News and Events

How can I move home by Christmas?

  • Posted

With Christmas only six weeks away, there are many of you who will be looking to move into your new home in time for the Christmas festivities.  To help you pick up those keys ready to put up your tree, decorate the house and cook your Christmas dinner, Genni Cooper, Residential Conveyancing Solicitor, explains some useful tips here.  

Signing and returning your documents

During your time with us, there will be various documents for you to complete and sign.  Ensuring that you do this as quickly as possible will help maintain a smooth and speedy process.  If you have any questions about any of these, let your solicitor know as they will be able to guide you through what is required. This is the same for any documents required by your lender or broker as this will assist them in issuing your mortgage offer. Also let your solicitor know if documents can be emailed to you to prevent any delays in documents being posted backward and forwards.

What is the difference between exchanging and completing on my property?

It is important to understand the difference between these two terms.  Simply put, exchanging contracts or an exchange of contracts legally binds you and the seller to the transaction. A completion date is added to the contract at this point, which is when you can collect the keys to the property and move in. You may decide that exchanging contracts prior to the Christmas break with completion taking place in the New Year may be preferable.

Stay in touch to give instructions

It is vital that you are as contactable as you can be, either by phone or email. Let us know which method is preferable so delays can be avoided. This is particularly important when you are nearing an exchange of contracts as we will need to take your authority before an exchange can occur to ensure you are happy to proceed and confirm the completion date agreed.

Work with your estate agent

As we near that all important exchange of contracts, you will need to start to consider possible dates on which you would like to complete and collect the keys.  You can discuss possible dates with your estate agents who can then discuss these with the other parties involved in the transaction, such as your seller.  This will help filter out a date on which everyone can agree.

Preparing yourself and your belongings to move

In deciding a completion date, it is a good idea to contact removal companies for their availability as this can be a busy time for them and desirable dates can be snapped up. Obtaining a list of alternative dates can make the process easier when negotiating a date.

How much should I have as a deposit for a new home and when do I need to pay this?

In order to proceed to an exchange of contracts, you will usually be asked to provide 10% of the purchase price as the deposit. If you are selling and buying, the deposit from your sale can be used towards your purchase (even if this slightly less than the 10%), although you may be asked to ‘top this up’ if there are funds available.

To help achieve a smooth exchange of contracts, it is helpful to make sure that these funds are sent in good time and in a method which allows for the funds to clear quickly i.e. a CHAPS of Faster Payment BACS.  Cheques can take 7 working days to clear which will delay the exchange. If you are sending funds via online banking, it is best to check with your bank if there are limits on how much can be sent each day and factor this in.

What payments are needed to complete on my property?

After an exchange of contracts has taken place, you will be asked to provide the remaining balance for completion.  It is preferable that we hold these funds on our accounts at least the day before completion as cleared funds so that there are minimal delays on the actual completion day. 

What happens in completion day?

When considering a potential completion date and to avoid disappointment, it is worth remembering that problems can happen on the day of completion. If the completion date is too close to the Christmas break, you may find yourself stuck and surrounded by boxes with your packed belongings.  This can be the case, for example, if there is a technical problem with the banks, or there is an issue with the property itself such a leak or a boiler that fails to work.  As many firms/banks and trades people close around the Christmas period, it can be difficult to rectify any issues encountered until after the Christmas break. Ideally, a completion date with a few days to spare could avoid any unwanted situations.

Our expert team pride themselves on excellent customer service and would be happy to assist you with any sale and/or purchase.  You can contact our team on or calling your local office:

Fareham: 01329 222096

Portsmouth:  02392 776549

Southampton: 02380 717439

Chandler's Ford: 023 8071 7467 


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.