I suppose that if you've read our accounts of packing on this blog over the last couple of weeks it will hardly come as a surprise to you to hear that we've sold the house. When we put it up for sale I said that I wasn't going to report how things were going on here as I didn't want to risk jeopardising the position; after all, it's not over until the fat lady sings (or in this case exchanges contracts). And, although we found a buyer four or five weeks ago, the fat lady took a long time to arrive on stage.
We had an offer for the full asking price on the day that the house went up for sale. But the buyers had not sold their own house and we had to decline. Over the next couple of weeks we showed three more couples around and they all made very positive noises and clearly liked the house but maybe I'm not too expert a salesman in pointing out the one or two minor flaws instead of concentrating on the hundreds of positives in the property and it was the first time that the estate agents showed the house while we were away that our buyers' offer came.
The buyers were perfect for us having sold their own home and moved in with parents so we were not faced with the horrors of "the chain". And, as we have bought a house and have no upwards chain, we were also the perfect sellers for them. We agreed to move out - although that means living in the caravan until November - and the deal was done and dusted.
And, if it were not for the black art that is the world of conveyancing, things could have moved quickly. We responded to all the enquiries immediately and were ready to exchange contracts two weeks ago but then, as late as this Monday, the buyers' solicitor raised five enquiries. Why did this take so long? The enquiries were simple to answer but one related to restrictive covenants that were placed on the property in 1930 and under which we had to have permission to carry out some alterations. We researched these thoroughly fifteen years ago and the owner of the covenants told us that they were no longer interested in them but now, within 24 hours of the planned exchange, we had to sort it out. Being hundreds of miles away and with virtually no mobile reception and WIFI that works at less than a snail's pace we had no option but to grant an insurance indemnity at a cost of £218. If the enquiry had been raised two weeks ago we could have saved that money.
We were desperate to exchange as we were being asked for a firm booking from the removal company and, as we are giving most of our furniture to Paul and Josephine who are also moving next week, we didn't want to let them down and leave them with none of the things we'd promised them.
We were finally all set to exchange yesterday morning having agreed to the insurance. We decided to go to the pictures and see the new Spiderman movie. I switched on the phone after the film expecting a message to say it was a done deal but instead had an enquiry about whether the lounge curtains and pole were still for sale. As we offered these four weeks ago but heard nothing we got a man in last Friday to take the (very expensive hence getting a man in) pole down - now we've got to put it back up again.
Oh well. It's all done now. The removal van arrives on Tuesday and we're off to Framlingham to try and sort out a builder (or Rochester if Paul and Josephine's baby decides to make an early appearance). Poor Marion feels like she's been to hell and back again. People do say that moving house is one of the most stressful events in life. If it wasn't for our peculiar system I think it would be much simpler and far more relaxing. Let's hope we don't have to do it again.