Advice on controlling moving day

Don’t let the excitement of moving home back you into a corner – Great advice from Britannia Movers International

If you have not moved home for a few years you’ll notice one striking difference when you do: the time between exchange of contracts and completion seems to be getting shorter.  That might seem like a good thing: but not necessarily.

It wasn’t long ago that house movers could rely on a good 30 days between exchanging contracts on a house sale (i.e. the time when neither party can pull out without penalty) and completion, when the house officially changes hands.  It was a standard period that allowed the solicitors to make the final arrangements, and provided sufficient time for home owners to look at organising schools, social arrangements, and measure up for curtains and carpets confident in the knowledge that in a few weeks they definitely would be moving in.  That’s all changed.

Today the traditional 30-day period is no more.  Now, because computer technology has speeded up the whole process, the formalities can be completed much quicker – sometimes completion can be achieved on the same day as exchange.  The problem is that this contraction of the process leaves no time at all for doing those essentials.  One of which, of course, is booking your moving company.

Britannia Movers International is quite used to working at short notice but, even with its resources, schedules can become a little hectic. Friday’s especially, the most popular day to move home, can become very busy and short notice bookings can become a problem.

So, what to do about it?  “The most important thing is to be aware of the problem,” said Gavin McCarthy, Sales Director for BMI.  “That way, it doesn’t come as a shock when it happens.”  But Gavin also said that people have to be prepared to be firm with the people who are working for them – mainly estate agents and solicitors.  “They should both be working in their clients’ interests but sometimes those interests are best served by slowing down a bit and creating a little time to get things organised.”

Moving companies normally have some availability more than two weeks in advance so, if you can give two week’s notice you should be safe outside of peak times. “But people often only give us a day or two’s notice because that’s all they have been given themselves,” said Gavin. “That might be OK during the quiet times, but in the busier summer months, it can be a real problem.”

His advice is to let the solicitor and estate agent know that you require at least two weeks between exchange and completion and to insist upon it. If you can agree with everyone in the chain to do the same, there should be no problem.  But moving home is a heady time: people get carried along with the excitement (and stress) of it all.  Sometimes, making the sale or securing the purchase takes precedence over everything and the temptation to say: “Yes we can move this Friday,” is just too hard to resist.

In this case it pays to have alerted your moving company early and even if you are unable to give a precise date, book a provisional date and confirm it as soon as you can.  “We always try to be as accommodating as we can,” said Gavin.  “Technology is wonderful but, in this case, it can get in the way.  Unless customers control the process themselves, they can’t always rely on the natural flow of events to do it for them.”