So, after many months of searching and viewing properties you’ve finally found a house you wish to buy, you've made an offer and it’s been accepted! You may think that you can now sit back and wait for your moving date. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
The home moving process starts here!
You may be wondering 'how long does moving house take?' Well, this can depend on a number of factors. You may see another property you prefer at the right price and pull out of the purchase, or the seller may receive a better offer than yours, so this is no time for complacency.
Let’s take a look at what you should be doing next:
(As a short list:)
- Find a Property Solicitor
- Check if the house is still 'For Sale'
- Complete Mortgage Application
- Arrange a survey from a RICS Surveyor
- Find a Removal Company
- Exchange Contracts & Pay the Deposit
- Arrange Completion Date & Day of Move
- Pick up Your Keys
- Move into Your New Home!
10 Steps to Complete Your House Move
1) Find a Solicitor/Conveyancer
Find and instruct a reputable property solicitor (conveyancer) to complete all the legal work required during the purchase. The conveyancing provider will need to be aware of all of the checks and searches that need carrying out for the property in question.
All of the property solicitors that are listed on My Big Move have to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). This means that the solicitor you choose to do your conveyancing has the necessary experience and trust.
2) Check the property is no longer listed 'For Sale'
Most estate agents will take a property off the market as soon as an offer has been accepted. However, it’s worth checking to make sure you reduce the risk of another potential buyer making a better offer on the property.
3) Complete your Mortgage Application
Most people buying a home will need a mortgage to fund the purchase. When your offer has been accepted by the seller, you’ll need to fill out a mortgage application form and make sure your lender has all the documentation necessary, including:
- Proof of your identity
- Proof of your current address
- Proof of earnings
- Recent bank statements
You should have already engaged the services of a mortgage provider and obtained an agreement in principle, as the estate agent will want to know how you intend to finance your purchase before putting forward your offer to the seller of the property.
4) Arrange for an Independent Survey from a RICS Surveyor
Despite the fact that your mortgage provider will arrange a mortgage valuation survey for the property you intend to buy, you should still arrange for an independent survey by a RICS Chartered Surveyor to obtain a detailed report on your new home.
The mortgage provider requires a mortgage valuation to be conducted to make sure that the property is worth the sum that is being paid for it in order for the mortgage to be secure. However, the house survey carried out by a RICS Chartered Surveyor is for the benefit of the buyer.
As such, this survey should include an unbiased in-depth report on the structural condition of the property, which can be used to make an informed decision on whether or not to go ahead with the purchase.
5) Find a Removal Company
Some people choose to organise their own removal – however, taking advantage of the services of a professional removal company can take the physical stress out of moving home.
Even though you won’t yet have a definite date for the move, it’s always worth contacting a removal company early on - they will visit your home to assess your belongings so that they can give you an accurate quote.
You should also discuss with the removal company any special requirements you have for the move (antique furniture that requires special handling, pianos, etc.) and they’ll need to know if there are any parking restrictions at either of the addresses involved.
In order to get the best quote for your removal, it’s best to compare quotes from professional removal companies that are regulated by the Ombudsman (independent regulator).
6) Exchange Contracts and Pay the Deposit
When your mortgage has been approved and the necessary searches have been undertaken by your conveyancing solicitor, you can then sign the contract that legally commits you to purchase the property.
You’ll now need to pay the deposit (generally around 10% of the property value). You’ve now reached the stage where you can’t change your mind and pull out of the purchase without losing both the deposit and any further costs.
7) Confirmation of Date of Completion and Date of Move
When the contracts have been exchanged and the deposit paid it’s time to agree on a completion date. This is the day when the seller will have to move out of the property. Once this date has been agreed, you can decide when to move into the property and arrange a firm booking with the chosen removal company.
The usual time delay between the exchange of contracts and completion is 2 – 20 working days, though it can take longer.
This is when the mortgage lender releases the funds necessary to cover the cost of the property and ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
The house or property is now legally yours.
9) Time to Pick up your Keys
After completion, you can pick up the keys to your new property from the seller’s estate agent (or from the seller if they have not used the services of an estate agent).
It’s better to arrange this a couple of weeks in advance so that both parties can make sure they are free for the handover of the keys.
If possible, pick up the keys before your moving date as this could reduce the amount of time that the removal company will need to wait (at either of the properties).
10) Happy New Home
Time to move into your new home. Once the removal team have left, you can unpack all of your possessions in a relaxed fashion.
Make sure that you have a supply box packed with a kettle, tea bags, sugar, coffee, milk and other essentials.You’ll welcome the opportunity to have a cuppa before you start to unpack.
My Big Move Can Help You Save Money!
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