Death and the BIG decisions that follow

I recently wrote an article for WFO Magazine regarding my own experience of having to sell our family home and then purchase another after the sudden passing of my husband Tony, in 2017 in Bali, while we were on a family holiday.

Help with the practical stuff was a huge assistance. From meals and laundry to cleaning, mowing the lawn and ferrying kids around. The job-list was un-ending and you may, like me at times, find yourself trying to juggle it alongside massive life decisions, plus trying to keep things as normal as possible for your children. I was sometimes too afraid to ask for help, for fear of being judged as ‘not managing’. In fact, this is something I still struggle with BUT I am learning that it’s actually me placing these huge expectations on myself. It’s ok to ask for help to reset and get your adjusted life back on track.

One significant decision following on from a death of a loved one is selling the family home and then securing a new home. Navigating and transacting in the property market as a seller and buyer can be a stressful experience filled with confusion and emotion especially if you need to sell and buy in the same space of time.   

Often people start the process by looking to buy a new home but then the property dream cycle begins. You fall in love with a place, get emotionally attached and then feel heartbroken if you’re outbid or it’s mysteriously taken off the market. It’s a roller-coaster and sometimes you do feel like you want to scream. THEN there is a realisation that you need to sell your home before committing to buying a new home!!

Now this is where a buyer’s advocate can come into play and help you determine the essentials – what you need to achieve, time frames and budgets. It’s easier to divide the property journey into two stages to ensure that everything is being actioned accurately and effectively.

Step 1: Selling Your Home

Consider using a Buyer’s Advocate to provide a vendor advocacy service as they will co-ordinate the entire sales process and represent your best interests to the selling agent.   This is typically a free service that will include the following:   

  • Arrange an independent property valuation
  • Sourcing the bestselling agent to sell your property based on their local knowledge, comparable sales and active buyer network to provide you with a market appraisal for your property
  • Review the agents’ submissions before making a final recommendation ahead of your appointment
  • Ongoing support with the appointed agent throughout the sales campaign ensuring your best interests are maintained and the agent is accountable
  • Assisting with the negotiation of the agent’s commission and work with the selected agent to create a marketing strategy and advertising campaign (or off market)

Step 2: Buying A Home

Following on from a successful sales campaign, your buyers advocate can then assist you with a full service to purchase your new home. Some of these services could include:

  • Understanding Finances. Buyer’s agents aren’t financial advisors, but they have enough know-how and industry connections to put you in touch with experts who can help you.
  • Undertaking Viewings. The list of properties you want to view can seem out of control and unmanageable, your buyers advocate can make sure you see every house you should and none of the ones you shouldn’t.
  • Referral Network. Buyer’s Advocates have long-term experience in the property market and know the people you’ll need to speak to on the way. From mortgage brokers to building and pest companies, conveyancers and so on, your agent can connect you to the right people, every time.
  • Negotiation Skills. One of the scariest parts of buying a house is the negotiating – how do you do it? How can you know if a house is overpriced and how can you negotiate the seller down? You’re buyers advocate has the industry know-how to do all this and more – getting you the very best price in the process.
  • Ongoing Administration. Terrified of the complex and seemingly never-ending stream of paperwork associated with moving house? Let your buyer’s advocate keep everything moving and take care of all the forms and contracts – leaving you free to do the fun bit.
  • Emotional support. We all know buying property can be a rollercoaster of emotion – your buyers advocate, as an emotionally detached bystander, can soak all that up and help you avoid making rash, emotion-driven decisions.

To make your new life a reality in a truly pain-free way, you’re going to need to call in the experts. Whatever you’re trying to achieve, you’re not expected to know everything – fully-trained experts are on hand and it’s their job to guide you. When it comes to helping my own clients through the house-buying process, I’m there from the initial chat – where we cover everything from their current situation to their dream outcome – then right through the viewing, finance, negotiating and buying stages of the process. With years of industry experience in the Brisbane property market, I use my expertise to make house-buying an easy, stress-free process.