Thursday, 1 March 2007

Moving House? Stressed?

By Suzy Copus
At first selling a house can be quite exciting - getting the house ready, having valuations, haggling to get the cheapest commission rate. Even the first few viewings can be exciting. The stress may start to kick in after you've had a few viewings and no one offers a penny, but they do offer suggestions on what's wrong with your property! This may not be encouraging and the first thoughts may be "who is going to buy THIS house?".
Do not even go there, you bought your house so someone will like it. It only takes one buyer - give each viewing your best shot and if it's a little untidy then remember that viewers often get a feel of the house as soon as they walk in. It doesn't need to look perfect but try to make it welcoming. Assume someone will like it eventually - afterall you can't force someone like it so being stressed about it won't help.

You might feel excited even when the phone rings - is this a viewing? Could this be the one? Can you accommodate the viewing and have time to sort the house enough or get your teenager out of bed, pack off young children, take the dog out. This is all a nuisance and time-consuming. Let's face it - more demands on ever precious time is stressful.

So AVOID it! If you can't make the viewing time, then say so. Make sure you look after yourself enough to be able to do what you need AND make the house presentable.

Another stress is likely to be from having seen your dream home and not being a position to make an offer on it. Some say, don't even look at other houses until you have an offer on yours, but this is unrealistic. You may need to look at other houses to know what is on offer and the more houses you view the more informed you are of what properties are on the market and for what price. Also your criteria of what you need is likely to change as you look at more properties. So LOOK and be informed. And if you find your dream house, well, cross your fingers.

Sometimes when a seller puts their house on the market, they start to see the flaws in the house and the reasons for wanting to move become more apparent - a negative feeling about your own home is not pleasant. Remember why you bought it and what you liked about it. Getting it ready to sell might work the other way - you might end up wanting to stay.

If your property ends up stuck on the market for months you then need to decide whether to drop the price - depressing and stressful especially if dropping the price is going to effect your options for your next property. However, on the up side, you're more likely to sell and get moving.

Let's go to the point where someone puts in an offer. Now it's serious. How much do you haggle? How much are you willing to come down? This can be stressful. But again avoid the stress. A good deal is where both parties are happy. Way up the pros and cons of what you want to accept and take time to make a decision. Take advice from your agent.

Now being under offer you've passed the first hurdle - congratulations and that's the first stressful episode over. Now the solicitors and surveyors are involved. Will anything come up in the survey - most surveys sound very negative and frightening yet in discussion with the surveyor it usually seems okay. Will your buyer pull out? Will someone in the chain pull out? Why does it all take so long? Yet more queries?

Ultimately the sheer uncertainty can be very stressful. The way to avoid the stress is to dissociate yourself as the majority of the work is now out of your hands. Keep in regular contact with your solicitor and know what is going on. Answer any queries promptly.

You get to exchange and you decide to go for it. Contracts are exchanged and you have a completion date. A major sigh of relief. You can now open your first bottle of champers.

Then comes the work of organising removals, packing and arranging redirections and change of address. To avoid stress take it slowly, write lists and take time over it. Start as soon as you have exchanged so that you keep your tasks under control and there's no last minute rush. Know where you want your furniture to go and make a plan or drawing so that you can easily direct the removal men.

On moving day, have help. Even if you have professional removals you may find it supportive to have a good friend with you. In your car, take a box with your favorite beverage, perhaps the kettle, tea bags, cups, milk and a packet of your favorite biscuits so that when the removal men go you can sit down and relax. You're in. Unpack as time permits and get to know your new house.

Susy Copus is a property commentator writing about all aspects of home moving, properties for sale, estate agent directories and house prices for the UK Property Search Engine, Wheres My Property. Susy also writes for Renovate Alerts who specialise in finding property to renovate and Property Money Maker.