Dwell Well > Moving > Moving Home Guide & Checklist -What to Do Before You Move

Moving Home Guide & Checklist -What to Do Before You Move

Are you hoping, wishing or thinking about moving home? Excited, worried, stressed or daunted by the whole idea? 

Our moving home guide is here to help.You hear that it is one of the most stressful things to do, so why bother? Or maybe you’ve already set the moving process in motion and feel like you need a guideline through the dark.

Preparing thoroughly for the big event can dramatically improve the whole experience and reduce the headaches. Embarking on this (sometimes long and unpredictable) journey, armed with facts and strategy, makes it a lot more bearable.

So, read on for the ‘who, what, where and when’ of house moving

The Professionals involved in moving home

There are important people to deal with along the way, who enable the house moving process to move along, both financially and legally. Firstly, it is essential to find out if you can get the mortgage you may need to move home.

Mortgage Broker


For most of us, a mortgage is the only way to finance buying a property. A good mortgage lender is, therefore, vital to us (the borrowers). A mortgage broker will help search the market and get you the best deal from lenders who match your criteria. Mortgage brokers have a much better idea of the most suitable mortgages for you and will assist you in your application from the chosen lender.

Most mortgage brokers now offer an online service which greatly reduces the time and paperwork in getting the mortgage offer enabling you to proceed with your property purchase, and more importantly to make sure you have the mortgage offer in place before you spend money on a survey and start incurring solicitors’ fees etc.

Our mortgage brokers can help you find the best mortgage for you depending upon your circumstances and any advice you need. They can also provide you with information about how much you will be able to borrow and how much it will cost – so before you even find your dream home, why not have a chat with one of our mortgage brokers by requesting a quote. They will contact you to find out more information and be able to guide you through the whole process.

And, you don’t even need to be moving to use our mortgage brokers. They can help you remortgage to save money, raise cash for some home improvements, reduce the term of your mortgage and make sure you have the best mortgage for you. We always recommend you review your mortgage at least every two years or at the end of any fixed rate period.

Once you know you can afford to move, you will need to get your house on the market.

Estate Agent

They will take care of the marketing of the house you wish to sell.

Traditionally the only way to promote a house was to use a Local Estate Agent, however over the last few years ‘online’ estate agents such as Purple Bricks, YOPA and House Simple have grown and offer a very competitive price.

The main differences with online and high street agents are fees. 

Online agents charge a fixed fee which is usually paid upfront and non-refundable even if your house does not sell or you change your mind.

High Street agent fees tend to be higher and mostly their commission is linked to the sale price of your property but generally their fees are not payable until your house is sold. Small local agents often have promotions where they offer fixed fees.

Online and High Street agents use the same portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove to advertise your property.

As property professionals, we believe online agents offer value for money and excellent service, however, we recommend you read our article to help you decide which agent is best for you.

In summary, if you want low fixed costs, live in an area where similar houses to yours have sold recently and are certain you want to sell, its seriously worth considering using one of the three main online agents. They all have local representatives and are real estate agents.

As the Internet enables you now to promote your home throughout the world, somethings remain the same: you want to sell your home quickly and get the best price -find out how here

It is good to remember that establishing the true market value of your home is the most important factor in getting the best price and it selling within a reasonable time. You can get an independent valuation from a local Surveyor starting from around £150. 

Chartered surveyor


As soon as you have put in an offer for a house, you should have an expert check that it is a good investment and also make sure you are aware and alerted to any defects. 

It could save you a lot of money in the long run. You wouldn’t want to move into your dream house only to find it riddled with woodworm or structural problems only two months down the line! You will need to hire a chartered surveyor to do this. 

They will value and assess the property for defects, problems or future issues. Then they will produce a report for you to decide whether to go ahead. 

If your house has had previous building work, ask for a copy of the plans and paperwork. You will need to see proof that any previous building work (e.g. treatment for subsidence) was successful.

There are a number of different surveys, find more information about surveys here

A Homebuyer’s Report may be sufficient for most homes and prices start around £400. (The price is usually linked to the value of the property) But if the house you wish to purchase is old, unusual, or has had significant building work done to it, then a Building or Full Structural Survey will give a more in-depth report and costs start around £600. (Again the price is usually linked to the value of the property) If you find out that your dream home requires £5000 worth of repairs, then consider reducing your offer by the same amount. 

However, buyer beware, a number of smaller seemingly insignificant defects can soon add to cost.


As property professionals we recommend you talk to your surveyor about any concerns you have before the survey is carried out. Some surveyors will include a cost schedule to help you assess additional costs that may be incurred so you can renegotiate the price.


Remember, surveyors are completely impartial so their cost schedule and advice will also help you further down the line when you are getting prices from tradesman for work to be carried out.


For many people buying or selling their home may represent the biggest financial commitment that they ever undertake. 

Once you are certain you wish to sell your house, either a solicitor or property conveyancer will deal with the legal and statutory processes required.

They oversee the preparation, execution, verification and lodgement of numerous legal documents which are essential to the moving process. They should clearly explain the meaning and importance of each process, using plain English (not complicated legal terms) to help you understand exactly what's involved and what documentation you are signing. Drawing upon your instructions, they should assist you to meet your legal obligations and protect your rights and interests.

Completion date fixed - now what?

Only when you have been given a definitive completion date should you think about the next stage of preparations for your move.

Book removal company: Don’t go down the road of using friends and family to haul everything for you for free; let the professionals do it. It is important to book a good removals firm early to get the best deal. Use a local firm with good recommendations and always compare quotes from three or four companies.

Once you decide on a company, talk to them about your requirements and make sure they understand your needs. The more they know in advance, the smoother the move should go. Check out the significant benefits of moving midweek and midmonth on our previous blog at stress free quick fire hacks

Begin packing process: It is never too early to begin sorting through your possessions and getting rid of items you don’t want in your new home. Declutter to avoid packing things that won’t be used in your new home. Why not give some to charity? Start ordering suitable boxes or packing cases and then gradually fill them with non-essentials. It is a good idea to use boxes with handles or carrying cases. They should be sturdy and easy to handle. Don’t forget items in your garage or loft. They could be packed really early if hardly used.

Plan new furnishings:  With one to two months to go, start thinking about ordering items for your new home. Curtains and carpets may take weeks to arrive. Plan where your furniture will go. Will you need to buy new items for a larger home? Should you sell or get rid of existing furniture if downsizing? You may wish to put some items into storage for a little while.

Finally, it is around this time that you need to book the required days off work.

Who should I contact before I move?

It can feel a little overwhelming, trying to remember everyone to inform of a change of address. Basically, we’ve got it covered in this section.

Royal Mail:  

Redirecting your post is important if you want to ensure you don’t miss any important documents after you move. It will also help prevent personal information getting into the wrong hands. You should do this about a fortnight before your moving date. Pick up a form at your Post Office or set up a Royal Mail account online. You can redirect your mail to any address, U.K or overseas. Choose the period of time for redirection: 3 months costs from £33.99; 6 months from £46.99 and a year from £66.99.  Bear in mind that this service takes between 5 and 10 days to come into effect. (prices as at March 2019)

Utility companies:  

There’s no point in contacting companies too early; why not start with a couple of weeks to go? Water, gas and electricity must be registered to a new owner from the moving date (you will need to take a reading of gas and electric metres as soon as you move in). Remember to take photographs on your phone of meters in the old and new house.


You should also inform your banks, credit card, pension and insurance companies. Contact home phone and mobile phone providers, cable TV and broadband companies. Telephone companies can redirect your calls for a few weeks after the move if you wish. You should also inform the DVLA, HMRC, TV licencing, council tax and electoral roll.

Department for Work and Pensions

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)

Electoral roll

TV Licensing

Your local authority

Less urgent but still important, let schools and employers know your new address, as well as your doctor, dentist, vet and any companies you subscribe to (car breakdown cover, charities, newspapers/magazines). You should even inform the pet microchipping database. Obviously, if you are moving to a different area, you will seek new practices near your new home. A new GP will automatically transfer medical records to them. Similarly, a new vet can request records from your previous veterinary practice if you don’t do it yourself.  

Once you register with a new dentist, you’ll no longer be registered with your old one. You may, however, want to let your current dentist know you are leaving and arrange to complete any ongoing treatment. To help you find a new NHS dentist, check out the website NHS dentists.

The Home moving 'last minutes jobs and tasks

With your moving date fast approaching, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is it! You are about to move into your new home. Easier said than done, but don’t panic! You are almost there. You have booked and prepped the removal company, packed all non-essentials, informed the right companies and arranged to redirect your mail. In the few days running up to moving day, ensure you pack the rest of your belongings, leaving only what you need. As well as labelling items, add which room you want them in, once they arrive. This could save you a lot of lifting and carrying later.   

Over the last week or two, try to run down your freezer then defrost it before you leave. Make sure arrangements are in place to care for children or pets on moving day. You may want to inform family and friends of your new address informally or with a card. Why not gradually clean your house as you pack, leaving yourself less to do on moving day?

As you finish packing, set aside the kettle and a box of moving day essentials. This could include cups and tea bags, maybe a duster and cloth? You will probably want to put aside the vacuum for a final sweep of the rooms when empty. It might also be useful, before you leave, to label which room each furniture item is going to. Lastly, why not label keys and any other items, ready for the new owner?

House Moving 'From experience tips… '

  1. We would strongly advise you to avoid moving on a Friday. If payment is delayed and misses the bank’s cut off time (not too unusual), you may not be able to move in until Monday. This could be extremely costly, with you spending the weekend in a hotel whilst storing your furniture somewhere. It is much less inconvenient if this happens midweek as you can move the very next day.
  2. Check whether your house contents are insured during a house move. Are you covered if your TV is damaged or an expensive ornament is smashed?
  3. Ask your removals firm to call round to view any particularly large or unusual furniture which may be difficult to handle. The more prepared they are, the better.
  4.  If you plan to use regular cardboard boxes, why not spend an hour or so cutting handles into them, for easy handling on the day?
  5. Save time when labelling items with room destination by using coloured sticky labels (e.g. yellow = kitchen) instead of writing on each one.
  6.  When labelling, use the sides of boxes so they can be viewed when stacked.
  7. Put heavy items, like books, into trolley suitcases; make sure you fill all of your other holdalls and holiday cases.
  8. Use clingfilm or tape to secure drawers in units/cabinets. This way, items could be safely left inside and drawers won’t be flung open in transit.
  9. Use bubble wrap or newspaper to wrap delicate items like ornaments and crockery.
  10. Keep a moving checklist in view (on the fridge door?) in the run up to moving day and cross off tasks when complete. This will keep you focused and ensure that everything is done on time.

If you have prepared well, moving day should be straightforward and stress free. Your removal company will take care of all your belongings which have been carefully packed and labelled. You will need to strip beds, collect up your final essential items, check rooms are clear then pass on the keys. Your new house awaits you.

And relax……………




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