A practical example of self sufficiency

The money is in the bank. We have shown it can be done.

My mother died several months ago. She left a little house and some money. As a joint executor I was instrumental in all the financial arrangements. My brother organised the funeral and told me he had a solicitor lined up to do the probate. I told him to hang fire with any instruction as I wanted to shop around. My research revealed all the solicitors wanted to charge a percentage of the value of the estate. This irritated me as I guessed the ‘work’ would involve shuffling papers – the same amount of shuffling regardless of the value of the estate. I’ve written in detail about this here. A bit more digging revealed we could do the probate ourselves, so I convinced my brother to do this. Nothing really could go wrong, if a form was filled in incorrectly it would simply come back.

We did the probate ourselves in six weeks.

Next came the house. It was decided to sell it. We got an estate agent in who valued the house well below what we imagined it was worth. I realised the worst thing we could do was sell it in the condition it was in. It was agreed we would refurbish the property which we did ourselves.
When we had finished, the house looked pretty and desirable. We started to think maybe we could sell it ourselves. We got a sign, got a post and hammered our ‘for sale’ sign into the garden.

Considerable interest was shown in the property but the downside was we had to waste our time with the time wasters; an estate agent would have had to deal with all that.

In the end we got an acceptable offer and we sold the house.

As I had done my own conveyancing before when I purchased my first property, I was confident I could do the conveyancing for this property, especially as there was no chain involved and we were selling, not buying (a much easier process). This I did and today I was told completion had taken place and the money from the sale of the house was in our bank account.

So, we did it. We knew what was going on all the time, completed legal formalities in a fraction of the usual time and saved thousands of pounds in the process.

Being self sufficient has a snowball effect as well. I am more inclined to ask ‘can I do it myself?’ and my confidence in tackling something which previously would have appeared daunting, has increased dramatically.

And if I can do it, so can you.

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