Past owners

Buying and selling a property can be a really emotional time, especially if the house has a dear history to the seller. I recently purchased a house which I had to fight for as there were rival buyers. I did everything I could to try to appeal to the seller’s emotional side, as I learned that the house had been in her family for 67 years and the seller (now 72 years old) had grown up in the house as a young child.

I wrote so many emails to the estate agent asking him to pass onto the seller that my husband and I were hoping to buy the property as a forever home, and that we wanted to restore it back to its former grandeur. It later transpired that our emails were never passed on, so we simply had to rely on price and me understanding the purchase process well enough so that I could trump the other buyers.

Luckily, we exchanged on the house within two hours of receiving the contract and completed two weeks later, back in May of this year. We were recently contacted by the previous owner who said she was coming to London and asked if she could meet us and to see the house one last time before we started our full refurbishment.

When we met her and her husband, she was delighted that we were a young couple as she really wanted the house to go to someone young. We also showed her our refurbishment plans, which she was pleased with. For us, meeting her has only increased our appreciation for the house, especially after she spent time walking us through each room and recounting memories. It’s also reassuring for her to know that her much-loved home has been passed on to safe hands.

If you are looking for a home and the owners have an emotional tie to it, then don’t underestimate how important the new owner is to them. Had our seller known our profile, maybe she would have chosen us over the others for less money, but either way, it worked out for all of us and it was worth every penny.

If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email or tweet her @joeccles.