Moving house: a stressful time?
By knittingnancy | Thursday, September 16, 2010, 14:13
I never used to believe that house moving could be as stressful as divorce or bereavement, as the saying goes. That is, until last year when we found ourselves homeless for FOUR months as TWO house purchases fell through.
Property still sells quickly in my end of Whitstable!
It wasn't the fault of the agents, but more a factor of the recession which means that many fewer people are putting their homes on the market and of those, a large proportion are moving for intensely personal reasons such as the end of a relationship which sometimes means the poor buyer gets caught up in disputes between the house sellers.
Eventually, we moved in to our new Whitstable home with minimum fuss and in a speedy five weeks after making the offer.
We learned that striking up a good friendly relationship with your estate agent is vital, whether buying or selling, and having confidence in them that they will genuinely do their best for you.
In Whitstable we have a mixture of chains and local independent agents - both groups bring different advantages to the table.
It's worth sniffing out the specialities of each agent before deciding who to pick. If you are selling, who has the most for sale boards in your area?
For instance, Harvey, Richards and West say they specialise in seafront properties. They currently have a couple of very desirable properties in Joy Lane, overlooking Seasalter beach, at just under £1 million, which will undoubtedly appeal to DFLs looking to relocate! At the other end of the financial scale, a beach hut at Tankerton for £19,500 will get you a toehold in Whitstable if you want to come down for weekends.
In my own neck of the woods, around Island Wall, many of the property boards displayed are from Christopher Hodgson, another independent claiming 'unrivalled local knowledge'. They currently have an interesting property within 100 yards of the beach, and partly-built of timbers sourced from an ancient shipyard nearby, for £580,000.
David Clarke has offices in Herne Bay and Canterbury as well as Whitstable High Street - useful if you're looking across a wider area. A glance at their website shows that the cheaper properties in Whitstable are being snapped up (sold subject to contract), as the town continues to be popular with buyers even in these difficult times.
A study of house purchase completion tables reveals that, although prices in Whitstable have dropped, the fall is not quite as great as other areas, reflecting a strong desire still to move near to the sea. And Whitstable's reputation for its non-clone High Street and close-knit community makes it most desirable!
Ward & Partners, a Kent chain of estate agents, strikes a chord with Whitstabubblians as it strongly believes in local community and has a charitable trust which particularly supports local children in need.
Kent Estate Agencies has offices in both central Whitstable and Tankerton, which gives a very local service. Their priority is to match the right buyers with your property.
While temporarily 'homeless' my family and I rented property in Whitstable and we found that County estate agents have a lot of letting property as well as houses for sale. They have a high reputation for property management.
All these agents would no doubt concur with the following advice for painlessly selling your home:
- Clean up your garden, especially if pets are using it;
- De-clutter - but leave a few personal items around to make sure your home doesn't end up looking like a hotel
- Use a mirror to make a small room look larger
- Keep clean and tidy - you never know when viewers may want to come at short notice
- Use a local agent and let them accompany visitors - this means the experts will point out the best features, and also they will extract some honest feedback from your viewers
- Be realistic on price
Good luck if you decide to take the plunge - choose an agent you feel is on your side and you won't regret it!