Moving house is one of life's more important events, but by golly can it be stressful and drive us crackers! And the longer your sale or purchase drags on, the worst things can get, can't they? But it really doesn't have to be this way.
Here are our top 10 tips that should ensure a stress-free move!
Before you even start exploring the net for possible properties to buy, work out how much you can afford.
To get the best mortgage deals you will need a deposit and an income that will satisfy lenders that you can afford your monthly repayments.
An impartial mortgage broker can help you work out how much a certain size mortgage at a fixed interest rate will cost you each month and the price bracket you should be looking in.
An agreement in principle is the provisional green light from a mortgage lender that, hypothetically, they will lend you a certain amount of money. Having it in writing that you are good for a mortgage will help house sellers take you seriously when putting in an offer.
Love 'em or hate 'em, it's unlikely you will be able to move house without encountering an estate agent.
If you're buying, make sure you sign up with all the local agents in the area you want to buy, and give them a list of your requirements. Then either call them regularly or ask them to contact you the moment a suitable property comes on the market.
If you're selling, signing up with an estate agent will mean they do all the hard work for you like finding potential buyers, showing them round and chasing up pesky solicitors.
It's a bit of a no-brainer but if you are selling a property, make sure your home is clean, clutter-free and looking good!
It's also a good idea to de-personalise your home as buyers want to imagine their own possessions in the house; so take down collages of family photographs, for example.
Whether you are buying or selling, being in a long chain of interdependent buyers and sellers can be a nightmare; if one person drops out the whole chain can collapse and then you have to start the whole process all over again.
If you're the vendor, selling to a first-time buyer will be much quicker.
And, if you're buying, don't rule out properties that will be sold at an auction, that have been repossessed or that are offered by people who have already moved on or are prepared to rent to ensure a quick sale.
Conveyancing solicitors or lawyers are renowned for not wanting to rush things - which can be tricky for you if you are impatient. Stay in contact with yours and remind him or her of your intended date for moving.
Don't be afraid to hassle them; each time you speak to them, find out what stage the proceedings are at and what can be done to speed things up. Make them earn their money!
Typically there are a couple of weeks between exchange (when contracts are signed) and completion (when you get the keys in your hand) but there's no technical reason why this should be the case. If everyone involved in the sale agrees, ask your solicitor if you can complete and exchange on the same day or at least in less than a week. This makes for a lot less stress!
Whether you're buying or selling, the auction process is quicker than traditional home buying. Arranging finance and surveys should all be done before the day of the auction; winning bidders need to put down a 10% deposit on the day and complete within 28 days.
You could get yourself a bargain!
You'll be surprised at how much stuff you have hoarded over the years, so get some professionals in to pack and transport your possessions. They will provide all the materials and make sure valuable or fragile items are taken care of.
A good removal firm will make your moving day a whole lot easier and, while the men unpack, you can crack open a bottle of whatever you fancy.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.
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