By Alexander Lawrie
A CRAFTY wine buff is enticing house hunters to buy his home – by offering them a bottle of classic wine while they view.
Giles Cooke, 37, is one of only 265 Masters of Wine in the world and is giving a bottle of fine wine to every potential buyer who comes to view his up-market Edinburgh flat.
The top floor flat, which has stunning views over the River Forth and to Fife, has already seen one seller pull out of a sale, encouraging Mr Cooke to try something new and imaginative to sell his home.
He said: “As a wine buyer, I’m lucky enough to sample some of the finest wines available. I just thought offering the wine would be a quirky enticement for the target market.
“I’ve heard about house sellers using tactics like giving deposits back and other such incentives but I thought I would try something totally different.
“The flat is immaculate and the price is right, but I think the timing of the sale could be better.
“So, I just thought by offering viewers the opportunity to see the house and get a bottle of something very tasty would help speed the sale along.
“The traditional approach of just waiting on buyers turning up is great in a buoyant market, but when things get tougher you have to be more innovative.”
The Institute of Masters of Wine has 265 members of 20 different nationalities, although Mr Cooke is one of only four qualified Masters of Wine currently operating in Scotland.
Mr Cooke passed the notoriously difficult Master of Wine exams in 2001 and became one of the select band of people in the world to carry the initials M.W.
He said: “The M.W. exams are the highest level of academic qualifications you can achieve in the wine industry, and it takes almost a week of exams and tasting to achieve the grade.
“And although I’m very keen to sell my flat, I’m hoping the offer of giving out wine to everyone who comes to see it isn’t going to cost me a small fortune.
“But, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting ahead of the competition in the market, and as I am in a fortunate position I should use it to my advantage.”
The penthouse flat in Gardners Crescent is currently on offer at a fixed price of £345,000.