and now we are videoing the houses and looking to market them via the internet.
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“We have six properties already on the site and we really hope to help these people sell their houses. We’re even helping Freddie the Dog retire from his book selling business in Kenmare which people can see on the site.
“I can’t help them with the banks. The people who have contacted me don’t necessarily have negative equity but they all have rapidly dwindling equity and a need to sell quickly for various reasons.
“I thought trying to sell my own property was stressful enough but these are people’s homes they are trying to sell and I feel a responsibility to them now.”
Her own experiences have tainted Godsil’s views of the Irish banking system. She fears many more people will be caught in a similar trap before the property market bottoms out.
“If my own experience is anything to go by, the whole thing is probably going to get worse before it gets better,” she maintained.
“I know there are people like me who want to hand back the keys to their primary residence to their mortgage company and don’t want the burden of the mortgage when they have no capacity to pay but the banks won’t help.
“I do think the banks should take some risk too. They valued the houses and lent the money and this is where the American system of no-recourse loans may come in.
“After all, they are doing it hand over fist for commercial properties so why not for domestic properties as well. I can assure you that people do not hand over domestic properties unless they have reached the end of the line.
“I see developers walk away scot free and wonder why the state is not protecting me and people like me.”
PR executive Godsil’s own problems persist after Bank of Ireland Scotland’s refusal to accept the €500,000 deal for Raheengraney House negotiated with an Englishman first alerted to the property on YouTube.
“The current state of my own house is that it is empty and not sold, it is back on the market and I will take offers” admitted Godsil.