Financial & Legal News

Moving house in time for Christmas

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After Spring, December is one of the busiest times of the year for conveyancing solicitors and now is the time to make sure you get ahead - if you have seen a house you want to buy you need to instruct your residential conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible to start getting things in place to meet your deadlines and get the keys before Christmas.

It makes absolute sense to pre-warn your solicitor that you want a pre-Christmas deadline and check that all parties are working towards the same goal. Whilst this agreement is not legally binding until the exchange of contracts is achieved, it can help to have a date which all parties can realistically work towards, advise property solicitors.

Conveyancing solicitors at Pearson are currently advising all clients to get organised, be ready to move quickly and issue instructions to specialist conveyancing solicitors as soon as they have secured the right property to help achieve the festive deadline.

How to find the right solicitor or conveyancer

Check any reviews about your solicitor, look online at any accreditations they have as professional credentials and experience all count when you’re against the clock.

Always ask for the price as there has to be transparency in costs, make sure the price quoted takes everything into account, the last thing you want is added unknown expenditure at Christmas.

How to help with the process of moving house

  • Instruct a professional conveyancing solicitor.
  • Get confirmation from all parties about any surveys needed to be done, get diary dates booked in as early as possible.
  • Make sure any party relying on mortgage finance are not holding matters up waiting for paperwork.
  • Check solicitors have been instructed on both sides.
  • Pencil in a removal company as Christmas is a busy period.
  • Respond swiftly to any communication from your solicitor the day you receive it to keep the chain moving along.

“The housing market appears to be holding its momentum but who knows what 2023 will bring with mortgage rates, inflation and the cost of living crisis,” said conveyancing solicitor, Michelle Ong.

“Communication is key when trying to secure a moving date prior to the festive season. This way, your solicitor will be able to manage your expectations and also the expectations of all parties within the chain,” she added.

What is the difference between an exchange and completion?

To put it simply exchanging contracts legally binds you and the seller to the transaction. This means the Seller legally promises to sell the property to you and vice versa, you legally promise to purchase the property from the Seller. Once the exchange of contracts has taken place, all parties are legally bound by the contract terms.

It is important to note that prior to the exchange of contracts, all parties will need to agree on a completion date which is when the bulk of the money is transferred, and you can then collect the keys to your property.

What happens on house completion day?

The day of completion involves:

  • the transfer of the purchase monies to the seller
  • the seller formally handing over the legal documents required to transfer ownership to the buyer
  • the seller moving out so that the buyer can move in
  • the property agent (quite often) releasing the keys to the buyer

For a Christmas completion it is also advisable to make sure it is not too close to the bank holiday in case of any last-minute hitches.

Can you move house between Christmas and New Year?

You may want to feel more secure in exchanging before the holiday period and then move into your new home in the New Year – if this is the case, make sure you communicate to all parties involved and check when your solicitors are closed over the holiday period and when they reopen in the New Year.

For more information see our conveyancing FAQs on the process of buying and selling a house or check out our step by step guide to make moving house a little bit easier and help those clients who may be buying or selling a house for the first time.

For legal advice on moving house before and during Christmas contact our residential conveyancing solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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