Tag Archives: Real Estate

Now The Next Stage Begins


So the house sold on Thursday at tender.  Do you have tenders where you live?  I ask because my sister in London didn’t understand the tender process.

The process is a short, sharp, sweet marketing programme.  We had a two week tender, that is two open homes and then the tenders closed four days after the second.  The process calls for anybody interested to make their offer on a given date, tender closing date, and then all offers are opened at the same time giving everybody a fair chance.  The vendor has the option then to accept one of the offers or none.

As you can see from the photo, I chose to accept an offer and it was completely unconditional.  In today’s market this is often not the case as people require builders’ reports (particularly as it is an old house), finance to be arranged, etc etc.  So lucky lucky me!

Among the flowers

Because it is winter here and subsequently no colour in the garden I went to the garden centre immediately before the first open home and purchased pots and pots of brightly coloured cyclamen.  As you can see Bella came too and caused a stir as she sat patiently in the trundler while I wandered around and chose the plants I wanted.  Unfortunately, very shortly after they were potted and placed strategically around the garden we had the storm to end all storms  and now they are looking very bedraggled.  But cyclamen will recover.

And now the real excitement begins.  I can make plans for my adventure.  First Bella has to be taken and introduced and left with her surrogate owner.  My friend in Ohakune loves poodles and I just know she will love Bella.  If you don’t know where Ohakune is, it’s the centre of skiing in the North Island of New Zealand.  I wrote a couple of blogs about a visit there 2 years ago, goodness is it really that long – Mirth and Mayhem and Mirth, Mayhem & Mischief.  It’s a magical place and I just know that Bella will love it.  And she will love being totally spoiled by her “other mother”.

Then the excitement of planning with each of my sisters when I will arrive to visit and even further, planning my next few months in Europe.

So I am now off to browse places to stay and that will keep me happily busy for the next few hours on this cold but bright Saturday afternoon.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
Terry Pratchett (Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE (born 28 April 1948) English author of fantasy novels.




















Time To Move On

I have been absent from the blogosphere for several weeks recently and I apologise to my faithful followers for this.

The reasons have been many but at the top of the list is a decision I have made.  I have decided to sell my house and then take several months to travel around Europe, and France in particular.

Why now one may ask – well  I have always had “itchy feet”.  This was pandered to by my husband and his moving around the world during the busy years making a name for himself and a life for us.  When he died I spent several years between New Zealand and England where I had been born and raised; eventually deciding to settle down again here in NZ.  But here on the other side of the world, we are so far away from everything and I am feeling that if I don’t do something about this restlessness now I never shall.

Then a few weeks ago I read a post from Kathryn McCulloch about major changes she and her partner Sara have made.  Apart from selling their house and getting married in New York, they have embarked on a new life in Ecuador.  How very brave is that!  This, of course, set me thinking.  Oh sure, they are younger than me and there are two of them, but so what.

So I determined to have an adventure of my own.  I do have two special sisters, one in Los Angeles and one in London and of course, any odyssey will have to start with them.  Added to that my sister in London has agreed to come to France if only for a few days while we/I decide where to spend the next few months.  Isn’t that exciting.  And I have a very good friend in Paris that I have been threatening to visit so Kay watch this space.

And yesterday, to add icing to this cake, I heard that another blogging buddy, Joss at Crowing Crone has put her house on the market and plans to travel to France in September.  So I shall have the opportunity to meet with her and her husband IN REAL LIFE!


The excitement continues to mount.Living roomThe house is on the market and the marketing has commenced.  It will be tendered over two weeks with the first Open Home on Sunday.  And if the other properties my Real Estate friend has sold over the past couple of months is anything to go by, it should sell easily.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the Beautiful Miss Bella – I have a very good friend who will adopt her for the time I am away.  I fear though that I might not get her back.

So Europe here I come.  I will attempt to be in the blogosphere more often now that the decision has been made.

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.
The great affair is to move. ”
Robert Louis Stevenson
,  Scottish novelist, poet,
essayist and travel writer. 1850 – 1894



Buying and Selling Property

Open house sign

We had two very busy Open Homes today and I got to thinking how things have changed.  When I first started selling real estate way back at the end of the 1960s we didn’t work on Sundays (it wasn’t allowed) and we only worked on Saturdays if there was no other time the prospective purchaser could view the house.

Now all agents work on Sundays.  I help a Real Estate Agent and some Sundays we have as many as four Open Homes. Each one last for 45 minutes and so it is full on and quite tiring as we are talking to people all through them.  Most agents work seven days a week here.  As we don’t have a multi listing bureau deal here.  Agents have exclusive listings and so determine with their vendors when Open Homes will occur.

Then I thought of all the houses my dashing young Scotsman and I bought and sold over the years, and those I have bought since his untimely death some 14 years ago.

The purchases have mostly gone without anything special to remember them by.  Except for the first house we bought in Wellington; the agent showed it to me but was too busy to return when my husband was available to view the property.  So I went back with my husband and showed him around and sold the property to him in effect.  The agent accepted the sale (it was the only house he showed me so it was a good deal for him) and the commission from the vendors.

We later bought another house and as this was the agent’s first day on the job and as it was a Saturday he didn’t think he could get the contract prepared before Monday.  So we went back to his office and I prepared the contract.  Having worked in Real Estate for so many years I could do this standing on my head.

Willow Bay

Willow Bay

When we sold a house in the Sounds in the South Island the agent dropped the purchaser off at the door as she had another property to see further along the Sound.  (Note the Sounds are like fjords).  So I showed the prospects around and they both liked it.  But there was a problem – they had another property and were not really sure that they wanted to move to this rather remote area.  So I did the deal – they agreed to a price and settlement date and would rent the property from us until settlement.  In the event that they didn’t purchase they agreed to pay a penalty, so in effect they had an option to purchase.  By the time the agent returned to pick them up, the contract was typed and signed by all parties.  Another easy sale for another agent.

Suitcase and money

But the strangest sale of all was when we were leaving Scotland.  The solicitor plays a more prominent role in selling homes in Scotland and many are also Estate agents and as such will act in the marketing process as well as in the legal work.   Our solicitor was a friend; he advertised the property for us and then we arranged a viewing.

On the appointed day the prospect arrived, inspected the property and said as he was buying it for his daughter he would bring her back later to view.  This he did.  She liked the property and negotiations were concluded.  Imagine our surprise when the gentleman produced a suitcase full of pounds and paid us in full for the property on the spot.

We were taken aback but accepted graciously.  and next morning, I was at the bank when it opened.  The bank manager (another friend) asked whether I had considered the money might be counterfeit.  That thought hadn’t entered my head but I did wonder whether the money was the proceeds of an illegal venture.

However, the sale went through, we left for New Zealand and never heard from the fellow or his daughter again.

Since then we have bought and sold 12 properties but never again did anyone offer to pay me in cash on the spot.  Ah well…

The Meeting

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”  – “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”
Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and columnist 1947 –

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn – well actually 7am but that is early for those of us who have ‘retired’.  The reason for this?  I was to attend a meeting of staff of the organization for which my Real Estate friend belongs.  I may have told you that in my ‘spare time’  I act as back up for this friend, doing all the behind-the -scenes work that she really doesn’t have either the time or inclination to do.

The meeting was scheduled for 8.45 am so I left home at 8.15am as I don’t really know what the traffic is like at that hour, and true to form, my friend was running late.  When we arrived all eyes turned to us and the manager intoned “Welcome”.  This is a regular weekly meeting and apparently – how surprising –  my friend is always the last to arrive.

Anyway, the meeting got underway and it brought to mind many other meetings I have attended in my long life.

  • Meetings with school teachers who told me either that my child was exceeding expectations, meeting the expectations or in some cases “must work harder” and “could do so much better”.
  • Meetings of fund-raising committees.  These, of course, are volunteers and although in many instances decisions were made as to what would be done and by whom, often the plans went awry.  And of course, volunteers cannot be held to the decisions made as can those we employ and pay.
  • Meetings of brides, their attendants, grooms, their attendants and mothers and fathers of the happy pair.  At one such meeting, we had the father of the bride who had been married three times, attending the meeting with all his wives who all wanted to have a say in what was going on.
  • Meetings of architects, builders, plumbers, electricians and sundry other tradespeople on building sites, often in the rain, and sometimes I was asked what I was doing at the meeting and sometimes even ‘should we wait for your boss, dear’.  You can imagine how well that question was received by me.  Women were quite rare in property development at that time.
  • Meetings of the policy committee when I worked for a short time for a quasi-Government Department.  By quasi, I mean that some of the funding was from the industry and the rest from Government.
  • Meetings of the Building Owners and Managers Association in which I was the only woman and the speakers used to begin by saying “Gentlemen and Judith”.  And I was on the committee of this organization as well.

I have sat through presentations on all manner of things; have met people on the committees or at the presentation who have gone on to become well-recognized in their field.

Have you seen the training program “Meetings, Bloody Meetings” by John Cleese?  Click here to see the trailer.  It’s hilarious.

And finally, a quote from one of my favourite motivational speakers.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude. Be kind but not weak. Be bold but not a bully. Be thoughtful but not lazy. Be humble but not timid. Be proud but not arrogant. Have humor but without folly.”
Jim Rohn, 1930 – 2009  American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

Jim has now sadly, died but his legacy of the inspiration remains and lives on in those of us who had the opportunity to meet him and to follow his advice.