Below is a picture of our living-room in the house we've sold. It's the same picture used by the Estate Agents in their online and print adverts for our house. It's also the way the room was when The Buyers first came to see the house and then again on their second viewing.
The point of interest is the fire-place. The Buyers were in two minds about. He liked it, she didn't. Previously we'd not thought much about it all, but we soon realised how much we'd miss it if we had to leave it. Like fools we made a fuss of it and, after accepting the offer, we asked the Estate Agents to ask The Buyers if they wanted it or not. We offered to replace it with one of their choice, such was our want to keep it. They declined and said they wanted to keep it. My suspicion is that they think it must be worth more than anything we would replace it with and will keep it for themselves, maybe selling it in the future. Now that we had asked them via the Estate Agents it was expected that we left it. Otherwise, if we hadn't asked at all, we would have had no obligation to leave it. After all, it's not on the list of boxes we tick to indicate if we're leaving things like radiators, gas fires and light switches.
What Karen decided to do, against my advice, is to replace it with one that looks as similar as possible. Hopefully, by the time they notice, we'll have exchanged, completed and be in the new house.
What do you reckon? Here's the replacement fire-place that I've been fixing in today:
If they look hard enough at the photo of the old one they'll work it out. But will they take it that far? They only ever saw it twice and that was months ago. We can tell the difference but we've lived with the old one for years! We even left the original tiles in, which makes quite a difference.
Why bother? Well, the one we want to keep is a lovely original Victorian fire surround. The one we've replaced it with is a cheaper reproduction that doesn't quite look as nice. What we didn't want to risk was never being able to find one with the same character.
Tomorrow I need to get some plaster and "plumb" it in. Karen will then re-paper round it and you'd never know. Although I was completely against the idea to start with (why risk the whole thing over a fireplace!?) I am now confident we've done the right thing.
Legal? I don't know. Can't see how it's illegal though!
All in all, a productive day. I couldn't have done all this without my dad, who drove up in my brother's pickup truck and left with all the parque flooring. Thus saving much-needed space in the truck.