Thursday 13 August 2015
Grey and cloudy and very, very sticky
The text from the client said 'be on time, I need to put away the guard dogs'. I arrived before the gate and the CCTV turned to watch me. I rang the bell. The guard dogs might not be put away. The client emerged and welcomed me in. I had met this couple years ago when they were first looking to buy in the area, completely misunderstood what they were looking for, and they had found the house themselves by driving around. They had now decided to sell to live in their house in Brittany. They had spent a fortune on unnecessary items in their now lovely country house in my area - two heating systems, video surveillance (programmable à distance), a half kilometre of fencing. They had taken out the lovely wood burning stove in the living room and put in a Rayburn. They did not seem to realise that the Rayburn normally goes in a kitchen. They thought the top plates were for giving a boost of heat to the room. They have nothing in the house which anyone would particularly want to steal. They are in the sticks where people dont even bother locking their doors when they pop out. Cameras, fencing, dogs..... Why do they have so much security? The man shows me the video of me arriving. I really must get my roots done.
Some houses look small on the outside and when you get inside, they are real Tardises and surprise you with their feeling of space and how many rooms they have. Some houses look very large from the outside and when you get in, you wonder where is all the space. Unfortunately this house is one of the latter. It does have the prettiest decorated wrap around balcony with wooden fretwork. There is a large barn, 2 acre garden, well, some limited planting of plant beds, many fruit trees and is in a quiet location. People are going to be thrilled until they get through the door. The kitchen is barely 9m2 and the living room has no character at all. I think it will be very hard to sell but will definitely get enquiries so we start to discuss the price. I manage to get it for under 400000 euros and am drinking coffee out of Victoria English china and filling in the mandate when the owner tells me that he has a potential buyer. I halt. The son of a former owner would love to buy it. Why the fxxx didn't he tell me that first? He says it may be that this person cannot afford the house. I lose quite a bit of enthusiasm at this point. We do the paperwork and I get back home and am grinding my teeth.
Back home and spend afternoon sorting out paperwork and getting bills to prepare the VAT return, which I can now do monthly online and saves me having to take the paperwork into the local VAT office who, without fail, look surprised to see me.
Send through yet more paperwork to anglo french law company and they do acknowledge it this time, largely I suspect because I have copied in the buyers. They were instructed at the start of the month and so far have done sod all apart from getting the buyers to sign their terms and conditions.
Am disturbed in the night by something chewing the floor in the roof. It goes on and on and on and on and I am too scared to go and see what it is, without the protection of rubber boots and a large broom. Go into the spare room and listen to the rain on the velux.