Common Fears of House Buyers and Sellers

17 September 2018

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You don’t have to be a first-time buyer to feel daunted by the process of buying and selling a property. It can be a confusing and complex time! We understand first-hand the common fears of our clients.

Here at Hewitt Adams, we have a responsibility to our buyers and sellers. We’re here to make sure your moving process is as smooth as possible, along with the help of your solicitors. That’s why we felt the need to create this blog post, to address some of the common fears that people have when buying or selling a house.

4 common fears when buying or selling property

Being gazumped or gazundered

If you’re not sure what these terms mean, don’t worry, we’ll explain. When you’ve made an offer on a house and it’s been accepted, someone then putting in a higher offer and acquiring the property means they’ve ‘gazumped’ you. On the other hand, if you’re selling your house and the buyer lowers their offer just before contracts are exchanged, they’ve ‘gazundered’ you. Both are very different situations but equally frustrating for the affected party. To try and prevent these unfortunate circumstances there are a few things you can do:

  • Take out home buyers’ protection insurance
  • Arrange a solicitor, mortgage agreement and your surveys and searches as quickly as possible so the process is not delayed
  • Get friendly with the seller/buyer. If you’ve met them at viewings and you get to know each other (including your personal circumstances), gazumping and gazundering are much less likely
  • Ask for the sellers to take their property off the market
  • Keep in close contact with all parties: your estate agent, mortgage broker and solicitor – make sure everyone chases up things promptly and efficiently

Getting into a long chain

Naturally, no one wants to end up in a massive chain when buying or selling. However, the fear of a property chain should not put you off finding your dream home. You’ll be pleased to know that the number of property chains has actually decreased over the year, due to a rise in renting and new-builds. But if you do find yourself in a chain and you’re worried about a link ruining your chances of a smooth process, don’t fret. If you’re honest about your financial position and current living situation with both your buyers and sellers (if applicable), then hopefully they will be too. Choose a solicitor that you trust and you know will have your best interests at heart. And finally, if it’s at all possible, consider selling your home before buying to free up one end of the chain and minimise your chances of getting stuck.

Sale falling through

It’s no surprise that people worry about their sale falling through. Selling and buying a house is likely to be the biggest transaction you make in your life, so being concerned is completely normal. However, you should understand the main reasons that this happens so you can be prepared for any eventuality. Here are the most common reasons for sales falling through:

The survey finds something that is a big problem for buyers e.g. important work that needs to be carried out. Being honest with your buyers from the start and also asking the right questions when you’re the buyer can prevent anything unexpected getting flagged up.
If negotiations are difficult, some buyers may simply walk away. Be clear about your guidelines from the start, including your ideal completion date and any fixtures/fittings you will be leaving or taking. The smallest details can end up causing the biggest drama!
Unfortunately, sometimes people just change their mind – family issues, illness and job-related stresses can often be to blame. This is an incredibly unlikely situation and shouldn’t worry you. If it does happen, however, it’s important to remain level-headed and understand there was nothing you could have done differently.

Organising finances

The rule is quite simple here. Want to stay on top of your finances and keep everything stress-free? You should be as prepared as you possibly can, as early as you can. Make queries with mortgage brokers early on to see what kind of deal you’ll be able to get. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – even if they seem silly or obvious! The costs of buying and selling a house can seem daunting. But if you are prepared from the get-go, you will be able to manage the situation a lot better. Make a list of all the costs involved (solicitor fees, estate agent fees, removals, survey/searches etc.) and keep a little bit of cash spare for any unexpected costs or mishaps.

For advice and guidance on any worries or concerns you might have when buying or selling a property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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