Experts have confirmed that buying a house is one of life’s major stresses – triggering more anxiety than bankruptcy, divorce and a grandparent’s death.
An in-depth study of 2,000 adults found a large percentage felt dabbling in the property market ranked as one of modern life’s most unpleasant experiences.
In fact, to-ing and fro-ing with solicitors over paperwork for weeks on end amid fears the deal could collapse at any time, and constantly chasing estate agents for updates, was even hailed as more traumatic than losing a job.
The research, commissioned by EstatesDirect.com, found the hassle of selling a house came above the levels experienced when losing a job, becoming a parent or planning a wedding in the list of the most stressful lifetime events.
Solicitors bore the brunt of the discontent from those who took part in the study and were labelled as the most stressful people to work with, while more than a quarter had bad experiences with an estate agent.
Yesterday a spokesman for EstatesDirect.com, the fixed fee estate agency launched last month by Poundland founder Steve Smith, said: “It seems that the stress of uprooting a home has been an unpleasant experience and a source of great strain.
“The results show just how gruelling the process is regarded and clearly it’s viewed among the most stressful events we encounter in modern life.
‘“The traditional ‘high street’ estate agents seem to be a major contributor to the stress, with a staggering 61 per cent of respondents saying they charge a high percentage fee but fail to manage the process smoothly.
“It’s a shame that what should be a happy or exciting time in a person’s life is marred by many complications, delays and unforeseen problems that could perhaps be avoided.’’
The research also found people were more than twice as likely to feel selling a property was more stressful than buying one, due to having to keep the house constantly clean for viewings.
Prospective buyers cancelled viewings on a third of those trying to sell, while 42 per cent received derisory offers.
More than a quarter suffered from a lack of updates from the high street estate agents, in the major bugbears for those trying to sell their home.
Meanwhile, a separate study in the US claims women who experienced one or more stressful events burned significantly fewer calories than those who did not.
The difference was significant enough to pile on almost 11 extra pounds over the course of a year