In today’s housing market, the difficult bit is finding a buyer who can actually afford to go ahead.
But after that, there can still be weeks of uncertainty ahead of an exchange of contracts.
On moving day itself, most of the big worries should be over.
However, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) thinks this day too can be highly stressful.
NAEA chief executive Peter Bolton King says: “Too many people leave preparation until the last minute, which often adds avoidable pressure and expense.
Making a few simple checks and arrangements in advance should keep problems to a minimum.”
Here’s the NAEA checklist to make your own moving-in day as pleasant as possible:
Get multiple quotes from removal companies – prices vary widely, reflecting different levels of service from the simple transportation of items right through to packing them safely for you, so it is well worth shopping around.
Anybody downsizing to a smaller property might need to check out storage space rental costs too. It might be cheaper to source this service independently from a removal firm.
The NAEA, which represents 13,000 members in all aspects of property services, recommends using removal firms in the British Association of Removers (BAR), the trade association. Find the nearest BAR-registered firm by visiting www.bar.co.uk.
Don’t rule out moving yourself – work out the distance to your new property and the size of vehicle needed to transport all your possessions.
You can save money that way, but experienced removers pack and protect your goods to avoid damage during transit.
If you take the DIY approach, research self-hire services and check you have the correct vehicle licence for the type of vehicle you will use.
Set up services in the new address as soon as possible – it is frustrating to move in and find that the gas and electricity isn’t working.
Ask the estate agent for the previous providers, so you can call them to change the name on the contract or set up new accounts.
Also check phone and broadband services are enabled prior to moving in, as these can take several weeks to become active.
Check who holds the key to the door – it is surprising how many new homeowners forget to check the date for when the keys will be released for the property.
Clarify whether your new keys will be released by your solicitor/conveyancer or your agent, and when. Often it will be on moving day, not before.
Research access points on the day – make sure there is adequate access to the property for large vehicles to ensure no hidden surprises on the day of the move.
Plan packing well in advance. Many people pack up rooms in their previous home according to what fits best into boxes, but it makes much more sense to plan where you want to put items in the new property.
Labelling items is obviously important, but working on a floor plan which shows where everything will end up should make life easier at the new address.
Dismantle heavy furniture first – it’s very tempting to pack smaller items which fit easily into boxes first, but larger furniture such as cabinets and wardrobes should be made a priority as this usually takes longer.
Pack a ‘basics’ box – it is very easy to overlook the essentials when moving house but ensuring that you have a spare change of clothes, a wash bag and a charger for your phone can be very helpful.
Avoid a situation where you have to search through boxes during the move to find the basics.