The ten secrets of what goes on after estate agents hand over the keys to around 800,000 people every month has been revealed in a survey conducted by an Eye-based property experts.
The survey, by Harrison Edge, in Castle Street, also reveals homeowners move on average eight times in their lifetimes. It shows the most common occurrence is the lack of a kettle at a new property. The under 30s and first time buyers have a celebratory glass of bubbly, while the over 35s are normally gasping for a cup of tea, the findings show.
Simon Harrison, director of Harrison Edge, said: “It has always been a mystery what goes on after solicitors ring us and say ‘release the keys’ and the owners drive off to their new property.
“The biggest surprise is that it is not uncommon for them to find a policeman sorting out a battle royal between the vendors, who sold because of a relationship breakdown and are still fighting over the household goods.”
Second on the list is the lack of sugar at a new home. Philip Coleman, of removals firm Colemans, says he has an emergency kettle, mugs, milk, teabags, coffee and sugar, for homeowners.
Third is the dismay over rubbish left in a house by the previous owners, while issues with the keys and locks come in at number four.
Five are anxious pets unfamiliar with their new surroundings. Six is gaping holes where items used to be but the previous vendors removed, such as bulbs, fridges, and carpets, while seven is hunting for the stopcock.
Setting up the bed and collapsing in it, leaving unpacking very late, and a visit from a policeman finishes the list.
One of the more bizarre incidents involved business analyst Karen Davison, 36, who moved to Broad Street, Eye with her partner, 37-year-old journalist Phil Turner (pictured). After throwing her clothes off following an unpleasant incident involving Nikolai the cat, he later went missing. Karen and Phil frantically looked up and down the street, but later discovered Nikolai shut in a cupboard.
The most baffled clients were retired couple Lisa, 55, and David Boyle, 68, who prepared their first supper in their newly bought country cottage in Horham. But their cooker refused to work. Eventually it was found the vendors had taken their gas bottle.
However, it is not always a case of strange occurrences and doom and gloom. Martin Pierce, a 66-year-old lawyer and his wife, Juliet, 67, an international development consultant, say their vendors were exemplary when they moved from Birmingham to a picturesque Suffolk farm.
“There was a bottle of wine on the table, new toys for the granchildren, and a very full note about where everything was and how it all worked. It was so nice to come home to.”