The final Christmas countdown is underway, and for many the stress levels will be rising.
However statistically, after divorce, moving home is still seen as one of life’s most stressful events.
Whilst buying a new home should be exciting, little can compare to the feelings of helplessness and frustration during the conveyancing process – a lack of control is always likely to cause anxiety.
Addressing this is key to ensuring that your experience of your house sale and purchase doesn’t leave you a bag of nerves.
Mitesh Lala, a residential property expert with Black Country law firm Higgs & Sons, has the following tips.
• Agree a realistic timetable and learn to manage your own expectations
• Speak to your estate agent and conveyancer early about setting up a plan of action and work towards a given timeframe
At this stage it is important not to focus too heavily on a particular date for your move. As a guide you might be looking at 4-5 weeks for a straightforward transaction, but more often longer if, for example, you are financing your purchase with a lender, information is missing or the property is not in the best general condition. Keeping an open mind will help you stay calm if things do not happen as quickly or slowly as you had hoped.
• Be organised
Start early with your packing to avoid last minute panics. Collate all essential paperwork and keep them handy for easy reference. These simple steps will help you stay focused on what is important, more in control, and better able to cope if things do not go according to plan.
• Establish a direct line of communication with your lawyer
Using a firm that offers you one-to-one contact with a dedicated conveyancer means you will only need to speak to one person during the whole process. This ensures you have access to someone who knows you and your circumstances, reducing delay and unnecessary anxiety.
• Keep in regular contact with your legal representative and estate agent
It is important to have the trust of your agent and lawyer, and be able to communicate freely and openly with them. Raise any concerns and ask any questions as soon as you can, no matter how trivial. This will help alleviate your concerns and reduce your anxiety.
Keep your lawyer fully informed of your circumstances and any changes that might occur, and provide all documents and information requested as quickly as possible. Withholding important information can, in some circumstances, cause unnecessary delay not just for you but everyone in the chain.
• Avoid simultaneous or same-day exchange and completion
• Know the difference between exchange and completion
Exchange of contracts takes place to commit you to the sale or purchase on the day of completion. The shorter the gap between exchange and completion, the greater your levels of stress! There is nothing worse than entering the intended day of your house move without having first exchanged contracts – no one wants to have packed up and loaded their removal van without knowing if completion will actually take place, as nobody has committed themselves to the transaction, and is free to change their mind!
Ensuring an early exchange of contracts will fix the completion date and allow you time to relax and plan ahead towards your agreed moving date.
Higgs has a team of experienced property lawyers will guide you through the process of your sale and purchase every step of the way.