Why make things more difficult than they need to be?
In this blog, DMC sets out the 6 insider tips to a stress free house move.
The purchase of a house is likely to be the most significant financial transaction that most of us will be involved in during our lifetime. To make matters worse, we’re then told that the conveyancing process can be one of the most stressful experiences we’re liable to encounter.
Whilst each move has its own unique circumstances and timings, DMC know that there are key points to remember in every transaction which can help create a stress free move.
Here are our 6 favourite tips:-
1. Find the right solicitor
This one might sound obvious but it’s vital that you find a solicitor who ticks these boxes:-
They are someone you can work with
-as the person co-ordinating the whole process on your behalf you will want to find a solicitor who you can trust, who you can build a rapport with.
They are good communicators
– they need to be able to explain complex legal concepts and to relay developments (whether good or bad news!) in a clear, calm and friendly way. These traits will also pay dividends when your solicitor is dealing with your agent, lenders and the legal team on the other side.
They know their stuff-
they are specialists – they are seldom (if ever) out of the office at court for extended periods but are instead readily available to answer queries. They will have an extensive knowledge of local housing and will have dealt with properties in the area and, most likely, in the street or development you’re buying or selling.
They come recommended
– by local estate agents, other solicitors or, most importantly, by happy clients.
They prove that cheaper isn’t better-
they will give you a clear and comprehensive quotation to allow you to finalise your budget by setting out their costs, VAT, outlays and registration fees and stamp duty. In a competitive market don’t confuse low prices with value for money; quality pays for itself.
They are team-players
– the best conveyancers work with everyone within the process towards a common goal. Look for creative thinking; realistic time scales; clear requests and instructions. Avoid egos, unpredictability and last minute dramas.
It might be that we’re slightly biased but at DMC we believe we have just the people who fit the bill …
2. Keep in touch…
…with your agent, your solicitors, your bank, your removal man and your buyer or seller. The earlier potential problems or delays are identified, the sooner they can be resolved. The sooner you can respond to a query or request for information, the better the chance of a successful, early and stress free move.
Have a clear method of communication; email, mobile, work number. Let people know if you’re out of contact for a couple of days. Nothing spooks the other side more than being told that their buyer/purchaser can’t be contacted without any explanation. Demonstrate how keen you are to complete by making sure that you keep in contact with your team throughout the process.
3. Be prepared
House sales as a process rely on the exchange of standard form information and documentation. You can increase your chance of a prompt and calm exchange by having the following to hand when selling:
- Your mortgage account number to allow your deeds to be requested from your lender;
- Early replies to Pre-Contract Enquiries
- Your completed Fixture and Fittings List
- Any planning approvals for garages, extensions, alterations, new builds
- Building Control certificates (passing of plans, completion certificates)
- Consent to discharge for septic tanks
- Guarantees or warranties for windows, cavity wall insulation
- electric and gas safety certificate
If buying :
- Your mortgage offer
- Your deposit/balance purchase monies
- Your survey
Once in contract sort out removals, disconnection or installation of services and serving notice on rented property as soon possible to clear the way to completion. Last minute panics are the last thing you need as the big day approaches.
4. Be patient
Delays will happen; it could be your lender; their lender; the surveyor, their solicitor, someone further down the chain.
Relax – things will usually work out.
Sometimes the deal just can’t be made and you may have to start again but usually if you (and everyone else in the transaction) remain focussed on solving problems then solutions can usually be found.
Even if your ‘ideal completion date’ slips remember that you’ll get there; it might be a day or two later than you planned but it will still be quicker than looking for another house or another buyer!
5. Be flexible
Whilst there is a time and place in every transaction for a considered and well timed ultimatum be careful not to let deadlines become set in stone. On occasions you may need to bring completion forward or push it back to keep a buyer or seller from looking elsewhere. Sometimes a reduction or increase in price needs to be considered, fixtures and fittings re-negotiated.
We know that buying a house raises stress levels and tempers but if you can treat the transaction as a commercial process and work towards an end game rather than obsess on getting everything your own way, you will find the journey less of a trial.
We’re not suggested that you become a push over – just realise that those who can swim with rather than against the tide often experience less stress!
6.Enjoy the Process
Listen to the advice given by your team. Trust your instincts. Don’t allow yourself to be pressurised, rushed or bullied (but bear in mind number 5!). Stay calm and be realistic as to what can be achieved in the time available.
Above all, try to enjoy the process. A new house – a new home, is an exhilarating prospect and the build up of excitement towards the big day can be one of life’s great moments. By picking the right team and bearing the advice above in mind, hopefully you can enjoy a stress free move!