Last summer my husband and I decided we‘d like to move house. After having a relatively smooth experience as first-time buyers we hadn’t anticipated what was in store for us this time around…
We started to look for a new home. Feeling a little anxious about marketing our house too soon, as being in a sought after area we were sure it would be snapped up quickly.
But we were encouraged to put our home up for sale as we were told any offers we made would not be taken seriously unless our house was sold.
Well our house was sold within two weeks of it being on the market, so the race was on for us to find a new home.
A race to buy
Over the next three months we made offers on four properties before having any success.
On the first property, we offered full asking price for a property but the seller became completely uncontactable. On second property, the vendor decided to rent out the property, completely unbeknown to the estate agent.
Then on our third attempt, we offered full asking price and stressed that we’d be willing to negotiate. We were later told that the property had been sold, with no opportunity to increase our offer.
During the time it took to find a property, prices were increasing weekly and with an offer already accepted on our house, we were left with less and less to spend.
Luck of the draw
Finally, around four months into the process, the estate agent we’d sold our house through called us to tell us they’d just had a house come onto the market that they thought was perfect for us. Jumping at the opportunity, we went to view it that evening.
We made an offer there and then and the offer was accepted the following morning.
Nobody else was given the opportunity to view the property, which was lucky for us, but again shows how unfair the property market is.
Our purchase was completed three months after having our offer accepted. But we had yet more trouble and stress with the conveyancing.
The house we were buying was a probate property, so we expected a little hold-up. We were prepared to wait but didn’t expect the process to be nearly as long and stressful as it was.
Initially we were told by all parties solicitors that all conveyancing would be completed in advance of the probate being completed, so once probate was done the purchase would be very quick. This was far from the reality of it. Probate was actually completed eight weeks into the 12 week process.
A story far from unusual
But we’re now seven months on and are happily renovating our new home, breathing a sigh of relief that all of that stress is over. But when we chat with friends and family about our experience, however extreme it felt, sadly it’s far from unusual.
So have you recently experienced home buying or selling? How did you find the process? Did you find anything particularly complicated or stressful?
This is a guest post by Polly Freeman. All opinions are Polly’s own and not necessarily those shared by Which?