So, it’s happened – we’ve made the move! Although of course there was one more hiccup for us to contend with on the day: we discovered that there was no gas feed to the cooker and I had to urgently revise the model I’d arranged for delivery the following day. But suffice to say we’re in, we’re nearly straight, and we’re delighted with our new home! Was it worth all the upheaval, angst, and almost constant handwringing?
We began this entire process almost on a whim. We knew we wanted to relocate before Pixie starts reception class next year, but we thought that meant we had plenty of time. In the event, it’s taken about eight months from when we first had our house valued to getting the keys to our new pad, and I’m very glad we didn’t wait till the last minute!
Instructing an Estate Agent
We invited local estate agent, Quirks, to value our home and, having done a little research already, we were unsurprised by their recommendation. It seemed realistic compared to the higher quote from Purple Bricks, and we took the decision to go with the agent we could easily bother in person! It was never necessary because they were very proactive, and unlike in previous experiences of selling a property I didn’t feel the need to constantly chase our agent or the solicitor they’d recommended.
The staff were friendly and helpful, and most importantly when you’re selling a house – competent!
I did pop in to their office a couple of times for various reasons however, and it was reassuring and convenient to have that option.
We’d actually had our house on the market once before, around a year previously. Unfortunately we didn’t find a buyer at that time, but that wasn’t really surprising given that the photos (taken by a different agent) were unimpressive. They didn’t ‘sell’ our home – literally. With that in mind we were pleased when Quirks told us upfront that if we didn’t have an acceptable offer after several weeks, then they’d return to take updated photographs. As it turned out we liked the initial shots and had lots of interest, so didn’t expect it to become necessary.
Alas, about three weeks in we’d had no formal offers; true to his word Simon came back. This resulted in another boost in viewings – and a good offer!
Looking For Our New Home
When we started our search for a new house, more than once Simon went above and beyond the scope of his role as our agent. Quirks have a good working relationship with other local agents and was able to call upon that to help us out a couple of times.
As you’ll know if you’ve been following the saga on my blog, we were gazumped, then lost our buyer, and then lost our second house too. So lots of things went very wrong! Sadly on every occasion it was due to circumstances and bad luck. Other than when we were gazumped of course, because that was due to an unscrupulous individual. But each time Quirks were supportive and positive, and invested in progressing our move. While they naturally had a lot to gain from a smooth transaction, they made the service feel personal. Which, when you factor in the unavoidable stresses associated with moving home, is very welcome.
It’s kind of surreal how you build up such a strong rapport with the people involved in one of the most emotive processes you can undertake; and then just as quickly as they came into your life, they’re gone again.
Our Next Chapter
Thankfully we have a big reason not to be too sentimental about that, or indeed our old place which holds many precious memories: our new home. Due to having set our hearts on the second house which fell through, anticipatory enthusiasm for this one hadn’t materialised. But now we’re here it’s perfect for our family, and we’re excited to start making new cherishable memories.
If I ever recover from this move I’d happily use Quirks again, and if you’re based in Essex and looking to sell your house, I recommend them.
I received a discount from our agent in exchange for my honest review of their service.