There’s no doubt about it; the house moving process can be one of the most complicated and stressful times in anyone’s life. But contrary to popular belief, speeding up a house move can be done. If you’re about to embark on a move and just want the whole thing to run as quickly and smoothly as possible, then here are our top tips for avoiding delays when moving house…
Have your money at the ready
From the moment you decide to put your house up for sale, you need to be clear about your finances. Whether you’re a first time buyer or moving for the fifth time around (in which case, you’ll already know all about this) sorting your finances first is guaranteed to speed up any house move. Whether it be getting your mortgage in principal agreed in order to start making serious offers or simply ensuring you have your full deposit and any fees ready (especially if these are not coming from existing savings) and staying on top of your finances every step of the way is vital.
Be proactive and communicate
You’ll deal with a lot of people whilst moving house – from estate agents and conveyancing solicitors to removal companies and everything in between.
Completing and paperwork swiftly, responding quickly to enquiries, having your documents ready (for example copies of wage slips, bank statements and your ID for a mortgage application or planning permissions/guarantees for the property you’re selling) and having all your affairs in order can really speed up the process of making and having an offer accepted and starting off the contracts process.
Staying in touch with them and updating them with any changes that occur along the way means that everyone (including you) can plan accordingly, with as much notice as possible to take action avoid any last minute problems. If you want an update on something don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or drop a quick email – these companies are working for you so should be happy to provide you with any information you need.
Combine your Property Surveys
If you want to have a home buyers or full survey done on the property you are buying then consider using your mortgage lender to provide this at the same time as conducting their valuation report rather than doing them independently. This will speed up the process and could save you money.
Book your removal company early
Although you might not have a date yet you should try to start arranging a removals company around 4 weeks before when you think moving day might be.
Contact around 3 companies in your area (our guide on how to find a recommended removal company explains this in more detail) and book an in-home move consultation with each. This is always a free, no obligation service which enables the removal company to quickly and accurately calculate the cost of moving your items. The surveyor who comes to see your home will also highlight little things you might not have thought about yet - like whether or not you need to make parking provisions for the removals truck or whether you require extra services such as a handyman or housemaid to help at each end. Once you have your quotes, narrow them down to one (see more about comparing removals quotations on our blog) and provisionally book the dates you’re aiming for.
Once you’ve exchanged contracts and have set a completion date for your move let the removal company know ASAP so they can finalise the dates for you and confirm your booking. Remember that during peak times (summer, school holidays, bank holidays and Christmas) removal companies will be busier and book up faster than usual so starting this process early is vital. Fridays (particularly the last of every month) are also extremely busy times, so if you can move on any other weekday, do it!
It’s never too early to pack
IF you’re doing your own packing to move house then as soon as your removal company is booked, start packing. This is arguably everyone’s least favourite part of the moving process, probably because it always takes longer than you think – so the sooner you get going with it, the sooner it’s done. This way, you can order extra boxes if needed, sort everything carefully and make sure it’s packed properly (see our how-to videos here for more advice on packing your own items). The last thing you want is to still be packing the night before – or even worse – the morning of your move. Not only is this stressful, but it might also delay your move and cost you more money.
Packing early also frees you up the week before your move to do all those last minute jobs you might have forgotten about until now like reading meters, redirecting your post and making arrangements for children and pets on the day of the move.
Think about when you want to exchange and complete
No matter how tempting it might seem to roll two things into one (and in principal, it does sound like a good idea) always try not to exchange and complete on the same day if you’re part of a chain. Completion dates are usually set at the time a contract is exchanged, meaning everyone connected in the chain can organise for their funds to be released on the same day. It only takes complications from one vendor who can’t complete on the given day to break the chain for all involved. If you can, try and leave about a week or so between each exchanging and completing, which should be enough time to resolve any problems that might arise. That’s not to say that they can’t be done on the same day at all – there are, of course, circumstances in which it works for many people – but you must be certain of the strength of your chain and confident that everyone will have their finances in place by completion day.
Although often not possible when you’re involved in a chain, If you can avoid moving in on completion day this is great as it gives you a bit more breathing space without having a deadline to be out of your old home and reduces the risk of waiting around for keys to get into the new one.
Arrange child/pet care on moving day
Moving day can be hectic, if your children and pets can be elsewhere for the day this is a good idea as it means you can focus on the move and not get distracted by having to think about keeping an eye on them or keeping them entertained.
Consider additional moving services
Do you need to dismantle anything to move? Are you taking any of the fixtures and fittings? Does anything need disconnecting? Do you need to have the house cleaned before you hand over the keys or can you come back and do this another day?
Many removal companies offer additional services to help you with the above so that everything is taken care of in advance so that you’re ready on move day.
Need more help and advice on moving house? Our Home Moves Blog offers lots of great hints and tips to help your removal run smoothly from start to finish.