THERE you are, a happy little property owner, minding your own business. Your thoughts are that maybe, in the not too distant future, you will sell up and take the next step up the property ladder.
You hope that little deposit you paid on purchase has grown into a nice chunk of equity, which will help you on your merry way up the next rung.
But without warning, your eyes meet those of a colleague across a crowded office. You share an after-work drink without your partners. Or your previously loving partner decides the plumber, who’s in to upgrade the bathroom, is in fact an upgrade on you!
Alternatively, those eyes across the office are those of your boss who is contemplating your future with the company. Even more traumatic of course is an unexpected illness, or other circumstances that suddenly and unexpectedly mean your dream of trading up is dashed.
Now all you long to be able to do is clear your debts, pay off the mortgage and all those late payments and get to the nearest rental.
In my experience there is a seemingly never-ending list of circumstances as to why some people need to sell not when the market is right, but NOW, ASAP, or even yesterday.
These sales therefore are categorised as a distressed sale.
This is a very descriptive title as they reflect the fact that there is a lot of distress for the vendors.
If you, or a friend, or family member are ever in this difficult and stressful period of their lives here are a few suggestions that may help.
• Understand that a distressed sale is a target for the bargain hunter, not the overly generous house hunter. Only when a sale is needed now can using the term be considered a good way to attract buyers, but do not expect to attract top dollar.
• Always try to take the anger out of the situation. This is easier said than done, especially in matrimonial disputes, feuding families or even lenders that you may not think are being very helpful. But take a step back and try to look at the situation from the other party’s point of view.