Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter....

That Easter break seemed to be over way too quick! The girls broke up from school and then went back.  There didn't seem like a break inbetween.  I suppose that means we had a lovely break?  It was very busy.
I like to use the Easter break to see family and friends.  That is what it is all about really; along with the religious side obviously.  Family are important.  One of my siblings lives in Chicago which is not great as we do not get to see them as much,  maybe twice a year. On the other hand, what a life he is having! He loves it and so does his wife so you cannot knock that.  I saw my other siblings though, which was lovely.  My parents spent the Easter break delivering Easter Eggs to Lourdes - what a lovely thing to do?! They drive a truck load down and stay for the Easter period before driving it back.  I respect them for that.  They don't have to but they want to.  Nice to see people still giving in a climate when people need to look after themselves and their family.

Next, summer holidays.  Now that is a long break.  I had better get some real work done done so we have some money for our holiday!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Anxiety attacks

We went away for a weekend to Center Parcs in Suffolk.  Before going I was a little apprehensive but was also clear in my head that I really did not want anxiety spoiling the trip, as it had done previously.

We go with another family, whom we are close with.  Their children are lovely.  Plus all our children keep on together - except when my youngest is trying to drag their 5 year old around, which I would find annoying but their mum just laughs it off - thank goodness!!

The trip was a success.  I was able to control the feelings of panic with breathing and a little medication.  I also tried to ignore the urge to think about things too much.  This, alas, is my downfall most of the time.  In a previous therapy session, we discusssed over-thinking and trying to break that cycle.  It is all part of the cognitive behavioural therapy and I think they are really onto something. 

How it works is, you brain thinks about the event coming up and replaces what should be positive thoughts, with negatives and 'what if's....'  The problem starts here and even in your sub-conscious.  Once your brain has started this cycle, YOU have to be the one to break it.  When the negatives appear, beat them back with a positive.  For example:
Thought: 'Going away......oh no, what if I am ill.....what if I faint.....' (etc, you can see where that is going!)
What I use to do: Mull on these thoughts until they were the only thing at the front of my mind. Then they would usually appear in some form.
Answer should be: 'Going away.....if I am ill, do as you would at home.....if you faint, someone will help you.....I will make this trip good for me and my family.'

You have to break the cycle of thought processes.  It sounds easy but it is far from it.  I am still not comfortable with new places, but am building up to it.  Plus, I was called yesterday about a new course of cognitive behavioural therapy that is going to start in a few weeks for me.  This should be very intensive and so have greater results.  I am very much looking forward to it!

Moving house.....

It is done!  We have gone on the market with a local agent. The nicer one of the 3.  He has been really quick with pictures and details and his staff have been very helpful.  I hope this continues.

Just to note, the arrogant man has not replied to my email explaining we were going elsewhere.  I was not rude, I was to the point. I explained, the agent selected offered more or less the same but with a better fee.  Which is actually true.  I left out the parts of him being arrogant and a bit of a twit as I felt that could be unfair.  Plus, they may have a house I want to buy!

My house is currently spotless. How long I can keep it up for, I don't know!  2 girls on Easter holidays....... not sure this was a great idea now!!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Estate Agents

It came to my husband and I just recently that although we love our house and everything we have done to it,  we would like a little more for our daughters.  This led to the conversations about moving house, how much it would cost and if it was the right thing to do.
After checking it all out, we decided that yes, we would move but this should be looked upon as the last time.  The next step was to get the agents over......

I knew it was not going to be pretty, but I had forgotten how rude some agents could be.  I will not be using any names of companies as this could be seen as advertising for them!! I also did not tell any of them that I use to be an Estate Agent myself......

The first lady that came over was fine.  Straight to the point, told us what they could do for us.  Her fee was 2% which we got down to 1.5%.  Nice enough but her fee is just too high.

The next agent wanted to know why we had never come to them in the past because they had been in the area for so long...... I replied with simply 'We just never called you'.  The problem with his comment and the ones that followed, is that he assumed that he was the best in the area and seemed 'put out' that we had not called when we moved before!  There are quite a lot of agents locally and you just pick up the phone and call a few.  If you rang them all you would get bombarded with too much information.  They do all ultimately do the same job, some better than others.  This guy did not stop there.  He said his fee was 1.75% but could, at a push, go to 1.5%.  So I pushed.  His argument for not going lower was that all his staff were senior staff and as such he had to pay a senior wage.  Well to me that is his problem and not mine.  If that is how he chooses to run his business then good luck to him, but it does not make good marketing or sales sense to tell a potential client this.  He offered nothing special or above the others and even after whipping out his iPad, he did not fill me with any confidence that I could work with him.  The arragancy and assumptions he made, put me off.  The part he forgot, HE would be working for ME.

The final agent was the best one.  An independent agent who has been around for many years.  He was down to earth and honest without being rude. He gave his fee as 1.25% which we are happy with but I will push for 1%.  Every penny counts!

All of them talked the talk but only one agent actually made the effort to listen.  Estate agents do not need to be rude, arrogant or smooth, none of that washes with me.  I just want them to sell my house!  They all need to remember, the vendor (seller) is the client and therefore the agent works for them.  When more of them realise, understand and respect that, they may get a better reputation.  Agent number 2 let the industry down and ticked all the normal boxes whereas agent number 3 did not and that is why we will go with him!