Shropshire Star

Poundland founder selling his £6.5 million Shropshire mansion online - to save a fortune

Savvy millionaire businessman Steve Smith has placed his Shropshire mansion for sale online – to save himself more than £100,000 in estate agent fees.


Mr Smith, who founded discount store Poundland, wants £6.5 million for the 13-bedroom Hammer Hill House in Alveley, near Bridgnorth.

He has lived in the house for 14 years and he and his wife Tracy have decided to downsize after their three children left home.

They will be staying in Shropshire, but looking for something just a little more modest.

The 52-year-old said he wanted to bypass traditional agents, and the percentage they take on the asking price.

He is instead made use of his latest business venture, his online estate agency, to sell the mansion, which he says will save him £115,000 in commission.

Steve Smith outside the mansion he is selling online

He said he had decided to invest in the new business model six months ago after struggling to sell his own house the way he wanted.

He said: "Estate agents can charge 1.5 per cent of any sale, depending on who a person goes with.

"This online business has already saved about £2 million in fees and we're expecting sell another 2,000 houses this year.

"An estate agent usually claims anything between £3,000 and £4,000, whereas we can sell a house for £390.

"People have been using the money they've saved to buy new kitchens or even cars."

Mr Smith said he had carried out a survey, which showed 42 per cent of people now wanted to sell their own homes because they knew the house and the area better than anyone else.

"Another survey we carried out showed selling a house was the most stressful thing a family can do, with divorce in third.

"We're now hoping to take this new form of house selling across the county."

Mr Smith set up discount chain Poundland in Burton upon Trent in 1990, and there are now 500 UK stores, selling everything from toys to toiletries, stationery to shampoo and bread to biscuits – all for the same price.

He sold his share in the business in 2002, making himself a £50 million fortune, which helped him buy Hammer Hill House.

The property was originally designed by Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis, who famously created the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales.

It now boasts 13 bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, snooker room, and nearly 30 acres of countryside.

Hammer Hill House in Alveley, near Bridgnorth

Since Mr and Mrs Smith moved in they have extensively renovated the property and created plenty of home comforts, including a bar that any country pub would be proud of.

Mr Smith added: "The house is very special to us and it will be a real wrench to leave. We began refurbishing the home in 2000 and finally finished in 2007. It was a real labour of love and no expense was spared.

"I really love our home, which has fully stock bar, and we've had some great parties here. We may be moving but we plan to stay in the Shropshire area."

Mr Smith's story is also being filmed or a new TV series of Poundshop Wars to be shown early next year, based on his other online business.

"I'm really hooked on selling pound products even though I sold Poundland many years ago," he said.

"Buying online is great for time pressed people and we are expanding our ranges daily.

"We soon hope to be selling everything from lingerie to dog food at knock down prices."

The drawing room, no expense was spared in restoration
Steve Smith outside the mansion he is selling online
The drawing room, no expense was spared in restoration
Hammer Hill House in Alveley, near Bridgnorth
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