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Your Conveyancing Countdown to Completion - Things to Remember

View profile for Marissa Purnell
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Congratulations! You've successfully exchanged contracts which means you have a fixed completion date for moving house.

Time will probably start to move quickly which might be overwhelming. This is why we’ve put together a list of things to remember when moving.

  1. Arrange Buildings and Contents Insurance – The property will be your responsibility from exchange of contracts, not when you move in. This means you should have adequate buildings insurance in place from exchange. This is particularly important if you are buying with a mortgage. Your Conveyancer will need to see a copy of your certificate of insurance to ensure that it meets your lender’s mortgage conditions.

We recommend contents insurance is also taken out to protect your personal items, however, this is not a legal requirement.

  1. Book Removals – It is always our advice not to book removals before you have exchanged. Some removal companies expect a deposit to be paid or full payment when the booking is made. Until you have exchanged contracts, nothing is set in stone. If the transaction falls through then you will likely lose your removal deposit so make sure you are aware of the company’s cancellation policy. 

You should also make the removal company aware of anything that might impact the move on the day, for example, narrow lanes or parking restrictions.

  1. Start Packing – Pack non-essential items well in advance. Make sure everything is labelled for easy unpacking and that you know where your home comforts are like tea, coffee, mugs and kettle.
  2. Notify your Utility Providers – Inform your gas, electricity, water, telephone, and internet service providers about your move. Arrange for disconnection at your old address and connection at the new one. You should take meter readings for the property you are moving out of and let your utility providers know.
  3. Redirect your Mail and Notify Important Parties – Set up a mail forwarding service with your local post office to ensure you receive important mail at your new address. You should also update your address with parties such as your bank, your employer, DVLA, children’s schools and healthcare providers.
  4. Organise pet and childcare – Moving day will probably be stressful enough for you. Add pets and children into the mix and you might feel super overwhelmed and so will they. Therefore, if you are able to, arrange for a family member or friend to look after your loved ones.
  5. Defrost and empty the freezer – A few days before your move, defrost your freezer and empty it. Use up any perishable items or give them away.
  6. Take photos of your old house – Not only for sentimental reasons to look back on previous homes, but this may also protect you if your buyer claims the property has not been left in the condition they expected it to be.
  7. Get spare keys back – If you are selling, it is your responsibility to ensure that all keys to the property (including any windows) are handed to the buyer or estate agent. Over the years you may have asked a friend, family member or a neighbour to hold a spare key.
  8. Change the locks – If you are buying a new home, you should consider changing the locks. There might be various people who hold a key for example, cleaners, babysitters and previous owners, not just your seller. 58% of new homeowners do not change the locks and by not doing so, this might invalidate your insurance. Most insurance companies will require evidence of forced entry before they pay out on a claim.