“The doldrums are noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats, for periods of days or weeks……………………………..”
We had started off with a good strong tail wind ? The house had sold within just 16 days of it being put on the market and within that period, as well as doing our day jobs, in the evenings and at weekends I had to change into my ‘tour guide’ uniform (made a change from my ‘Jeeves’ outfit I suppose !) and show 10 prospective buyers every nook and cranny of our beloved home, I cannot say that it was a pleasant experience and their were times when instead of repeating the same ‘verbal diarrhea’ (Oh No ! not getting back to a theme of No. 2’s again !!), I wished that I had some of those hand-held pre-recorded commentary things with a set of headphones, you know the one’s that they issue when you take tour buses or you visit underground caves ? I could then have produced a numbered map with arrows that directed the visitors around the house in an orderly fashion.
Not in our wildest dreams could we have anticipated selling the house in such a short time, I could not contain my excitement and performed several cartwheels and triple backward somersaults along the full length of the hall, lounge and conservatory. My rather athletic prowess was brought to an abrupt halt when Shazza informed me, in no uncertain terms, that “she ! wasn’t going to clean the shoe marks off the walls or clean up the glass from the broken lampshades” and further suggested, that she thought it rather rude in showing my delight in such an extravagant manner without at least first waiting for our ‘buyers’ to exit the property !!
To say that things progressed swiftly from that point would be a gross understatement. The ‘official’ letter containing the details of the offer arrived, was signed and returned, our conveyancer contacted us, sent paperwork for completion in order to conduct the appropriate land registry and other identity checks, this was duly completed and returned and we were able to keep a check on progress via the conveyancer website. Our heads were swimming and before we knew it there were just two progress boxes left unchecked, ‘Exchange of Contracts’ and ‘Completion’ but then……………………. the wind that had previously filled our sails had gone as spontaneously as it had arrived and we were left in the ‘doldrums’. Further progress was now all in the hands of the buyer’s solicitor and the mortgage lender. We could do nothing more other than sit and wait it out……………………….
Although only seven days had passed, it seemed like an eternity, but we received the phone call that saw us arranging a mutually convenient appointment for the Mortgage lenders surveyor to visit the premises. To be honest, I guess that if it were me being asked to lend a complete stranger a rather large sum of money to purchase something I could not see, I would not agree without first getting some kind of assurance that it was a good investment, which of course it is and I could have told them so personally if only they had asked me directly ?
We were both feeling a little nervous, for no logical reason. We had lived in this house for a little over 6 years and knew that there were not any structural issues or anything remotely wrong with the place. Several of our earlier ‘Potential Buyers’ had told us that we had a beautiful house, or is that just something that potential buyers say ? although I guess they wouldn’t have said that it was absolutely awful, well at least not to our faces. I had never actually ever considered our house as a thing of beauty, just as a nice house in a nice location. So what was their to be nervous about, this was just one of those routine visits wasn’t it ? Well actually, this ‘surveyor’ type person held our future destiny in their hands ! What if they found something that we ourselves were oblivious to ! What if they considered that the valuation of the property had been over-priced ! The ‘What if’s’ were now consuming our every thought, we just needed the visit to be over and a decision made. This was quite a crucial stage in our planning and preparation, without the decision from the surveyor I could neither hand in my resignation nor could we sell any of our large items of furniture, that would be tempting fate just a little too much. But the days were ticking away quite fast and there was still lots to do, I could feel myself feeling a little anxious now, and so too was Shazza. There could be a silver lining in this cloud though, if the ‘surveyor’ type person gave a positive decision, and that silver lining was, whilst I still had to work basically right up to the day we ‘completed’ on the sale, Shazza only had one week left at work and then she could concentrate on getting some of the other stuff done. Apart from selling the large furniture items there was an awful lot of Admin to co-ordinate, change of addresses, change the insurance on ‘Big Momma’ from ‘Normal to Fulltiming’, re-organise the banking arrangements, cancel standing orders……….the list still appeared endless.
He arrived at the time that had been arranged, I didn’t know beforehand whether the ‘surveyor’ type person was male or female, he was cheery and not knowing how far he had travelled I offered the customary ‘cuppa’, which he declined, stating that he had another couple of jobs to do. I enquired as to how long the process would take and was relieved when he said no more than fifteen minutes. He started to set up his computer where he would record all the details and whilst doing so we got chatting, as you do. In the end he did have that cuppa, he stayed Forty-Five minutes, which included an internal tour of ‘Big Momma’, which, I hasten to add, was at his request. not being backwards at coming forwards (that’s another one of those sayings that are passed down over time). I enquired as to whether he was permitted to tell me what his verdict would be and he replied that he was not allowed to divulge that information, however, he just happened to comment that it was a very nice house, in very good order and worth every penny of the mortgage loan, result !!! Being on a bit of a roll I pushed my luck a bit further and asked how long it would take for him to complete his report ? He stated that his bit would be done by that evening but he couldn’t say how long the Mortgage lender would take to do their bit !
So, anxiety levels now back down to normal and with our ship slowly making progress we were maintaining a steady course in the right direction. However, although back at the helm and having felt, for the briefest of moments, the slight whisper of a breeze in our sales, this stopped just as suddenly as it had started and we were once again experiencing a flat calm, our further progress left to the actions of other’s, we were once again back in the ‘doldrums’…………………………………………………