House Selling With A Disability

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It’s never easy to sell a house and Covid is not making things any simpler. But add into the mix a disability and then things start to get difficult.

I have written this blog to open the eyes of agents and buyers to the extra complexity disabled sellers and their families face.

You phone up most sellers and say, ‘I have a potential buyer, they’d like to view your property.’ The scene on the other end of the phone is much like a swan in the water. Calm on top and manic paddling underneath. ‘Yes that’s fine, says the home owner.’ The moment they hang up all hell breaks lose. Families are sent into a blind panic. Mums and dads start throwing toys back into boxes, hopefully not still attached to the child. People run up and down stairs presuming that the shear movement and speed will tidy the house by sheer momentum. Vacuum cleaners are rediscovered and put to use.

‘I thought Dyson’s were meant to be easy to empty, love?’

‘They are. Just press that button.’

‘This one?’

‘Over the bin!…. I hope your going to clean it up?’

Newspapers, pots, pans, half finished meals, school work, clothes (clean and dirty), phones, toys and everything else you can imagine or not, is thrown, stuffed or crammed into every possible empty space. Many things never to be re-discovered until years later.

‘Was that work project important dear? I just found it in granny’s old trunk in the attic.’

‘I never liked working for that company anyway.’

We have probably all experienced scenes like these, if we have ever sold a house. These situations are nothing compared to the extra delights that come with disability.

Does a potential buyer want to see urine pots and commodes, conveens and creams? These things are really best hidden.

What about the person happily sitting in a hospital type bed? The fact that 95% of their time is spent their is no excuse. I know that four people topping and tailing in a bed looks very funny in ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory,’ But it’s less amusing to see one person in a hospital type bed when you are trying to view a room.

‘Don’t mind me. Pretend I’m not here. Sorry about the smell by the way.’

Besides in these times of Social Distance, only 2 or 3 people are allowed in a house at a time. Out, out you go, into the cold and wet. Get dressed and ready then, hoist, slide, heave, whatever your method get into that wheelchair, wrap up warm and out you go. Then wheel around the block, around the park, hopefully not around the bend.

You see being disabled adds a complication. You cannot just pop out when a viewing is due. These things need planning. Everything to do with being disabled is slower, more complex, more involved. For many of us we need help doing it. For a lot of us that help comes from our partners. The same partners who have to get tidied up for a viewing. The same partners already rushing around.

I say these things not to guilt trip people but to help in understanding. If you have disabled clients or if you are viewing a home owned by someone disabled. Or a home with a disabled person in it. Give some leeway, understand things are more complex and harder work. Be understanding and allow more time. We still need to buy and sell our homes, but we need help and understanding in that process.

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