With so much to do, moving home is stressful, particularly as completion day approaches. Residential property specialist Victoria Cranwell recommends her completion day checklist.
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What does completion mean?
It’s one of those words we all use to refer to the end of a conveyancing transaction, but what does ‘completion’ actually mean?
On the day of completion, the buyer’s solicitor sends the balance of the purchase monies to the seller’s solicitor. Completion occurs on receipt of those funds, with property ownership transferring to the buyer. The seller’s solicitor dates the transfer document (signed and witnessed in advance) and authorises the release of the keys to the buyer.
Completion day checklist
With so much to think about on and approaching completion day, preparing a conveyancing completion day checklist well in advance is invaluable. The list below is far from exhaustive but will help get you started.
Things to consider before completion day
- Removals company: As they charge a premium during busy times, can you be flexible with the day you complete? It could save you money. If they are packing for you, are you satisfied they appreciate the full nature and extent of your furniture and possessions?
- Flammable and dangerous liquids: It’s worth remembering that removals companies are unlikely to agree to move these, so you will need to dispose of or make other arrangements for them in advance.
- Trades and other services: If your removals company do not provide additional service such as plumbing in your washing machine and reassembling furniture, do you need to make specific arrangements for those?
- Cleaning: You might consider arranging to have your new house cleaned between the seller moving out and you moving in.
- Less accessible spaces: Do you need to clear out and pack items from spaces such as your loft, cellar, shed or garage?
- Utilities and Insurance: Notify utility companies of your upcoming move and ensure the transfer of your buildings and contents insurance to your new home with effect from the expected completion date and time.
- Local services: Cancel any local services and settle outstanding accounts. Typical examples are newspapers, milk, window cleaner and gardener.
- Children and pets: Arrange care for children and pets.
- Medication: If you are on regular medication, check you have sufficient to see you through the moving period.
- Perishables: Start to run down your perishable food items and frozen food. Ensure you defrost your fridge and freezer in time for moving day.
- Mail: Arrange a mail redirect with Royal Mail.
- Friends and family: Send change of address cards to friends and family.
- Keys: Gather all keys for your property, including window locks and those held by family, friends and neighbours. If any are missing, it’s worth checking the deeper recesses of your odds and ends drawer!
- Overnight bag: Prepare an overnight bag and survival kit, including important documents and essential tools, to see you through the first 24 hours in your new home. Ensure these travel with you, not in the removal van!
- Contact numbers: Make a list of important telephone numbers for your new property. Good examples are out-of-hours GP, vet, pharmacy and taxi.
- Boxes: Ensure boxes are cross-referenced to rooms.
- Mobile phone: Is your phone fully charged? Is the charger in your overnight bag?
- Meter readings: Take meter readings for your old home for electricity, gas and water. A photograph is best.
- Inventory: One person should stay at your old property until your movers finish packing to check the packing inventory, as a signature is required. At the other end, ensure somebody can meet your movers at your new home to provide them with instructions on what should go where. Account for each item on your inventory and question any missing or damaged items. Only sign the inventory once you are completely satisfied.
- Read new meters: Take meter readings for all utilities at your new home. Again, a photo is best.
- Unpacking: Consider leaving unpacking until tomorrow. You will be exhausted, so why not just order a takeaway, relax and have an early night?