Friday 28 August 2014
Heating up 33 degrees
Get a text saying that the couple from earlier in the week want to revisit the big 1950's house. I get there at 10.15 and find them lurking outside. All the windows are open and a lady I know from an agency in town is there with an older lady and a young girl. I take my people upstairs, find the plans left for me by the owner, and we pore over them, establishing which are supporting walls and which are stud or 'party' and can be taken down. This is the house which I revisited a week ago with my colleague, who has not given me any news from his clients. We are there an hour. The other people leave and we lock up and go down town. The problem is that my people have to sell in order to purchase. I ask them what had they planned, if they found a house they loved. They said they thought they would go back to the UK and put their house on the market. They didn't feel brave enough to make an offer which is probably wise as who knows how long a modern house in Leicester will take to sell. I think this house will be sold in the next few days. It is getting a lot of visits. How frustrating. Also from the point of the sales challenge as lots of others are catching up with me. Need two more offers before the 31st.
Back home and have lunch and then out to see a country house. The owner is a lady from Versailles who has a massive chateau in a neighbouring village. We met because I had left a card in the clutches of a large bronze griffon at the entrance to the drive. He obviously held onto it well, as did she, because a year and a half later she rang me up and gave me a house, which I sold, and then various parcels of land, which I also sold. I drive up the long private road to the chateau and park under a pollarded London Plane. The lady is in the kitchen with her husband and a friend from Brittany. We have coffee and gallette biscuits with green tea inclusions and talk about the heat, and Spain, and Portugal and weather and Brittany and then, alas, it is time to leave the cool of the stone walled interior and into the furnace heat of the mid afternoon. I drive to the little house and we throw open the doors and I take photos and measure up. It has been stripped of anything of architectural merit. The toilet smells badly. She hasn't installed a proper kitchen, as I advised. The shower unit is still old and cracked. We talk price and there is quite some divergence between what I think it is worth and what she wants for it. She says she will talk to her sister and I drop her back off.
Down town to touch base with the NZ ladies. They have their builder over and seem to be planning vast changes. One of the rooms has already been painted by their joint efforts. They are all bare footed and streaked with white paint. The room, divested of its dull brown dressing, looks tall and clear and elegant. Even if they only were to paint each room, they would put 50k on the price. The difference is stunning. I am so excited to see how this project develops. I did negotiate a great price and it is because of this, they have faith in my abilities and so many of their colleagues will be coming over to buy. They say they havent time to talk over our joint project because they are going next door to the other neighbours for an apéro (aperitif). K has downloaded a language app on her Samsung. They have no common language between them and the neighbours. It will be a learning curve of epic amplitude on both sides....
Back home and have to go and sit in the bath in as cold water as I can stand. Very refreshing. Peel prawns and shuck mussels for OH who is making seafood chili ragout. Have a little lie down. Really needed a siesta but it was too late. Forecast 37 degrees for tomorrow :(