Things You Need Get Sorted Before Moving


The period between Exchange of Contracts and finally moving in to your new home on Completion Day can feel rather weird.

Legally you don’t actually own the new place yet, but effectively  you are already the new owner – which is why you had to shell out for buildings insurance cover from the date of Exchange.

Either way, there are a surprising number of practical matters that need to be sorted out before moving.


*          Moving date

The date of your move will normally be the same day as completion. However, if you’re currently in rented accommodation it’s sometimes easier to leave the physical move until the next day. This gives you a clear run, avoiding the risks of the sellers over-running on time and holding you up, or last-minute delays with keys.

From a practical perspective it’s generally better to move during the week rather than at the weekend, since if there are any last-minute hitches – such as with funds or keys not materialising – it helps if the solicitors and estate agents are contactable, which may be more difficult at weekends. Superstitious folk may prefer to avoid completing on Friday 13th; but on a more practical note, if you move in late on a Friday and discover a leak it could be harder to get a plumber round without paying an extortionate emergency call-out fee.


*          Budgeting

There may be additional costs when you move in that need to be budgeted for in advance, such as new carpets and furnishings, or any urgent repairs. It’s advisable to keep a decent wad of cash handy on the day to pay for snacks, tips and any last-minute emergencies. While you’re at it it’s worth reminding yourself about the issues highlighted in your survey report and check with the vendors that any agreed works have been completed. 


*          Empty the freezer

Any frozen food stands a good chance of being ruined during the move, so in the weeks leading up to completion start munching your way through the stuff in the freezer. It’s surprising what you find. Once empty, the freezer can be defrosted and cleaned.


*          Chucking it

The packing process will inevitably involve having to trawl through shed loads of old stuff, posing the occasional dilemma about whether to chuck out objects of dubious sentimental value. Then there are all those slightly odd things you’ve hung on to for years because ‘they might come in useful one day’ – old offcuts of 4 x 2, the tent with a hole in it, and that classic carburettor with a bit missing. Your partner will doubtless announce that many of your long-treasured artefacts are valueless tat that should be unceremoniously dumped. Which is a strange thing to say when it’s so obviously their stuff that’s a total waste of space and is crying out to be recycled. Either way, you’ll be getting to know the route to the Council tip rather well over the next week or two.

The more you dispose of now, the less you’ll have to pay to be transported so that it can clutter up your next home. If you simply can’t bear to chuck it out, try selling it. But car boot sales and selling stuff online can be incredibly time consuming, so you may want to give it away via a local recycling website where people come and collect it.


*          Let people know you’re moving

Compile a list of people and organisations that need to know your new address and moving date. Financial institutions like banks and insurers normally need a signed letter with as much notice as possible (even then there’s a good chance at least one of them will bollix it up and keep sending confidential information to your old address).

It is especially important to check that they have correctly processed this information, as there is a potential risk of identity theft should confidential documents be sent to your old address. Other organisations may accept notification by email or by phone. Likewise, friends can be informed once you’ve safely moved in.


*          Utilities

Unless you want to spend the first night in your new home huddled around a candle shivering in the dark, be sure to notify the utility companies in good time. Naturally this means being prepared to endure endless queuing systems to call centres scattered throughout the third world. But by preparing yourself for the worst, you could be pleasantly surprised when an occasional supplier actually does their job properly.

Explain that you’ll be taking over the present owner’s existing supply and that the service is not to be discontinued. Be sure to read the meters at the new property on the day of arrival.


*          Phones and IT

Mobile phones have made setting up new landlines less crtical, unless it’s for business.  But if you’re moving to a house with the same exchange code it may be able be possible to transfer and keep your existing land line number. Otherwise it’s a case of contacting your provider to arrange either to take over the seller’s existing number or to request a new one, which will hopefully be ready on the day you move. Make sure you give them plenty of warning, especially if you want to order extra new lines in advance;. Cancel your old landlines.

Broadband can take a few days to rearrange. Some rural areas my not have high-speed Internet, but this is something you will have checked before deciding to buy the property particularly if you work from home. Similarly, non-urban areas may not have cable TV or Internet services.


*          Arranging care for pets and children

Since moving day is stressful enough without pets and children getting under your feet, it might be worth arranging day care (with friends, parents or relations) so that you can concentrate on the move itself.


*          Accommodation

If you’ve got a long way to travel you might need to book overnight accommodation.


*          Owner information

If you’re still on speaking terms, ask the sellers to jot down the important bits and pieces of information that you’ll need to know soon after arriving. This might include stuff like how the burglar alarm works, and where items like the meters and mains water stopcock are located.

Ideally, keys should be labelled to save you fumbling around trying to work out which ones fit the garage, conservatory, window locks etc. Information about bin collection, recycling and local services will also be appreciated. Do the same for your own buyers.





Our next blog – coming soon …….

COMPLETION DAY! (what can go wrong)


Check out our Rightsurvey blog page for more industry tips and secrets written by property professionals to help put you in control.