Observations about the practice and processes of selling houses in England, compared with Australia, are worthy a comment, I reckon. Two things in particular are notably different.
In the UK, if you see a property you want to view, you ring an agent and they tee up a time for you to rock up at the house on your own, where the owner greets you and provides the grand tour. Ahem, so what exactly does the agent do for his or her fee you might ask, quite. But more unnerving (or often quite fascinating, in a voyerstic kind of way) is that the owner, in my experience, tells you FAR to much about the house, their circumstances, their past lives, their hopes and dreams etc. Invariably I don't need or want to know all this. TMI. Divorce, death, disappointment is often the theme. I just feel sorry for them having to do it, why would you want to show a stranger in to wander around your house, wincing at your wallpaper choices? Surely it is better to detach the personality from the property, one less subjective element to put the buyer off I say. In Australia, certainly here in WA, this would NEVER happen. The vendor spends days cleaning and primping the house ready for a public timed 'home open' hosted by the agent, and gets the hell outa there. The last thing anyone selling a house here would want to do is actually have to look at people peering in their cutlery drawer or examining the stains on the carpet. Interesting.
The other curious point of difference is how agents in each land approach the situation of a dead vendor. 'DECEASED ESTATE' Will appear in Oz as a diagonal red banner over the sign out the front. In other words: Might be an urgent sale! Could be a Bargain! Don't pay for a bad recent extension! Untouched period features probably abound! In England, if you enquire why a house has come to market and the reason is due to the owner being brown bread, the agent will make a nervous cough and lower their voice to respectfully tell you that it is in the hands of an executor. You have to work it out yourself.
That's why I love the British; on the one hand they will tell a complete stranger all their personal details and proudly showcase their downstairs lavatory, but god forbid that opportunity from misfortune would actually be a USP. Austalia: 1 England: 1.