Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Who needs estate agents?

Not us. We paid our seven hundred quid and the fella from the internet-only agents came round a week ago, took marvellous photos, and added them to his company's website. It went on Rightmove on Thursday evening and I got a call on Good Friday to arrange a viewing.

It went okay - they seemed to like the place, but it was out of their price range. I had a couple of cans of White Star to celebrate (I'm totally skint again, and White Star is the same price, the same strength, and much easier to swallow than White Ace). Then I got a call about another viewing.

The second couple came, had a look, had a chat, and were very friendly. I left them to themselves for a bit. After ten minutes she came downstairs and said, "I'll be frank. We want to buy your house."

They made an offer the next morning, which was actually pretty decent. I'd given them my number when I'd seen how keen they were and she sent me a text to ask me what I thought. I said we reckoned we might be able to get the asking price, so she offered that instead. It was exactly that easy. As I said to my friend that afternoon, if flogging records is as easy as flogging houses, I'm going to be a millionaire.

Now, assuming it doesn't all fall through, I have to accept that we have been hugely fortunate – at least lucky enough to find the perfect buyers. People, it seems, for whom ours is the perfect house. That said, with the housing market as it is, surely every property that goes on sale has the perfect buyer for it out there, as long as the price is right, and the person showing them around is able to answer all of their questions? But they're not going to be looking for it in a shop window in the high street, are they? They're going to find it on the web, specifically on Rightmove, aren't they?

What, I asked one of the (lovely) 'proper' estate agents who came and gave us a market appraisal, was he going to do to justify the extra ten grand this would cost me? "You'll get a professional agent, dressed like me," he began. He was talking about his suit, which was very nice, but surely could not have cost more than one twentieth of the fee we were talking about.

In conducting this crucial viewing half-cut on tramp juice, I can’t imagine that I came across as professional or sartorially elegant, but the good people seemed happy with the service I provided. They were a lot like us really - just ten years younger, a fair bit taller and better-looking, with lots more money. And they are probably less likely to judge people by their appearances. Or drink White Star.

We haven’t done this entirely without estate agents, of course. The nice people on the internet (whose company name I’ll reveal when the sale is complete, if you can’t work it out for yourself) sent a guy who did EVERYTHING except the viewings, which I would now suggest any reasonably proud homeowner should do themselves anyway. I said to him, "This'll probably sound pretty rude, but have you ever been a normal estate agent? It's just that you’ve been brilliant, when you could be forgiven for not giving a damn whether we sell this or not now, if you don't have any commission riding on it?"

He smiled and shrugged. “Yeah, I was once. What can I say? I like my job, and I want to do it well.” 

I hadn't really thought about that. I've been out of a job for four months now, and can't remember the last time I had genuinely taken pride in my work. 

It would probably be better for this blog if it did all fall through. You know, it’d give me something to moan about. The twists and turns of the whole process. If it's all plain sailing, this spiel is going to lack realness and I'm going to keep coming off as Pretty Damn Pleased With Myself. But I would encourage my readers never to give their business to a high street estate agent again. Take the time off work if you have to, but sell it yourself. Nobody knows what makes a house worth buying better than the owner.

Assuming it does all go through though, I suppose at least that our buyers' enthusiasm should give some indication of how much we are giving up in return for our New Bohemia. It is the sacrifice that keeps me humble. Yes, that is burning martyr that you can smell.


  1. "Half cut on tramp juice" that one made me smile.

  2. Congratulations! And nice work.

  3. Not put off by wall of vinyls then, good work, when can you start exporting "White Star" it sounds delightful in an anti craft beer kinda way

  4. Thanks chaps. I am planning to be slightly less skint in future, and hopefully drink a little less, so I shall be saving White Star for very special occasions, like when the Queen comes to tea.

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