Some psychologists talk about people being ‘at cause’ in their dealings with life. This is all to do with responsibility, being able to make choices and see them through, and is a sign of a mature approach.

The opposite is being ‘at effect’. Which is what happens when people feel that their life is out of control.

Home purchases are really interesting from this perspective. You, and maybe a partner, potentially with a family involved too, make a decision to move. That’s a proactive choice, something that puts you in charge and hence at cause.What then follows is typically that people in the house purchase process feel at the mercy of decisions they don’t understand, made by people who won’t talk to them in plain English. It’s like being asked to go shopping abroad in another language – except instead of buying lunch on a pleasant holiday, you’re making the biggest and most significant purchase of your life in a country where you thought you knew the rules.

Image credit: Visual Comparison of Patterns

From being at cause, people make a transition to being at effect; subject to the whims of others. You revert from being an adult capable of making choices and dealing with their consequences, to someone effectively treated as a child by professionals who see no reason to explain what they’re doing or how they’re doing it. They’re the grown ups who know what’s going on, you’re the kid struggling to follow. Is it any wonder that buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can ever do?

No wonder then, that 23% of house transactions fall through. And of those that succeed, the belief that communication in the process was protracted and badly handled is widespread.

No surprise – when else in life do you hand over responsibility to a major life change to someone who won’t talk to you in ways that you understand?

I’ve met people who encountered any number of obstacles to buying, even though they ticked all the boxes required for a smooth transaction. In theory, everything should have been straightforward. In reality, they encountered blockages that left them stressed and anxious, and uncertainty about the state of their purchase when there should have been no doubt. Not good for anyone.

Hearing stories like that led to the creation of the InTouch app. By making communication between the parties involved transparent, not only is the whole process streamlined but – more importantly – purchasers feel they’re back in the driving seat in their own lives.

Which is as it should be.