Are you moving home at Christmas? Here are some top tips for a speedy and smooth process!

Posted on: November 17th, 2016

It is that time of year where Christmas is fast approaching and many of our clients are looking to be in their new homes before the big day.

Here are a few top tips to help achieve a speedy and smooth process:

  1. Ensure that you are contactable – as your matter nears an exchange of contracts, it is essential that you remain contactable for any last minute instructions or so that we can take authority from you to exchange contracts and agree a completion date. This does not mean that you need to be in the area, just that we can contact you via phone or email. If you think contact will be difficult, let us know so we can discuss alternative arrangements.
  2. Paperwork and instructions – throughout your transactions there will be various documents that will need to be signed, for example the contract. We will also need to take various instructions from you. In order to proceed quickly, returning all required documentation duly signed and providing full comprehensive instructions will help to achieve this.
  3. Deposits – in order to proceed to an exchange of contracts on your purchase, you will usually need to provide 10% of the purchase price as a deposit. Even if you are selling a property at the same time, you may be required to ‘top up’ the deposit being provided from your buyers if your purchase is for a substantially higher value. Providing these deposit monies in preparation for an exchange would help speed up the process. Please bear in mind the various methods that banks offer to send funds, as each has a different time scale before they clear in our account (i.e. CHAPS is same day clearance where as online banking or faster payment BACS takes 24 hours to clear).
  4. Completion monies – as above, funds will be required in between exchange and completion. Ensuring that these funds are sent to us so that we hold these as cleared funds (preferably the day before completion) and are ready to proceed on the following day will help towards a smooth completion.
  5. Removals – Christmas is a busy time of year for moving home and it is worthwhile checking availability with your removal company when nearing an exchange of contracts, in order to assist with negotiations over completion dates and to avoid unnecessary delay at this stage.

There are also a number of points to consider when thinking of moving home at this time of year:

  • Firm closures – it is quite often the case that firms may close over the Christmas period (this year from 23 December to 2 January). Even though Coffin Mew will be open on 28 and 29 December, this will prevent any exchanges or completions taking place.
  • Encountered problems – when considering a completion date, it is worth bearing in mind that problems can occur on the completion day or shortly afterwards. For example, the banks may not be able to send transactions if there is a technical fault, or you may find a problem with a leak or the boiler once you have moved in. As other firms may be closed or tradesmen are not available, it could be several days before these problems can be resolved. Ideally, completions on the last working day before Christmas should be avoided.
  • Mortgage advances – please note that most lenders will require a period of five working days (some even require up to seven working days) between exchange and completion. You would therefore need to exchange your transaction at least a week prior to your ideal completion date.
  • Weather – will a white Christmas be on the cards for some of us this year? It is important to keep an eye on the weather, just in case adverse conditions like snow present themselves, causing difficulties on your completion/moving day. Removal companies could experience delays on the roads and you could end up snowed in and unable to complete your move.

We will of course try and accommodate your timescales in order to facilitate a completion and get you into your new home before Christmas. Noting the above you will assist us in this task.

And just a final reminder, if you do happen to complete before Christmas, don’t forget to let Santa know your new address so your presents do not end up down the wrong chimney!

For further information, please contact our Residential Property team on 023 9238 8021.