On December 17th, 2007 (or thereabouts) I became the proud owner of my very first home. It was a beautiful moment, I tell ya, and Top Foor Flat, 23 Balmoral Road in Northampton has has kept me safe, warm, dry and very happy over the years - the perfect first time buy.
To tell you the truth, it was a little bit out of my budget at the time - I had decided that £130,000 was as high as I could go and consequently was only viewing properties in that price bracket. Then Kate, the lovely estate agent from Right Move who was patiently taking me from one flat viewing to the next, said that she knew of a property that had just come up for sale and she urged me to book an appointment to see it, even though it was slightly over my pre-determined budget. "I just have a feeling", she insisted.
Within five minutes of entering the property I too had a feeling: I was home. It really was that simple. It was so different to any of the other flats I had viewed which, to my mind, were what I would describe as "bog standard" and quite "boxy". This flat was bright, sunny, spacious, split over two levels and even had its own balcony and private garden! I was already imagining myself on a sunny summer's day, sipping a virgin daquiri as I surveyed the neighbourhood below from my Royal Box..
I sat down, did some calculations, called Daddy Warrior for some financial advice and then informed Kate of my decision:
"I'll take it".
And now it is time to sell it!
But not without a little hint of sadness, as is only natural, I'm sure. Like I said, Top Floor Flat, 23 Balmoral Road has been good to me. And I shall miss my neighbours, this one in particular:
Yup, you all know Winnie by now. She has been a blog regular and will continue to be so since I have every intention of frequently dropping in for a cuppa, rock cake and one of our chats. She hasn't gotten rid of me yet!
As for the house sale itself, here's the deal, Warriors. I am circumventing the more traditional method of employing a local estate agent in favour of doing it entirely ONLINE. Does that sound a bit risky and somewhat mental to you? If you think about it, buying your groceries and other goods online would have sounded preposterous even a decade ago but now it's second nature to jump online and get what we need at the click of a button. In effect, the internet has become a substitute for the real market place and I wouldn't be surprised if this trend spills on over into other areas such as selling your house. And why the heck not? Why pay an estate agent up to 2.5% of the overall sale of your property? What do they actually do for this money?? I'm not the first person to ask this and I certainly won't be the last! But I, for one, am determined to keep as much money as possible from the sale of MY house.
I have chosen to go for the most popular option, the Standard option although I did get it for £395 instead of £495 because I had called up and inquired in November before they changed the price at the end of the year and they very kindly honoured the price they originally quoted. Now that to me is excellent customer service and I must say that I have been very impressed with the process so far and the individual attention I have received from James, Jodi, Catrina and Amy. On the ball and then some!
Let me show you how it has progressed and where I am currently:
Tuesday 17th March - I purchased the Standard option
Monday 23rd March - for sale board went up
Tuesday 24th March - a man came to take pictures of my flat and to draw up a floor plan. (Thanks, David!)
Wednesday 26th March - I was sent through the initial ad to approve. I made some revisions and within a few hours received another email asking me to approve the revisions. They don't waste time over at eMoov!
Thursday 27th March - ad went live on Zoopla, Rightmove and Prime Location.
You can view my fabulous ad right HERE!
Monday 30th March - I have my first viewing at 9.30am!
I can't quite believe I have my first viewing already! Sure, nothing may come of it, but it's very encouraging that there is interest so quickly.
So basically it is all going tickety boo thus far. I particularly like the fact that I was able to word the ad exactly as I wanted and I came up with the bullet pointed list of features. Makes perfect sense; it is my flat after all and I know its best selling points. Something else which appeals is that I get to show potential buyers around. I'm hoping to win them over not only with my beautiful flat, which speaks for itself, but with a little bit of Ginger Warrior charisma and charm. ;)
I'll keep you posted as and when things progress. I thought this was something that could prove mighty interesting to the vast majority of you since I'm guessing the vast majority of you will have a property to sell at some point and would be thrilled at the prospect of potentially saving a small fortune. I won't hold anything back - I'll bring you the ins and the outs, the ups and the downs, the pros and cons.
WISH ME LUCK!
GW, over and out.