What can home movers do to reduce stress when buying or selling a home? Sarah Beeny’s online estate agency, Tepilo, investigates.
Even though we’d all like it to be otherwise, the reality is that buying or selling a home can be a stressful process. In fact, for many, it’s the most stressful life event they’ve ever experienced.
A recent survey by a home buying company revealed that buying or selling a home is the most stressful experience a person can go through. The survey, which spoke to 1,000 UK homeowners about their most taxing life experiences, found that buying or selling a house came top, ahead of organising a wedding or having a child. It was also deemed more stressful than taking a driving test and starting a new job.
What, though, contributes to this stress and what can be done to combat it? Well, the number of professional services people have to engage with during a move was highlighted as a significant source of stress, with 31% of respondents finding solicitors awkward and difficult to deal with, followed by estate agents (22%) and mortgage advisers/banks (14%).
As for the actual process itself, over 40% of homeowners said the waiting game was the most stressful part of selling or purchasing a home, while viewings – and strangers having to look around their home – caused distress for 17% of the participants in the survey.
From a regional perspective, the research revealed that Norwich, Bristol and London are the three most stressful cities to buy or a sell a home in, with Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton and Belfast making up the rest of the top 10.
Fear not, though, it needn’t be this way. There are steps you can take to reduce the stress brought about by a house buy or sale, to ensure the process is as smooth as it possibly can be. It’s unlikely, although not impossible, that buying or selling a home will be entirely plain sailing, but careful planning, preparation, a cool head, a philosophical approach and seeking the right sort of advice from the right sort of experts will all help to ensure the process is not the most stressful life event you go through.
From a seller’s perspective, it’s crucial that you choose the right estate agent to sell your home (an increasingly popular choice in recent times is to opt for an online estate agent, like Tepilo, where fees are fixed and a similar service is offered). A modern world needs modern agencies, where properties are advertised extensively on the major portals to reach as wide an audience as possible and where you can track a property sale online from offer to completion.
You’ll have to arrange your own viewings with buyers, but this is no bad thing. This should be seen as an opportunity rather than something to dread. As long as you prepare well, take a flexible approach, build a good rapport with would-be buyers and show off your property – shining a light on your home’s best attributes – your chances of impressing should be high.
It’s also vital, as always, to make sure your home looks attractive, well-maintained, clean and homely – and that garden space and the kitchen, likely to form the key part of your sales strategy, are both in tip-top condition.
What’s more, you’ll need to work closely with your solicitor/conveyancer to ensure the sales process goes through as quickly and smoothly as possible, replying to any correspondence in a timely manner and keeping on the ball at all times.
If there are stumbling blocks and obstacles in the road, try to take a measured, philosophical approach. Sometimes, when it comes to property sales, delays are inevitable, but staying positive rather than becoming frustrated is the best course of action to take.
When it comes to moving day, make sure you are well prepared. Packing at the last minute is never fun, and increases your chances of leaving something valuable or important behind. We looked before at how to keep the cost of moving down and how to move home without a headache, which both outlined ways to keep moving day stress to a minimum. From moving home on the right day to checking the credentials of removal firms, there are steps you can take to make the process easier.
From a buyer’s perspective, choosing the right conveyancer, developing a good relationship with the seller of the home you are looking to purchase, being flexible with viewing times and carrying out thorough research and due diligence before committing to a purchase will all help to keep your stress levels down.
If you’re a first-time buyer, the buying process will be an unfamiliar and daunting one. Remember, though, you’re not alone. There is plenty of advice out there for first-time buyers, from experts, specialist websites and numerous blog posts and articles. What’s more, if you have friends or families who have purchased a home before, don’t be afraid to turn to them for support and advice.
Clearly, buying or selling a home isn’t a walk in the park, but it shouldn’t be a great source of stress either. There is a danger, too, of it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – people expect the process to be extremely stressful and therefore stress about how stressful it’s going to be. Result? Double stress.
A positive, pragmatic approach will take you a long way. If stressful situations do occur, try and keep a sense of perspective and not allow things to get out of control. Employing some of the measures outlined above should help towards achieving this.