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The Pring Perspective

Nov 2009 “Treat it like a game of chess…”!

Stephen Pring I am often asked for my best piece of advice for someone thinking of moving home, and I love that question.

People expect me to talk about fresh pots of coffee and the smell of baking bread; they expect me to wax lyrical about kerb appeal, neat and tidy gardens, newly painted front doors and bowls of fresh flowers and of course, all those things are relevant to varying degrees. Presenting your home in the best possible light is important and you should take a step back and try to view the property dispassionately as a potential buyer. Plenty of tips and advice are available from many sources in that regard, including my website.

However, after a career spanning 30 years and selling over 4000 properties (so far!), my answer is always this: “Take it one step at a time”!

Moving house can seem daunting to anyone and I never forget that every time someone asks me to help them move, it’s a huge event in their lives and can be a source of many worries (after all, most people haven’t moved 4000 times!). Endless questions usually come flooding my way:

“What do I do about the viewings”? “What if I get a low offer…or more than one”? “What happens if the surveyor finds faults with the house”? “What happens if the removal lorry is late or breaks down”? “What happens if I can’t get the keys to the new house on time”?! “What if…” “What if…” And so on!

All of these questions and countless more are relevant and meaningful but people often stress and worry about many things which may never happen. I try to answer every question and concern but in the end it all boils down to taking things one step at a time and breaking the whole process down into bite size pieces.

Think of moving home as a game of chess - you certainly need to keep one eye on the overall goal and it’s important to have a strategy that is individual to your move (everyone’s perspective and goals are different). It’s great to be able to plan several moves ahead but we all know that 2 or 3 moves along something will happen which will alter your strategy and you may well need to re-assess, re-calculate, re-calibrate and move on again.

The secret is to deal with each question as and when you come to it. Invariably, with each question comes 2 or 3 possible answers or choices. Look at them, analyse them, choose the most appropriate option, discard the others and, like chess, move on across the board without looking back or agonising about the options you didn’t choose. When you get to the next decision to be taken, do exactly the same thing again and so on and so on. That way you will move forward towards your eventual goal and you will be surprised how rarely the concerns that you may have initially had which loomed large in your mind, actually become a problem or an issue.

When my father passed away, I wrote and gave the eulogy at his funeral, part of which was as follows:

“I never heard my father say “What if…”, “If only…”, or “I wish…”. He was a wonderful man who had the ability, when faced with a decision, to weigh up the options, take one and never look back.”

I learnt a lot from my dad… and he was good at chess too!