Tuesday, 13 October 2015

If Estate Agents had to Tell the Truth

Image: sellahouseonline.co.uk
I have been highly entertained this week by an estate agent's description of a house that is up for sale near me.  It says that it can be accessed by a "ramp passing up over a stream".  The 'stream' in question is actually a culvert that is either bone dry or full to bursting on those rare occasions when the rivers that flow underneath the village rise up and surprise us all, bringing shoals of energy drink cans, and crisp packets discarded by people who are allergic to bins, floating up to the surface.

The point of this post however, is not to expose the estate agent in question, but rather to ponder whether we'd sell be able to sell our houses if we had to tell the truth.  To try this out, let me take you on a virtual tour of my own home....

The front garden
Estate agent: "a charming gravel drive with stepping stones leading up to the front door".

Me: "if I slip one more time on this bloody gravel I am going to block pave the entire bloody thing and don't get me started on how bloody difficult it is to pull a pushchair / wheelie bin / carry shopping in heels up here.  We've got gravel on a slope - who in their right minds would do that?!"

The hall
Estate agent: "a bright hallway which allows light to enter the length of the house."

Me: "this is where the children dump all their crap.  Sometimes they simply shed their shoes as they enter the house which means you can't shut the front door."

Clear stairs - so rare
I took a picture...
The stairs
Estate agent: "an elegant enclosed staircase with very high ceilings giving a sense of spaciousness."

Me: "this is where my husband dumps his coat.  It also acts as a transition point for crap that should belong upstairs but has made its way downstairs.  The high ceiling means it is an absolute bitch to decorate and impossible to remove cobwebs from without balancing perilously on a chair at the top of the stairs.

The living room
Estate agent: "a comfortable room featuring French doors that offer easy access to, and from, the garden."

Me: "this room has no storage.  Unless you count "under the sofas" oh, and "behind the sofas"".  Nobody steps from the garden into this room - it's got a bloody carpet!"

Don't go in there...
The kitchen
Estate agent: "built to an excellent specification, this kitchen has been incredibly well designed to accommodate family dining."

Me: "this room cost us a fortune, so it should look nice.  Just don't open the cupboard under the stairs unless you really like the sight of 3,000 plastic bags and 112 cook books wedged in at right angles around a hoover.  And mind the change jar doesn't fall of the shelf and kill you."

The bedrooms
Estate agent: "Period features bring charm to these three well appointed rooms."

Me:  "These rooms do not have enough storage.  Unless you count "under the beds".  The period features mean you will smash your hip at least once on one of the fireplaces."

The bathroom
Estate agent: "a high quality, very modern family bathroom."

Me:  "This is where I spend at least 3 minutes a day cleaning wee that is not mine from around the toilet, 30 minutes a day sorting out washing, and 10 minutes a day hiding from my children.  It is the only room in the house with a lock on and normally has a child outside of it shouting "muh-meeeee!".  If not that, there will be a child on either side of the door shouting at each other.  The floor is hard enough to smash a smartphone screen."

Fortunately I am not an estate agent, and not about to sell my house.  But if by some chance either of those come true, and this post comes back to bite me on the arse, at least I'll have told the truth.

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