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When an Estate Agent sells her own home

Wed 13 May 2015

Last September my family and I took the hard decision to sell our treasured Cruck Barn that we had converted to a stunning family home in 2005. It was time to move onto the next project and the next stage of our lives. As expected Rob was given the painful and potentially career ending job of “dealing” with me as a vendor and just to limit the nagging he made sure the marketing was absolutely spot on with even 171 pictures taken (don’t let on to him but they were stunning) !!!

So day 1, the board went up and I felt like a proper “vendor” with the usual vendor worries, would anyone view it, would anyone like it, would anyone buy it?

Panic…… lots of viewers in the first week! Now I can really appreciate the service we offer at Andersons by negotiators carrying out the property viewings; because how nerve racking is it to show buyers round your own home? In the end we had some lovely viewers all that were thankfully so complimentary of our beloved Barn but all that talking (and cleaning up prior) was exhausting!

Little did I know that when Alicia joined the company 5 years ago that my training mantra of “care for your vendor, ensure you offer to hold their hand through all the process, reassure when required, and always empathize, would become invaluable to me! It’s not just all about the selling I recall telling her

Day 10, OMG, Alicia started taking offers…… “vendor worries” kicked in again, was I ready to sell, did I like the people and who do I sell to ……. Calm down says Alicia! Ok decision time, our Barn was to be sold to a lovely couple wanting to move into our little hamlet. They had a property to sell, no problem there, I can cope with other people’s homes to sell!! We pop their lovely period cottage on the market and hey presto a week or so later after numerous viewings and offers a sale was agreed and the chain is complete, panic sets in again, we’re moving ………… Calm down says Alicia!

So the ball is rolling, solicitors are instructed, awaiting surveys …….. Oh no, the chain collapses as my buyers, buyer has lost her purchaser …………. Calm down says Alicia! She was right of course and we re-sold within a day ….. Off we go again!

Everything is ticking along nicely, the survey is instructed …… oh heck here’s more vendor worries, yes you guessed it Miss Alicia makes a cuppa and tells me to calm down again!!! Nearly three hours for a survey, what’s that all about? I have a little giggle as the surveyor crawls all over the property to try and “find” some defects, after all that are what he’s paid for. By the time he had finished I had convinced myself that the house was falling to bits and full conversion was required again! With relief a week later, the survey came back fine (which my normal head told me all along) although I do think it was a little OTT by finding a very teeny weenie increase in moisture level on a wall right next to my mop bucket !!!!!! Don’t we just love surveyors?

The second week into December, we received a phone call “we are all aiming for an exchange and completion pre Christmas’……. don’t panic Mr Mannering, I am getting good at this now, just get packing!!! Now things didn’t go as smooth as we had planned, all out of my control; however that’s a tale for another day as I am coming out in a sweat just re-living the process so far! Christmas came and went and still no exchange or completion date. I felt so helpless and for goodness sake I’ve sold houses for over 20 years surely it can’t be this hard. Now not for the lack of trying, chasing from my amazing solicitor who was working as equally as hard as Andersons, we were still struggling to identify what the hold up was? Yes she’s there again, cuppa tea for Mrs O (although she was also tempted to sneak some whiskey in it!) along with calming words “you will get there in the end, we never surrender, we do succeed and it’s not over till it’s over” ……. Ok Alicia, you know best!

After continual chasing, pushing, negotiating from Rob & Alicia we eventually get the call “It’s exchanged”. Wow now I feel like a true vendor, what a relief that was, not just for me and my family but I was so elated for my buyers who had gone through all the same stress but that were hopefully grateful of my reassuring arm as I was of Alicia’s.

After all said and done, the boxes are unpacked, the refurbishments has started on our new family home and it has made me realize the following:

  1. I am never ever moving again (well maybe not just yet…….)
  2. A negotiator that cares for her customers and listens is invaluable
  3. It has firmed my belief up that after experiencing it myself, the service that we offer at Andersons is incomparable
  4. Never dismiss your purchasers or vendors fears or anxieties, a tiny problem to you could feel a huge weight on their shoulders
  5. I never give up (no Rob I am not talking about the nagging)

So that’s its till another day and ok Alicia I’ll put the kettle on this time.