GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME: Sarah is here to help first time buyers get to grips with the conveyancing process. She rounds off the year with her top ten tips for a successful house move…
Sometimes, solicitors offer a lot more than just legal advice. I’ve helped many hundreds of people tackle the stressful task of moving house and seen some sail through it, while others struggle. The key is organisation, so I’ve highlighted a few things you can do to make the process a little easier to manage:
- Make a to-do list and try to follow it. You can then use it as a checklist on your actual moving day.
- Don’t make any firm plans until contracts are exchanged and a completion date is fixed by your solicitor. This will prevent you from having to rearrange and effectively do the same job twice.
- Once you have a completion date, you can start packing. Don’t forget to label your boxes on more than one side, so when they are piled high, you can still see what’s inside. You need to decide where everything is to go, so draw up a room plan or sketch of your new property and check your furniture will fit through the doors, so it can be moved around.
- Decide if you’re going to move your own things or hire a removals company. If you opt to pay for professional help, obtain three quotes, making sure you enquire about their cancellation procedures and insurance, before committing.
- Once a moving date has been agreed, notify your utility suppliers, building societies, doctors, dentists, etc. You will also need to make your home insurers aware of your change of address and overlap cover on the day of completion, so both properties are protected.
- Pack essentials into one box, e.g. kettle, mugs, tea, coffee, milk, bedding, etc. as they are the items you will need first. Make sure your mobile has plenty of battery life too, so you can be reached if there are any issues or completion is delayed.
- Make sure important papers are safe, but accessible, on moving day in case you need them and to prevent them becoming lost.
- Give your old property a good clean before you leave. It is not a legal requirement, but it is polite to hand it over ready for new occupants. I am sure you’ll be hoping to move into a nice clean home on the same day.
- Make sure you unplug electrical appliances, such as the fridge or freezer, a day or two in advance of the move to give them time to defrost thoroughly. On completion day, throw away any unwanted food and pull out the plugs on remaining appliances. Also remember to cancel any subscriptions for phone, TV and broadband or arrange for these to be transferred to your new property.
- Once you are in your new home, focus your initial efforts in setting up a bed, so that whatever happens next, you at least have somewhere to sleep!
If you are a first-time buyer with a question about moving home, our residential property expert, Sarah Gaunt, would love to hear from you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org