Moving House - Plan Ahead by Jane Beaven & Neil Henson
Moving house can be a potentially stressful time. There is a lot to organise – packing, removers, utilities, surveys, mortgages, new schools etc., and delay in the conveyancing process can be a factor. So what causes delay? Certainly one factor is the number of people in a “chain”. You may be ready, but if (for example) your buyers’ buyer is still waiting for a mortgage offer, then nothing can happen until that is received. Everyone therefore moves at the pace of the slowest “link”. It is most important that the estate agent thoroughly checks the “chain” before you consider accepting an offer.
You should choose a solicitor or conveyancer with whom you can establish a good working relationship to deal with this major financial transaction for you. In choosing a solicitor, you should consider using a local firm, which can offer the following advantages :-
- You know the individual solicitor who will be dealing with the matter, so that you do not speak to someone different every time you call.
- You can ensure that it is a solicitor (or Chartered Legal Executive) dealing with the matter from the outset – not an unqualified person “supervised” by a solicitor.
- Being able to meet and discuss matters face to face can be very beneficial, especially when difficulties arise or matters need to progress rapidly.
- Use a firm with a depth of expertise. You may need assistance in future on a range of issues, so establish a relationship with a firm that can advise on more than just your house move.
- Use a solicitor if possible recommended by family or friends – consider avoiding some estate agent recommendations where the conveyancing firm is many miles away and recommended because of “referral” payments the estate agent receives from that firm.
Unfortunately, you cannot always avoid a certain amount of stress with a major undertaking such as moving house, but advance planning and careful choice of adviser can reduce this.