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Top tips for moving house

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Nine steps for a stress free house move

Buying or selling a house can be a stressful time, it is important to choose the right legal team to act for you. Here are our top tips on how to make your house move go as smoothly as possible. 

Find the right conveyancer

The conveyancing association members have all signed up to pledges to ensure that your move is a positive experience, to find a local Conveyancing Association member in your area and to read about the pledges, visit the Conveyancing Association website ( Stephensons are also proud to have received the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation which is in recognition of the standard and quality of our residential conveyancing practices

Find a good estate agent

If you need an update on the progress of the chain, a good estate agent is vital… they are the glue that holds the transaction together as they can speak to everyone in the chain to keep the move coordinated. If you need help choosing a good local estate agent then speak to your conveyancer.

If the property is a leasehold be prepared for a longer transaction time

Leasehold properties require a lot of extra legal information. If you are selling a leasehold property speak to the person who collects rent and service charges and find out who provides the legal pack and how much you need to pay. By having this information ready you can shave weeks off the transaction. If you are buying a leasehold property, be prepared for it to take a little bit longer. It’s important that all the information is provided and checked by your conveyancer as the financial responsibility for the lease will pass to you when you complete the purchase of the property.

Get weekly updates from your conveyancer

Agree a set day a week when your conveyancer will update you and arrange to pass this information on to your estate agent so that they can keep everyone else in the chain updated and coordinated.

Conveyancers must follow a code of conduct

Your conveyancer is constrained by a strict code of conduct so don’t be surprised if they have to do things a particular way, it is all designed to protect you and they risk a telling off by their regulator if they do not get it right.

Instruct your conveyancer as soon as possible

You can make a big difference in the time scales by instructing your conveyancer as early as possible as - there is lots to be done in preparation for your move.

Present your ID documents as early as possible

Take your identity document, usually a passport or official photographic identity document, into your conveyancer as soon as possible. If they are not local to you then you can get copies certified as a true likeness at a local bank or post office. It is not safe to send your original ID documents through the post so only ever send certified copies. If you have any suspicions at all that your emails may be hacked then make sure you ring your conveyancer immediately.

Pay your conveyancer immediately

Pay any monies on your account immediately to your conveyancer, preferably through internet banking. Any monies which are not used will be kept in a secure account known as a client account and there are strict rules to ensure that they are safe and returned to you if you do not proceed or if there is money left over.

If someone is helping you with your purchase by providing a contribution towards your deposit please make sure you let us know as soon as possible and be aware that we may need to carry out additional administrative work which may in turn cause a slight delay in the transaction.

Sign and return contracts as soon as possible

If your conveyancer asks you a questions, answer as quickly as possible. If you do not understand or are concerned about answering enquiries, ring your conveyancer, they will be happy to help. Sign and return the contract as soon as possible. Your conveyancer will not exchange contracts until everything is settled but withholding the signed contract could result in delay to the exchange.

Get your searches and application approval as soon as possible

Pay for your searches and allow your conveyancer to get them underway as soon as possible. Get your mortgage application approved in principle before you start house hunting to speed up the process once you have an offer accepted.

Be flexible

Let your conveyancer know dates when you really cannot complete your transaction and let them work with the rest of the chain to find a date that suits everyone. The estate agent can be very helpful negotiating dates with everyone in the chain. A lot of people think they have to move on a Friday but you can complete on any week day and in fact removals are often cheaper mid-week than on a Friday.

Send the monies for completion as soon as possible

Send completion monies preferably by internet banking. Your conveyancer will keep it in their secure client account so it will be very safe. Make sure that, at the very latest, that it will be cleared in their account the day before completion.

Make sure the property is cleared

When selling a property, make sure you have cleared the property by 12 noon, including any rubbish or possessions which you have not sold to the buyer. If you do not do this, you could be charged penalties under the contract.

The conveyancing process

This helpful and informative video gives you an idea about time scales and the different stages involved in a residential property transaction.

Conveyancing fees

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about our services please call us on 01616 966 229, you can also generate a free quote without obligation here: Conveyancing quote

If you instruct our residential conveyancing team to act for you on buying or selling a property before the end of August you could win £500 in vouchers to help you settle in to your new home.