Alice-Azania Jarvis: One big commitment is enough for me
In The Red
Saturday 05 June 2010
Selling my flat is not going to plan. Possibly, because I haven't come up with one. Looking at what still has to be accomplished, I feel overwhelmed by a kind of fear-fuelled inertia. Perhaps I should just give up? It's true, I don't want to own anymore. And, yes, I want to get to know a new neighbourhood. But then ... well, what I've got at the moment isn't so bad. And given the level of stress that selling is sure to involve, perhaps it's a case of better the devil you know.
You see? This is how it starts. The doubts creep in. And nothing gets accomplished. Even getting to the first stage – which is putting the property on the market – is proving a challenge. I still haven't solved my Foxtons dilemma. I'd sworn never to deal with them after a brief encounter with the Shoreditch branch when I was looking to buy a couple of years ago.
The service was so appalling, so aggressive and so insulting that I was loath to ever encourage their success. But now that I'm selling, instead of looking, I can't help but wonder whether a bit of aggression might be warranted. At the moment I'm holding firm – after all, I don't want their characteristic unpleasantness to deter any potential buyers, which is precisely the effect they had on me – but if I find the market too sluggish, who knows what drastic measures might be made necessary.
So far, I've had the place valued by two local agents. Disconcertingly, they put wildly different values on it: both above what I originally paid, though one much more than the other. Is it best to go with whoever places the highest value? Or is such optimism a symptom of commercial delusion? I'm not sure a deluded estate agent would be a particularly good bet. It all seems like such a commitment.
Speaking of which, there's something I'd like to make clear. No, I'm not planning on getting married any time soon. If ever. I'm 25! Please. Weirdly, three people (none of which I had ever met in my life before) have asked me this question in the past week, a freakish pattern that I can only attribute to the return of the Tories to Downing Street. Has matrimony suddenly become small talk? Just because you get tax breaks, doesn't make it a good idea. So, man on the bus who berated my inability to commit: please, bog off.
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