In the high-end property market in London many of the specialist mortgage broking firms are booming as a result of wealthy overseas buyers investing in the better London boroughs. So the multi-million pound property market might be recovering (in fact, it never suffered the same level of stagnation as the mainstream market after the credit crunch) but what about the rest of us?
How easily you can sell a home is dependent on so many factors such as area, location within that area, type of property, property condition, local demand etc. Some of these factors are outside your control but others are not so you can minimise the stress of a home move by doing something about the parts you can control; for instance make sure the inside and outside of your home are clean, tidy and clutter-free. Do all those niggling little repairs and if anything major needs repairing get it done before opening your home to viewings. If necessary, invest in some new accessories to dress your home: lamps, new bedding and towels will make a big improvement for minimal cost and you can take them with you to your new home.
Of course, you cannot remove stress entirely from a house move because, fundamentally, it is a stressful business because it affects both our finances and our emotions. You are leaving behind an old home but there may be an emotional wrench, depending on your personal circumstances, if you don’t want to leave. Then you have to find a new home and we all have our own image of the perfect home but often we cannot afford it, or even find it. When some people find a home that ticks all their personal boxes they do not actually want it because there is no emotional draw to the home. Conversely some people fall in love with a home that ticks none, or only a few, boxes. And once you make an emotional attachment to a home by embarking on the buying process those emotions can just make the stress build up.
If you are buying a new home, whether it is your first or one in a long string of many, it is a complicated process. We often don’t understand all the financial and legal jargon involved and have to rely on others to deal with the process but if you don’t understand something then just ask for a simple explanation. Questions you have that remain unanswered will just fuel an already stressful situation.
Once you are ready to make an offer you need to be prepared for various outcomes if you are to avoid an emotional rollercoaster. House sales and purchases can be unpredictable: your buyer may pull out, your best offer may be turned down, you could be dragged into a bidding war, you could be gazumped (yes it still happens), the seller could pull out of the deal after accepting your offer, serious defects may be revealed by the survey, you lose your job and can no longer afford to move. The list really is endless…
But providing you are aware of such possibilities then you should be able to handle them calmly if they do happen. Have a contingency plan – for instance, if the seller pulls out but you have a good buyer then consider putting your belongings in self-storage and moving into rented accommodation rather than lose the house sale in a tough market. This could put you in a better position as a chain-free buyer; just remember that others might be doing the same.