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Can you book removals before exchange?

Moving house is always going to be an exciting process, but it can also be a daunting one. It's also a process filled with administrative responsibilities, one of them being the task of hiring movers. Like most people anticipating a move, you'll probably want to get everything organised as soon as possible and book your movers early to avoid missing out on your preferred date. But is it safer to wait until you've exchanged?

In this guide, we're going to cover all you need to know about booking your removal company; from when to book, and what to do if you've not yet secured the exchange.

Can you book your removal company before exchange?

The short answer to this question is simple: yes. That said, it's important to remember that until the contracts have been exchanged, you can end up putting yourself in a difficult situation, whereby you may lose out on your deposit or even end up not being able to move.

It all comes down to the terms of your sale and purchase. If you’ve agreed to a completion date, then it should be fine to book your removals in advance; this will give you peace of mind and reassurance that everything will be organised for the big move. It also allows you to plan more effectively; with a fixed date, you can schedule a time and date for organising your belongings.

On the other hand, if you haven't yet exchanged contracts, it can be risky to book your removal company too far in advance. After all, there’s no guarantee that the sale will go through until this happens, meaning you could end up out of pocket.

It’s always best practice to check with your solicitor and estate agent to make sure that you’re in a secure enough position to book and pay for your removals company beforehand. Most conveyancers will be able to advise you on the safest way forward, so it’s always helpful getting their opinion before committing.

The best advice is that if you are able to, and the sale is certain, book your removals in advance to secure the date that you need. If not, then wait until the exchange has occurred before making any commitment. That way, you’ll know that the deal is 100% sure, allowing you to go ahead with your plans worry-free.

How far in advance should you book removals?

In general, it's always better to book your removals as far in advance as possible. This will give you the most choice of available dates and allow for any unexpected delays. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions with your removal company before paying a deposit or committing to a certain date; as explained above, changing or modifying your removal date can incur additional fees.

It’s also important to remember that if the exchange of contracts is delayed then it will be necessary to extend your removal booking. Again, this could lead to additional costs, so it’s always a good idea to keep some extra funds aside just in case.

How long does it take between exchange and completion?

The length of time between exchange and completion will depend on the terms of your sale. Generally, this process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, but this can vary depending on how quickly both parties are able to move forward with their end of the agreement. Again, it’s always best practice to check with your solicitor or estate agent to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the timeline.

How can I speed up my contract exchange?

If you're looking to book your removals company but haven't yet exchanged contracts, there are a number of steps you can take to hurry along the process. Firstly, it's important to make sure that all paperwork is in order. This includes everything from the mortgage offer to any other documents required for the sale - any errors on your forms can set back your exchange for weeks at a time.

It's also important to make sure that everyone involved in the sale and purchase is on the same page. This includes your solicitor, estate agent, buyer and seller as well as any other third parties involved; if any of these parties have different expectations or aren't acting quickly enough then it can delay the entire process.

Finally, if both parties are able to agree on a completion date before the exchange takes place, then this could also help - the sooner you can all come to an agreement, the faster your sale can go through.

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