Within the next six months I am confident that I will no longer be living here. I should be a professional nomad. Since I got divorced in 2002, I’ve lived in at least 12 different places, not counting living on our yacht! These places include two apartments on different greek islands, three winter holiday cottages, two long term rental properties, three properties that I’ve owned, a rent-free cottage that went with a job, and six weeks in a friend’s studio in the Bahamas.
Now I’m back in the UK for the winter, staying in my own property for a short while, until it is sold. I don’t really want to move, I love being here, but due to the fact that I apparently have the wrong type of mortgage to live here permanently, I’ve decided to sell it. When I went to live abroad, I changed the mortgage to allow the house to be rented out to tenants, (I now know I needn’t have done this), and to raise some money, and it has now come back to haunt me.
So I’ve started the process of getting this house sold. First of all, I had three different estate agents round to give me a current valuation of the property. They then give you all the spiel of why they should be the one to sell your house for you. I was tempted to go with one of these new on-line agencies, as they are a great deal cheaper than traditional high street agents, and I’m up for saving any money I can. However, I didn’t go with the on-line agent in the end, for various reasons.
This afternoon I had the high street agent round again, this time to take photographs of the house, measure the rooms and produce floor plans. Now I could see where my money was going! The agent brought a photographer with him, and I think he did an excellent job. He carefully staged the rooms, removing excess furniture, moving things round, changed the lighting. He took hundreds of shots from different angles, he borrowed our ladder to take artistic shots of the outside, and the garden. It’s only a two bedroom house, but I feel confident he did a good job.
I’ve also signed up for an “open house” next weekend. This is a new innovation in the UK, where the agent persuades as many potential buyers as possible to visit the property during a one hour slot on a Saturday. The idea being that when they visit, they can see that others may also be interested, which might force them to put in an offer.
It’s going to be very stressful trying to keep this place in immaculate condition for viewings. I have clutter hidden in most unlikely places! I’ll be reporting back on how things go……