Thursday, 26 May 2011

Under Offer

After nothing for more than a year, we suddenly had two people who wanted to look at our house on the same weekend. We left the coast clear for our agents to show them round feeling optimistic about the chances of a sale.

The feedback when it came was mixed. It seems people always admire the way the house is presented - it looks good. Clients tell us about the sense of peace that comes from the space and the light. And we know from living here that our much extended bungalow provides very flexible accommodation - we've often changed around how we use different rooms.

We love its uniqueness - but there's the rub - more people look for how things fit into their expectations of what a house SHOULD be like. Research shows that the majority of the population, unconsciously or consciously, looks for things to be the same or similar. People actively make choices based on how well things fit into a particular mould. No surprise then when we got the feedback that people have difficulty 'getting their head around' the unusual layout.

Our optimism waned - until a couple of days later one of the weekend visitors asked for a second viewing. The next day the agent came to see us. His repetition about the 'difficulties' our house represented didn't put us in a great frame of mind for what was coming next. It was a very low offer. We were urged to accept and encouraged on the grounds of the currently unpredictable market to accept without challenge.Thankfully we know the importance of bargaining for time and avoided a knee jerk response.

We spent the rest of the day learning a lot about each other's approach to negotiation! Nigel was very robust in his decision not to be bullied into accepting something he didn't think was reasonable. I, on the other hand, had a very emotional response to the offer. I had not realised how much the 'living in limbo' was beginning to affect me until I had the carrot of regaining purpose and direction in my life dangled in front of me. Despite the logic of Nigel's response, I suddenly felt fearful and anxious about the potential loss of the sale if we decided to reject it initially.

We were both making assumptions based on incomplete information. Thankfully we know a thing or two about finding a common language to talk about difficult topics and soon realised we needed to do a bit of research before making a final decision. This helped enormously as we gathered more views on the market, both for buyers and sellers, and a whole lot of facts and figures about the places we might buy. Involving other experts helped us to feel more comfortable about our options and later on that day we negotiated a deal that felt right to both of us.

Suddenly a sense of urgency descends upon us. The next steps are all about looking for somewhere to buy...


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