Cute piggybank image to reflect the law type Property - Residential

Top tips to take the stress out of moving house!

Be prepared in order to prevent delays in the conveyancing process

Buying and selling property

Buying or selling a house can be one of the most stressful times in your life, and there are several things that can cause delays in the conveyancing process. Read our top tips to help you prepare, to help the process to go as smoothly as possible.


Find the right conveyancer

This is hugely important, as your solicitor will be key in making sure your move is as stress free as possible. In addition to their legal capabilities, communication is of upmost importance. You want to appoint someone who will respond to your questions promptly and deal with issues quickly, which will in turn reassure you during the entire process. Agree a set day every week when your conveyancer will update you and arrange to pass information on to your estate agent so that they can keep everyone else in the chain updated and coordinated.

Your conveyancer should ensure all documentation relating to your move is completed correctly and will liaise the other side on your behalf, taking some of the stress away from you.

Though you may be tempted to go with the cheapest option when it comes to the legal fees involved remember that the quality of the legal work is perhaps the most important thing to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

You can search for a conveyancing solicitor for free and without having to provide any of your personal details at


Find a good estate agent

Many people don’t appreciate the importance of a good estate agent. After all, they are not simply selling your property, they can also be the glue that holds the transaction together as they can speak to everyone in the chain to keep the move coordinated. Don’t underestimate the importance of a proactive estate agent, and how vital they are to a stress-free house move. Your conveyancer can probably recommend a good estate agent based upon the experience of collaborating with them during many different transactions.


Be organised

You can help speed up the process by instructing your conveyancer as early as possible as there is lots to be done in preparation for your move.

Make sure you have all your most up to date documentation in order so that it can be processed as quickly as possible. This might include mortgage and insurance documentation as well as identity documents. Getting your mortgage application approved in principle before you start house hunting will also speed up the process once you have an offer accepted.

If your conveyancer is not local to you then you can get copies of your identity documents 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, make sure you ring your conveyancer immediately. There are many online applications that can also remove the need to send original or certified ID documents. Ensure that any email request for such Id verification has been sent by your chosen conveyancing solicitor.


If the property is 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.


Sign and return contracts as soon as possible

Respond to your conveyancer’s enquiries 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. A sale is only legally binding once contracts have been exchanged and delays in the transaction are a common reason why buyers might pull out of a purchase, causing the whole chain to collapse!


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 also be extremely helpful negotiating dates with everyone in the chain. A lot of people think they must move on a Friday, but you can complete on any weekday and in fact removals are often cheaper mid-week than on a Friday. Be patient and prepared to be flexible in your expectations because this is usually one of the most stressful parts of the process, because of course the completion date needs to satisfy so many different people within the chain. The larger the chain, the more complications there will be in terms of coming to an agreement on a completion date.


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. Your conveyancing solicitor is bound by regulation to check where any personal funds have originated from, this is known as source of wealth and source of funds checks. Unfortunately, it feels like someone is prying into your financial affairs, however the solicitor is obligated to do this. Be prepared by having bank and personal financial statements ready for early supply to your conveyancing solicitor for checking. Please be aware that if funds are being gifted form friends or family, then, similar Id and money source checks will need to be conducted for them too.


Packing and preparing to move

Once you have agreed a completion date you will need book a removals company. Decide how much help you will need in terms of packing your belongings and how much money you are willing to spend then compare companies to find the best deal. 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.


Ensure that you have home insurance once contracts are exchanged

You need to take out home insurance to cover for any damage from exchange of contracts, as it’s the buyer’s responsibility to insure the property until completion date. Once contracts have been exchanged you are legally obliged to complete, and the seller is not legally nor contractually obliged to insure the property.


Update your address details and redirect post

Once you have moved into your new home you will need to update your address and notify the relevant people that you have moved house. This might include banks, insurance companies, utility companies, doctors and dentists and your place of work. You may also need to update your driving license. You might also want to consider re-directing your post for a period to enable you time to complete this, which will also provide better protection against identity theft.


You can read other guidance to help you when buying a house, such as “Buying a new home with the help to buy scheme” or “Why are conveyancing costs going up?” Alternatively, search for a lawyer for free and without providing any of your personal details at