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BLOG: A different way to sell your house

Published: 5:52PM Thursday April 18, 2013 Source: Emily Smart

  •  (Source: Supplied / Emily Smart)
    Source: Supplied / Emily Smart

Emily Smart is selling her home the 'honest' way. There are no bad puns, no perfectly manicured photos.. this time she's just telling it like it is.

She's blogged about the ordeal that is selling your house.


You know you’re at a certain age (the one in the middle of your life) when there are two subjects of conversation guaranteed to take centre stage at any social gathering or dinner party. One is schooling, and the other is real estate. Often both are intrinsically linked particularly for those who believe that their child’s school is guarantee of a high flying career in law, medicine or accountancy.

I prefer the housing market chat myself because I find every aspect of it fascinating. For starters there’s the marketing campaign - also known as how to polish a turd - with expressions like ‘More than meets the eye’, (watch out for the rising damp and dodgy piling) and ‘Live the dream’ (just off a roundabout near Auckland airport).

Then there’s the open home. I come from the UK where there is no such thing as an open home because if there was it would be renamed ‘casing the joint.’ ‘Prospective buyers’ would either be sporting black and white stripy sweaters carrying a sack with the word ‘swag’ on it or smelly sandal-wearing braided-hair unemployed types, looking for their next squat. Not so in New Zealand, where doors are flung open and everyone from nosey neighbours to tyre kickers dutifully remove their shoes and wander around a complete stranger’s home muttering to their partners ‘bloody awful curtains’ or ‘I wouldn’t have done that.’

Another great aspect in the world of realty is the agents. Flash suits, tooth whitened smiles and an inability to utter anything which isn’t total horse plop. Mind you if I was making between 2%-4% commission on a house sale, I think I could spin the odd white lie to close the deal. On the downside, they do have terrible working hours. Backwards and forwards between vendors and buyers late into the night, weekends spent showing people around homes and fielding the same laborious questions ‘is that damp I can smell?’, ‘no the owner just mopped the floor before they left’ – honestly, an agent actually said that to me! 

Then finally the day of the auction arrives, again a fairly new experience for a girl from Blighty. In England when you put your property up for sale, it’s at a pre-determined price. Would-be buyers make an appointment with the estate agent to view the property at a mutually convenient time. The property gets viewed by possibly 3-4 couples. An offer is made, there’s a bit of haggling and the deal is done. Not so in this country, where a room full of otherwise friendly, unassuming house hunters are whipped in to a frenzy of head nodding, arm raising, card waving bidders, vying desperately to beat any ‘double grammar-zoned’ rivals into submission. I didn’t attend the auction when we bought our current home for fear of hyperventilating or having a heart attack, both of which could be misconstrued as me bidding beyond my bank loan.

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So I’ve decided to do a bit of DIY house selling. How difficult can it be to offload my house with an honest bit of advertising? Let’s see if in this instance, honesty really is the best policy.

Reposted with permission. Originally posted at