So we've decided to cut our losses and accept an offer on our house that is £25K below the asking price. This is quite painful, but there continues to be bad (self fulfilling) press about the housing market in the UK, and if we don't sell for 6 months or a year we'll have put out more than that in mortgage and bill payments, so it was worth it to us to just agree to the sale.
However to add insult to injury we got an email from the estate agent asking if we were going to fix the broken glass at the front of the house. Of course we left the house in perfect condition with no breakages. Luckily we remain in contact with one of our neighbours via email, and she has gone and had a good look. It turns out that our next door neighbour's house (not the same neighbour) which is also standing empty was broken into just last week and some things were stolen. Perhaps the same criminal tried ours as they have used something very heavy against the double-glazed fancy-panels at the side of our door. The glass is safety glass (costing us extra, but needed because it's a full height pane) so is secure but crazed, apparently.
These were £800 panes (they have prisms in them and coloured glass to create an effect in the sun), so we're going to just have to say to the buyer that because his offer is so low we couldn't possibly replace them.
I suppose the upside of this is that at least the house security held up. When we put in the double glazing I was adamant that we get even the garage window done, rather than leave some windows or doors single glazed, as coming from IT security I know that the weakest place is where the criminal is going to try, so you need to secure everything. Our neighbours had skimped on their patio doors, and the thieves just lifted them off the runners to get in.
I'm at the MIT spam conference tomorrow, so I'm typing this from Hotel@MIT - the first hotel I've ever stayed in with free internet, and it seems quite speedy too.