5 top tips to prevent a stressful house move

TIP 1 - Show your house to potential viewers in the best possible light. Maximise both its kerb appeal and attend to the interior - do those jobs you have been putting off. A lick of neutral paint to those scuffs and marks, remove garish wallpapers and clean the carpets. All good examples of where a small bit of effort can pay dividends.

TIP 2 - Instruct your solicitor before your Estate Agent. The earlier you instruct a solicitor the better position you will be in both to start promptly, and how prepared you will be. If your solicitor has time to study your deeds, locate any local authority consents for building works you have done and consider any forms they have asked you to complete, they will be able to pre-empt any issues that a buyer might raise rather than letting that happen weeks after the buyer puts an offer in - a waste of time for everyone, especially if the issue is time consuming to fix and your buyer loses patience.

What issues might they be? Many, as it depends on the quality of the solicitor you used when you bought.

TIP 3 - Choose the right solicitor. If your only goal is a cheap price, then these tips are not for you as stress will follow nearly always with cheap conveyancing. If you have very little respect for your move by going cheap, then a cheap conveyancer cannot be expected to have much more either. Lack of communication, unqualified staff, calls diverted to secretaries, and mistakes in paperwork are all commonly reported when price is low.

A sensible approach to selecting a conveyancer would be to make sure they are Lexcel accredited, they offer you an actual conveyancing 'solicitor', 'legal executive' or senior conveyancing executive and the very same conveyancing lawyer handles your move start to finish.

TIP 4 - Choose the right Estate Agent. You should always consider obtaining more than one valuation and probably three would be best. Not all Estate Agents are the same. Commission based Agents have a reputation of winning your business by over-valuing your property - which can mean that buyers show no interest, your property remains on the market too long, and you eventually receive an offer far lower than even the lowest valuation you originally obtained from the other two Agents.

Choosing an Agent who has firm local ties and whose local reputation is important to them should mean you will receive a realistic valuation which will help you achieve a sale much quicker.

TIP 5 - Prepare your finances. If you are both selling and buying then even before putting your house on the market, you should have a mortgage offer agreed in principle. It also makes you a more attractive buyer when you come to make an offer for a property.

But choosing the right mortgage is crucial, and you should always consider using a mortgage broker who is both an IFA (an Independent Financial Adviser) but also one who considers the 'whole of the mortgage market', even those mortgages that lenders will only sell direct to customers, not through mortgage brokers. The mortgage broker will usually receive commission from the mortgage company, so you do not have to pay a fee from your own money.