Want to be in your new home by Christmas? Read our experts’ advice!

Research conducted by myhomemove, the UK’s largest provider of mover conveyancing services, has shown that the best advice for ensuring a less stressful and smoother move is to be aware of the impact that the enquiry process has on completion times.

With Christmas less than two months away, the experts have given their top tips for avoiding additional stress, particularly in the pre-Christmas rush to complete. The biggest piece of advice is for movers to be aware that every additional enquiry raised regarding their new property can have a knock-on effect on the time it takes for the move to complete. 32% of the experts surveyed believe that frustration over completion times are often a result of movers being unaware of the time it takes for enquiries to be answered by the sellers and their lawyers.

Rob Gurney, Head of Legal Practice at myhomemove, explains, "Homebuyer enquiries are an important part of the conveyancing process; however, buyers need to be aware that each additional set of enquiries can take a few weeks to get a reply to. An enquiry will often go through several channels before an answer is given, with a large portion of the process being outside the control of the conveyancers. To ensure a smoother completion, homebuyers should ideally prioritise and proactively list the information they wish to know about the property they are buying at the outset of the transaction."

The survey also revealed additional tips for a smoother completion:

  • Buying a leasehold property will invariably take longer than a freehold purchase. Almost 23% of conveyancing experts surveyed stated this as one of the top reasons why completions could be delayed. Leasehold purchases involve many other parties, such as landlords and management companies. This elongates the process as information has to be sought and checked with a large number of sources, adding to planned timescales.
  • Movers that have their deposit gifted to them need a letter and bank statement from the person gifting it to them, as well as written consent from their mortgage lender. 17.5% of the experts identified that clients were unaware that they needed this when beginning the process. Due to money laundering and anti-fraud regulations, a gifted deposit needs to be proven to be a genuine gift from the person you are receiving it from.
  • Completing on a Friday will place additional stress on home movers, especially if a mortgage lender is unable to transfer the funds in time. If this is the case, completions will not happen until the next working day — the following Monday, leaving movers potentially homeless for the weekend. Alongside this, removal companies often charge a premium for Friday and weekend bookings. Nearly 9% of those polled believed this was the most important factor for movers to consider in respect of their home move.
  • Securing a mortgage before putting in an offer, or having a ‘decision in principle’ in place helps to speed up the process. Waiting for a decision from a mortgage lender can take weeks, or even months, adding additional delays to your move.
  • Additional advice offered by myhomemove’s experts included "never to rely on completion dates and timescales given before they have been confirmed" and that "buying and selling is not a ‘tick-box’ exercise. Investigations take time and are done to protect the buyer".


Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance says, "People planning to move into a new home don’t realise what a frustrating and slow process buying and selling homes can be, taking longer than everyone wants. If you want to move by Christmas or a set date, you will need to take control and employ every trick of the trade."

For more information on myhomemove and the services it provides, please visit www.myhomemove.com and for more information on the HomeOwners Alliance, please visit www.hoa.org.uk.

Today's Conveyancer