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Can a House Move be Completed before Christmas?

View profile for Victoria Marshall
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Can we be in for Christmas? That’s the question most home movers ask from autumn onwards as property solicitors see a flurry of activity with clients hoping to buy and sell in time for the holidays.

The weeks leading up to Christmas are crucial for those navigating the home-buying process.  In the midst of a pandemic with lockdowns, tiered restrictions and uncertainty the Government has said there’s no guarantee that buyers will be in their new homes by 22nd December, the last day for completions.

“That uncertainly is probably based on a surge in property transactions following the stamp duty reductions and the post lockdown frenzy with people wanting to restart their stalled home moves, others wanting more space, home offices, gardens, outdoor space or just simply a change of scene,” said Pearson Head of Residential Property, Victoria Marshall.

“That combined with changes to usual proceedings due to government safety guidelines and with furloughed staff in some departments the local authority searches are taking longer,” added Victoria.

One thing it is advisable to get when the timing is crucial is the advice of a good conveyancing solicitor to make sure everything is above board, and the paperwork and payments go through smoothly.

The three main searches that area needed in any property transaction are:

  1. Local Authority searches
    These highlight: Planning, building control, highways and pollution issues
     
  2. Environmental searches
    These highlight: Flooding, landslide, subsidence and contaminated land issues
     
  3. Water and drainage searches
    These highlight: Who owns and maintains the sewers, drains & piping, connection to a public water supply and sewer, if the supply is metered or rateable, the location of public sewer and drainage pipes and whether you’ll need permission from the water company to extend the home.

“As we approach Christmas understandably people want to be in their new properties, so as their solicitors works on the legal details there are also other things home movers can be checking to make it a smooth move,” said Victoria Marshall.

Top Tips for a Christmas Move

  • Check with your conveyancing solicitor that they have cover if they are off especially now with the Coronavirus pandemic a one man band firm may prevent your chances of a move if they’re struck down with the virus.
  • Book a removal company – it might seem obvious but it’s a busy time and some may be shut for holidays – don’t forget to check their reviews and testimonials. Just make sure they have a flexible deposit scheme so if the date needs to be changed they can be! We advise against any financial commitment until the exchange of contracts has taken place.
  • Make sure your conveyancing solicitor has all your details and either your mortgage is set up, or if you’re buying outright as may need to act fast to achieve deadlines.
  • However always remember financial safety is important so beware of fraud, double check all payments are going to the correct bank accounts.
  • Friday is a popular day to move, but if possible make it a Thursday, it’s often cheaper with removal companies, if anything goes wrong it can be sorted the next working day and ‘Friday Afternoon Fraud’ is a real thing so always liaise with your solicitor when making money transfers.
  • And for the super organised, write your Christmas cards in advance with your new address in them!

Pearson Solicitors have a team of friendly residential conveyancers ready to turn your property dreams into a reality.  To talk to Victoria Marshall or one of the team call her now on 0161 785 3500 or email Victoria.marshall@pearsonlegal.co.uk

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.