‘Although it has been subject to strong criticism for a long time, bureaucracy and its variants can still be found in a large number of organisations.’

As we work through the ‘selling process’ we are find out just how many pieces of paper we have to submit, review, agree, sign … !  I’m not sure whether the information about the complexities of selling have been pubished, as we are finding out step-by-very slow-step.

Not only do we have to complete and sign forms that we don’t understand – the new process is not to use a legal firm that can support you in the process.  So how do you move forward?

We’ve been lucky with the Estate Agents that we selected and that have sold the house – they have one person allocated to supporting each sale.  Not only did it take a couple of days to work through the paperwork, recently we were asked to sign the contract – the sale contract.  The challenge with this is that it is written in bureaucratic legalese with references to a ‘standard contract’.  When we enquiried as to what the clauses were in the ‘standard contract’, the Estate Agency didn’t know, so we contacted the Conveyancing Agents.  They sent us the original paperwork that we completed.  We explained that we were looking for clauses ‘x’ in the ‘standard contract’ and they send us a very old frequently photocopied copy of the ‘standard contract’.  With great difficulty we battled our way through this contract in line with the sale contract and found that we were now doing the legal work!  It’s a scary position to be in … but we have been very lucky with the Estate Agency representative – they have supported us.

Now we are in the position of having returned the paperwork … and know no more!  We have put in a request for an exchange date and a completion date, but these new processes don’t allow you to get confirmation.

Towards the end of last week we found out that the VAT rate to be charged on these services is dependant upon when we exchange and that in the UK this goes up by 2.5% on the 1st January, 2010; but that our Conveyancing Agents don’t seem to worry about the additional charge that will be made to us.

So although we found the purchasing process in Madeira an unusual one, we were supported all the way through the process with clear understanding of what was happening when.

Planning … what a challenge when you are unable to find out the dates that are required for planning!  Watch for the next challenge in organising the moving companies.