Home in time for Christmas

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By Karen Fletcher, Senior Solicitor specialising in Residential Property.

With the summer heatwave past us, and Selfridges having now opened up their Christmas Shop, all eyes now seem to be on the festive period. Mad I know, but don’t be surprised to see mince pies in the shops alongside Back to School gear, Halloween candy and Fireworks!

Although any sale or purchase started now would hopefully be well completed by December, the possibility of being ‘in’ a new home by Christmas seems to be a question we are asked more frequently as December approaches.

Although we are of course more than happy to try to accommodate moving date requests, there are some things that you may want to bear in mind before setting your heart on putting up your tree in your new home.

How long do you want to be in your home before Christmas Day?Set yourself a realistic date, to give yourself enough time to sort what you need to.Last minute shopping, getting the Turkey, and putting up decorations can take time, and moving home can be stressful enough without having to consider getting the house ready for the whole family descending on you for their turkey dinner.

Is the rest of the chain agreeable? It is worth discussing a target date at the start, to check that everyone involved is happy to try to move before Christmas.Someone may want to have a last Christmas in their home, and may be reluctant to move beforehand.Chains usually work more smoothly when everyone is on the same page from the start.

Please be aware that various solicitors’ offices are closed over the Christmas period.Longmores will be closed from Friday 20th December 2019 and will reopen on 2nd January 2020.Some solicitors set a cut-off date for completions in that last week, and from our standpoint any completion date would need to be before 20th December 2019.People involved may be looking to have extended holidays, to coincide with the school terms for example, so this would all need to be discussed.

Removals.Make sure that your chosen company can fit you in, and check when they are working up until.Please don’t pay any deposits until a move date has been formally set, but most companies will allow you to ‘pencil in’ a date.

Speak to the owners of the property, or the estate agents, and ask them to explain how the heating system works, if you are not familiar with it. Let your utility providers know you are moving, and take meter readings to have accounts transferred into your name.It may also be worth also asking your seller’s about recycling and rubbish collection times over the Christmas period.Leaving the same information for your buyers would probably be well appreciated.

And lastly, don’t forget about letting people, Santa included, know of your change of address.Royal Mail offer a forwarding service, at a cost, for all those Christmas cards, and ensure any online shopping is being delivered to your new address.And as for Santa – he’ll be checking his list twice.

For conveyancing when you buy or sell your home get in touch with Karen Fletcher.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.