Thursday 9 April 2015
24 degrees - wonderful and warm and sunny
The sudden burst of warmth has made the fields and trees explode into colour. Escaped rape seed is rampaging over the warming fields, its sharp acid yellow in contrast to the dull spikes of last year's maze. Magnolias are heavy with blooms and the willows have their first delicate pale green fronds. Birds are checking out nesting boxes and potential partners and the first cuckoo of the year sings in the bosquet.
We are down town for 9 am, waiting for a blow in couple. Blow ins are people who are on whistle stop tours of the country, looking for that special something. They are from the other end of the world by birth, and living in Asia at the moment, and looking for the space of their native country with a climate that has less than 60% humidity in Summer. They get a bit lost so we go and find them and then have to kick off the visit of the first of the two houses immediately. The owner is out and his new girlfriend is in attendance. She is on similar lines to her predecessors. We do the visit and the couple are very interested. I go down to talk to the girlfriend and she tells me that they have already had an offer and there are revisits tomorrow. I am very surprised when she tells me the amount of the offer because it is above the amount on the sales contract which I hold. The girlfriend says that the sales contract I hold is just for the house and not for the two flats. I say I am sure it is not and she rings the owner and he is rather short with me and says do I have an offer or not and I say we have only been here ten minutes and I will get back to him. We leave the house and I ring the agency, who confirm that we hold the contract to sell the house plus flats. Coffee time and quick chat and then I leave OH to show the couple another property in town and go and meet the clients from earlier on this week.
They are in the bar in the centre of town and it is market day and the air is alive with a mixture of languages and the smells and perfumes of the stall goods and it is a good day for asking for a revisit of just the one house. They are looking coy and happy and this is a good buying clue. We fix up an afternoon revisit and I leave them to chat to the locals and dash back to find OH and the couple in the turn of the 20th century villa on the big roundabout at the end of town.
Built by an architect for his daughter, the villa is named after her and was completed just after 1905. It is an imposing property, dubbed 'Snow White's villa' locally and has been empty for some time. The rooms are very large and flooded with light from the three metre high patio windows. Brass light fittings glow dimly from the brown material lines walls. The fireplaces are of marble construction. There is no kitchen to speak of, and only one bathroom. The turret roof sustained a lot of damage and even though the roof has been repaired, great swathes of water damaged plaster are hanging down like bedsheets from the top rafters. Multi coloured light filters through onto the oak staircase from the stained glass windows.
We leave the couple for lunch and I ring the agency and clarify that if I receive an offer without condition for the first property, then the owner will be obliged to accept it. That is going to be a fun interview (not). I look at the internet and it appears that all of the other agencies have just the house for the price at which I have the house plus the flats. It must have been an oversight on his part when he signed the sales contract with our agency. Back down town for the revisit and in 20 minutes I have an offer which I negotiate over the phone, sign up the very happy buyers and then dash back to find the other couple and a rather frazzled looking OH
He has had to amuse them for an hour and a half and had told them unsuitable jokes, done impressions of Harry Worth, and showed them every corner of our town before taking them back to the second house. They were getting on like a house on fire. When I got there, pink faced from the unexpectedly warm afternoon and the excitement of a sale and far too much coffee for just one day, he was closing up and the ladies were sitting on the lawn and looking tired. We established that they would make a cash unconditional offer for the first house and so I signed them up and then we had a beer and they left to overnight near the airport before heading back East and home.
OH went back home to walk the dog and I went and signed up the sellers of the property revisited with the couple from earlier this week. We sat at the kitchen table and the man looked tired and the lady looked rather hyper and one of their little girls sat on my knee and showed me her book. It is so long since I have cuddled a small child. She was very hot and heavy and smelled lovely, of biscuits and milk and shampoo.
Back home and there was nothing to eat so we went for another beer in town and then to a local hotel where we had an immense entrecote and chips and pudding. Felt like I had eaten a brick and went to bed on getting back home, where I slept exceptionally badly.