Selling a house frequently tops the polls for “most stressful life event”. From the hassle and emotional turmoil of repeated viewings to broken property chains and failed sales, selling a house in the UK can be a minefield.
Throw in the trauma of parting with a much loved, memory-filled family home and it’s enough to prevent even the most dedicated house seller from putting their property on the market.
But does it have to be this stressful?
Some things will be out of your control.
You can’t magic a dream cash, no-chain buyer out of thin air, right? But there’s plenty you can do to make the house-sales process one that doesn’t leave you tearing your hair out — yes, even amidst a global pandemic and a national recession.
Decide whether to sell or buy first
With the exception of first time and cash buyers, most people need to sell their current property to finance the purchase of a new home.
This leaves many people in a quandary that causes undue stress. “Do I sell first and then look for my dream home? Or do I wait for the perfect property to pop up, get an offer accepted and then start trying to sell my house?”
Selling your current property before buying a new family home makes you a chain-free buyer. This means that you can act fast when the right house goes on the market, and you’re likely to be top of the list of desirable candidates (unless every other bidder is chain-free too).
But, if you don’t find a new house you’re keen to buy after accepting an offer on your current home, there’s a risk of losing the sale — your buyer won’t wait forever — or spending months shelling out for a rental property. Renting is expensive and you could quickly become priced out of the market when you’re no longer building equity in a property and benefiting from any increases in house prices.
If you wait to find your new dream home before marketing your current property, there’s a risk that you’ll be pipped at the post by a chain-free or cash buyer who can come up with the cash right away. Demand is currently outstripping supply making it a buyer’s market — why would someone wait for you to sell your property if they have a queue of people who can set them on the road to completion tomorrow?
Property expert Sarah Beeny recommends researching your target area to decide which option is best for you. If your next family home is going to be (you hope) in a highly desirable area, selling your house first will put you in a much stronger position to beat the competition.
If you plan to move to an area where there are plenty of houses for sale that meet your needs and budget, you can probably afford to wait for a buyer before making an offer on a new home.
Once this decision has been made, that’s one stress factor checked off the list.
Avoid the most stressful aspects of house selling
A family home is filled with memories.
You’ve seen your children take their first steps in the lounge, marked their height next to the fridge and watched them ride their first bike in the garden. There has probably been blood, sweat and tears shed over creating the beautiful home you see before you today.
Selling a well-loved family home can be an emotional experience. Give yourself a break, and seek out any opportunity to avoid the most stressful aspects of the house selling process.
If inviting a stream of strangers into your home for viewings sends a shiver down your spine, don’t do it. If waiting months for the right buyer to come along is likely to set your stress-levels soaring, find a quicker way to sell.
Quick house-sale companies often get a bad rap, and there are some unscrupulous businesses out there — as there are in any industry.
But if you do your research and find a reputable company — such as one approved by The Advisory — that provides impartial expert advice for house sellers, this is a hassle-free option that allows you to sell your house fast. House buying companies have the funds to buy your property and complete in as little as a week or two.
There’s no need for viewings, and you will avoid estate agent’s, solicitors’ and surveyors’ fees.
Find the right professional help
Whether you choose to sell via the traditional route with an estate agent or to a cash buying company, finding the right professional help will go a long way in easing the stress involved in selling your family home.
Homeowners are spoilt for choice when it comes to estate agents. There are high-street agents, online agents and even “hybrid” agents that combine online services with face-to-face meetings.
Shop around, ask people you know for recommendations and pick an agent with a solid reputation who offers a clear plan of action for marketing your property.
Choose someone you will get on with — selling the family home is a huge step, and you’re within your rights to seek help from someone who’s not only professional but is also on the same wavelength as you.
The same goes for finding a house buying service. A reputable company that provides an honest and transparent service will make the sales process much less stressful.
Selling your family home is never going to be easy, but planning ahead, eradicating unnecessary stressors and finding the right professionals to help you will make the process much easier to cope with, allowing you to focus on the next chapter in your family’s life.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post