Checklist for a smooth home buying and selling process

Here is an easy to read checklist which explains some of the key ‘to dos’ when buying and selling a home to make sure you have a smooth move which is a quick as possible.

Other great sources of information include our ‘industry pledge’ which explains what each of the home moving services should do to help you move and the government has worked closely with industry to produce some excellent detailed guides to help guide you when you’re buying and selling a home.

If selling a home

  • If you need a mortgage to buy another home speak to a mortgage broker prior to looking for another home so you know what you can afford to borrow before you look for a property.
  • Where suitable, instruct a conveyancing lawyer to gather your property title documents and details either before or on day one of marketing. If you are buying another home with a mortgage, check your legal conveyancing lawyer is on mortgage lenders panels.
  • Be able to provide proof of identity anti-money laundering checks eg passport, driving licence, utility bills from the last three months though it’s worth asking whether the estate agent, conveyancing lawyer, lender and mortgage broker and the professional experts can use the digital identity process being developed by the government as then you will be able to share your identify certificate with all of them and not have to keep producing bits of paper!
  • Have information ready for agents and conveyancing lawyers before you market the property, for example:-

    Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
    An External Wall Safety form (if required)
    Gas and electrical safety certificates
    Any information on any Help to Buy charge (HCA charge) on the property
    Any other certificates or issues which could hold up the sale of a property eg covenants, leasehold agreements, planning and building control certificates

  • Ask three agents to value your property and explain to you, using sold property price data, why they think it’s worth the value they have suggested.
  • When your agent asks, complete the required Property Information. This relates to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 material facts disclosure so a buyer will have the information upfront that they need to make an offer – it is worth remembering that you will benefit from checking this information too when you are looking to buy your new home.
  • When the estate agent puts forward an offer, check with them whether they have financially qualified the buyer, to make sure that they can afford to buy the property at the price offered.
  • Be prepared for a surveyor to come and check your home on the lender’s and/or the buyer’s behalf, giving as much access as possible to areas like the loft and any outbuildings.
  • Ask your conveyancing lawyer or agent to check whether the money to buy your home has been transferred up to 48 hours before completion.
  • Make sure you agree with your agent or conveyancing lawyer that the property will be empty by 1pm on the agreed completion date – this typically means you will need to be packed up the night before, so check your belongings will be insured.

If buying a home

  • Before you look for a new home to buy, if you are buying with a mortgage, check your affordability and mortgage suitability with a broker/lender.
  • Where appropriate, and if advised by your broker, obtain a mortgage Agreement in Principle.
  • Find out as much information about the property as possible, especially material information prior to making an offer and share it with your mortgage broker so that they find a lender who will lend on that property.
  • Before making an offer, the estate agent will check that you are financially qualified to afford the property.  Ask the agent whether they have seen evidence of the seller’s identity so that you know it is the true owners and that there is no fraud scam going on.
  • Ask a surveyor to recommend the appropriate level of condition-based home survey and provide a copy of the survey report to your conveyancing lawyer. (Please note this is different and in addition to your mortgage valuation.)
  • Instruct your conveyancing lawyer before making an offer. Provide them with your ID information to enable them to carry out anti-money laundering checks or they can’t progress your purchase. Tell them your planned use of the property so that they can advise you of anything in the material information that would impact your plans.
  • If the seller has not provided them as part of the material facts disclosure, ask the conveyancing lawyer to secure the searches within the first week of instruction, not after the mortgage offer has been made.
  • If you are buying with a mortgage, provide your mortgage broker with the material facts disclosure – which the estate agent is legally obliged to provide when they advertise the property.
  • Make sure that you understand the fraud risks when buying a home, particularly email intercept fraud, discuss this with your conveyancing lawyer.
  • Tell your agent and conveyancing lawyer that you want to move into your property by 1pm on moving day. To do this it is likely the money you need to buy the property will have to be in your conveyancing lawyer’s bank one to two days before completion.
  • Talk to your conveyancing lawyer about ordering your mortgage monies and paying any other funds up to 48 hours before completion day, ask how much the additional interest payments will be.
  • Check how much money your bank will let you send on each day. It may take you several days to send the conveyancing lawyer the money they need to complete as you may only be able to send a relatively  small amount each day.
  • Tell your agent and conveyancing lawyer that you want to move into your property by 1pm on moving day. To do this it is likely the money you need to buy the property will have to be in your conveyancing lawyer’s bank one to two days before completion.
  • Check the seller is packed and ready to go the night before moving.
Scroll to top
Skip to content