Countless surveys indicate that moving home is one of the most stressful shared life experiences we can undertake. We asked our property experts – is it really possible to have a stress-free move? Aprill Barry, an Associate in Laurus’ Property department, gives her advice on how you can work together with your solicitor to find practical ways to reduce stress during the conveyancing process.
While it’s natural to feel stressed when undertaking a huge life event like a property transaction, there are plenty of ways your property team can ease your worries and remove obstacles so you can focus on what’s important. Aprill tells us, “There is no getting around it, property transactions are stressful. But luckily there are several tools we can use to try and alleviate clients’ stress.”
Teamwork is a key to a successful transaction, Aprill says, and she and the team at Laurus always make sure clients know they have dedicated contacts on hand to answer any questions.
“There is nothing more stressful than your calls and emails being unanswered at a pivotal moment. My senior paralegal, Sophie Rackham, and I work as one unit giving clients two main points of contact at Laurus.”
Always having a friendly face available to answer questions can make the world of difference during a transaction. When you instruct, a good solicitor will tell you who will be handling your case, and where to direct your queries. At Laurus, this will be a property expert with experience in your type of transaction, whether you're buying a family home, leasehold, new build, buy-to-let or commercial property.
One major cause of stress is the uncertainty created during a transaction, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Aprill ensures not only are clients given regular updates, but she also sets out the next steps, so you can prepare ahead of time, and keep your transaction moving.
“Apart from keeping our clients updated at regular intervals, I find that sending clients a bullet point list of “next steps” helps them visualise what needs to happen before we can exchange contracts.”
Keeping open lines of communication and looking ahead to next steps can not only reduce stress, but can save a lot of time during a transaction.
Because buying or selling a home is an important, often emotional event, unexpected issues can be stressful. Aprill recommends that, as well as both client and solicitor knowing what the plan is, solicitors should be looking to address problems before they even arise.
“We look to uncover speed bumps before we hit them. When we issue quotes to clients, we ask them whether they have a preferred completion date in mind; from the outset we are therefore aware of potential obstacles. For example, the client may need to serve notice to end their current rental agreement or may only be able to offer a deposit of less than the usual 10% required on exchange of contracts. The sooner issues are dealt with, the less stress and anxiety for the client.”
“Clients frequently apologise for asking too many questions. There is genuinely no such thing as a ‘silly question’, and we will always take the time to explain legal concepts.”
Jargon, inexperience and lack of time can all create a barrier to understanding how a transaction is progressing, or what to do next. Aprill and the team make sure clients know they can ask any question and get a clear, honest response. Rather than having to spend hours searching the internet or interpreting legal jargon, Aprill makes sure her clients know she can guide them through any part of the process.
If you are looking to make a move in the property market yourself or would like to speak to our property team about referring a client, please don't hesitate to get in touch on 020 3146 6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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