Nigel and I are quite experienced house buyers - and sellers. Our current house, Jinglewood, is the seventh house each of us has owned, although we have only lived in two together. So you'd think we'd know by now that you cannot count on the sale until contracts are exchanged.
Maybe it's our over-riding optimism, or a belief in projecting positive thoughts, or simply that we've both been very lucky in the past that led us to telling people that we're moving at the end of June. So it was a great shock yesterday to hear that our buyers are pulling out.
Their decision is entirely personal and nothing to do with our house - which is a small relief to us. Unfortunately, in this strange limbo-land between houses, we've naturally been looking forward to our new home. We've made commitments, which we're keen to see through. And we've made great inroads into packing, so Jinglewood has been looking rather forlorn - less of a home and more of a depository for fixtures and fittings.
We were in shock
Yesterday was a bit of a write-off really! I looked for easy distractions so I did not have to think about the implications too closely and Nigel said he just felt numb. In our de-cluttering ready for our move we'd liberated a bag of old coins from the loft, so he spent several hours sorting and evaluating them. (Google is so helpful in this!) There's no denying we both thought this would be a good moment for an unexpected windfall. Thankfully our solicitor and the estate agent for the house we're buying dealt with us calmly and helped us realise we didn't need to make any panic decisions.
It doesn't pay to be hasty
This has definitely been one of those times when 'sleeping on the problem' helped to turn round our perceptions of what needed to happen. This morning, Nigel woke up with a plan of action. It involved ringing many people and telling them about our change in circumstances. Nigel's natural chattiness and his strategy of being open about our situation resulted in a general willingness to give us a more time to turn things around. It seems like we've taken back control of the situation, rather than letting it be in control of us.
And guess what, only one day after 'the news' we have two viewings booked for this week. We've spent all day getting house and garden into a fit state for the first viewing today. There may yet be a silver lining to this cloud: it seems the market has shifted slightly and a quick bit of online research shows there's little competition in the area at the same price.
I hadn't expected to be writing this particular blog. It has replaced my plans to write about how we're coping with the stress of it all. That will probably happen in the next few days - when I get over this nasty cough and cold. Now where did that come from I wonder?