You have had your offer accepted for the purchase of the property of your dreams and you have  got a buyer for your existing property. Everyone is telling you that this is going to be a stressful time because you are now in the middle of a dreaded “chain” transaction – on a par with getting divorced.


This will be as stressful as you make it. If you thrive on stress then this is your opportunity to excel. However, for the majority of us who would just like to try to get on with daily life whilst we move home, here are some tips:

  • Don’t try to arrange moving dates around holidays, weddings or any other significant dates because it just will not work. If you were simply selling or buying with one other party then you may be able to work around these dates but if you are in a chain this is just going to cause major problems with the other parties. You will need to be flexible.
  • If you have been advised (and ask your solicitor if you are not sure) that the property you are buying is in a residents only parking area, contact the local authority in advance of completion to organise a parking permit. You may need a letter of confirmation of your completion date from your solicitor to apply for this.
  • Try to de-clutter in advance to cut down on removal costs for items you will never use in your new property – use that e-Bay account or go to the local car boot sale or charity shop!
  • Check insurance provisions with your solicitor. If you are selling and / or buying a flat, it is likely that the landlord will organise buildings insurance but it is certainly worth checking. If you are selling a house, check whether your insurance needs to be kept on until completion. If you have a mortgage, you will need to keep your insurance in place. If your contract provides that the buyer insures, discuss this point with your solicitor. Don’t forget that you will always need to keep your contents insurance going until you have moved out. If you are buying a house, check with your solicitor whether your buildings insurance needs to be in place from exchange of contracts or from completion of your purchase. Knowing in advance can save stress if your assumptions are incorrect and you find out you were not insured after a catastrophe.
  • If you have larger pets, you might want to arrange for them to go into kennels / cattery for a few days until you are settled and can bring them back into the property which will be less disruptive for all concerned.
  • Don’t forget to have your post redirected. You should not rely on the new owner to send post on or to keep it for you for collection from time to time. You should also remember to contact your bank, DVLA, TV licensing, Council Tax department, other insurers (pet, car, etc.) of your new address. You will need to remember to read your meters on the day of completion – both for your old property and your new property – and let your service providers have those readings so that you can get final bills for your old property and set up supplies for your new property without being responsible for the services used by the seller.
  • You should also think about employing a locksmith to change the locks of your new property. Whilst you probably think you have all the keys (and the seller may well think he has provided these), you cannot be 100% sure and it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Focus on the fact that once you have completed your purchase you will be able to move in and settle down to your usual routine.

Good luck!

If you want to know more about how to make your move work well, contact me, Karen Jenkins, of Druces LLP’s residential property team, for more information.

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