Is anybody listening?

Do you remember that homely truism that used to do the rounds on novelty mugs*. You know the one: something needs doing, someone will do it ….. lots of less than humorous play on words …. gets you to nobody doing it**

You don’t? Well let me recount a modern parable that neatly encompasses everything that is wrong with trying to buy a house. Someone wants to buy your house. You want to buy someone else’s house. This other person – allegedly – wants to sell their house. The estate agents want their money. The solicitors want to move at the speed of glacial erosion. The somebody buying your house would like to move in. The somebody selling to you is a useless knucklehead who moves at a pace that makes the solicitors look positively sprightly.

The house you want to buy has covenants, trusts, tax dodges and – for all I know – mortgage capital leveraged on little know moon-rock aggregate market. This is more of a problem because the seller could not find his arse with both hands and a copy of Gray’s anatomy. The solicitors promise little and deliver even less. No one knows what a deadline is. If they looked under an entry for “returning their clients call“, maybe they could work it out.

One person gets angry. Very, very angry. Begins laying about himself with the modern day equivalent of a bloodied spear. I speak of the weapon of mass distraction that is the humble home computer. Most people receive a shrift so short, it could apply for a vertically compromised grant. Words such as ‘useless‘, ‘incompetent‘ and ‘unprofessional’ are oft repeated, honest phrases such as ‘total fuckwits‘ narrowly miss the final edit.

Some people promise action this week. All people lie like a cheap rug. One person draws big bloody line in the sand and declares himself and his family soon to be homeless.

Nobody cares.

We are trying to give someone with something they want to sell a vast amount of money. How sodding hard can it be? We have to sell our house because the last thing we need right now, are our buyers to withdraw their offer through boredom or frustration.

And because we are not some kind of raving bloody nutters, we are making it nice and easy to buy our house. The plethora of solicitors, estate agents and general hangers on add nothing but delay and stupidity. Why can’t I just turn up with a bagful of money and a determined expression?

Apparently every other country does it better. Although, that’s not the boldest of claims when I would consider burglary and squatting a far more reasonable approach that what we’ve been through.

* Come the revolution, the mugs who do novelty shall seamlessly morph into into the screaming humans that do scorpion pits.

** I googled without success for the full text. Clearly I don’t have the mind of the kind of person who would happily hand over real money for a hand crafted RoundTuit.

7 thoughts on “Is anybody listening?

  1. Grahame

    Did you mean this piece of “Humour”?

    I agree – the home buying “process” is rediculously frustrating. The last time we did it, we sort-of-cheated by selling our house and renting for 6 months whilst we found and bought what we now like to call our home.

    Is the camper van starting to look attractive again?

  2. Ian

    I shall make ready the scorpion pits!!

    I wondered why you hadn’t let me know about a trip to the forest for that bike jaunt ;o)

  3. Alex, oh alex, you need to calm down mate. As a veteran house mover (14 and finished) I see little in there bar the usual incompetence. Try buying from loopy wife of war hero with no power of attorney who greets you in red evening dress and jimmy choos waving a fag and can of special brew…. at 11am.

  4. Alex

    14? That’s got to be OCD or something 😉

    The camper van may be one of our few accommodation options the way things aren’t going. The solicitor today failed to ring us back because he was still at lunch. At 3pm. Yesterday, he didn’t even bother turning up at all.

    Ian – Think ‘big’ on the pits.

  5. nickc

    One of my customers has that “roundtuit” joke thing on beer mats, I have to pretend to be amused by them when I go to his house…It’s tricky, to try to get the balance between not trying to make it look like I’m laughing but not really finding them that funny, and an attempt at genuine mirth…

    Twatus (word I’ve just thought of to describe those kinds of people)

  6. Mike Kaliski

    Sod the ethics and contact the seller directly without all the intermediaries. Explain that you need to get the move under way as soon as possible and find out what is holding things up their end directly from the horses mouth.
    Last time I moved I ended up getting all the bits of useless paper directly from the agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders and delivering them in person with the promise of a follow up personal visit four hours later to witness that the documents had indeed been signed and were ready to be picked up and taken to the next destination. The lengthy searches are conducted by bored university students, on minimum wage, reading through the local papers looking for new housing estates and motorway developments. Not worth the paper they are printed on. Have a browse on the local council internet site and within 20 minutes you will have all the information you will ever need.
    Anyway it made for a very busy week but a stalled chain got moving and everything got settled within a fortnight. All the moves took place two weeks after that. Ever try booking two removal lorries for a 100 mile move with only a fortnights notice? Cash payments and a bottle of single malt lubricate business deals better than any American Excess card ever can.
    My solicitor and estate agent did congratulate me on the worst breech of business ethics it had ever been their misfortune to be involved in and somewhere along the line I ended up paying£500 extra for work that I had actually done. But all the house moves went ahead and it was a small price to pay in the end.
    Oh, and it helps to dress in Doc Martens, black trousers and a white, open neck shirt when calling on solicitors. If you look like an off duty copper they seem to be less inclined to mess you about. Drop a few hints about how you enjoy a relaxing drive around past the local golf clubs late at night, looking out for drink drivers. Everyone looks out for drink drivers around golf clubs late at night, doesn’t mean you have the power to do anything about it. 🙂


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