Tip 1: Sell your own home before going to look at other properties. With 6 moves under my belt in 17 years, believe me, you’ll be taken more seriously. Also, if you’re REALLY serious, appoint a solicitor at the earliest stage to get the ball rolling. They will order your deeds and, if your property is leasehold, order the property management information. This could save you weeks later in the process.
My countdown to moving in before CHRISTMAS will help you plan your move – or soften the blow if it doesn’t happen. You really need to have everything in place by 1 October to ensure you move in by Christmas, but NOTHING is guaranteed:
Week 1 (16 September) – Call your friendly, independent, family estate agent for a realistic valuation; listen to your agent’s advice and make any reasonable changes to the property to maximise value; find out what you can afford, ensure you have the right amount for a deposit on your new home, and your mortgage company is prepared to lend to you.
Tip 2: Appoint your chosen Estate Agent to sell your home this week
Week 2 – Prospective buyers will be shown around your property by your pro-active agent, giving you important feedback on its price, location, and condition.
Tip 3: Contact your lender to give intention to redeem/transfer your mortgage
Week 3 (October) – You’ll be seeing prospective buyers again this week, for second viewings; you receive various offers (don’t necessarily take the highest offer – wait until your Estate Agent has checked the chains out first). Don’t forget, you want to move in 9 weeks’ time so select the buyer who’s in the best position to move quickly.
Your prospective buyer makes an offer – you accept! Now onto the next hurdle …
Week 4 – You already have a solicitor/conveyancing firm to deal with your conveyancing, right? That’s OK then – your solicitor will be in touch with you, sending you all the documents you need to check …
Tip 4: Don’t forget to formally instruct your Solicitor to act on your behalf
Week 5 – This week, you’ll be sending back any documents regarding the sale of your own property, and making sure everything is in order.
Week 6 – Is everything progressing as it should? Check again and again with your solicitor and Estate Agent that nothing is going to hold up your move!
Your buyer/lender will commission a survey on the property and if the survey is satisfactory, conveyancing begins …
Week 7 (November already!) – Last minute checks on mortgage offer, moving dates along the chain …
Week 8 – You should be exchanging contracts any time now providing there are no last minute hiccups with buyers in the chain. Double check your prospective moving in date
Tip 5: If you reach this point and nothing’s happening or the chain has broken, think seriously about moving in spring-time next year instead …
Week 9 – Start organising your packing, writing to your utility companies, friends and family, schools, employer etc giving details of your new address ONLY after CONTRACTS ARE EXCHANGED.
Week 10 – Confirm with your removal company the arrangements for the BIG DAY!
Tip 6: Think about your removal company doing the packing too – it’ll save lots of headaches.
Week 11 (It’s December, nearly Christmas time) – Pack the Christmas presents, decorations and the turkey …
Tip 7: Use FULLY LABELLED boxes where they can be found easily – you don’t want the turkey ending up in a bedroom!
Week 12 – Make sure your Solicitor is available early in the day to complete the sale! Move in 16 December with just over a week to go, ready for a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas celebrations. Feet up – you’ve made it.
Note: Very few home sales and purchases progress entirely to plan. The planner above is for guidance only, and you should liaise closely with your Estate Agent, Solicitor and Mortgage provider at all times.