Out of the blue Plan B struck. The dreaded time came when we’re forced to scale down, sell up and find smaller digs. Age and health played a part in reaching this strategic, if not tragic point. Like a move from Nkandla to Pollsmoor.
The house suddenly looms too big for two and the need to do hands-on maintenance is nigh, like painting, filling tell-tale cracks in walls and replacing washers in taps.
First hurdle the worst; selling the house at a price allowing you to buy the smaller version - the latter is inevitably more pricey. For this balancing exercise you need a realtor, whether or not you like the breed. Just the paper work alone is not only time-consuming, but needs a Zuma lawyer’s skewed brain to wade through the legalese.
Effective marketing and PR to draw potential buyers also take special people to do it. Like a Carl Niehaus? But luckily we found a gem called Brenda who has taken the proverbial bull by the horns and run with the ball. A mixed metaphor perhaps, but illustrates the multitudinous task of flogging a property.
The horns are potential buyers out to enforce their offer, and the bull is the seller who sticks to the asking price.
The horns are starting to saunter in. Among them the easy-to-spot voyeurs whose only intention is to see how the other half live. They huddle and whisper. “Look, what a horrible colour for the guest bathroom”. Or, “He isn’t a gardener’s backside. Check the uneven lawn edging and the hedge needs cutting back”. “They’re hoarders. The garage a junk yard”. Once they’ve surveyed the scene, they beat a hasty retreat before the sales pitch.
Then there’s the oke who’s after a bargain. He offers cash and refuses to go through an agent. Pasop, warns our gem. After doing a check she finds he hasn’t a cent to his name.
So until there’s a firm offer to purchase, we have to suffer the horns, warts and all.
The packing is another hurdle. Two rooms, instead of three. Single instead of double garage. No dedicated office, so no space for bookshelf and desk. No wine cellar. What to keep and what to dump. It’s enough to put me (and Jacob) in a brown study, metaphorically speaking. Sigh.
*The opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Group Editors, the publisher.