It looks like I may be permanently leaving London........................

6 years ago

As you know, three weeks ago I made the decision to sell my London house and live permanently (well for the next couple of years at least) in a small village in the Oxfordshire countryside. Yep, I was turning my back on the bright lights and big city ..... because ...... well it's obvious isn't it? ............ fields and roadkill are so much more interesting. Actually, I had better not delve into that rationale too much or I might change my mind (again).

Now interestingly enough, I had decided not to go down the usual route of having a traditional Estate Agent sell my house, for the simple reason that their fee was 1.5% of the house value for chrissake, which totalled nearly £7000 or $11,200 USD. Indeed, to put the fee into a real-life context, £7000 would buy 1,556 bottles of wine. Truly shocking.

When the Agent told me the fee, my instant (outward) reaction was, "you are kidding me?", but inside my head I was shouting 'you are trying to mug me, you bastard'.

So I pointed out to him that; "It doesn't cost any more to market a house for £450,000 than it does for one that costs £200,000, so why are your charges based on a percentage?"

The Estate Agent said, quote; "Estate Agencies have always calculated their fees as a percentage of the value of the house."

Grrrrr, lemmings have always jumped off cliffs but that doesn't make them smart. Having been in business for years myself, there is one thing guaranteed to irritate me ........... and that's people who basically say, 'we do it that way, because that's the way it has always been done.'

Now in my experience, there is generally an upside to scenarios like these. And that upside is that there are plenty of entrepreneurs out there willing to exploit dinosaur companies who don't change with the times.

And, after a bit of research, I found one such company. It was a purely web-based Estate Agent called 'The House Network.' They charged a flat fee of £525 and it included virtually all the services provided by a traditional Estate Agent. Result!

My house was listed with them three weeks ago, and in the meantime, I busied myself getting the house into tip-top condition ready for sale. The garden in particular needed some attention after quite a harsh winter by UK standards.

When it comes to gardening, I bloody love it I do. But I am not particularly good at it - unless crispy plants ever come into fashion - then I will be the Galliano of gardens (except that I don't have a weird moustache and I'm not rascist).

So for a couple of days each week (as well as fitting in my day-job), I have been driving down to London to tidy up the garden ........ and here are some pictures of one of my little projects for you to look at ................................

Pic.No.1 This was the kitchen patio before any work was done. It was covered in moss, the render was falling off the wall and the plants in the flowerbed were all dead (I probably caused that because I am more toxic-fingered than green-fingered). An old Christmas tree had also been dumped in the middle


Pic.No.2 New render was applied by 'Fat Pat' the plasterer, and the flowerbed was cleared of debris


Pic.No.3 The new render was painted (by me), a new trellis was put up and I put in some plants before finally adding tree-bark as mulch

'So', I hear you cry, 'has your hard work paid off?'

Funny you should ask that. Over the last three weeks I have conducted four viewings, and although they all loved the house, they didn't seem like serious buyers.

I got that wrong then. Today, my Estate Agent 'The House Network', telephoned me to say that one of the viewers would like to buy the house and had offered £430,000 ($688,500 USD). Woo hoo! The offer was great but it was still less than the asking price of £445,000 ($712,000 USD) but I am thinking about 'making like an Arab' and do a bit of bartering.

So tell me dahlink........ should I barter or should I accept?

Annie (Lady M) x

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday

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