February 2, 2014

GETTING STARTED AND FLASHING MY GOLD CARD

So we have had three estate agents round to get a valuation of our house and an opinion on what, if anything, we should do to it to make sure it sells.  One said we needn’t do anything at all. 

February 2014-1 014

I wonder if this is the last time we will see daffodils on the hall table on 2nd February in this house.

Number two said to remove all the stuff from the third bedroom, which has always been used as our “office” and put a bed in it so that people could see that it is actually big enough to use as a bedroom.

Number three said to remove all the small items of furniture from the living room and remove all objects from every surface in every room so that the house would look its best on the website, which is where most people look when they want to buy a house.  Looking at his website the houses do indeed look fabulous and very enticing.  He didn’t say anything about getting a bed for the third bedroom.

The interesting thing was that two of the agents were of the exact same opinion as to its value, within £5k.  We were not impressed by number two who valued it £25k less and was very downbeat about everything.  He was so miserable and uninspiring that I’m not surprised he gets less money for his clients.

We decided to go with number three.  His approach was more brutal (his word) in terms of how we clear the place out and make it look good, but he seemed to have much more about him in terms of marketing, and his was the highest valuation.  My theory is that we should go for it and aim to get as much as possible, because you can always reduce the price but you can’t put it up.  Also, he is a young man who has a single, independent business, having started it last year when the company he worked for was taken over by a multiple whose methods he didn’t approve of.

He started off with one house to sell and has sold 170 in his first year.  The aim is to have ours on the market on 1st March.

The one major thing we have decided to do ourselves is to replace some of the glass panels in the double glazed windows.  The older ones have started to mist up and we don’t want potential buyers to be put off, thinking they will have a huge bill to replace all the windows.  For a relatively modest outlay (less than £2,000) they will all look perfect.  The interesting thing is that by using a local tradesman and flashing my Gold Card, we saved £400 !! 

And to think that some people scoffed at the idea of me being so keen to get my “bus pass” !!  Put that in your pipe and smoke it !!

19 comments:

  1. Good advice about replacing any blown panels. We'll follow that advice too! Now where do we get that Gold Card?

    Good luck...

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  2. Good luck with the selling process. It was an arduous process for us, but we sold in the end. Hope your sale goes smoothly.

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  3. I think I should apply for mine (Bus pass) just in case the government decide to do away with them; Unless you have one already... Hope the house sale goes well... it's a good job you tidied the shed last year!!! C

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    1. Colin, it depends in which year you turned sixty as to whether you qualify, I just missed out and had to wait until I was in receipt of my state pension.
      I was at the council office applying for mine the day I "qualified", I was determined to get something out of the system to which I had contributed vast amounts of my heard earned dosh for over forty years!

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  4. Exciting times! Sounds like you are making the right choices. Bon chance.

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  5. I received my bus pass last month and I don't turn 62 until end February. I was dead chuffed! I spent the whole afternoon on the trams and buses of Nottingham and have recently used it to save myself about £14 going from Chorley to Preston and back. It's a brilliant little bit of plastic. Pity I won't get to use it in France.

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    1. Ken, in Derbyshire, you had to to be sixty before April 2010, otherwise you get your gold card when you get your pension, so perhaps it varies across the country.

      http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/transport_roads/public_transport/tickets_passes/concessionary_fares/goldcard/eligibility/default.asp

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  6. Ah, Gold Card means something different in England. I assumed it was a top-end credit card.

    I know realtors tell you to clear the surfaces when you're selling, but the little personal touches look so appealing to me, like the pretty flowers on your side table, They say you have something baking in the oven when prospective buyers come by. Jean, that should be a snap for you.

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    1. Carolyn, the "gold card" can be a credit card but it's the new, politically correct, non-ageist term for what used to be the "bus pass", available to "pensioners"!
      Free bus travel is what most people use it for.

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  7. Well, you have a bit of work cut out for you, but I trust the results will be good in the home sale. And then, off to France! Vive la France!

    Too bad we in Canada don't have that bus pass. I could do a lot more travelling.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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  8. We will follow in your footsteps in the next few years.
    We will be following your journey with great anticipation Jean

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    1. Leon, we're really excited about it.
      Selling our little house in Le Grand-Pressigny will be the last step. I feel more nervous about that than anything else, letting go of the place where our real love of France began.

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  9. I'll take it! The gold card, that is... Sorry I can't afford the house (I'm sure). Wishing you an immediate sale!

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  10. We call our bus passes Twirly Cards . We're not allowed to use the pass before 0900 ... it's the first thing you ask of the driver when boarding the 0902 '' Am I Twirly? ( too early ?)

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    1. John, I never get on a bus before 9.30 am., just in case I'm t'wirly!
      In any case, now I'm retired there's rarely any need..........

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  11. Good luck with the house sale, flowers are always a good idea (especially daffodils - my favourite flowers). And decluttering -I've already started and we're not selling for 18 months!

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  12. You are so right, it is easy to come down in price but you cannot go up. Good luck, hope you get your price. Have a good week. Diane

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  13. it sounds like you're going about things in the right way, Jean. If you trust your estate agent, follow his advice, even if it makes your home seem rather bare and impersonal for a while. It's in his interest to get you a good and quick sale. As for the bus pass, I have one, but there are so few buses in our neck of the woods (none to and from our village) that I've only used it a couple of times in the past 7 years!

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  14. With me being renter I would never need to sell this house but you saying about keeping the clutter down to a minimum has got me looking round and clearing away piles of stuff and I am normally one who likes to be clutter free -ish.

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