‘Yes, sure, send them round. What are they called?’
I didn’t have a pen and feigned writing down the name.
‘Are they genuinely interested? Are they selling somewhere of their own as well? Any feedback from those people yesterday? The ones who were quite late, but didn’t apologise…?’
Enduring house viewings is tiresome and demoralizing. The estate agents are sending a steady stream of ill-mannered people to traipse around our ‘charming family home’ in its ‘sought after location’. Their reactions have ranged from embarrassingly effusive (never to be heard from again), through poker-faced inscrutability, to dismissive rudeness.
Aside from the chore of keeping the house clean and tidy to an unrealistic level, there is the enervating experience of having the faults of my ‘charming family home’ detailed by complete strangers. They point out all the cracks in the walls, all the loose slates and scrutinise the stretches of carpet that have obviously seen the heaviest traffic. If that isn’t bad enough, they then ask for explanations e.g. why is that wall cracked?
Most scuffs and blemishes can be blamed on the kids:
‘Small kids, they do a lot of cosmetic damage you know. Thank god we’ve got girls and not boys….’
Cracked plaster is not so easy to pass off on the girls. The simple answer to the question is ‘because I haven’t fixed it’, but I have to remind myself that the viewer is not my wife and that they don’t need or want a personal defence.
Yesterday’s viewers were a thirty-something couple. The man was excessively concerned about the amount of parking space available outside the house. I had watched him try to park and was unsurprised by this preoccupation.
They were childless and mentioned that they own a dog and a cat. I explained that the entrance to the woods was at the end of the street. They seemed disappointed that the woods weren’t accessed through a cute gate at the end of the garden.
The man walked in from the sun-trap garden and patio through the sun-kissed ‘breakfasting kitchen’ into the living room illuminated by a large bay window and a south facing wall of glass bricks:
‘It’s a bit dark in here, isn’t it? Does it get any brighter than this?’
I suggested that no, it didn’t – not here in Rowlands Gill, in the North of England.