Thursday, February 8, 2008
Ally and I sold our house; now where will we live?
Well, we’ve done it. We’ve finally sold our house. And the minute our lawyer phoned Ally and me to tell us someone had made an offer, our first reaction was “what have we done?”
It’s funny, but when you get so many people tramping through your house and telling you how wonderful it is, you start to wonder if you should be selling it at all. When we first put our house up for sale it was August and since then we have had dozens of people coming to look round.
For the first two months we used a combination of both viewings by appointment and open viewings on Sunday. An open viewing is where you just throw open your doors and anyone can drop by for a look round within a certain time period.
The downside is that if the hordes of prospective buyers fail to materialise then that’s another three hours spent cleaning the house from top to bottom wasted - that’s on top of the normal cleaning that gets done, by the way, just in case anyone was about to start querying our personal hygiene habits!
We eventually packed in the open viewings and settled for people making appointments if they wanted a look round. Another funny thing is people always ask you how much you want to get for your house - I always reply “as much as possible.”
But in case any of you folks reading this are unfamiliar with the way we sell property here in Scotland, let me give you a quick snapshot of what happens. S
tep One. Contact either your lawyer (only if he or she also sells houses) or an estate agent to sell your house for you. But if you use an estate agent you will still need a lawyer to do all the legal work in connection with the transfer of title deeds to the property.
Step Two. Once your lawyer/estate agent has had a look at the property, you all sit down together and work out what you want to get for the place.
Step Three. Here in Scotland we use what is called the “offers over” method. That means if I sell my house and want to get, say at least £300,000 ($590,819) for it, I would probably invite people to make sealed offers over, say, £275,000 ($541,584), to stimulate interest in the hope someone will try and outbid everyone else and offer a lot more.
Nobody is allowed to know what anyone else’s offer is and, basically, people are trying to out-guess each other and offer enough cash to secure the purchase.
It’s all about how much you are willing to pay and what your limit is.
What Ally and I are going to do now is still up in the air a bit. If this offer holds and we get all the legal work done, we will need to be moved out by May 1. If we don’t find anywhere we want to buy which we can afford or a plot where we can build a house, then it will be a rented cottage in the country somewhere until we do.
Never mind though- it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, is it not?
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