/ Home & Energy, Money

Is moving house stressful?

Our latest research has found that moving house is second only to divorce when it comes to stressful life events. So how can you make the process easier?

Everyone from first-time buyers to long-time owners experiences home-moving woes. In fact, our survey of almost 2,000 recent movers found that moving house is the second-most stressful life event of them all. Our findings concluded that, on the whole, having children, changing jobs, and getting married are all far less stressful than moving.

Being in the throes of selling up and buying a new house myself, I can definitely sympathise. There’s no way of guaranteeing a hassle-free move: things can and usually will go wrong at some point.

My stress busting tips

If you’re in the midst of, or planning, a house move then here are my three tried-and-tested top tips to ease the stress:

1. Buying in a competitive area? Get organised

Demand for property is outstripping supply in many parts of the UK. I’m moving to a super-competitive area – there were eight bids on the house I’m buying – and being able to demonstrate to the vendor that you’re committed will make a big impact.

Get a mortgage in principle and instruct a solicitor before making your offer to demonstrate that you’re organised and willing to move quickly. If you’re a first-time buyer, make sure the vendor knows this, as being chain-free will make you extra-appealing.

2. Don’t always go for the cheapest option

The cost of moving house is eye-watering – and when you’re blowing thousands of pounds on stamp duty, not to mention the property itself, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is spending more than you have to on the extras.

But scrimping is generally a false economy. Spending a bit more on a whole-of-market mortgage adviser who will help progress your sale, an experienced estate agent who knows the local area inside out, or a highly recommended solicitor who specialises in conveyancing will often save you money – not to mention prevent sleepless nights – in the long run.

3. Be nice (it really helps)

It might not sound like much but believe me, being nice makes a difference. If you’re buying, the estate agent is the gatekeeper between you and the home of your dreams.

When a new property hits the market they’ll call their favourite house-hunters first. They’ll often have a lot of influence over the vendor’s decision on whose offer to accept, too. Our estate agent video interviews show just how important these relationships are.

And agents are just the start of it. Moving house is charged with emotion and one in three property transactions fall through before completion. Being sincere and pleasant to deal with will sometimes (though of course not always) make an impact on how likely your vendor or buyer is to pull out. Say things with a smile and be decent and honest – it will often help.

A smooth move

For the vast majority of us it would seem that there’s no such thing as a smooth house move. In addition to my top tips we’ve got a checklist for viewing properties and an advice hub for both buyers and sellers over in our property section.

So over to you then, do you have any tips to help lessen the pain of a house move?

What do you think is the most stressful life experience?

Going through a divorce (29%, 44 Votes)

Arranging care for an elderly relative (20%, 30 Votes)

Buying a house (17%, 26 Votes)

Retiring from work (8%, 13 Votes)

Changing jobs (7%, 11 Votes)

Having a child (7%, 11 Votes)

Selling a house (7%, 10 Votes)

Getting married (3%, 4 Votes)

Buying a new car (2%, 3 Votes)

Finding a school for your child (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 153

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Useful links:

Buying and selling a house: Which? advice hub
How to get good mortgage advice
Choose the best estate agent to sell your home

Duncan Pattinson says:
17 August 2016

Top tip
Use a moving house checklist, cost it and then check you. A afford to move. Get fixed quotes from your key professionals.

Congratulations, Duncan, for being the first to comment on this Conversation that has only been running since January 2016!

J Hill says:
19 May 2017

I can never understand why buyers do not get a limit for the mortgage they would be eligable this would give a understading of what price they can offer. at present it seems that buyers look at houses make an offer then approach the banks or building societies for a mortgage…..this happened to me when selling my house. would a buyer for a car agree on a price before finding out if he could afford it !!!!!!