When you’ve decided to move home, it can seem to take ages for anything to actually happen. It can take a while to get the house ready to go on the market, then it can take quite a few viewings to find the person who sees your house as their new home. But once that offer is made and accepted – hurray! Things can finally get moving… (excuse the pun).
Except they don’t. Somehow it just seems to drag on and on even more! Solicitors, surveys, mortgage brokers – everything needs to happen and things don’t seem to be progressing at the speed you want. So, what can you do to try and hurry things along?
Firstly, bear in mind this is one of the main reasons you are paying your estate agent commission. Obviously they’ve helped secure the sale, but this is when you need them to be fighting your corner to get the sale through to the finishing line as smoothly and efficiently as possible. A good estate agent is worth their weight in gold.
Hopefully before you even accepted the offer, you were confident the buyers were in a financial situation to be able to complete the sale – either as cash buyers or with a suitable mortgage offer in place. Mortgage offers can take several weeks, so you don’t want to be delayed by someone who hasn’t yet got it – even if they assure you it will be no problem, there’s no guarantee.
As soon as you receive them, complete your property information forms, with all the details of the property and the fixtures and fittings you might be leaving. The sooner these are with the solicitors, the quicker things can progress and any questions can be addressed. Make sure you get any paperwork organised and ready to send – if you’ve had building work done you’ll need building regs and planning. Include things like warranties and gas installation certificates too.
A lot of time can be wasted waiting for documents to arrive in the post – and there’s always the risk they don’t. Where possible ask to be emailed paperwork so you can print it out yourself to complete it if needed, which may save a few days here and there.
Try and agree a loose timescale for how and when you’d like to exchange and complete. It helps if everyone – professionals included – are working towards the same date, even if circumstances mean things need to change along the way. Remember that a completion date must be set by the time you exchange contracts.
Make sure you keep in touch with everyone in the process as necessary. Be easy to contact and check in as needed to ensure things are on track. It’s fine to make sure you’re keeping on top of what’s happening, and if everyone is in agreement, you can always cc everyone in the process in on relevant emails. If possible, a friendly, open process also means things can be dealt with directly rather than having to go through one person to speak to another person.
Finally, it’s definitely worth getting your removal firm organised as early in the process as possible. Even if dates aren’t finalised, you should get in touch with your preferred provider and get them to come and assess your requirements so they can provide an estimate. Popular dates – especially Fridays in the Summer – get booked up far in advance, so don’t be tempted to leave it until you have exchanged or you may not be able to get a removal team when you need it. Here at Holdsworths we’re obviously dealing with people in this situation day-in and day-out so we know how the process works. We’re always happy to have a chat through things and explain how best to proceed.
And hopefully, you’ll be raising a glass of champagne to toast your new home before you know it!