Thursday, 29 March 2012

30th March 2012

Well that is a much better way to carry on. Since Tuesday I have not given much thought to our sale, or tried to plan for anything after the sale, and it has been much calmer and in fact the days have passed much quicker. Over analysing things really does not help. It may of course be also that we are now in the later stages of the sale, I know things are happening and also that I have no control over them anyway.

Our buyer has decided to have a structural survey done, quite right to, he would have been foolish not to, shame he did not do it earlier but there you go. It is booked in for Monday 2nd April at 4pm, so it seems unlikey now that an exchange of contracts will be done before Easter, but there you go.

Poor Craig is now on anti biotics. He has been ill since last Saturday. Doctor says he has a viral infection. He is very congested, has a nasty cough and last night said his ear was hurting. He has had a tough week. I have had something as well, day before yesterday I was very cold all day and then that night could not stop shivering. Did not sleep much and therefore was exhausted yesterday at which time I also got congested. My nose, eyes and head throbbed and I am just glad there was not much work on. Slept better last night, still downstairs in the chair. Congestion tablets have helped with the pain in the face and my nose is clear at the moment. Aches are much better as well.

Helen had a busy day yesterday, apart from work, she left early to see Kirsty's play, she then took her to the cake sale, came home and did dinner, took Kirsty swimming, showered and dried her hair, by 8,30 she sat down exhausted. One more day then the Easter holidays and a well earned rest for her.

Kirsty had a runny nose yesterday but seemed fine after school and at swimming. She complained about a sore throat just before bed time so we will see what she wakes up like this morning.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

28th March 2012

OK I surrender. After yesterday I realise now that I have no influence over the sale of our property. Nothing I do to chase people will have any impact, things will just happen when they happen and there is nothing I can do about it.

Yesterday started with  phone call to the solicitors. I asked if they had recevied a reply from the buyers solicitors following the questions and our request to exchange quickly. They had not had any communication back. To be fair to her though she did understand my need for information and put a call into them straight away and rung back within a few moments. The delay now was that the Mortgage offer had still not come out to our buyer and without that obviously nothing more can be done.

I rang our Estate Agent and asked if there was any use in our buyer chasing his mortgage company, they said in reality no. Mortgage offers come out when they come out, by chasing nobody goes to the top of the pile, then just get done when they get done. He did say however that he had also spoken to the buyers solicitors and they advised him that the contract was now fine, no more questions to be answered, they had also requested searches to take place and these would take between 3 - 5 days to come back. He did end the call though saying it was unlikely of an exchange this week and even next week was a push.

About 10 minutes later he rang me back. He said he had spoken to the buyer, I though oh some good news. Not so, the buyer has just realised that the survey he had done was only a valuation survey and he porbably should have a full one done. Well of course he should but not at this late stage, why did he not do this earlier. He asked how quickly he could move in and the Agent said things were very close but if he did now proceed with a full survey then it would delay things, arranging that and getting the results back. So at this time we do not know if he is going to have a survey or not. He did say that he has his deposit ready so that is another piece of good news.

Anyhow on the strength of all that I have now decided to just leave it to take its natural course. No more chasing, wondering, or assuming dates, times and events. No more looking at properties to Rent or Buy, or looking at what if scenarios, no more planning trips to Kings Lynn, no more booking viewings and no more packing boxes. In fact no more thinking about the move at all. I am putting far too much stress and pressure on myself and as I have found out now there is nothing I can actually do to process things along.

So it is back to normal life here, continue day by day as we normally do as if we were not moving and wait to be advised of any information. Only once we have exchanged contracts will we start planning our next stage, whether it be a trip to Norfolk to view things or just concentrate on moving out first. I think it is the only way forward for us, particularly me.

To leave on a plus point, the possible survey aside, the solicitors are ready once the searches come back and the mortgage comes through. The buyer is ready with his deposit, and as a teacher has two weeks holiday whereby he can get into solicitors quickly to sign his contract if things are ready. so lets see how things progress.

27th March 2012

We are due to go upto Kings Lynn on Friday and Saturday 13th and 14th April to look at rental properties and those on the market to buy we are interested in. Obviously we are hoping to have exchange contracts by then.

However the rental market has been a bit of an eye opener. I think there are two reasons for this. The first being that I have never rented before and the second being that living in London you just assume there are many many properties always available to rent and you just shortlist some and choose the one you can get.

Not so in Kings Lynn. Rental properties, especially 3 bedroom house are like gold dust. We had found one in a central location to where we want to be and the Agent had said they cannot give full details due to current problems with the people in there. When I looked yesterday at it I saw it was no longer listed. I rang the agent to find out why and she said it was only due to the the problems, once resolved it would go back on. I asked her to keep me informed, at which point she told me she already had a list of 20 people wanting to view it and it would go very quickly. This is an issue for us being so far away, we cannot just get up there to view.

Anyhow whilst searching again I found another property, just off the road where we would like to actually buy. It had just come on and would be available at the start of May. This would be ideal, all 3 bedrooms are good size, parking for 4 or 5 cars, semi detached, with garden. I booked a viewing straight away with the Agent for 2pm on Friday 13th but she did say there was a good chance that by then it would have gone.

So I had a think and then rung the Agent back. I asked would the Landlord be interested in taking a months rent from me now £650 on the basis that it was taken off the market until we had viewed it on the 13th April. If we then decided not to rent it or our circumstances changed then the landlords could keep the £650 and put it back on the market. They will have lost nothing and it will at least give us a chance to view something which would be ideal. In fact looking at the location, the plan and the photos I can see no reason why we would not rent it. It then gives us a base for weekends to go up there and look for properties and also when we finally move in July. It is short term only so the risk is minimal.

The Agent spoke to the landlords but he was at work and his wife said she would need to discuss with him first. So hopefully today they will come back with a yes. If not it is no big loss. The main focus is selling our house first but it would be nice to know we had secured a rental place as well if we wanted it.

Monday, 26 March 2012

26th March 2012

What a beautiful day once again. The cherry tree is certainly enjoying the sunshine and is full of blossom now. It is such a shame that we will have to leave it behind when we move, we will have to plant a new one in our new house.

Hoping that things progress this week, I have emailed my Estate Agent to update him on the solicitors conversation of last week regarding the questions and the council tax and water bills. I reminded him again of our position and cheekily suggested that an exchange of contracts this week would be nice. He has replied saying that he would progress as much as he could but thought an exchange this week would be a big ask. Maybe it is but I feel I need to keep the pressure on and then that way we may be in a position to do something next week.

So as if I do not have enough to worry about, as I do, I now hear that there could be a strike by the Petrol Tank Drivers. I remember the last one only to well. People sitting in long queues to get into a garage to fill up, only to be turned away as the fuel was either not there or had just run out. Word would get around of petrol stations who did have fuel and people would rush to see if they could get some. It was chaos. The government are trying to reassure us this time that the Army will cover. Of course 400 Army personnel will do their best but they will be covering for 2000 tanker drivers, without question there will be problems. Lets hope they either sort it out before the strike or that the dispute is finished by the time we need a removal truck to get us to Kings Lynn.

May not have a job for much longer. The owner of the firm I work for has been trying to sell the business for a while now, a buyer has been lined up but they are asking him to take on some really unfair and very risky liabilities based on future business. It seems very unfair for him to be liable for future sales if he has no influence on them, how can he guarantee that. Should the buyers not buy the company it may be that he has to close it down altogether week by week it is getting into a more difficult financial situation.

The money has been a great help over the past few years, we have not really relied on it to get by but it has helped us buy and do things we probably would not have been able to do on just Helen's salary. It has also had a big influence on us being in a position to be able to move. Fortunately funding wise we are now where we want to be but every extra weeks work from now on would be a nice bonus to put aside.

We thought Craig was getting better yesterday, he ate dinner last night but then around 8pm started shivering again, his nose blocked and he started to cough. He had a rough night but no more sickness but I kept him off school today. He has an inset day tomorrow and then school is closed Wednesday for NUT strike, so he is not missing much. Kirsty appears to be starting a cold but she is bright and happy and went off to school fine.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

25th March 2012

Had a great day yesterday. Kirsty and I went swimming at lunchtime. She loves riding going on my bike with me so we cycled to the swimming pool, she sits on the cross bar, with the help of a cushion and its great not having to take the car. We spent an hour in the pool before coming home for a shower and then she was off to my mums for the night.

Kirsty loves the water and just got her 25 metre badge at swimming last week. She has no fear and loves jumping into the deep end.

Helen and I took the opportunity to go out for the evening. Nothing special, just walked down the pub for a couple of hours. Lovely evening chatting about stuff and watching other people come and go. So much better than having a drink indoors. Only had two pints of lager but woke with a bit of a headache this morning - what a lightweight. We had a great night though, it was fun watching couples who were obviously out on a first date, and we chatted about loads of stuff, during which Helen revealed something that I had not previously known, it quite surprised me, nothing sinister but not something I would have expected knowing her as I do.

Today we are off to the Thomas's for dinner. It is Bethan's 16th birthday next week so we are over there to celebrate. Not sure that Craig will make it though. He has not been well last 24 hours but hopefully on the mend now.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

24th March 2012

Well Sports relief last night certainly put my issues with selling my house into perspective. So many children suffering around the world. Heart breaking stories of children dying from preventable illness it is so sad. £50 million raised, once again well done Britain.

Friday, 23 March 2012

23rd March 2012

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So another week passes and no information as to where we are in the process, no idea if we are a week away from exchanging contracts or a month or any indication in fact. This is a painful process, not in terms of stress or hassle or anything like that but it is just that I have no idea how things are progressing along.

I have said this before and will say it again, the house buying and selling process needs to be a bit more transparent, surely weekly updates for both buyer and seller from all parties involved i.e solicitors, estate agents and mortgage companies would not be much to ask.

Instead we are left to chase ourselves just a for a scrap of information to even know if things are progressing at all.

On Wednesday morning 21st March I put a call into my solicitor just asking if they could find out what stage we were at in the process. They said that it was all in the hands of the other solicitors but would call them for me to find out where we were. I did not hear anything back that day but on Thursday morning the phone rang and it was them. Some news at last I thought. How wrong was I , she was just calling to confirm that they had put a call into the other solicitors and were waiting for a reply. 24 hours that took. Anyhow it is now 1pm on Friday, 2.5 days later and still no phone call back from them.

This morning I called my Agent, he is really good, know whats I am like and understands my position. He said he would contact the buyers solicitors, who he knows very well, and see where we are in the process. Nearly 4 hours later and still nothing back. Knowing him I can trust he has rung them but I guess he is also waiting for the buyers solicitors to come back to him.

Every day that passes is another day nearer to the date by which Helen has to hand her notice in. If, for any reason this deal falls through, then we have less time by the day to find and new buyer and exchange contracts in time for her to hand her notice in.

Why does this take so long and why cannot we have some sort of progress report to say where we are. I would hate to be in a chain. This transaction is a straight forward sale. The property has no onward chain, the buyer has no chain and is a first time buyer. He has the deposit. Surely it is possible to do things much quicker than they are. I just want to exchange contracts, after that we can complete at any time, even if it is months after but exchanging is the key at the moment.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

21st March 2012

Lovely sunny spring like day today. The Cherry tree has buds on it and blossom will not be far away. 

As the JLS song says “ every minutes like an hour, every hours like a day” and it certainly feels like that waiting to exchange contracts. I keep looking at the dates and really we have done very well in terms of time, the buyer is still very keen, survey has been done and he has nothing to sell. How bad would it be if our buyer was in a chain, I think I would be falling to bits.

As it is, I sit here “working” each day trying to put it to the back of my mind. I keep saying we are one day nearer to moving but the problem is we do not have a definite date yet, so we might be 4 weeks away from moving or 2 months, or never. We just do not know and we have so much to do but do not want to do anything until we have that exchange of contracts.

I am really hoping that we exchange or are ready to exchange in the next couple of weeks. It is the Easter holidays then and as our buyer is a teacher it will mean they are available to sign any paperwork that needs to be done to ensure this.

I hate being the way I am and I just call people to sort of chase them where I can or enquire how things are going. Unfortunately until we are much further down the process no one can tell me anything and to be honest I do not think anyone really much cares. They just have their jobs to do, mine and many other peoples stuff to process and you get no preferential treatment, and why should I?

It would be really nice if I could just now not think about it, not look at the dates, not count back the days, not try to guess when it will happen etc etc, just let it go through, be positive that it will go through and just wait until someone calls me for a change to say, we need this or we need that or are you ok with this.

I put a call into our solicitor today to see if they could find out how the process is going, they said they would put a call into the other solicitors and would call me back. I do not expect them to though, she said she would call back once before but never did.

Oh for that wonderful time when we have exchanged and have a completion date. Everything then moves forward. We can plan, we can pack, we can cancel and change services. At the moment we are just in limbo.  A good place though and it could be so much worse, so lets have the glass half fall.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

20th March 2012

Slept much better last night. No more talking about houses just before bedtime. Not much more to report really, the survey was done this morning. The buyer appears to be just having a valuation survey only, so the guy was in and out within 10 minutes. That goes off to the mortgage company tonight electronically and then I guess they do what they have to do, hopefully confirm his mortgage and then we should be ready to exchange. How long that takes I have no idea.

For those of you who are interested, the sold board has finally been put up again.

I discovered yesterday that we will have to adjust to a different pace of lfe up in Kings Lynn. Well it is what we wanted anyway, but when I was enquiring about properties and why some had been on for 6 months to a year I was told that was not unusal and people accept that. So I will need to learn to expect that things do not progress quickly up there.

We had some good news re schools. I rang Norfolk council and they said we needed s a transfer form from our local council. We put on it our 6 preferred schools in order and we then get the first one which has a place. There is no need to have an address in Kings Lynn before we apply.

Monday, 19 March 2012

19th March 2012

So we had Mothers Day tea around my sisters. Very nice it was too but we may now not be able to move. I had agreed with my sister to half the cost of the tea. She had billed it as "a little tea".  I took this to be a few sandwiches and cake. Anyhow when I arrived it looked like she was catering for a wedding reception, I wondered how many mothers were coming. The word "little" should never have been used and now I fear that when I get the bill, it will take away most of the savings we had put by for the move.

We are now registered with every lettings Agent in Kings Lynn, after a few phone calls, we quickly realised it would be easier to email them all with out details and questions. Phone calls would have taken far too long. So emails sent and we have put a quick call into each of them to check that our email was received and we were now registered.

Last night we checked on right move for properties for sale. We found 10 of interest and went through each one carefully looking at the size and layout. We then used Google Maps street view to look at the road situation and parking, soon it became obvious why some of the properties we had shortlisted were on at such low prices. So we removed some. The others we have emailed to our friend in Kings Lynn and Helen will call her one night this week to see what she knows of the properties and the areas they are in.

We have found one though which looks idea and ticks all of our requirements apart from that it not detached, only semi detached. I guess though when buying you have to conceed on some things and the other benefits make it easier to give up on the detached aspect.

It has 4 bedrooms, the 4th one being the loft room, the main bedroom is bigger than ours at present, the two rooms for the kids are both bigger of good size, about the size of our second room now, the other bedroom can easily accomodate a double bed for guests. Downstairs in a front room, larger than ours, a sitting room, currently used as a study. A dining room and then a kitchen both of good size. There is a conservatory, space for two cars on the drive and access from the back to another driveway. It is on the main road, but not a main road like we are on now, but it is good for buses and near to Craig's school.

I have phoned the agent this morning to express an interest in it, but advised we could not get up until the Easter holidays. I explained our situation and he sounded pleased and would tell the sellers about our position and interest. It has been on since November ( slight worry ) 8 people have viewed it, again not many but maybe selling up there is different to the pace of London. He said there were no negative comments, well he would wouldn't he, the viewers were not in a position to make an offer (strange). Anyhow he has our details and hopefully we can get up to see it at Easter.

It is getting exciting now actually looking at stuff, but still in the back of my mind is the fact we have not exchanged contracts on ours yet. Survey tomorrow, fingers crossed that goes well.

Very tired today, could not sleep last night, so listened to music until 4.30am. It does not take much to make my mind active at night, we really should not have looked at property's last thing at night.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

18th March 2012

So we have planned this move for over a year now. We have been thinking about what we needs to do, where are the schools, can we afford it, what areas are best. We have been over it time and time again. The plan came together, we would do it in stages. Stage 1 - Sell our house, Stage 2 - Move in with Mum and Dad, Stage 3 - Rent a property in Kings Lynn, Stage 4 - Buy a property in Kings Lynn. We agreed this would be the best plan, it would be controlled, give us as little stress as possible, ensure we were in the area before buying to get a good idea for ourselves, keep the travelling down to a minimum. That was the plan.

The plan seems to have changed now. I think it started a few days ago when Helen said it was a shame to have to pay out for 3 removal costs, one from London to storage, then storage to Renting house, then rented house to purchase house. Well I had totally forgot about budgeting for the last two removal costs. I had only considered the first one. Having rung some companies in Kings Lynn, a local move of our size would be around £500 to £600 each , so in essence over another £1000 I had not planned for.

So we then started thinking about maybe moving the stuff straight into a rented place. After all this would be easy to find, we could look one weekend after exchange of contracts, we had the money already and were not too fussed about where we rented or what we got. We contacted some agents. It seems however there are not too many rented properties available. I think you get used to living in London where there just seems so many. Also something else I had not budgetted for, the renting ageny takes an admin fee. I had assumed the person renting the property paid that. There are also costs for credit checks, regardless of the fact we have and will be paying cash. All in all the additional costs could total £300. Oh well not a major problem but does eat into the money a bit.

Then last night we were looking at properties for sale. There were lots of new ones we had not seen before. Good ones as well, in our price range and below and in the areas we were looking at. So we started thinking, could it be the time to buy. Maybe the amount of properties available come the late Summer and Autumn may not be as much as there is now in the Spring. We may miss out on something good. So now we are considering, once we have exchanged, we could have a couple of weekends up there looking at properties to buy. We would still have the storage costs but these are not great, but we would cut down on one removal cost which is around £600 but on top of that we would have £5000 available again which was money we had put aside for 6 months renting.

So now we need to think what is the best plan. Frankly I do not know. If we could buy a property making maybe only 2 trips up there then that would be good, but we would have to rely on our local friend to advise on the areas. Also we are not sure what happens with Kirsty's school. The areas we are looking at are nearer to schools which are not preferred by us. However she is bright and it is only for two years, she would then be right near a good secondary school and have no problems getting in there.

So much to think about, consider and decide upon, I think I am finding out that this process is going to have to be fluid. I am not sure I like that, for me it needs to be one route, one process, here we have a situation of choices at each stage of the process. So I think we will have quite a lot of talking to do over the next few weeks.

Still at least that takes my mind of the selling side of our process. The agent very kindly rung me yesterday to say our buyer had been on the phone asking about removal firms. The Agent knows how much I worry so thought this news would keep me calm for a few more days knowing the buyer was still very keen and focussed on moving. It did indeed do that and was a nice touch, apart from of course the initial panic of seeing an incoming call from the Agent which I was not expecting. My first thought of course was on no bad news.

Oh it's great to be me.

Friday, 16 March 2012

16th March 2012

Trying to put the move to the back of my mind but that is easier said than done. I am one of those people that need regular re assurance that things are progressing. I know it is not going to happen and not possible to do but it would be really nice to get a call every day from the Estate Agent to the effect " we have spoken to your buyer and everything is progressing well, speak to you tomorrow".

I can tell this by how it makes me feel when we get some progress. Take last Saturday for example, when the Agent rang to tell us the buyer had been into the mortgage company and signed the paperwork, I was really happy and positive that things were moving forward. Then just a few days later and following no contact with anyone, purely because there is nothing to say, my mind starts thinking, its not going to happen, something has gone wrong etc etc.

I was back on a positive yesterday. The Estate Agent rang to say that the survey was booking in for next Tuesday morning, so progress at last and feeling happy and positive again. I am sure at some point today that positive mood will be replaced again by doubts.

I wrote to the solicitors yesterday regarding our preferred completion date. Helen and I discussed what we would prefer and that is for at least 4 weeks between exchange and completion, but completion date of no earlier than Friday 4th May 2012. This will mean we will be here for Helen and Craigs birthday's the weekend before and we can have a last BBQ here before moving.

Update on the sold board, it is still propped up against my house. I told the agent when they rang about the survey and she was most annoyed herself and would get onto her sign people. The Agent has lost so much free advertising that they have sold a property, especially being on the main road.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

14th March 2012

Wow this seems to be taking ages. Every day seems to be dragging on and my mind keeps thinking of all the things to do and I cannot do them until we exchange.

I looked back over the records of our last move and noted that from request for Mortgage to the mortgage being issued to 20 days. Now that was with no complications, us progressing it and also arranging the survey ourself within the first week. So I guess there explains the reality of it. Our buyer only went to his Mortgage provider on Saturday and therefore we must expect that nothing will happen until at least another two and half weeks.

I was also trying to remember why it seemed different the last time we moved and that I think is because at that time we were also buying a property. So then we had the selling process to organise and once we had a buyer we almost forgot about that side of it and had to find our own property and arrange a new mortgage surveys etc, so after offer on our flat we had other things to occupy our minds.

This time with us selling only, it is pretty much all done from us and we have nothing to do now for around 3 weeks.

So my mindset has now changed. Time to sit back, get on with day to day life and hope that time moves quickly and there are no problems. We are in a great position and I would hat to be going through this with a different buyer, maybe one in a chain, and if it were nearer our end of May deadline. I think the stress would then be very much different.

Here we have a first time buyer. No chain either end. We are still in March, exchange should take place in around 4 weeks time or earlier, so time to start enjoying life again.

I should now try and concentrate on losing the 4lbs weight I need to reach my goal weight. It has been hard since Christmas, but I guess that is because I am so close to my ideal weight that it is difficult to get off. What annoys me is that you only have to have one day off and 3 or 4 lbs go on, shame it does not work the other way. I am exeercising every day now, went for a nice long bike ride yesterday as well as Badminton, and hope this boosts me to lose those extra few pounds.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

13th March 2012

It is a strange period at the moment. We are now in week 6 of the process of selling our house and after days and weeks of chasings Estate Agents, having people view the house, getting feedback, changing prices etc etc we have now had a few days of having nothing to do.

No phone calls to make, no days of waiting on a phone call, it is nice but also strange in so far you have to keep reminding yourself that we are selling, we have had an offer and behind the scenes people are doing things to sell our property.

The next thing we are expecting is the survey to take place, we still do not have a date for this, although I would guess it would be sometime next week now. We also do not know if it will be a valuation survey or a full structural survey but obviously until that happens nothing else can proceed.

One thing that still makes me laugh is the for sale board. It has been a saga from the start. If you remember after the first week we did not have a board up at all and then last week Agent 2 sent their man to take down their board, their post and he threw Agent 3's board onto our driveway.

Now you would have thought that being on the main road Agent 3 would want it put back up quickly to advertise that they have a SOLD property, but as of today it still sits in our garden leaning against the fence.

That's all for now, just waiting on two more quotes from removal firms to find out how much that will cost us and for now it is just waiting for the time when we can start doing some real packing.

Monday, 12 March 2012

12th March 2012

So we are just waiting now. It is strange but with having nothing to do or chase or organise I have started to think about the move and whether we are doing the right thing. It is strange to be doing this now, we have, after all been playing this for over a year now.

It may have started because yesterday I started to look on right move for rental properties in Kings Lynn and there did not seem to be that many. I am hoping that the Estate Agents up there have many more on their books. When we went up in October and spoke to them they said they had plenty of properties but you had to get in quick to secure one. So once we have exchanged I think we will register with local Agents and get them to start sending us details. If need be, we may rent a property earlier than we were going to but not move into it straight away.

This is a massive move and definately the biggest thing I have ever done. Once we exchange contracts that is it, no going back. At the moment we are quite comfortable, we have a nice house, financially we are OK, the kids are at schools they like and are settled, but then I have to consider that Helen works far too long hours, we never see her and that is not fair, the area we live in is not what it used to be, the streets here are not safe and I worry when Craig is out on his own or with mates, and I would not be comfortable when Kirsty grows up with her going out. Then you have the pace of life in London which is ot something we enjoy anymore. The pollution does not help, both children are on all year round anti histomines and Craig is couped up in a small box room.

So having said all of that, then it is the right thing to do but it is still difficult to stop the thoughts going one way and the other in my mind. It is a nice period to be in, we are pretty sure it is just a matter of time for it all to go through, more so since Saturday and finding out our buyer is really keen to move and has now arranged his mortgage. The next couple of weeks should be nice a calm, I hope, we will just wait.

The next thing will, hopefully, be sorting out the completion day. We would prefer after the first weeks of May but I fear that the buyer might be looking for something much quicker than that. So a question, who is in control here? Do we as sellers have the final say, if we stick to early May, might the buyer decide to pull out? I don't think so, we would be too far down the process then, and if he is looking to get out of his rented accomodation quickly due to the neighbours and area ( which we know he is) then he would have to start the process of finding a property again and be weeks away from moving again. However does it work the other way and is the buyer in control of setting the date, I can't see that being the case but I do not know.

I am sure the solicitors will advise on this. So the next few weeks will be quiet but I will keep blogging with my thoughts and feelings as we get nearer the time, and after that of course there will be many more entries as you can see how we get on all living with my Mum and Dad again for two months or so, then the renting process and finally looking for our new house to buy.

We are still very early in the process and a long way to go before we are settled in our new home. So far though so good

Saturday, 10 March 2012

10th March 2012

Another good day today. This afternoon the Estate Agent rung us to say that they had just spoken to our buyer and he had just come out of the building society having signed all the paperwork. He said "how quick can I be in the property" which is great news for us as it shows that he is really keen to buy and move quickly on the sale. It seems as well as if he is only having the basic valuation survey carried out. Good news for us, not that we know of any problems, but things could be highlighted. Bad for him though, I cannot believe people would spend that amount of money on a house and not pay for a structural survey to check it is Ok. However that is his decision and of course we may be wrong and he does organise one.

Anyhow that's he next hurdle out of the way, I had been worrying that he might change his mind, but the mortgage apple cation is now signed and processing through. Phew.

He sounds keen to move in quick, we may have to slow him down, we are hoping to have Helen's birthday here as well as Craig's 16th, both at the end of April.

In the post this morning we received our contract from our solicitor. I was expecting something more than a single page contract for the sale of something so large and costly but there it is. We both signed it this morning, took a copy, and put it into the post box to send it back to our solicitors.

This afternoon I started to try and tidy the mess which is our shed. So much stuff, I have however started to throw things away, so many cables, wires etc that I keep just in case have been thrown away. Packed another box up with some bits and dismantled the swing seat and cleaned the cover.

We can enjoy our weekend now, and Sunday we have Kirsty's Birthday party which is bowling and pizza hut.

Friday, 9 March 2012

9th March 2012

Not much to report at the moment, apart from the boards for Agent 2 and Agent 3 were taken away this morning for some reason. I contacted Agent 3 and told them as I guessed they liked the advertising having their sign up with Sold for as long as possible. They had not instructed anyone to do this so I think Agent 2 has instructed for their sign to come down and the man who does the signs took it to be both signs. I am not sure what training or qualifications you need to be a sign man, but after the length of time we had to wait for a board to go up and now taking it down too quickly, I would imagine not too much.

Anyhow it does not matter to me anymore, we have our buyer, hopefully he will sort his mortgage out tomorrow and then things can progress.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

8th March 2012

What a worrier I am. As there was nothing else for me to do now with the move I was thinking yesterday of all the things that could now go wrong, and what a list I came up with. I am not going to share them with you because most of them are very silly, but it just shows how my mind works in thinking that anything could go wrong from just the buyer changing their mind to the buyer falling ill, and many more in between.

Anyhow to keep myself sort of involved in the process, I arranged for 3 Removal companies to come round to provide a quote for moving our stuff to storage in Kings Lynn.  Two are booked for Monday and one came round yesterday afternoon. He was very chatty, nice man but did go off at a tangent sometimes. One of the companies coming on Monday is one we used last time we moved 14 years ago, when I rang them and they told me Dennis was coming, I remembered the name straight away. Same guy as come to see us before.

This morning I just checked with Solcititors that they had received letter from Estate Agent, they confirmed that they had received it and had already contacted land registry to confirm our ownership and deed information. I phoned Estate Agent to find out why we had not got a letter yet, she said ours were sent out 2nd class. She said the solicitors received theirs hand delivered as they were near to them, so that's the main thing.

My little girl is 8 years old tomorrow. Remember her birthday so well. It was a lovely sunny day, I took the tube to Archway, as she was born in the Whittington Hospital due to Helen's problems with the first birth. I had a macdonald's breakfast and watched all the people going off to work. The C-Section was due for that morning and when I got to the hospital I found out we were first. When we went down we were introduced to the anesthetist, he looked exactly like Dustin Hoffman. He played some nice sooting music and then at 11.20am Kirsty was born, making alot of noise, which she then continued to do over the next 8 years.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

7th March 2012

So another tense afternoon yesterday. The Estate Agent was still waiting for the buyer to provide his solicitors details. Without them they could not post out letters to us, the buyer and the solicitors and as such the solicitors could not commence getting their paperwork together, contacting land registry mortgage companies etc.

The Agent rang me at lunchtime to advise that they were still waiting but would ring him. At around 1.30 they came back to me having spoken to him about the need to move a bit quicker and to explain our position of concern. He said he was speaking to some solicitiors during his lunchtime still getting quotes. He said he saw the sale sign had gone up and that gave him some reassurance. The Agent pointed out that us as sellers needed some reassurance as well, and he promoised to make a decision. I cannot believe how much he was expecting to save.

Anyhow lunchtime came and went. At 4.30pm the agent rung me and said they had good news and some not so good news. He had engaged an solicitor, but low and behold chosen the exact same one as we had. Legally you cannot have the same solicitor to buy and sell a property. The agent went back to him to tell him to change. In the meantime I rung them back and said if there was a problem with cost going to another agent I would pay the difference, after all it could not be much. I knew that you could have the same solicitor working for both parties as long as it was two different branches. So I was just holding for my solicitor to see if I could move to the Cheshunt branch, when the agent called back and said he had now selected another one, the original one recommneded by the Agent. Shame it took so long to get there.

Anyhow letters have now been posted to all parties and now there is nothing more we or the Agent can do. It is down to the solicitors and the buyer. The Agent advised it could take around 5 weeks to get the contracts exchanged but was confident that the solicitors being used are the best two in the area.

So now we go back to normal living hopefully, put the move to the back of our minds, there is nothing we can do to progress it anyway and wait for phone calls and letters.

We are putting our whole future in the hands of our buyer, should he pull out at the last minute before exchange we will be left with very little time to find a new buyer before Helen has to hand her notice in.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

6th March 2012

The waiting is agony. I know it's only 3 days since we had the offer but because I am one of those people who move and do things quickly I expect everyone else to.

Yesterday the Agent rung us and said that our buyer had yet to sort out a solicitor and until he does they cannot send out letters and get the process under way. He also said as he was working he could not get to see the Nationwide until Saturday to sort out the survey.

The Agent said they told him they would need him to select a Solicitor today as one of the conditions of us taking the house off the market was to move to exchange quickly. So I am hoping he gets back to them today.

It is not the time it is taking which is the problem it is the certaintity of it. If someone could tell me that this was definately going to happen and in 10 weeks we would exchange then that would be fine, but they cannot and each day things go through my mind thinking that something could go wrong. For example this morning the TV was saying some lenders were putting mortgage rates up, would this deter him from buying and decide not to? Yesterday it was an internal door we had fitted which is smaller than others, was this upto current standards? I wish my mind did not work this way but try as I might I cannot stop it and we have moved from one stressful process of finding a buyer, to the stressful process moving to exchange.

Thinking about it though, whoever put an offer in to buy our house, we would be in the same position. Better to be in the process now than to have an offer in a few weeks and to start that process then. The buyer we have is not in a chain, he is in rented accomodation, we also know he is desperate to move out from this, so things could really not be much better. Lets hope today he sorts his solicitor out and we can really start the process moving.

I think the other thing is that in my mind has all the things that we need to do, before we move but I cannot do any of these until we have exchanged. It is a period where there is nothing for me to do, nothing I can influence, we are in the hands of 1 man. How quickly he does things, what decisions he makes, it is our future in his hands.

I think the next few days and weeks are going to seem like a lifetime, but the rewards at the end of it will be worth it, I know it is the only thing keeping Helen going, as work is getting worse and each day she comes home with more things to do, changes to what they are doing and there are just not enough hours in the days or weeks for them to do everything and have time for a normal work/life balance.

So please Mr Buyer, get things moving and please don't let us down.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

5th March 2012

So we have entered a period of calm. Dont get me wrong I still have a ton of stuff going round in my head, will the survery be Ok, will the buyer change their mind etc etc, but now we have nothing much to do apart from wait for solicitors and surveyors to do what they have to do and sign anything they need us to.

No more viewings or stressing because no one is coming for a viewing, constantly keeping the house tidy in case someone comes to look at short notice, life is peaceful again, well for a while anyway.

For the 3rd time we took passports and utility bill to be checked, this time by Agent 3 who had sold our property. Helen went in and was chatting to them and telling them about house prices where we were moving to, 3 bedroom houses comparable to 2 bedroom flats in London. She said the girl in the office jaw dropped when she heard the difference.

Was waiting for the Agents to confirm the our buyer had sorted out a solicitor. At 4.30 they rang to say they had spoken to him, he had got a quote from one solicitor but was waiting for another quote before deciding. This is frustrating as the Agent cannot put out the letters until he confirms his solicitor. Also the survey will not be until at least next week as he is not going back into the Nationwide until Saturday to discuss this with them.

This is a different type of stress now from when we were looking for a buyer. All the time that goes on now is time that, if this deal falls through, we have lost working towards our end of May deadline. There is nothing we can do, we have to wait, he is a school teacher so works long hours as well and we are going to have to be patient. Our agent assures us that they believe he is honest and wants to buy our house but the next 2 or 3 weeks could be very long indeed. I am fairly sure that once we buy up in Kings Lynn I will not be putting myself through this again.

Still at least we have Kirsty’s 8th Birthday coming up to distract us from this. Cannot believe she is 8 this Friday. She has a school trip to London Zoo as well on the day and then on Sunday it is bowling and Pizza Hut.

Craig had his 2nd Mathss GCSE exam today, now we wait for the results from that. Hoping that he can get a C and then retake in Summer, knowing he has a C and maybe turn it into a B.

Having done some packing already by putting away the things we really do not use that often, we are in pretty good shape, but I am resisting starting anymore until we have exchanged contracts. Dreading doing the shed, so much stuff I have kept thinking "that might be useful one day", I think we might need to order a skip.

Mum and Dad were sorting out with us things for when we stay with them, clearing draws for us to use and where we will sleep. The one daunting thing for me is that mum wants me to do all the meals. It is difficult doing 3 different meals for us let alone add another couple in. Not too bad doing the cooking but it is just the weighing out of weight watchers meals that we have, although if they are happy to have what we have then most recipes are for 4 people so should not be too bad.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

3rd March 2012

Today is a very good day. Having had the 2 second viewings yesterday, one of which involved a half hour grilling by the buyer and his mate over everything from how secure the roof is to does the underneath of the stairs meet health and safety standards, we went to bed last night expecting an offer or possibly two.

As normal at the moment I woke up early and then it seemed ages before it got to 9am, when the Estate Agents opened. 9.30 and no phone calls, at 10.00 I dropped Craig at school for Maths revision, and still nothing. 10.30 came and went and we both thought maybe nothing is going to happen.

Then I was just about to tweet that I need to control my expectations, and Agent 3 rang to say they had an offer of 235k for our property. This was accepted by us almost without question, but he requested that we take the house of the market. We agreed to accept that offer but based on a quick exchange. This meets all what we want and we can sort of sit back for a while now, we only need to worry about the survey now, lol.

The buyer seems very honest and genuine and I have a lot of trust in him, I hope my trust is not thrown back in my face.

I phoned Agent 2 and told them about the offer and that we wanted to take the house off the market. They said that there 2nd viewer had also expressed an interest and was looking at one more property and they felt they could get her to offer more than 235k. I know they are only doing their job and of course the extra money would be nice but I said no, we had given a commitment to the first buyer, we had accepted their offer so was not interested. I hope he provides us with the same honesty.

Now the only problem I have is that Helen feels it is ok to not to keep the house tidy any longer, I was enjoying that aspect of it.

Don't think this is the end of it, we have survey, exchange, completion, storage, renting and buying process still to go through, and of course the weeks/months we have to live with mum and dad which I think will challenge all of us. At least we have progress and the journey is sort of starting.

Friday, 2 March 2012

2nd March 2012

Finally things might be happening. Not counting any chickens yet though. Agent 1 has now emailed again and hopefully I have dismissed them now. I asked him why originally they over valued our house and he had the cheek to say that  the people who had told me it was over priced were "idiot agents" I let him know who these people were and he has not replied since.

Anyhow Agent 2 set me a nice report yesterday, summary of what they have done. 22 Viewings in 3 weeks 0 offers. Did not make great reading and I thanked them for the report and asked them if they were happy with that and have had no reply. They did send me two new viewings but I was to set them up myself because they were in meetings. I did this, and both people failed to show. Fair enough traffic was the problem for both, one id coming at 12.30 today and the other said he would make another appointment.

So to Agent 3. Well they sent round a couple with a child who are renting just round the corner from us. He is a teacher and they arrived at 7pm and spent about 25 minutes with us chatting about the property and having a real good look. This morning I had a call from the agent saying they were really keen and wanted to have another look tonight at 7pm. It seems this man is very keen to get an exchange done before the end of March to avoid any stamp duty increases. Wow thats going to be tight but it would be an ideal situation for us. Exchange quick, maybe a longer completion date and then the stress will be off.

Anyhow this is only Agent 3's second person they have sent round and it would be so nice to have this go through and show up Agent 1 and Agent 2 for their failings.

We have fingers crossed but are keeping expectations low so as not to be disappointed if nothing happens but at least it is something positive.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Estate Agents

So where to start. Anyone reading my blog will have seen how much I have been pulled this way and that way by stories, promises and valuations by so called professionals. So much so I really now do not trust anything that any Estate Agent wants to tell me.

I had my weekly email from Agent 1 asking if they can get involved again as a sole agent. So I asked them why they had initially over valued my property. The cheek of him to say that actually all the people I have spoke to and said 225K to 230K max are telling lies and that they could still get over 240K for it. It is clearly obvious to me that 24 viewings in and no offers yet show that people do not think it is worth that price.

Anyhow to top it off this afternoon and to highlight the lies they tell me, I had a call from Agent 2, he had someone who only wanted to see our property, no others just ours, however he was in a metting and could not show them. Could I ring and set up the viewing. Sure no problem, so I call the lady and ask her what time and she says "well we have some other properties to view, how about 6pm". So much for only wanting to see ours.

It must be in the Estate Agent training or conditioning - ensure that when you speak no truth comes out.

1st March 2012

So yesterday was a much better day. I just carrried on as normal, not expecting the phone to ring, not chasing up for feedback or to see if any offers. I felt much better, no headaches, no stress just going to leave the Estate Agents to contact me as and when they have information or to book viewings. No more making assumptions that this person is suitable, that person might make an offer. We have the viewings, get the feedback and leave it there.

The new Agent passed on their first viewing yesterday. She came round at 3.30, she has sold her house in Wood Green and needs to move quickly. Well very impressed that by 5.00pm the agent rung back with feedback. She felt the 3rd Bedroom was too small, seems a common theme, so a new plan, when I show people around I am now going to tell them the middle bedroom is bedroom 3. They can no longer say bedroom 3 is too small.

The new Agent has another viewing with us for tonight. This guy is in rented accomodation just around the corner from us, so knows the area, traffic etc, so in a good position hopefully.

The other agent even rung me with feeback for the viewings from the day before without me having to chase. He said one was a waste of time. We had a young couple view who I got a good vibe from, she knew one of the teachers at Kirsty's school and his sister had just moved into a similar property in the road behind us. The feedback from them was they wanted to be nearer primary schools, well based on who they know surely there was no point in viewing  ours, but anyhow they did like the house and may come back.

The last viewing, well actually the first of 28th February was a lady who was buying it to rent to her brother. She really liked it but wanted her brother to see it. He was travelling down from the north today so may want to come back today or tomorrow to view and see what he thinks. So that sounds promising.

Lastly we were on a shortlist of two and waiting for the guy to decide, well he rung the Agent yesterday and said that he chose the other property as it was much nearer to Enfield Town. Fair enough, he did say if anything went wrong with that he would come back to us. So once again we will see.

Had dinner last night with some people I used to work with. We meet up every few months and we had a lovely time, chatting away it is amazing how quickly the time goes by. We went to Brookmans Park Hotel and the food was great, and even better as we had a voucher which meant it still only cost me around £20. Thats always a plus point.