Moving home can be a stressful process

Are you moving home and don’t know where to start? Here is a checklist of the things you should consider, even before you even put the offer in on your new home.

Step 1: Try to agree a mortgage in principle

Before you have found your new home, you should begin the process of agreeing a mortgage in principle. This will help reduce delays later. Sellers prefer buyers who have their mortgage in place so there is less likelihood that a sale will fall through.

3 months before your move

  • After you have had an offer accepted, you should appoint your conveyancer to manage the legal aspects of the transaction. People often underestimate the time this can take, so early action is advisable.
  • You should also appoint your surveyor. You will need to liaise with your mortgage lender as they may wish to appoint a surveyor who is on the approved list.
  • If you are in rented accommodation, inform your landlord of your intended moving date. But do not serve notice on your landlord until your legal advisor confirms that it is sensible to do so. Your legal advisor is responsible for the conveyancing process and will discuss completion dates with you when the time is right. Serving notice on your rented accommodation too early may leave you homeless!
  • Obtain quotes for removal companies.
  • Ensure that your insurance company provides cover particularly for valuable items during the move.  If not, ensure that your removal company provides adequate insurance.
  • Prepare an inventory to ensure nothing goes astray during the move.
  • Sort through the contents of your home to get rid of what you don’t want or need. The less you take, the lower the cost of the removal will be.
  • Record all important contact details and phone numbers that you may need.
  • If this is a move associated with your job, check with your employer as to whether they are going to cover any of the costs of the move.

4 weeks before your move

  • Check whether your removal company is going to supply packing material.
  • Start liaising with your conveyancer to discuss the moving date.  But remember to be led by them. They will give you a realistic view of the likely completion date.
  • Arrange insurance cover for the new house to start from exchange of contracts. Your conveyancer should advise you when to put cover in place. This will be your responsibility from exchange so make sure you get cover in time.

2 weeks before your move

  • Liaise with utility companies to inform them of the move date.
  • Get rid of any rubbish or unwanted items from sheds, cupboards, attics and cellars. You must sell with vacant possession unless your sales contract stipulates otherwise, and only leave items that you have included in your sales inventory known as the Fixtures Fittings and Contents form.

1 week before your move 

  • Finish packing and labelling boxes with the name of the room for the new house.
  • Confirm with your removal company that the move date is still as planned, and they understand where the new house is.
  • The time of the move cannot be guaranteed. It depends on the time the seller’s lawyers receive the sale monies. This can be later in the afternoon on the day of the move. So, it is a good idea to check with your removal company what time they will stay until. It may be wise to consider delayed completion insurance.
  • Cancel subscriptions, prepare change of address letters for banks, HMRC, utility companies, your employers, and set up a forwarding address for post with the post office.

Moving Day 

  • Pack your overnight suitcase ensuring you have all you will need on arrival.
  • Ensure all boxes have their room destination.
  • Check the house you are leaving is fully emptied and cleaned.
  • Record all utility meter readings and take an image on your phone for later review.
  • Lock all windows, doors and make sure the house is secure.
  • Make arrangement for the handover of keys either personally or through your estate agent as previously advised to your conveyancer.
  • Make sure you understand how keys for the new house will be handed to you.
  • Check in with your estate agent and conveyancer on the morning of completion to see how things are going on the legal side of things and in relation to handover of keys.
  • Do not hand over your keys on your sale until your conveyancer has advised you to do so.