I had written a very different version of this article a few weeks ago, and I’m so glad that I didn’t publish it. It was full of negativity! I’ve had some time to reflect on the events that took place, and they way I felt about them; and that made make an effort to change the way I remember them, think about them and talk about them. Occasionally, I slip up, and start complaining, but I catch myself and then try and find a better place in my mind.

Moving home

I have moved 5 times in the last 16 years, and I don’t recall it ever feeling like this. I’ll explain why below, but as you’re reading, try and remember that, I had a choice about how I reacted to what happened. Even now that the events have passed, it’s possibly more important that I make the better choice about how I remember, and express what happened, because it will have an impact on those who are hearing about it.

Making the decision to move again

Suraj and I have tried to move to/around Bushey three times, but each time we’ve got close, and it didn’t worked out. No regrets. We’ve made some amazing friends along the way, and we’ve enjoyed the homes we’ve lived in. However, we still craved being closer to friends and family, so we decided to take the plunge and try and move again.

Summary of events

  • Viewings of our home began in June and we received an offer that we accepted within a couple of weeks.
  • We began viewing properties, found one we liked, but got into a situation where two of us were bidding on the same property. The owner chose the other couple because he wanted someone who didn’t need to sell. At the time, I was so disappointed. It felt unfair but it worked out to be a blessing in disguise.
  • We started looking for another property and found one outside of Bushey, which actually served our needs better than the location that we’d now been fixated on for a few years!
  • Our offer was accepted so we worked on choosing a removals company, finalised the mortgage application form, and completed paperwork for the sale and the purchase.
  • We had a bit of a song and dance about the exchange and completion, which was stressful. All parties had discussed completing in early October, and just before we were about to exchange, the seller said that he couldn’t exchange in October at all, but would need to delay it until November. We were now living in boxes and were faced with the scenario that our buyer would pull out. Therefore, viewings would begin again, and our home wouldn’t look as attractive as we were packed up and almost ready to move.
  • We explored the option of completing our sale, so that we didn’t lose our buyer, and putting our possessions in storage and living somewhere temporarily, until the seller was able to complete, but everything worked out. Our buyer decided not to pull out and we sold our home and purchased our new home on the same day.

Here’s what I struggled with the most with this move…

  • We got conflicting messages from the seller’s solicitor and the seller’s agent
  • We couldn’t work out a realistic timeline because we didn’t know where we stood with the seller
  • He volunteers information about the age of some white goods which turned out to be a lie
  • The structure of the estate agent handling the sale of the property we wanted to buy wasn’t easy to work with, because we weren’t dealing with one person from start to finish
    • They show you the property and take you up to the stage when the offer is accepted
    • Then their specialist sales team takes over
    • They weren’t doing what they should have been and those based in the estate agency didn’t want to pick up what the specialist team weren’t doing
  • In the midst of trying to manage buying, selling, getting some issues remedied in the home we were selling, and the activities that are part of life ‘when it’s normal’; I experienced the sudden onset of a condition that resulted in me being temporarily disabled, but luckily it passed quickly

I can’t tell you how relieved I was when we exchanged. It wasn’t moving that I was happy about, but rather, not having to deal with the seller or his solicitor or the estate agent that he’d employed. Crazy, and also very daft of me to get so caught up in this ill-feeling! I’m glad that in hindsight I know that I need to look at it as something that came to pass, and it’s passed so I need to let it go.

Why is moving difficult for so many people?

I don’t know anyone who finds moving to be a joy. Perhaps it’s because a number of things happen at a fast pace. This is what I’ve found unnerving.

  • Suddenly being inundated with emails and phone calls about potential new homes
  • The many emails and calls about potential buyers wanting to view our home
  • Batching viewings up helped, but it took a lot of time and focus
  • I had to be around for the whole day for the surveyor’s appointment
  • Taking the time to meet and choose a removals company
  • Packing
  • Carrying on with everything else as usual – working, cooking, meeting family, fulfilling other duties etc.

Tips on how to make the process of buying and selling your home smoother

  1. Familiarise yourself with the process of buying and selling so that you know what to expect before you begin
  2. When deciding which agent will handle the sale of your home, choose one that you think you can talk to easily, because you’ll be speaking with them a lot throughout this process, and you don’t want that to be a difficult experience
  3. Use a mortgage adviser instead of trying to do it on your own
    • Choose a mortgage adviser who you can talk to openly and honestly
  4. Ask your solicitor to BCC you in to emails to the agents and solicitors so that you don’t have to go and ask them if they’ve sent something or find out when it was sent
    • This will help when the estate agent calls asking about delays or wanting to confirm if something has been sent or not etc.
  5. If you’re buying the property with someone else, ask your solicitor to explain the difference between joint ownership and tenancy in common before deciding which option to go for
  6. Write a Will even if you write it yourself
    • sign it in front of a witness
    • make sure the witness writes their name and address on the Will
    • make sure they’re not a member of your family
    • give a copy of it to someone you trust
    • be clear that the witness doesn’t have to read the document, they only have to witness you signing it

Do you have any tips for making moving as smooth as possible?

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