You may be surprised to learn that moving home is classed as one of life’s most stressful events, right up there with bereavement and divorce.
There’s no doubt that it can be tricky, with a certain amount of administration, cost and waiting around (especially if you’re part of a chain) before the all-important moving day finally dawns. But with the right advice and support – and a bit of patience – the process need not be painful.
Once your offer has been accepted, you’ll want to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to do the legal work (conveyancing). This involves the legal transfer of the ownership of a house from seller to buyer. At Pishon Gold we’re happy to report that we help scores of families to move home every year and our aim is to make that process as stress free as possible. We find that it helps if clients have an understanding of the conveyancing process. The most important steps are:
- Checking documentation – Your solicitor examines the draft contract and supporting documents, raising relevant enquiries with the seller’s solicitor. You will need to go through forms completed by the seller and advise your solicitor of any concerns.
- Performing searches – Undertaken by your solicitor, these detailed inquiries ensure that there are no unwelcome surprises, such as being in a flood area or a planned motorway running through your garden! They will also verify that the seller has legal ownership of the property.
- Getting the mortgage in place – Your solicitor checks the conditions of your mortgage offer. The lender carries out a mortgage valuation to ensure that the property provides sufficient security for the loan.
- Appointing a surveyor – A qualified surveyor undertakes a thorough examination of the property. It’s not compulsory but a survey provides peace of mind and legal recourse if the house is later found to have structural problems missed by the surveyor.
- Signing and exchanging contracts – Once enquiries and searches are completed satisfactorily, agreement is reached on fixtures and fittings, buildings insurance is in place (a buyer is responsible for the property at exchange of contracts), arrangements are made to transfer the deposit (normally 10% of the property price) into your solicitor’s account, it’s time for both solicitors to exchange contracts. Buyer and seller are now in a legally binding contract with a fixed moving date. A buyer who pulls out now loses their deposit and a seller can be sued.
- Completion Day – This is when money moves between the parties and buyers take legal possession of the house.
And long experience enables us to offer some tips for a stress-free experience:
- If you’re a tenant then don’t give notice until contracts are exchanged.
- Shop around when choosing a removals firm – personal recommendations are best, and never appoint on price alone.
- Make a list of everything to be done before and on Completion Day – including companies and individuals that you need to notify, meters to be read, setting up a postal redirection service and so on.
- A good relationship with vendors or buyers can be helpful but once the process starts it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
- Have a dedicated box for moving paperwork, but don’t pack it!
- Keep a box of moving-in essentials, including the kettle, cups, milk and snacks so you (and thirsty removal men) can have a hot drink when you arrive at your new house.
If you’re planning to move home and would some help with the process then please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you.