Help! Selling My Home is Stressing Me Out!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that selling your house is one of life’s most stressful times, up there with the loss of a loved one and enduring a serious illness. But, sometimes, needs must. Perhaps your family has grown, or older children have flown the nest, and you need to downsize. For whatever reason, selling your home can be stressful. It’s never going to be 100% stress free but there are certain things you can do to keep the stress to a minimum.

First, let’s identify the pinch points or commonly stressful areas, and deal with them, one by one.

Picking your Estate Agent
This first step doesn’t need to be stressful. Our research suggests that sellers typically invite 2-5 local agents to evaluate their property. Which agents to invite into the property is based on lots of things – word of mouth recommendations, for sale or sold boards in the local area, perhaps you’ve seen their social media feed or received direct marketing from them, or perhaps they’re just the most local.
Arrange a day and time for your initial meeting; this should be relatively easy and straightforward – trust your instinct – booking your appointment should be pleasant and easy, if it’s not, you might want to reconsider inviting that agency in at all!
When you meet the agents, see who you get on best with; someone who’s able to put you at your ease will most likely be able to do the same for any potential buyers, so again your instinct will inform this.
When you receive your suggested marketing prices, it’s likely they will be all be in the same ball park and not vary wildly. Likewise the fee quoted to you isn’t likely to be that different from company to company. With this in mind, choose the valuer you’ve gotten on with best, trust the most and who has given you the best overall impression.

Getting Viewings Going
How stressful selling your home is, is often directly related to how long it stays on the market. The correlation is remarkable. When a valuer comes to value your property many estate agents will pitch their asking price high so as to grab your attention and “win” your instruction. They often then tie you in to a long term agreement giving themselves more than enough time to sell your property at market value. As you become increasingly frustrated with the delay, the feedback you will get from buyers will become increasingly price related and you will see similar properties to yours selling around you which is undoubtedly stressful.
Pricing is the biggest factor to dictate the number of buyers likely to be interested in your home in the first instance. In this day and age, tech savvy buyers have all of the information on the history of properties in your street and your area at their fingertips. They are often well informed as to their search and will no doubt have seen a number of properties in the same price range already and will have other properties to compare yours to. We are finding that the buying audience is becoming more and more educated with all the information and data available.
James Pendleton do not believe in overpricing property simply to secure your instruction; our expert team of valuers will give you an evidence based appraisal of what they feel your home is worth to the buying audience to make certain they give you the best opportunity to sell promptly without the need for any additional period of time and stress. Finding and securing your buyer soon after the property goes online will certainly ensure that you remain in control of the process, thereby limiting the stress and anxiety in selling.

A Sale has Been Agreed!
Once a sale has been agreed, you will move along to the legal work involved in selling your property, or the conveyancing process as more commonly known within the trade. This stage can often become far more time consuming than it ever need be.
A really good way to mitigate this stress is to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf prior to finding a buyer as this will shave needless weeks off this process. Whilst your property is having its first viewings, your solicitor can put together all of the required protocol forms including the sellers information forms, fixtures and fittings forms and the like. This will enable your solicitor to issue draft contracts to your buyer’s solicitors at the point of sale agreement.
It’s likely that as you come to the end of the conveyancing process, things become more stressful. Aligning several people’s differing timetables, move dates, schooling, removals and the like can be infuriating at the best of times, chucking in moving house can be the straw which breaks the calmest camel’s back! Try to keep the communication lines firmly open, and at no point make it personal. With a good agent, they will represent their client’s best interests to all parties and communicate with all parties in the chain, from the solicitors to the other estate agents involved. At James Pendleton, we work with a number of wonderful legal representatives and in particular Elite Conveyancing, a boutique legal agency, who, if instructed on both sides of a transaction, guarantee to be able to exchange contracts within 30 days.

Delays and stress can be often found when dealing with mortgage companies. We would always recommend reaching out to a mortgage broker prior to any agreement of a sale with a buyer to carry out a “cost of moving exercise”. This will not only give you a clear understanding of what you can afford on your onward purchase, but also what you can afford to sell for and still buy, if that’s what you’re intending to do.
If your purchaser is buying using a mortgage, a valuation will be required to give the bank ample comfort that the price agreed is indeed the amount the property is worth and will make adjustments if they disagree. A large percentage of people will approach their high street bank in the first instance to apply for a mortgage and will rarely explore different options should this be agreed in principle. When James Pendleton take an offer for a home the first thing that we do is to have the offer looked at by our partners at SPF Private Clients, a specialist mortgage brokerage who operate in the City and offer access to the whole of the market. They can tell us straight away whether this offer is a realistic one with which to proceed.
Many will not know that a buyer’s solicitor has just as much of a duty of care to the lender as the buyer and, should they find discrepancies within the documentation, it may not matter whether the buyer is happy with the scenario it will have to be reported to the lender and approved separately by the lender in order to exchange.

Selling your house isn’t something you do every day, and as with many situations which are uncommon, our best advice would be to get in as many specialists as possible to carry out their specialist service on your behalf thus not requiring you to have to go out and do it yourself. They are the specialists for a reason, so trust their advice and use their skills!
Holding on the phone for a long period of time trying to get an update on your mortgage application and navigating an automated telephone directory is the most infuriating and boring thing in the world! Put yourself in the care of a good solicitor and a good mortgage broker ahead of any sale to allow yourself to be legally prepared and lastly but absolutely most importantly choose an agent that has given you a realistic pricing strategy.
Provided you have enough good representatives in your corner dealing with the minutiae of the sales process, you can keep good distance between yourself and any of the stress inducing details that distract you from thinking about the beautiful new home you’re trying to buy and getting on with your life!