When you move house, it can seem a complicated process. You’ll be reliant on lots of people to do their jobs promptly so you can keep to your timescales. Read our top tips for speeding up your move today.
Although it’s possible to move and buy a home in just a few weeks, the average property purchase takes around three months. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce the chance of any hiccups along the way.
In this article, we share our top tips for speeding up a move.
Find a good estate agent
Your estate agent will be the central point of contact for the entire purchase. They will often be the only person who can speak to all parties, including those further up the property chain. Therefore, spending some time researching estate agents in your area can often pay-off further down the track.
Ask for recommendations from previous customers, check reviews online and pop into branch to test their local knowledge. Our property experts are embedded in their local markets and will be happy to talk about the area or answer any questions.
Sort your finances
Finding a mortgage can take quite a few weeks, so make sure you start searching early. Do your research and speak to our mortgage brokers at dot financial services, which is part of the UK’s largest broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau. Our experts will be able to guide you through thousands of different products available from hundreds of lenders to find the right one for your circumstances.
You should have an agreement in principle in place before you begin viewings (estate agents usually require this before they can start showing you any properties). This makes you a more attractive prospect to sellers as you’ll be able to act quickly should you set your heart on a home. Remember that an agreement in principle will only be valid for a set period of time – typically three months – so you’ll need to source a new one if it expires.
Before you exchange contracts, make sure your formal mortgage offer is agreed and that the funds are in place. This process can take some time as your lender will need to go through some more detailed checks to ensure you’ll be able to keep up with repayments.
Organise searches in good time
When buying a house, you’ll need two different kinds of survey. One will be a valuation the satisfy your lender that you can afford the property. The second will be to uncover any issues with the building itself. You’ll often need to organise and cover the costs of both.
Surveyors can be booked-up well in advance, so if you know you’re progressing with a property, book an appointment early to avoid any delays. Once both surveys are complete, you might need some time to investigate any structural issues or renegotiate the price if the valuation isn’t consistent with the agreed price.
Find a high-quality conveyancer
The legal process of buying a property can be complicated. Once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’ll be able to choose your solicitor. Your estate agent will ask for their details straight away, so it’s best to have one ready. We can recommend a conveyancer from our approved panel, all of which are regulated by either the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
Although you might be tempted to employ the services of a legal professional you know already, property law is a specialist skill. It’s best to instruct an expert who understands the process and the challenges that can arise.
A high-quality conveyancer will be in regular contact with you via calls and emails. If they uncover any issues that need further clarification, they will act on your behalf to resolve them. Buying a property is the most significant financial commitment you’re likely to make, so try to be patient and factor in some extra time for any unforeseen issues.
Understand the chain
Unless you’re a first-time buyer or are purchasing a property without a current owner, for example, a new build home, you’ll likely find yourself in a chain. Spend some time speaking to your estate agent to understand the seller’s circumstances and the factors influencing their ongoing move. Are they buying another property? Does another person currently own it? And so on.
Remember that everyone in the chain needs to be able to move at the same time. It’s your estate agent’s job to manage this and make sure things run smoothly, but make sure you understand the chain and the steps you need to make.
Set a target
Work with your estate agent to set a target moving date so all parties are on the same page. However, make this deadline realistic; you don’t want to find yourself under pressure if one part of the chain is ready, and the other is behind.
Always build-in a cushion for unknown issues and add some time between exchange and completion. Although it’s possible to do both on the same day, solicitors will usually prefer some more time to transfer funds and finalise the paperwork.
If you’re a buying a leasehold property, it’s even more important to start the conveyancing process as early as possible. The freeholder (landlord) needs to be contacted, which means the transaction can be more complicated. Your solicitor will carry out additional checks and require information about the management company, ground rent and maintenance charges.
If your house purchase is reliant on a cash gift from parents, this is a gifted deposit. In these cases, your mortgage lender will require a letter from your parents confirming that the money is a gift and that they have no legal ownership of the property. The lender will also need to carry out additional money laundering checks. If this applies to you, make sure you are ready to supply all the required information quickly.
Stay in touch
When you’re buying a property, communication is critical. There will be a lot of paperwork to fill in, so make sure you can complete and return this promptly. Small delays can add-up, so try to be as contactable as possible, even if you’re on holiday. Being available can help to keep the whole process on-track and help to get over any hurdles quickly.
Speak to an expert
If you’re looking to move to a new home, our property experts will be happy to help. Speak to our team today.
If you are thinking of moving house, why not read our blog on how to sell your house for handy hints and tips.