They say it's one of the most stressful things we do, and with several major obstacles to overcome before you get the keys things can unexpectedly grind to a halt, testing the nerves of everyone involved.
However, there are a few things you can do to make the process as stress-free as possible. Here are NAEA Propertymark’s top tips that can help with a smooth-sailing property transaction.
Before you even start looking for a property, get organised. You should speak to a mortgage adviser to confirm your budget and get an agreement in principle from them. Then do some research into which areas you can and can’t afford before arranging any viewings.
When your offer is accepted, you’ll get a formal mortgage offer, but remember this will only be valid for a set time-frame, and if you don’t complete on the property before it expires, you’ll need to start the process again.
Don’t sit on things
At the start of the process, your solicitor will probably send a lot of information through to you, and it’s important to review, fill out, sign and return everything quickly and efficiently. Don’t rush anything, but don’t sit on things for two or three weeks as you’ll be holding up the process. Accept that normal life may need to take a back seat until you have exchanged contracts, and make sure you’re fully contactable – even if you’re on holiday.
Choose a first-class solicitor
Your conveyancer or solicitor is crucial to the whole process, so it’s important you’re working with someone you trust. Ask for recommendations from friends or colleagues to ensure your sale or purchase is in good hands.
Communication is key
Keep in regular contact with your solicitor and estate agent so you’re up to speed with what’s going on throughout the process. You might want to agree a weekly update between all parties at the start of the process to reduce the chances of any miscommunication or misunderstandings.
Set a realistic deadline – and stick to it
By agreeing a realistic target date for exchange, everyone has a set deadline to work towards, which should give the whole process some impetus and structure. If one side or both sides aren’t in a rush to move, build in some extra time between exchange and completion rather than being too flexible with the exchange date.
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark said: “Property transactions occasionally take longer than expected and there is nothing more frustrating for someone who is eager to move, than a delayed transaction. Planning well and managing your own expectations can help mitigate against this and your estate agent should also guide you through the process and keep things moving on your behalf.”