Monday, 29 September 2014

Moving Diaries- Adventures in Selling a House -The Viewers.

When selling a house you have to be prepared for the viewers. These are the people who will look around your house and eventually one of them will buy it. Some will genuinely be looking to buy a house, some will be looking for a small flat but will view your house anyway and some will view it for fun, a pastime and nosiness. It is one of the downsides of selling up and moving to pastures new and something you don't really think about when you say those words,"Let's sell up!"
You will like some of your viewers and the visit will go smoothly. You will dislike some and every personal question they ask you and every time they cast their eyes around your bedroom and look your room up and down will get your hackles up.
You're extremely lucky if the first viewer through your door buys your property. This nearly happened to us but what he offered was so low we laughed.

The estate agent said he would show people around the house as this way he could say nice things about the house that maybe we wouldn't want to. This first viewing was at 7pm,too near dinner time to actually cook any food in case the smell of fried onions or fish put people off.  What we didn't expect was the estate agent didn't want us at home so we had to go in the car and drive round the corner and wait for his call.

The next viewer was due early one morning when I was looking after dinosaur boy. We went for a short walk and waited for the phone call to say all was clear. The phone call told me that the viewer hadn't turned up. The estate agent phoned the woman concerned only to speak to her husband who had a clue that she had arranged a  viewing as he wasn't thinking of moving house, oh dear.

I had had enough of leaving my home and wandering the streets so I said I would do future viewings by myself.
The young Asian man who had been first to view the house and offered a silly amount wanted another viewing as he hoped his father would give him some money to buy it. In came the viewer with father and uncle who were two of the most rudest people I have came across. They proceeded to walk around the house banging on walls to see if they could be knocked down and conversing with each other in their own language while not responding to anything I said to them even although they could speak English. They walked into the rooms before me and walked out when I was in the middle of telling them something about the house. They did politely say goodbye and thank you so they get one point for that.  I was so glad to see the back of them.

Another young lady loved my house so much that she had three viewings and brought family and friends with her. The third viewing lasted about forty minutes as it took that long to go through all the questions she had in her rather large notebook.  This lady put her house on the market to buy mine so I hoped hers would sell quickly.

Next was a Polish couple who on their second visit brought mum and dad from Australia and an uncle. Mum was very sweet but the uncle asked every question about our monthly bills and the dates the windows were installed, I expected the next question to be what we were having for dinner that night. All these answers are already  in our home report (apart from the dinner one,they don't ask you that) and I felt the questioning was a bit personal and should only be between me and the buyer.

I'm tired and fed up, I feel my home has been violated by strangers. I am a friendly person and always have the kettle on the boil for a cup of tea but to show strangers into the inner sanctuary of your house by which I mean bedrooms and bathroom is just wrong especially if for some reason you don't gel with them.

My next viewer is a woman with a teenage daughter,they both like the house and return with her husband. I can't really read what she is thinking and I'm usually quite good at reading people.
Later that day I have a flaky woman with her husband and toddler. She wants to know if the windows open and what day the bins go out for collection.,where our estate is near (get a map). Every little flaw in the house is picked up by her and I want her to leave.
Finally we have an offer in from the lady with the teenage daughter (the one I couldn't read). Flaky women calls the agent too and even though her house isn't on the market yet makes an offer and demands we refuse the other one. In her dreams.

We accept the offer and the house is sold. Our moving day is 5th Sept only five weeks away and we move out the week end before  as we are staying at my son's flat until we find somewhere to buy. We hope by doing this it will save moving and cleaning house all in one day.

I'm so relieved I have no more viewers but now the huge job of packing up 19 yrs into boxes begins.
The charity shop does really well from this as I give them boxes and boxes of books,dvds, play stations games,clothes etc.  Of course I still have many boxes of books that I can't part with and box them to take with me.
Our furniture is now in storage and clothes and everyday stuff is at my son's flat. We go back to clean the house the following day which is the Sunday before the exchange day. The door bell rings and there on the doorstep stands the couple who have bought our house.
 I say jokingly,"Oh you don't want to see this before we've cleaned it all and made it lovely for you."
Then I look at the woman's face and realise that she has not just popped in for a friendly visit, she has come to tell me something............

I may need this......


  1. Hang in there, Anne - it will soon be over!1 Just make sure the wine rack is always full.

  2. ANNE! Don't leave us hanging like that! What did she come to tell you?!?!?! Selling a house is such a pain. I abandoned mine in WA so our realtor was free to show it whenever. The one I sold in California was done on a handshake, and I sold it myself. It was a seller's market in those days.

  3. Oh, no! I am hoping for the best here.....

  4. Oh no - I have been through almost all of this, as we move quite often. It took 6 months to sell one of our previous houses - after the surveyor had said it would sell in 2 weeks - we timed it just at the start of the recession. The viewers ranged from the very nice to the downright rude. We had people trying to get money off 'because of the damp' (2" of it under the doormat, in what was otherwise a perfect Home Report (survey)), we had people who said they didn't like the 'inlays' in the bedrooms (which were perfectly clear to see in the pictures, and which are the standard build in that area), we had people moaning about just about everything. It is so disheartening. In another house sale long ago someone told my husband that our lovely old cottage was 'only fit to be knocked down and rebuilt' (I recently saw it on the market - done up a bit but certainly not demolished - for £300K).

    As you can imagine, I was stunned when we sold our last house in 3 days, as I didn't even like it much - it was a new-ish build, OK but hardly exciting. Having had trouble selling every other house we have ever owned, I felt like my birthday and Christmas had come at once. This must be what it's like every time for people who live in the south east.

    So Anne, we are all thinking of you and I do hope everything is resolved soon. Best wishes, Rosemary

  5. we have moved many times over the years, and it's never been easy. You'd think it would get easier with the practice, but no.
    Hope you survive in one piece, Anne, and I think you might need more than one bottle!

  6. Sorry for my late reply. Selling a house really is the most stressful things. I can't understand people who do it often.

  7. Sorry It's taken so long for me to reply,sometimes life takes over. Yes gone are the days when handshakes were counted as being legal.


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