Snappily, I rearranged my position to reflect EFFORTLESS calm. Flapped open File’o’Fax to highlight diary OVER FLOWING with work and glitzy engagements. Sprayed self with blast of Naturally Sensational and painted face with Mona Lisa like mystery (for – after all – when selling a house you are actually selling a life-style, don’t you know?)
Estate Agent pushed open the door. “Wonderful cottage garden. To die for sea views. Huge potential for a conservatory or downstairs loo …” she was gushing.
“It’s lovely. LOVELY,” Mrs Potential Buyer gushed back. She smiled over to me and added, “and such a GORRRR-GEOUS outlook for working.”
“Yes,” I gushed, determined to hit the high notes of gushiness. I fluttered my eyelashes modestly, then added, “Although a person does become rather distracted and ends up gazing out of the window rather than hitting the deadline one needs to.”
“Mmmm. I can imagine.”
Mrs Potential Buyer was clearly intoxicated by my heavenly heights of gush. Her eyes were glazing. The dreaminess was bewitching her. In her minds eye she was visualising herself watering the lavender by the door with a rustic can whilst wearing muted, pastel wellies in the middle of May ….
“It’s working!” Screechy Bethan hissed, nudging me hard in the neck. “All the hard work, the hours of cleaning, the removing of EVERY personal item and stuffing it in the loft so the whole place resembles a show home in a COAST magazine is paying off! It’s all paying off! They’re going to buy it!”
Mr Potential Buyer cleared his throat. “Ahem.”
It felt as though we had all become rather carried away at a 1960s gush orgy and suddenly the lights had been switched on. We blinked at Mr Potential Buyer and then blinked at each other, bewildered.
“What quality is this kitchen?” Mr Potential Buyer demanded as if I had been the gush orgy ringleader!
I swiveled around on my chair. “Oh, wonderful. Fantastic quality.”
“Really?” He marched straight into the kitchen, rapped a surface with his knuckles.
Right, before I go any further I would like to ask you something.
Are Potential Buyers supposed to LOOK in your kitchen cupboards?
Is this common practise?
Because if it is and I’d known, I would never have shoved all that crap that is piled on top of the fridge into the cereal cupboard (bills, bank statements, school letters, menus the local take aways and some other random junk).
And I wouldn’t have dreamt of stuffing the cat food side ways in as well.
And, let me tell you! I would SOOOO have taken a 1950s house wife moment to sweep UP the cat biscuits that fell OUT of the box into the bin rather than frantically brushing them all BACK into the cupboard and then wildly SLAMMING the door before any fell out onto the freshly swept floor.
It was a wincey moment when the cupboard was opened. First a torrent of cat biscuits erupted out and rained down onto Mr Potential Buyer’s shoes. These were followed by an avalanche of bills and bank statements. The scene was completed by a fluttering of slightly greasy, stained take away menus.
“We have some very nice local take aways,” I said, nodding convincingly (it’s all about selling a life style).
Mrs Potential Buyer’s nostrils flared out. Then in. I felt her gush defrothing.
Mr Potential Buyer cleared his throat and made a few weak Cupboard Quality Testing Motions (this involved him feeling the thickness of the wood).
Estate Agent shuffled on high heels and avoided all eye contact.
“Those used to be science tables from a nineteenth century boys school,” I offered weakly, patting one of the wooden work surfaces. “There’s Victorian graffiti underneath one if you look and it’s not even rude!”
In hindsight I don’t think the situation was rescuable. It was pretty much over and done with then, but just to destroy the last slither of dignity that I may have grasped onto, Mr Potential Buyer asked where the boiler was. At this point Estate Agent (who was oblivious to my wild panic) led him through to the lounge and opened the door to the cupboard under the stairs.
Have you ever seen a cupboard under the stairs barf out its innards all over the floor?
Which Cupboard Type Are You?
Cupboard Type A
Those ascetic types who focus on making their house look utterly gorgeous on the outside but miserably fail at sorting out what is on the inside. These people will have many dangerous traps in their home … such as innocent looking fridges that will break your toes with falling jam jars if curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to have a peek.
Cupboard Type B
Those practical, elbow grease types who like to get in there, tidy and orderly everything up. I have several lovely friends like this and sometimes they have come to my house and guided me through a whole Inner Tidying process. The problem with Type B is that they are usually so exhausted by the time they’ve finished the insides that they don’t have any time to focus on the outside so on the outside nothing has really changed. Which is a bit rubbish if you ask me.
Cupboard Type C
Those blessed few, rare as AB Rh negative blood types. Their cupboards are as show home inside as they are out. Their skirting boards are crisply pristine – even underneath the radiators. Cobwebs aren’t in their vocabulary and every item is so perfectly placed that they seem to gently gush a sense of grace and holiness. These types are almost like those wood elves from Lord of the Rings who are somehow elusive and above mere mortals of Middle Earth. To enter the home of one has a sense of the hallowed (however guests can feel slightly nervous about sitting down and wrinkling the sofa).
Mr and Mrs Potential Buyer’s reasons for NOT wanting to buy:
1. Not enough storage space in the kitchen despite gorgeous, bespoke, COAST magazine to die for units.
2. Despite lovely big rooms, not enough space for fitted wardrobe.
3. Parking for just one car.
4. No downstairs loo.
But apparently they thought everything else was Just Lovely.