At the point of contracts being exchanged you are legally committed to your move. From here it typically takes 2 weeks to complete and there’s a lot to think about.
Don’t panic! To ensure this process runs smoothly, here’s a pre-moving checklist between exchanging contracts and completion.
What should I do after exchanging contracts?
After you have exchanged contracts, you/your solicitor should ensure that everyone in the chain, and involved in the process, is up to speed and knows what is expected of them. For example;
- If the property is leasehold, get in touch with the freeholder and let them know that you are the new owner of the property
- Ensure your solicitor has registered the transfer of ownership with the land registry
- You are legally responsible for insuring your new property, so make sure it is insured from the day you exchange, NOT the day you move in.
If you’re in a chain, it’s likely you won’t complete until everyone in the chain completes. But, if you make your preparations to move as if you are completing, this will help you get organised in readiness for your move date.
Preparation tips between exchanging contracts and completion
Below is a comprehensive checklist of everything you need to remember before you move:
- Notification of your new address details to:
- Your bank or building society
- Your local council (both current and future)
- Your credit and store card providers
- Your telephone, internet and TV/satellite company
- TV license
- Your mobile phone provider
- Your utility companies – gas, electricity, water
- Any other financial companies – pensions, ISA, premium bonds
- Home and contents insurance provider
- Car and pet insurance companies
- Your existing and new GP practice and Dentist
- DVLA (so that you have your new address on your driving license)
- The electoral register department of your local council
- Your employer
- Redirect of all your mail via Royal Mail to make sure that you don’t miss any important paperwork during or after your move.
- Let friends and family know you are moving. This can be done either by a group email or by sending out individual change of address cards which can be created and delivered using an online provider.
- Register with existing utility companies at your new address and let them know your details and when you will be moving in. By default, you will placed on a ‘deemed contract tariff’. Once you’ve moved you are not obliged to stay with this supplier and you’d be well advised to research alternative suppliers and tariffs to determine best fit for you.
- Ensure you request from the seller of your new home paperwork relating to:
- How the boiler works
- Where the mains water tap is
- Where the meters are for water, electricity and gas
- When is bin day?
- Are there any manuals or warranties for any white goods or items that they have left behind?
- Where did any tiles in the kitchen or bathroom come from (should you need to replace them)?
- Where did any cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom come from (should you need to replace them)?
- Where is the thermostat?
- Make sure you receive all door and window keys. If you aren’t getting them from your solicitor or the estate agent, where will you find them.
- If you’re planning on leaving your children and pets with a relative or friend for the day you move house, make sure you get this booked in in advance. Otherwise, start to plan how you’ll move with them in tow.
- If you have space, and time, start de-cluttering and do some early packing. Now is opportune time to have a clear out and free yourself from any unwanted items that you no longer use/need. It’s easy to underestimate ow long this can take s start by have a good sort-out.
- If you haven’t already done so get a removal quote. You should compare at least three companies and make sure you have quotes from them for the least they will do, through to the most expensive move options. TIP: Check with the firm you choose if they are insured if you pack the boxes yourself and something gets damaged. Make sure you don’t commit to any booking until you have the greenlight for moving day from your solicitor.
- Book time off work for the move.
- Check the time you can actually move into your new home and plan everything around that hour.
- Speak to your neighbour at both your old home and your new one to see if you can get access to park the removal van.
- You might need to contact your local authority (which can take a few weeks in some places) to get a parking bay or two suspended for use by your removal van. Regulations will vary and there may be a mall fee involved so worth thinking ahead if this impacts your move.
- Don’t forget settle your final bills at your old property.
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