Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Commitment can make a difference.

I am currently (together with Coralie) buying a house. In order to do this we are selling 3 houses. I am also changing jobs. I start at the new company (dunnhumby) on the 13th of August. Because of this I would have liked to move houses on the weekend of the 9th, 10th, 11th (pack, move, unpack). This was possible. I was told when I suggested the dates that it was very ambitious as we were still looking for a buyer for our joint residence.

In order to allow me to commit to the date I made a suggestion to the person selling us a house. The suggestion was that he agree to rent us the house in the case that we did not complete by the 10th. The idea was that we would either pay a peppercorn rent which he would keep or a full rent with a return of monies upon completion. Sadly he (in common with Coralie were she in his position) did not want to go for it.

I could have decided that I was committed to that date and gone for it regardless. I would have been risking thousands of pounds (about three thousand in fact) as I would have had to arrange the removals and so forth with the risk that we might have to stay behind and not move.

As it was Coralie (probably wisely) was not keen on the idea. The only thing that is preventing us moving on my chosen date is that we were not committed enough to arrange the movers. They are no longer available for then and we are moving later.

Had I been committed to the date we would have moved. Had our seller trusted my commitment he might have agreed to let us rent, knowing it would not happen, and allowing us the certainty to commit.

My conclusion: Sometimes commitment is all that is required to change the way things go.

I do not like to make a commitment without a backup plan. My suggestion would have provided a backup plan, a safety net if you like, and that would have allowed me to make the leap. Without making the leap a trapeze artist cannot leave the swing. Was I wrong to want a safety net? I do not think so. Was I wrong not to make my commitment so clear that the vendor knew I was not planning on using the safety net? In a way, yes I was. Not in the sense that I made a mistake, but in the sense that I failed to make myself clear. I am not sure what I needed to do to be convincing, but I will be trying to find out, so that next time I can let go of the trapeze with confidence.

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