To do now
  • How do you find the right mortgage deal?

    Check you're getting the cheapest deal by talking to a fee-free mortgage broker or choosing a deal yourself. You can compare thousands of mortgages for first time buyers, moving home or remortgaging with Zoopla's partner

    Mortgage First time buyer Home mover

    A better mortgage deal could save you thousands. Remember you're not tied into your agreement in principle, so it's worth checking if you could get a better offer from another lender. But don't delay as mortgage applications typically take at least six weeks to process.

  • Local Authority and other searches can take weeks to process, so place funds to pay for them now with your solicitor. Budget for around £300.

  • Request a call back from GOTO Surveys

    Request callback

    Talk to our partner GOTO Surveys to find out which kind is best for you and arrange for a surveyor to visit the property.

    Mortgage agreed? Now is the time to commission a survey on the property you're buying. There are three main types of survey; a basic Condition Report, a mid-ground HomeBuyer Report, or a full and detailed Building Survey. The one you choose will depend on the kind of home you're buying. Remember a mortgage valuation is for the lender's benefit, and not the same as a survey.

  • Cash is more useful than unwanted stuff. Whether it's in your old house or your new one, get rid of all your unwanted stuff with Anyjunk

    Top tip

    Begin your clear out by tackling the spaces you use the least such as the garage, shed, cellar, attic, and any spare bedrooms.

  • Get a provisional completion date

    Get a provisional completion date

    The completion day is the date you'll most likely be able to move in which you should get from your estate agent. This can only happen once the entire chain is in place and exchange dates are set.

    Provisional moving date
  • Tradespeople

    Search trusted local tradespeople and compare reviews

    Find local service

    Buying a doer-upper? Get the job booked in with a trusted tradesperson now, as the good ones can require several weeks' notice. It doesn't matter if you don't know anyone or have recommendations. You can find a whole raft of local services at Plentific in exchange for a few details about the job and the postcode of your new home.

2 Months Before
  • If you're organising your own removals, now's a good time to get your packing supplies ordered. To keep costs down, try asking your local supermarkets for discarded cardboard boxes. Don't forget plenty of blankets and dust covers for any delicate furniture.

    Top tip

    If you're doing your own removals, borrowing as much house-moving equipment as possible can save you a fortune.

  • If you need temporary storage and don't have a friend with an empty garage, start comparing units and costs. Bear in mind that the cheapest isn't necessarily the best. And it may be worth paying extra for storage that's closer to your new home.

    Top tip

    Many home insurance policies don't cover items kept in storage. In this case, get cover from the storage company or a specialist provider.

5-6 Weeks Before
  • Get removal quotes

    Get your free removals quote

    Start with the AnyVan online tool which provides an estimated cost based on factors such as move date, distance and the size of your current property.

    Don't book removals until you have a fixed completion date. Timings can change right up until the last minute and you could end up losing money if you cancel.

  • Now is an ideal moment to pack items you're unlikely to miss for a few weeks, such as books, kitchen gadgets, and clothing that's out of season. Clear plastic boxes are handy as they're strong, you can see what's in them and some have wheels. Cardboard boxes are fine, but don't forget someone will have to lift them once they're full.

3-4 Weeks Before
  • Confirm Move Day

    Confirm Move Day

    Any day now, you should find out your final completion date – that's the day you can move in. For this date to be set, all parties in the chain must have their legal work completed and their mortgages agreed. As soon as you have the date confirmed, contact the removals company and tell them.
    Has the date changed from your MovePlanner estimate? Get it updated to ensure your timings stay on track.

    Confirm your move date
  • Moving to a busy street? Make sure you can park right outside your new home by applying for a parking bay suspension from your new Local Authority. Allow 10 working days for your application to be processed.

    Top tip

    Apply for temporary parking permits until you can provide proof of address for permanent ones.

  • Broadband speeds

    How fast can you go?

    Find your new home's broadband speed

    Arrange broadband
    Compare deals

    You can usually take your broadband contract with you, but if you're not under contract, why not use this time to shop for a better deal in your new area? Whether you switch or stay with your current provider, keep in mind that setting up broadband in your new home can take some time. Make sure you give your provider at least 30 days' notice, if you can.

  • Ask your estate agent if the sellers will permit you to pop round to take measurements. That way, you can go ahead and order furniture, blinds, curtains, carpets and so on.

    Top tip

    Buying an upstairs flat? Don't forget to measure the height, depth and width of the stairwells and lift.

  • Cleaner deals

    If you promised your buyers a professional deep clean before they move in, check out prices and get the service booked in now.

    Book a cleaner now
1-2 Weeks Before
  • At exchange, you'll need to pay 10% of the property value to your solicitor. If you're taking a 95% mortgage, it's 5%.

    Your contract to purchase is now legally binding. If you back out or fail to complete on the date stated in the contract, you'll lose your deposit and could even be sued by the seller.

    Top tip

    You become responsible for your new property as soon as you exchange contracts, so it's crucial to get buildings insurance in place from the start of that day.

  • Use Royal Mail Redirection to get your post sent automatically to your new address. You can apply for redirection for 3, 6, or 12 months, and prices start at £31.99 per person. Allow 5 working days for processing.

  • It's time to stop or redirect any deliveries and services. Think milk, window cleaners, gardeners, veg boxes and magazine or newspaper subscriptions.

  • Home insurance

    Compare insurance** quotes for your new home

    Insurance quotes

    It's the perfect time to check the cost of insurance for your new property, as you may not always get the best price from your current insurer or mortgage lender. To save on premiums and ensure you're fully covered, try combining buildings and contents into one policy.

  • What about pets and children on the day of the move? If the kids will be at school, arrange drop-offs and pick-ups. You could also book cats and dogs into local catteries and kennels, adding a day either side of the move so as to spare them the stress (and you the worry).

    Top tip

    If your pets will be with you during the move, keep them in a calm, secure room that won't be disturbed. Move them only at the last minute.

  • Call the removals firm to check Move Day details, such as arrival time and parking. Make sure you have contents insurance in place to cover your belongings when they're in transit, either from your provider or from the removal firm.

    Top tip

    As soon as it becomes available, check the weather forecast for Move Day. You might need to keep waterproofs to hand.

  • Box up the last items such as pots, pans, crockery, towels and bed linen.

    Top tip

    Don't forget final checks – the backs of doors, tops of cupboards, and any outbuildings.

  • Empty the fridge-freezer, switch it off and and give it at least 24 hours to defrost. This way you can avoid having to chip at the ice with a knife.

  • Pack a first-night box. It might contain your phone charger, nightwear, toiletries, towels, wipes, tea bags, cups, milk, plus your child's favourite toy, and some painkillers just in case. And maybe a bottle of something to celebrate?

    Top tip

    Mark this box clearly, and keep it handy – in the footwell of the car, for example.

Move Day
  • Request final bills from your electricity, gas, water and broadband/media suppliers. If your utilities aren't on smart meters, you should take meter readings yourself. Take photos with your phone if you don't have a pen and paper handy.

  • As soon as the mortgage balance has been paid, along with other costs such as stamp duty and legal fees, you're ready to complete – and the home belongs to you. Now you can collect the keys. Remember to find out what time the estate agency branch opens and make alternative arrangements for collection if you're moving on a Sunday.

    Top tip

    You won't get the keys until all funds have cleared in the bank account of the seller's solicitor. Sometimes this takes several hours.

After The Move
  • Even if you've set up a Royal Mail Redirection, it's wise to update everybody who needs to know of your new address well before the service expires.

  • Locksmith

    Don't risk theft - get the locks changed.
    Search trusted locksmiths in your area.

    Find local locksmith

    Don't risk theft – get the locks changed. You may have the keys in your hands, but there's no guarantee that half the town doesn't too!

  • Boiler cover deals

    Ensure you're not left in the cold. Compare boiler and central heating cover from a wide range of providers

    Compare boiler cover
  • Once you have proof of address you can register with doctors, dentists, libraries and so on. Just a letter from your solicitor confirming your recent house purchase, plus proof of your old address, is often acceptable.

  • Energy Deals

    Why pay more than your neighbours for the same energy? Compare deals now

    Compare deals

    Your new home will be automatically placed on an expensive default energy tariff unless you take action. Switch now to save up to £618 per year.

  • Broadband speeds

    How fast can you go?

    Find your new home's broadband speed

    Arrange broadband
    Compare deals

    If you're not under contract, you're free to change the broadband provider at your new address. You could save up to £184 a year by switching.

  • Tradespeople

    Search trusted local tradespeople and compare reviews

    Find local service

    Most new homes benefit from a fresh lick of paint. And, unless you're rolling your sleeves up yourself, now's the time to book in a tradesperson for the job. It doesn't matter if you don't know anyone or have recommendations. You can find a whole raft of local services at Plentific in exchange for a few details about the job and the postcode of your new home.

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Save time with professional help from trusted local cleaners and recommended removals

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