Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Second thoughts

For various reasons that I won't go into here, I felt uneasy about yesterday's valuation and the judgements that informed it ("we can't possibly value Jesmond higher than Gosforth..." and other strange remarks) so the second valuation that I requested from another higher-end agency took place today. Striking while the iron is clean and tidy, of course.

And it couldn't have been more different. Starting with an exclamation of "Now this is nice!" on entering my unfeasibly tidy kitchen, Nick the valuer, he of the trendy specs, the Egyptian Mau cats and the black BMW sports car (self-mockingly replying "No mid-life crisis here!" when I commented on it) was amazingly positive and took a keen interest in the aesthetic, such as it is, as much as the bricks and mortar and room sizes. It was the specs and cats that made me like him even before he enthused professionally over my house. Yes, I'm that silly....


We had a lively and wide-ranging conversation, and a valuation which was twenty thousand pounds higher than yesterday's rather begrudging limit. Twenty thousand pounds more.....  I can barely write the numbers for such a sum, let alone imagine anyone wanting to pay me that much extra over the last valuation, for this old house. I'm too superstitious to tell you the full sum, for fear of a jinx, but it would greatly improve my chances of not having to buy a hovel with a holey roof because the cost of selling and moving had eaten up all my reserves.... I'll tell all in due course, and may even show you the sales brochure.


Naturally, it's a dream figure, no house in this street ever having realised such a sum before, but the positive and optimistic message that it conveyed was very cheering. There were other differences too: the small attic, which to my surprise yesterday was described as a double, was today more realistically pitched as a good-sized single; the loss of a reception room, yesterday a drawback, seemed today to be a point in favour as the addition of a kitchen-diner. Estate Agent World is very strange.

We parted with the promise that I would be in touch by the end of the week. I needed time to assimilate these two very different valuations and my own feelings about them.


I then went off to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where a friend is recovering from a hysterectomy, and got hopelessly, old-ladyishly lost in the glossy new buildings before being guided back to the old through miles of corridors. Both were spotless and without that distinctive hospital odour, but sat-nav, or even maps and compasses could only have helped. My friend was pleased to receive some fresh fruit salad and yoghurt and a couple of new craft magazines, and I was pleased to have discovered her at last before I collapsed, footsore and dehydrated, in yet another poorly-signposted corridor.


We had a pleasant visit, I being greatly pleased to hear that all sorts of worst fears had not been realised, and noting that she looked better, a day after a big op, than she has done for months.

On the bus home, thinking hard, fears allayed, I decided that I would go with the positive valuation experience, and would not prevaricate. Trendy Specs could have my humble custom. I rang the agency and booked an appointment for Thursday to start the process of photos and particulars and.... fingers crossed - eventual sale....

I felt slightly sick afterwards, but that might be an increasingly familiar feeling as the forthcoming chapter unfolds. For now, one day, one step, at a time will have to do. You're being dragged along with me, of course. I need all the support I can get.

16 comments:

Von said...

The Power of the Positive!!!Stick with it!

dinahmow said...

Being dragged along willingly!
I have no desire to retire to Northumbria, but yours is the sort of house I used to wish I could buy. I can only hope that, when we do make the move, we find such a place.

judy in ky said...

You are doing an admirable job. You have both my admiration and my support. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.

Marie said...

Congrats on a healthy valuation and good luck on the selling. I don't think you will have a problem at all! Your house rocks! If I had the money I'd buy it! I Love it.

the veg artist said...

We have all been telling you that your house is lovely for months on end - you have obviously now found an agent who agrees with us. Perhaps you will believe it now, too.

What sort of property are you going to be looking for? House? Bungalow? Cottage? Modern? Quaint? Garden - goes without saying!

Paddy Paws said...

Mr Trendy Specs, while obviously programmed to be polite, was actually thrilled that he would have an easy sale. Your house is beautifully presented and full of charm and people will fall in love with it. He knew this, so it's a win-win for him and you!

With house buying and selling you have to go with your instincts, and that includes liking and trusting the person who will be promoting its finer points. Good choice, I'd say.

Good luck! Daunting but VERY exciting. Be brave!

Susan Frances said...

I , for one, will be with you every step of the way......".hot cakes" comes to mind regarding the sale of your lovely house! Just think...this time next year you should be well esconced in a lovely part of the country with your own garden. Warmer weather too down south! Here's hoping the brown hens come up trumps!!

Val said...

No dragging along needed, I wouldn't miss a minute of the journey. As to your decision on the valuation, it's always best in the end to go with your instincts.

mountainear said...

Nope, no dragging need here either - I'll be with you every step of the way too.

What a motley band of followers we'll be - peering into all those prospective bijoux homes.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Sounds really good...and your house is beautiful! Good luck with everything, hope it all goes smoothly.

Jan x

Lucille said...

Very happy to follow in your wake. I think you will be inundated. You have done everything and more than could possibly be required of you as the ideal vendor. As to valuation, I heard a story of a woman selling some bric a brac at an upmarket boot sale. She had no takers until someone told her to put her prices UP! (Because you're worth it).

Rattling On said...

That's the worst bit done now. You can concentrate on finding the place you want to move to. We've moved loads of times and I always find it easier once the decision has been made-it's all forward from there. Exciting as well!!

BumbleVee said...

damn!! just lost my perfectly worded comment!

so, trying to think back on what I said...

I didn't really like yesterday's evaluator ..or her "evaluation", such as it was. And, after mentioning that she had plenty of people interested... you'd think she would be happy to work at getting your house. Instead it seems to me that she is more interested in selling more houses at mediocre prices than one or two at a great price.

I was coming back to suggest seeking a second opinion and even a third if need be to find the right salesperson.... it's exactly like hearing something from a doctor we don't particularly like.... move on to the next guy til we get the answers we need and want. We absolutely DO know plenty about people even from a first brief meeting....and I didn't like her much from reading it never mind from the "in-person" vibes you must have had.

Definitely go with Mr. TrendySpecs. Sense of humour, love of animals, positive attitude.... what more is there? .... And, more like the amount this well kept home deserves as well. You have done more than necessary in readiness ...to elicit perfect reviews from any evaluator..... and should not go with anything less...

Yes.... you will certainly be second guessing yourself...and having sleepless nights...and wondering if you are totally round the bend...but.... in the end....I bet you will be so happy to have a large garden and to be somewhere quiet and away from the madding crowd. I, for one, am standing right here behind you Rachel... cheering you on and even pushing ever so slightly ... get out there and do some more looking... for your dream spot.... what about asking Mr. TrendySpecs if he has a list of availables...or even some areas to check out...? maybe he knows some areas you hadn't thought about that may fit the bill...

susan Frances said...

PS.....OK , so it's Big Black Hens....not brown uns! Even better!!

Lynda (Granny K) said...

'Always trust your instincts', they say, and you did just that. I'm so glad!

Sue said...

Right there with you on the journey.

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