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Moving House timeline - what to expect and when

So, you’re planning on moving house! Moving to a new home is an exciting - and often overwhelming - time, so it’s a good idea to have your move planned out from day one.

But what does the average moving house timeline look like? In this article, we’ve outlined the key steps and waiting times for each stage in the moving process, and what you can expect from each.

From securing your mortgage to finally getting the keys to your new place, we’ve got everything covered. So, let’s take a look!

Step One: Securing your mortgage (1-8 weeks)

One of the first things you’ll have to do when moving house is get your new mortgage approved by a lender. If you already have a mortgage on your current home, it’ll probably be a much quicker process and your new mortgage could be approved in as little as one week.

However, if you’re a first-time buyer, you will probably be subject to more thorough credit checks, meaning that the process could take up to two months. You’ll also want to ensure that there are no errors or incorrect information on your mortgage application, as this will mean even more delays.

Step Two: Selling your home (3-12 weeks)

If you’re already a homeowner, you’ll be obliged to sell your home before you can move forward and get the paperwork going for a new one. This can potentially be one of the dullest and most frustrating steps in the moving house process; a sale might fall through at the last minute, or a buyer might back down on their initial offer and try to haggle.

During this time, you’ll also have to host viewings at your home; this can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you have children in your home. On average, most homes sell after 10 viewings, although this figure can fluctuate if there’s lots of (or little) interest in your home.

Overall, selling your home can take anywhere from 3-12 weeks, although in some cases it can take longer. Having a good estate agent - and ensuring that your home is in good condition - will help the process move along faster.

Step Three: Searching for your new home (2-12 weeks)

This is probably the most exciting step in the moving process, (aside from perhaps picking up your keys for your new home.) Once you’ve secured a buyer for your house, it’s now your turn to search for a new home. This process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on your search criteria and your budget.

Technically, you can begin searching for homes before you’ve secured a buyer for your house, but this can lead to disappointment - some agents won’t consider you a “proceedable buyer” if you haven’t yet been able to sell your own home.

For a seamless experience - and to avoid any bitter disappointment - it’s a much better idea to begin searching for your new home once you’ve secured a buyer for your current one.

You should also make sure not to rush and buy the first house that takes your liking; a home is a serious investment, so make sure to take into account how you feel about the area, the neighbourhood, the local education system, local levels of crime, and other factors that are important in your own criteria.

Step Four: Making your offer

In 2022, most houses will now go to auction before being sold. This means that instead of working on a first-come-first-served (or fixed-price) basis, agents will establish a deadline for potential buyers to put down an offer on any given property, after which the highest bid wins.

Agents will give the house an estimated valuation, but as you’re most likely to be faced with an auction, popular homes can often sell anything from 1%-20% more of the asking price.

When it comes to making an offer; know that some property owners will set their asking prices slightly higher than their valuation. For this reason, agents might advise you to bid lower than the asking price, allowing room for negotiation and allowing you to potentially get a better deal.However, for highly popular and competitive homes, you might be obliged to add around 1-5% of the asking price to your offer to prevent your offer being outbid.

You should hear if your offer has been accepted within 2 weeks, although if you’re bidding on a highly competitive property, you might hear back faster.

Step Five: The Conveyancing process

Once your offer has been accepted, you’ll have to complete what is known as the “Conveyancing process”. This can take around 8-10 weeks, and involves completing the following steps:

As this is quite a complicated and lengthy process, it’s a good idea to hire a solicitor to help guide you through the process and ensure that all steps are completed correctly.

Step 6: Property Survey (1-3 weeks)

Before signing your contract, you’ll need to hire someone to carry out a property survey. This is an essential step to complete before signing any contracts: you’ll want to check that the condition of the property is up to scratch.

Property surveyors will be able to identify any problems such as mould, rot, pests, or any issues with the integrity of the property that might cause problems down the line. Finding a surveyor can take up to 2 weeks (provided that you hire someone registered with the RICS) but the survey itself shouldn’t take longer than 24 hours for an average-sized property.

Step 7: Move-in Day (1 day - 2 weeks)

Once your property survey has been signed off and you’ve signed all necessary contracts, it’s time to move in! You can move your belongings progressively (using storage) or move all your belongings on the same day using movers and a removal company.

Are you looking for a Maidstone removals company? Get in touch with Goodfellows today!

This is by far the most exciting step in the moving process, and it should only take a few days or weeks for your new home to be set up; you can always enlist the help of family and friends to unpack all your belongings. While it might feel strange to wake up in a different home every day, it’ll feel like home in no time.

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