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Part 7: Selling the house

At first we had thought that we might try to go it alone without an estate agent but as time went on, we realised that it might well be worth the expense to have this part of the process taken care of for us.
More information about marketing your house
through an estate agent and by self-marketing.

We checked out the local papers and various websites to see what was what, and chose Cubitt & West's nearest branch, in Wallington. Our neighbours in the other half of our semi, who had sold recently, recommended them and said they had been disappointed by the agents they had initially chosen. Cubitt & West weren't the cheapest but were probably the best.

Despite horror stories about the nasty tricks that estate agents get up to, we were fairly happy with the service we got from Cubitt & West - although the English legal system leaves much to be desired and indeed is in the process of change.
More info about selling a house in England and Wales.

At last our house was ready to go on the market and Cubitt & West sent round the first viewer. They said on the spot that they wanted to take it, and we agreed to a low-ish price in exchange for a quick easy sale. Like us, these buyers were not in a chain. They were living in rented accommodation so just had to sort out the mortgage paperwork and it would all be done and dusted. If you started at the beginning of this saga, you may remember that the story starts in January 2005. We were up to November 2005 by this time and desperate to get on with our lives.

The "Sold subject to contract" sign went up in front of our house.

But things weren't that simple. Just as contracts were about to be exchanged, the buyers disappeared for six weeks in December 2005 and January 2006. No one could contact them, neither the estate agents nor their own lawyer, nor did they respond to emails or phonecalls.

Reluctantly, Cubitt & West said that we would be better to put the property back on the market as no one knew whether the buyers would ever be seen again. So we put the property back on the market. After all the effort we'd spent making the place look nice the first time around - with all the little extras to create a nice atmosphere - we were pretty sick about this as by this time much of what we'd bought had already been sold at car boot sales.

Nevertheless, we put the house back on the market, had a few more viewers and three further offers. We decided to accept the highest but this potential buyer was in a chain. It could take some time and could fall through at any time. We were back in limbo land again.

However, by a miraculous coincidence, the very day that the "Sold subject to contract" sign went up again, the original buyer reappeared. The buyer, Leslie Ampofo, was full of excuses about his earlier disappearance and promised he could exchange in five days and complete the following week. Well, things weren't that simple but not all the subsequent delays were entirely his fault. But the stress he put us through by his six-week disappearance was unforgivable. He is a member of a group called "Noble Friends" (yeah, right) and you can read more about them here: Although he did eventually buy our house we would never do any kind of business with this guy again, despite his emails full of "Blessings from God" to us.

Part 8: Preparing for the move out

IMPORTANT NOTICE: To avoid confusion in case there are other persons of the same name: the Karen Holliday, aka Karen Davies, referred to on this website is the one who previously lived in Senga Road, Hackbridge and then at 30 Longfield Avenue, Hackbridge, Surrey, SM6 7BA, United Kingdom, from July 2001 until her eviction in June 2005. To the best of our knowledge she then continued to reside in the London Borough of Sutton.

LEGAL NOTICE: Remember - if it's true, it can't be libel.

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