Moving Home Checklist


you have had your offer accepted! Just before you start picking out curtains though there are a few things you should organise and get in place.

This maybe your first or tenth time of moving, however regardless of your situation the moving process is stressful and one you should be prepared for. Hopefully our moving home checklist will equip you with the necessary tools to stay one step ahead! 

Get a Conveyancing Solicitor

  • Arnold and Baldwin have been working with local reputable firms for many years, should you require a recommendation please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Alternatively visit the Law Society website

Arrange your mortgage

  • Make an appointment with your bank or an independant mortgage broker who can compare the mortgage market and find a product that is suitable for you and your budget.

  • Once you have chosen the product you wish to proceed with, your broker will submit your paperwork and await acceptance from the bank.

  • The lender you choose will require a valuation to be carried out to ensure the property is suitable for lending purposes and the price paid is in line with the current housing market.

Arnold & Baldwin Property valuation experts

  • Many products will offer you the opportunity to upgrade this valuation to a RICS Homebuyers Survey or Building Survey. Visit ‘Our Services’ to understand the differences between the surveys and the detail they include. Should you wish discuss your purchase in greater detail please call us, we are happy to talk through which survey we feel is most appropriate for your purchase. As honest approachable experts we never upsell!

  • Typically the estate agent will receive a phone call to arrange the mortgage valuation within 7-10 days of submitting your application. 

What are the legal milestones? 

Once you have instructed your solicitor there can be a period of ‘radio silence’ when you are not entirely sure who is doing what. Whilst one would expect that your legal representatives are busy at work behind the scenes it is worthwhile having a basic understanding of the legal milestones so you can confidently monitor progress. 


Make enquiry to lender

Sign and return the solicitors terms of business

Agreement in Principal Issued

If you are selling a property you will receive the ‘Fixtures and Fittings’ preliminary documents for completing.

NOTE: Your solicitor requires these documents back to be able to issue your buyers with a draft contract. Most solicitors acting for a purchaser will not move forward until they receive the draft contract.  

Full application made to lender
Mortgage Valuation Carried Out

(Possible appointment required with mortgage broker to provide i.d and fees). 

You will likely be asked to provide your solicitor with funds for them to carry out the searches on the property. Once the draft contracts have been received on your onward purchase your solicitor will apply for the searches. The results typically take 7-10 working days to arrive. 

As at the time of publication, the searches which will be conducted are;

  • Local search

  • Drainage and water search

  • Environmental search

  • Planning search

  • Flood risk report

  • Coal Mining, brine pumping, and other mining searches

  • High Speed Rail 2 (HS2)

  • Chancel liability search

  • Land registry search

Arnold & Baldwin Property Surveys

Mortgage Offer Issued to Solicitor & Applicant

You will receive a copy of the sellers ‘Fixtures and Fittings’ preliminary documents for your review.

Ensure you review these documents and raise any enquires with your conveyancer.

NOTE: If you are purchasing a leasehold property be sure to confirm the unexpired lease term. DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO YOUR CONVEYANCER. Arnold and Baldwin are specialists in Lease Extensions so please make contact if you are concerned about a short lease and the potential cost involved.

NOTE: Your solicitor will send you a mortgage deed for signing. This will also need to be witnessed by a professional person. Sign and return to your solicitor.

The mortgage offer is valid for a period of time. 

Ensure you diarise the expiry date! Should the purchase be delayed for an unexpected reason you may need to apply for an extension.

Based on the results of the searches and the information provided in the ‘Fixtures and Fittings’ preliminary documentation your solicitor will raise enquiries.

It will be a condition of the mortgage offer for you to arrange Building Insurance in readiness of exchange. Ensure once you have arranged a product that a copy of the policy is sent to your solicitor. 

There maybe a certain amount of back and forth between the solicitors until your representative receives answers that they feel are satisfactory.

Whilst you are waiting for the call from your solicitor to say they are ready for you to sign contracts why not get your deposit in the right place ready to transfer? Typically you are required to transfer 10% of the purchase price to your solicitor to enable exchange. 

NOTE: If you plan to provide your solicitor with a cheque for this amount they will need to wait until it clears to exchange. Also if you are being ‘gifted’ this amount ensure the funds are in your account ready to transfer.

When your solicitor is ready they will compile a final report for your review. This maybe posted to you or your solicitor will arrange an appointment to review the documents face to face. If you are happy with the solicitors findings you will be asked to sign contracts ready for exchange.

If you are selling a property your contracts can be signed much earlier in the process. Ensure this is done so when the time comes you are not the one holding up proceedings!

Once you have agreed a completion date (move date), contracts have been signed and received and deposit has been received you are ready to exchange!

6 weeks before you move 

The legal process should be well under way by now and hopefully your survey has taken place (or booked in) and searches have been applied for. With a little over a month until your moving day, it is time to start clearing out anything you don’t want to be moved to your new home. If you are currently renting give some thought to the notice period required by your landlord, remember moving dates can change so DO NOT put yourself in a position where you are committed to moving out and you have nowhere to move to! Why not consider having an overlap? it will certainly ease the strain of moving everything in one day.

Begin to gain quotes from removal firms; If you are moving a short distance it maybe worth considering a local firm who knows the area and may be familiar with the best route to take. Should you be relocating you may need to consider storage facilities, certain firms offer this within their services. As move dates can so often change do not commit yourself to a large non refundable deposit which you will lose if you have to change the date. Hopefully most firms are very understanding of the moving process however this is always worth checking.

  • Get removals quotes

  • Consider having a Gas Engineer and Electrician visit the property to test the services.

  • Make a full inventory of your possessions

  • Start to clean out cupboards

  • Removal companies quote on volume so the less you have to move, the cheaper your move will be

  • Enquire with your chosen removal firm whether they can provide packaging materials

  • Check the parking restrictions for large removals vehicles at your current home and at your new home.  Your removal firm may need to apply to the Council for permits

  • Advise your employer you are moving house and may need a day off at relatively short notice.

  • Print off a floorplan of your new home so you can begin to plan where everything is going to go and what extras you may need. 

1 month before you move

No doubt you have been working to a certain timescale however with the end drawing near you should begin to discuss a completion date. Trying to get the whole chain to agree an exact move date can sometimes prove ‘easier said than done’ so do not leave this to the last minute!

  • Need to replace flooring in your new property? Sometimes it can take a few weeks before you get a fitting date so be ready with the measurements and your choice of carpet so you can order as soon as contracts are exchanged.

  • Clear out the loft, garage and outbuildings. Sometimes these are ‘out of sight, out of mind’, do not leave it to the last minute.

  • Label boxes accordingly so your removal firm know exactly where everything goes

2 weeks before your move date

Not long left! It is at this stage that your anxious feelings and excitement are boiling over. You are probably pestering the solicitors and estate agent every other day but don't worry in a couple of weeks your dream home will be yours and you will be able to look back and laugh. Ensure any last minute enquiries are being dealt with by your solicitors and in turn they are drawing up your final report.

  • Update your employer on developments and the likely day you will need off

  • If you are a first time purchaser consider not having the day off at all. Completion can take place anywhere between 9am and 5pm, it can be a long day of waiting around if the money is not received until the end of the day.

  • Arrange child and pet care for your moving day

  • Run down freezer foods

  • Notify utility companies and switch home insurance to your new home

1 week before your move 

Most moves take place one week after exchange. It would be nice to have longer but by the time exchange arrives everyone is desperate to move! It’s your final week at your old address before moving into your new home, and during this week you should be organising all important documents and ensure they are stored somewhere safe but accessible. Your packing should be almost finished so you’ll be ready to go on the day and your removals firm can start promptly.

  • Put important items somewhere safe and accessible, for example passports, driving licenses, house deeds, wills, insurance papers, jewellery and cash.

  • Finish as much of your packing as possible so you have everything ready to go

  • Cross-reference boxes to rooms

  • Gather together keys for your current property

  • Arrange with the vendors of the property you are purchasing to pick up the keys from the house as opposed to the estate agent as this will avoid another stop, unless of course the property you are buying is empty.

  • Arrange mail redirection service

  • Defrost the fridge and freezer

  • Make sure any additional funds the solicitor needs for the day of completion are transferred and received.

  • The house you are moving into may not be as ‘spick and span’ as you expect when you move in so why not arrange a cleaner to come the day after completion?

  • Send out change of address cards to friends and relatives

1 day before your move

 Time for a final check and walk round the property to ensure nothing will be left behind and everything is packed and ready.

  • Check all rooms, cupboards, loft, garage, outbuildings.

  • Confirm any deliveries you have arranged to arrive at your new home tomorrow

  • Ensure all services you are using have your contact numbers


On the day of moving home

On the day you move 

Today will be a busy day and it is hard to say when it will all kick off! Every solicitor is dependant on the funds from the buyer below them to arrive. Each property will complete as those funds arrive and your solicitor will call you when the transaction is complete. Things to complete before you say goodbye are;

  • Record all utility meter readings for water, electricity and gas.

  • If your removal firm have not finished by the time you receive the call ensure one person stays until they have finished packing to check the packing inventory – make sure you are happy everything is accounted for as you will have to sign as confirmation

  • Give your movers copies of emergency contact details and directions to your new house

  • Check all windows are secure and utilities are switched off

  • Leave all the sets of  keys as arranged for the new owners

  • Keep copies of contact details for your conveyancer, estate agent and removal company

After you have moved into your new home

After months of preparation you have done it! It is time to look back and laugh at the ups and downs of the last few months! Try not to rush to unpack everything at once, you may need a few days to settle in and get to know your surroundings.

  • Make the beds, you will be ready for a good night's sleep!

  • Plug in your appliances such as fridges and freezers

  • Get the boiler and the heating up and running.

  • Do a quick inventory of items the previous owner suggested they would leave or you have agreed to purchase

  • Order a takeaway and put your feet up!

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About the author

Steven Goovaerts avatar

Steven Goovaerts

Steven is a Graduate Surveyor and versatile member of the team, currently undertaking an MSc in Real Estate Management at the University of the West of England and enrolled on the Assessment of Professional Competence.

Read more about Steven Goovaerts

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