Quick tips to avoid delays when moving house

Written by Rightmove’s Mark Bailey, Head of Removals

Moving day is exciting, arguably one of the most exciting days of your life (if my wife reads this, of course our wedding day is no.1!). You’ve been dreaming about your new home, starting a new adventure and putting down roots.


Moving day can be stressful and there is a lot to do; you should try to make it as easy on yourself as possible.


We have compiled a few quick tips to help keep you in control on move day…


Preparing to move

1. Communication is key

Keep in touch with your Conveyancing Solicitor and Estate Agent, ensure they are all prepared for completion day, after all, they are working for you. Inform your Conveyancing Solicitor of anything that could be an issue, no matter how small, they can judge if they need to do anything to ensure a smooth transaction.


2. Avoid same day exchange and completion

If you’re in a chain of people moving then avoid this at all costs as it would only take one person to have an issue with the exchange for all your best laid plans would go out the window. If you are using Help to Buy Equity Loan the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) could take up to 1 week to release the funds between exchange and completion. Allowing a week between exchange and completion will also give you time to setup a Royal Mail postal redirect service, which takes up to 5 working days.


3. Ensure all the required funds are ready

You should ensure your Conveyancing Solicitor has all the funds needed from you to close on completion day. It is also a good rule of thumb to budget 0.5% of your final home price for other costs like changing locks, domestic connections, other miscellaneous fees and service charges etc. For more information have a look at our Moving Costs Calculator.


4. Book a professional mover early

A professional removals service that will help move all your belongings on move day could be the biggest stress reliever on the day. They will ensure all your things are out of your home on time before the next property owners get the keys and will ensure they get to your next home and into the house safely. It’s also worth arranging a few contingency plans with them in advance in case anything goes wrong; they deal with the property business on a daily basis and they will be able to help guide you through some of the moving hurdles. Also, reserve a parking space if necessary. For more advice on Removals Services, read our guide to picking a removals company.


5. Pack up your belongings way in advance of move day

Your removals company can also help with packing and might be able to pack up your entire house in a day or two. If you decide to do it yourself, start at least a week before and pack a few boxes each night. Pack your breakables carefully with bubble wrap, or old t-shirts and curtains etc. to wrap and pad all the items. Ensure you label all the boxes with what room they will be going to in your new house – this will help immensely on move day.


Getting moving

1. Arrange for child and pet care
Not only can children and pets be a distraction but it can also be an unsafe environment. If possible arrange for someone to help look after them on the day, this will allow to concentrate on getting moved as quickly and efficiently as possible. If the children are old enough to help, find age appropriate tasks for them so they can feel part of the move and help with workload for everyone else.


2. Meter readings

Before you leave, get a final meter reading of all your metered services and call the relevant suppliers to inform them of the numbers so you can settle up the final balance and close the account ready for moving. If you don’t do this you could end up in disputes with the new owners and it’s just added stress when you could be relaxing in your new home.


3. Pack an overnight bag as if you’re going away for the weekend

It saves trying to find clothes and toiletries that are packed away for the first night and day once you arrive in your new home. Sounds obvious but this could save you tearing your hair out trying to find your toothbrush and slippers by rummaging through all your nicely packed boxes!


4. Essentials box packed and transported with you

Essentials box to include; kettle, tea and coffee, milk, loo roll, snacks, phone charger, small radio, sellotape, pens, scissors, takeaway menus for the new house and a vase (for potential house-warming flowers!).


5. Final checks and clean

Finally, make sure you are fully prepared for the day ahead. Go through your home and ensure that you have not forgotten anything. It’s a good idea to leave your old home in a clean and tidy condition for the new owners; if you have time before the move a spring clean is always recommended so you don’t waste time and effort packing and moving items that you don’t need any more and will most likely throw away once in the new home. Read our top 5 tips for spring cleaning before moving.


Moving time!

1. Make up your new beds in the new house first
So when you’re tired later and you can’t face anymore work, you can hop straight into a comfy bed and get a good night’s sleep. This way you will feel revived and ready to crack on again in the morning!


2. Arrange for a food shop to be delivered

Having food in the house is one less thing you need to worry about. Failing that, find some local takeaway delivery companies so when you get hungry in the middle of building the beds and wardrobes you don’t have to take much time out to eat… also, if you have roped in any friends to help, they probably deserve it!


3. Home insurance

It may be the last thing on your mind, but ensure your policy has started and everything is covered for your new home. It would be awful if you were putting boxes in your loft and your foot goes through the ceiling and your home insurance policy has not started and that you’re not covered.


4. Meter readings

Similar to what you would have done when you left your previous home, take meter readings of all your metered services, record the numbers and call the relevant suppliers to ensure your services don’t get cut off and that there are no outstanding balances on these services from the previous owners as you don’t want your new home address to end up with a bad credit rating.


5. Introduce yourselves to the neighbours

Making friends with the neighbors can make a world of difference to your enjoyment whilst at home. Having good neighbors can be a great benefit because they can help keep an eye on the place while you’re on holiday, collect packages when you’re not at home and they might invite you to their parties at home so you’re not left being disrupted by the noise as your joining in!


To make sure the rest of your home-moving journey goes quickly and smoothly, sign up to instant alerts to be at the front of a queue when a property hits Rightmove.