Buying a house - most stressful time ever?!

Well our whole house buying process started 10 weeks ago when we had our offer accepted on a property. Since then we have found our conveyancer to be very slow. After numerous attempts to phone him we had to use email. He will not answer or return our calls, but does seem to respond to email! We got our mortgage broker involved, as well as the estate agent and raised a complaint against him. We finally had some correspondence from him on Monday when he emailed us a copy of the letter he had sent sellers solicitor on 19th April. They never received this letter! So we emailed the letter to estate agent to pass on to sellers solicitor!

It seems the only time something gets done is when we intervene! We informed our conveyancer weeks ago that we would like to complete by 13th May. That is not looking likely as we haven't signed contracts yet!

Just wondering if anyone else has had any stressful experiences? We are FTB and never want to go through this again! Sleepless nights, stress on our family. Nothing about this process has been enjoyable!!

After we finally sign a contract, what happens next? Any timeline?

Thanks in advance
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Replies

  • ItismehonestItismehonest Forumite
    4.4K Posts
    Wait for the time that you have to sell as well as buy _pale_.
    I recall experts coming up with something about moving home (selling/buying) being up there with the most stressful experiences in life.
  • jibbyboojibbyboo Forumite
    262 Posts
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    In the same boat, it's an exceptionally stressful time.

    Very little you can do though, other than ensure contact with all relevant parties at necessary points.

    There should be a 'housing planner' - like a wedding planner that sorts out all of this stuff for you and presents you with the house and keys at the end! :) (if someone does this and makes millions, I expect royalities!)
    Please respond to mine and others' posts with courtesy and kindness- and I will not deliberately disrespect you. Down with the trolls!
  • brettsbretts Forumite
    470 Posts
    I can understand, I am going through the same exact things as you are, my conveyancer too is just way too slow, he kept asking me to wait for different things to come through, first the offer then the memo and now he took a week to send his terms and conditions to me to proceed with the work. I am still quite behind in terms of process and steps but I am sure its not going to be easy with such a person i guess unless he springs into action after a few days.

    I am still to get the searches and all done too.
  • zzzLazyDaisyzzzLazyDaisy Forumite
    12.5K Posts
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    Buying a house ALWAYS takes more time than you think it will, especially if you are a FTB.

    There is really no point in stressing as that won't speed up the process one jot. Also it is a beautiful Friday afternoon on a bank holiday weekend, so your solicitor is probably already out on the golf course ;)

    By all means give your solicitor and the estate agents a chase once a week to keep the ball rolling, but truthfully, it will be done when it's done.

    And within a few hours of moving in, you will have forgotten all about the long wait, and anxious moments. A bit like childbirth, really :D
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • mrsmchapmanmrsmchapman Forumite
    358 Posts
    I sold our house after two weeks end of jan, found a house 7 days later offer accepted, sadly not all going to plan, should be exchanging on the sale today but not on the purchase, still waiting for that but confident it can be completed together. I'm not moving again for some time!!!
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    Buying a house - most stressful time ever?????

    Are you serious????

    Try death or serious illness of a loved one, loosing your job, divorce, end of a relationship.....

    There are hundreds of life experiences that make house buying and selling a doddle by comparison.

    Moving house is only stressful if you let it be so.

    Get organised and plan everything to the last detail. Have a plan b, plan c, whatever.

    Make lists.....

    Back up every phone call with either a letter of confirmation or an email.

    Do not send valuable hard copy documents through the post. Hand deliver them whenever possible. Get receipts when you hand them over.

    Take copies of everything.......

    Leave nothing to chance, check everything, double check it and then check it again for luck.

    Get good advice, even if you have to pay for it. Don't take shortcuts.

    Have a proper survey. Don't go for the cheapest legal team go for one that has been personally recommended by someone you know and trust.

    Keep all lines of communication open, get your purchasers and vendors details so you can make direct contact.

    Progress the sale yourself.

    Be a control freak - double check everything yourself.

    If you are the purchaser then remember - Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware. Don't buy a pig in a poke, make sure you know what you are buying.

    Don't dilly-dally - keep the sale moving, however don't rush so much that you don't forget to read the small print.

    If you don't understand what you are signing - then don't sign until all your queries have been answered to your satisfaction.

    I have moved house. I have stared in the face of bankrupcy and worked my way back. I have lost a baby through miscarriage, I have had a sick child, I now have a husband who is extremely ill.

    Trust me - buying and selling houses is a breeze.

    All it takes is good organisational skills and a little patience.

    If a house sale falls through there is generally a pretty good reason.

    If it has your name on it you will get it - if not there's always another one waiting in the wings.

    Houses are a bit like buses. You miss one, there's another one in 15 minutes.....
  • Better_DaysBetter_Days Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Buying a house - most stressful time ever?????

    Are you serious????

    Try death or serious illness of a loved one, loosing your job, divorce, end of a relationship.....

    There are hundreds of life experiences that make house buying and selling a doddle by comparison.

    Moving house is only stressful if you let it be so.

    I think you are being a little bit unfair LL. You are very familiar with house buying and selling so it is less stressful for you as you know how it all works. But many people only move every 5 years or so, and as a result are much less familiar with the process. Plus the housing market will probably have changed in the interim.

    You can make lists to your hearts content and be organised, which does help. But there is a lot out of your control, especially if there is a chain, and the amounts of money at stake are eye-watering. Our run up to exchange was very stressful because one of the EA's in the chain was a PITA and repeatedly promised exchange which was then delayed. We nearly lost our rental as a result and it would have been very difficult indeed to find another rental which allowed pets and suited my health needs. The chain of 7 was put under immense pressure and it was a miracle no-one pulled out.

    Despite all my lists and organisation I did get to the point where I had had enough and my health was deteriorating further as a result of all the messing around. Luckily my high risk strategy paid off in the end and the sale went through, but it was very stressful.

    Now I am looking to buy I am finding that even though we are chain free cash buyers, EA's seem to have the memory span of a goldfish, and unless we view a property with them evey week they forget who we are. There are well over 30 EA's selling (often only a couple of properties) in our area and I can't view with them all.

    So any pointers as to how to maintain a profile with EA's so that when the house comes onto the market they give me a ring?
    It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
    James Douglas
  • pinkdora1pinkdora1 Forumite
    29 Posts
    I think you are being a little bit unfair LL. You are very familiar with house buying and selling so it is less stressful for you as you know how it all works. But many people only move every 5 years or so, and as a result are much less familiar with the process. Plus the housing market will probably have changed in the interim.

    You can make lists to your hearts content and be organised, which does help. But there is a lot out of your control, especially if there is a chain, and the amounts of money at stake are eye-watering. Our run up to exchange was very stressful because one of the EA's in the chain was a PITA and repeatedly promised exchange which was then delayed. We nearly lost our rental as a result and it would have been very difficult indeed to find another rental which allowed pets and suited my health needs. The chain of 7 was put under immense pressure and it was a miracle no-one pulled out.

    Despite all my lists and organisation I did get to the point where I had had enough and my health was deteriorating further as a result of all the messing around. Luckily my high risk strategy paid off in the end and the sale went through, but it was very stressful.

    Now I am looking to buy I am finding that even though we are chain free cash buyers, EA's seem to have the memory span of a goldfish, and unless we view a property with them evey week they forget who we are. There are well over 30 EA's selling (often only a couple of properties) in our area and I can't view with them all.

    So any pointers as to how to maintain a profile with EA's so that when the house comes onto the market they give me a ring?

    Thank you for your reply. I have had my fair share of stressful times in my life but was just wondering if anybody else was finding house buying stressful!! Its our conveyancer who has made this whole process more stressful for us. He just won't communicate with us. Even the EA agent phoned us today to say he's starting to worry her now to!!

    Hopefully we'll be in our house soon and you will have some luck with EA soon :)
  • yorkshire_terrier_owneryorkshire_terrier_owner Forumite
    268 Posts
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    Yes, it absolutely is stressful. Having been through dealing with parent's ill health, major financial problems some years ago, relationship breakdowns - house buying/selling property is most definitely up there with most stressful things to deal with in one's life IMHO.

    Having recently sold and bought I found I wasn't sleeping properly, lost my appetite, snapped at loved ones etc etc. Funnily enough all has returned to normal now I've moved!! On the upside - I lost some weight and am now bikini ready for my holiday!!!!! And that was with a conveyancer that was on the ball and dealt with things quickly......

    Best of luck....... And if all else fails I found comfort at the bottom of a Gin bottle!!!!!
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    I am sorry if I sounded harsh.

    However, I'm afraid I found the original posters remarks overly dramatic when applied to a process which is no more than a business transaction.

    Of course moving house is stressful and I'm sorry to hear that your move has proved so difficult.

    However, my point was that moving house is and could never be "the most stressful thing ever." I felt the statement was simply over-egging the pudding. Just hyperbole.

    I agree that no matter how organised you are there may be circumstances that arise in which you may have little control, especially where there are chains involved.

    However, my advice stands.

    I think it is crucial that buyers and sellers alike take "Ownership" of the proceedings and assume a level of responsibility to oversee the transaction.

    Far too many people rely on the EA's, Sols etc and then complain that things aren't happening quickly enough, too many delays, not enough communication.

    And yes I agree that all of that does indeed happen. 1 in 3 sales fail to complete.

    However moaning is not the answer.

    As you point out the stakes are high, serious amounts of money are changing hands and yes it can be an anxious time. This is why I feel it is incumbent on the participants to be pro-active.

    I realise that it is galling not to be kept informed, that EA's and Solicitors hardly ever return phone calls. Levels of service can be poor, especially when you think of the fees they are being paid.....

    I totally agree that service could be much much better, that clients should be treated with far more courtesy and respect than they sometimes receive.

    I know I drone on like an old worn out record about this but some of the responsibilty has to lie with the us - the consumers of these services.

    We have allowed them to get away with shoddy service for far too long.

    I can only give people advice gained from both my personal and professional experience.

    In a nutshell it is this -

    "Be pro-active. Grab hold of the reins and don't let go".

    Keep a close watchful eye on proceedings and monitor every step along the way. If you let things slide then the situation will become unbearably stressful when it all goes pear-shaped.

    There are some things in life you simply cannot control and there are times when you will be utterly at the mercy of whatever fate throws at you.

    Buying and selling houses is not one of those times.

    The outcome is not in the lap of the Gods. It is up to us to determine the outcome. Allowing the situation to get out hand and letting stress soar to the point of illness is misguided.

    No house purchase is worth it, even if you do lose money.

    If the situation is really that bad then sometimes it's better just to walk away.

    Life throws us enough curved balls - we don't have to try and catch them all.
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