Many people talk about the stress of moving home. The time the whole process takes, the constant tidying up so that your property is presentable for viewings and losing out on your dream home are just some of the things that contribute to making what should be an exciting time a living nightmare. have put together a few simple tips to help make your move a lot easier...
Whatever you do try not to set a timescale. Your move will depend on many external factors and third parties, such as waiting for a suitable buyer to make an offer, solicitors paperwork and mortgage lenders. These and many other aspects of the move are out of your control. I've noticed over the years vendors who are used to having control of situations at work or at home often find moving more stressful, if this is you it’s advisable to acknowledge that this situation needs to be handled differently given the many external factors involved. Your move is likely to be long term (the average time in a property is 13 years), so aiming to move in before Christmas is not always realistic. You will have many more Christmases to come in your new home and if your sale completes in the first week of January is that going to be the end of the world? Probably not.
Think of your sale as a project which might take 3 months, 6 months or 12 and during that time you may experience some ups and downs. Relaxing timescale expectations will make a huge difference to your mindset and stress levels.
Invest in a good solicitor. I'll repeat that, invest in a good solicitor. If you search for a solicitor on the internet in my experience you will find large firms who have an outstanding sales team, a low charge and they seem like the dream ticket. Often the sales team are very easy to get hold of but when you instruct the solicitors to go ahead you find it hard to contact the representative who is dealing with your case, that is usually because they are buried in paperwork (some solicitors deal with upwards of 50 sales at one time) thanks to being high on Google rankings, and that slick sales team and low fee. You will want to be able to speak with your solicitor fairly regularly, so ask how many sales they are dealing with right now and also make a point of asking them how quickly they can get back to you (same day? 3 working days?)
Ask your estate agent to recommend a solicitor. It's likely that they work with a firm they are able to communicate with regularly and this will speed up the whole process. You will probably pay around £200-£300 more for a good, communicative solicitor compared with the internet search options. This is the best investment you will make (apart from your estate agent of course!!)
PLAY YOUR PART
Be flexible as you can, give your agent a key so they can do short notice viewings, that viewing could well be your buyer. Sellers make the mistake of thinking that buyers will come back and view their property another day 'if they like it enough they will come back', no they won't, not always. Sometimes they will buy a house which isn't as good as yours, the house the could view that day that ticks nearly all their boxes. They will never know that yours was better for them, because they've seen another one and they've compromised on the south facing garden.
Once you have agreed a sale don't delay in returning your paperwork to your solicitor. Yes, it's mountainous and yes, you don’t know any of the answers, but do you best to get stuck into it and get it back to your solicitor within 2/3 days maximum. Time saved at this end of the transaction will be a huge gain.
FORGET ABOUT THE MONEY
OK, obviously you can't forget about the money completely, but try to rationalise it. It always intrigues me as an agent how generally speaking in the UK we are not big on negotiating, we don't haggle when we go to the shops to buy food, clothes or jewellery. But when it comes to property (and cars I guess) we become or try to become hardcore negotiators. If you are selling a property for £500,000 and someone makes you an offer of £475,000 think about this for a moment. If you were selling a suit on eBay for £50 and someone offered you £47.50 would you take it? If you were selling a sofa for £500 and were offered £475 would you take it? If you were selling a second hand car for £5000 and were offered £4750 would you take it? Chances are you would. I'm not saying you should just accept low offers, your agent should be working hard to negotiate you the best price, but try to think about what you are trying to achieve. It could be that you are trying to secure your dream home which your family will live in for the next 15-20 years, if you have to go up by £10,000 or drop by £10,000 to make this happen, be decisive and eradicate the stress think about how you'll feel once you've got your dream home. (£10,000 on mortgage illustration).
For me these are the main factors to take into consideration mood when selling, if you can bear these in mind it will go a long way to helping your move to be exciting and not stressful!