Selling a property and moving home are huge undertakings! At Essex Property Angel, we have lots of experience of the process, we hope this round up can help you with your house move.
Finding a trustworthy tradesman or professional
We’re lucky to have trusted and proven tradesmen and professionals who we’ve used again and again. When you’re looking to hire someone new, these are our top tips:
- Always get three quotes! You’d be AMAZED at the variations in costs from one professional to another. Cheaper doesn’t equal better! But similarly, more expensive doesn’t always equal better, either.
- Check reviews on Google first and foremost. Although you can find them on Trust a Trader, Yell.com etc too, these are generally organised by the level of membership that the business has with them, so it’s not always easy to find the smaller (and potentially cheaper) businesses with great reviews amongst the sea of bigger businesses who have paid more to appear higher in the searches.
- When checking reviews – one or two could very likely be from their friends! So ensure there are plenty to look through, and even better if you can see examples of their work.
- Ask around! Personal recommendations are one of the safest ways to hire a professional. No doubt, a quick post on your personal Facebook page, local community page, or the Nextdoor site will provide lots of options for you to look into.
- Trust your gut! If you think you’ve found someone but their quoting process is slow, haphazard or they are impossible to get a hold of, then bail out before committing yourself!
Hiring an Electrician when you’re buying a property
Legally, you need an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) when you put your property up for sale, so you’ll need to get an electrician in for this at the very least. If you’re selling through a traditional estate agent, they will often provide this service. But make sure you find out what they’re charging you – you may find it cheaper going directly.
But aside from the EPC, please hear me when I tell you that the cost of an electrician reeeaaally should be added to your property sale budget!
I *always* get an electrician in before I purchase. If I’m going to rent the property out, then I want to ensure that everything is safe for the tenant/s.
But aside from the safety aspect (by far the biggest consideration – unsafe electricals are no joke!), electrical issues aren’t as obvious as they are with things like damp, so having an electrician in to take a look behind the scenes is vital in ascertaining the true cost of the house. A full rewire can set you back around 5k plus the cost of any making good of the walls, so although an electrician is another buying expense, it’s one that can save you ££’s in the long run.
Hiring a Solicitor when you’re buying or selling a property
Finding a Solicitor that you trust and who will be available when you need them is really important. If you can’t get them on the phone in the early days, it could be a red flag as to how things will go as your house sale progresses, so ensure you get a good feeling about them – as well as following the guidance above about getting several reviews and checking their reviews.
We recently looked at the average Solicitor fees in the local area to give you some guidance:
Packing up and clearing a property
Packing up a home is a hard task! It’s one of the reasons we allow people two extra weeks in their property after they sell to Essex Property Angel; to help ease the stress of packing away the house ready for completion day. Our best advice is never to underestimate the sheer amount of work involved in sorting, packing and clearing a property! The earlier you start, the easier it’ll be when moving time comes around. I’ve seen the stress it inflicts when people have days to go and nothing packed up, and it’s really not what you need when you’re dealing with the final stages of the completion.
By far the hardest properties to clear are inheritance properties – filled with a lifetime of memories and often a loft and garage full of stuff, it’s the most underestimated how long will be needed to organise, clear and pack these properties.
As a guide, we usually find that we can use 4 – 6 skips when the property has been sold to us ‘as-is’. So if you are clearing a property you’ve inherited, please allow LOTS of time to go through everything in order that you can preserve all the memories you want to, but also that you’ve allowed yourself the time and resources to empty the property.
Donating, gifting and selling unwanted furniture and items
You will likely find yourself with items and furniture that you don’t want to take to your next property because:
- They don’t fit
- They’re old or damaged
- You realise you simply don’t need them anymore (possibly because the last time you saw them was when you first moved into the property – I’m talking to my husband here and the outdated music cassettes we lug around to every new home! ?)
So, there are a few options here, the most environmentally-friendly being donating, gifting or selling.
Though a few time-wasters have given it a bad name, Facebook Marketplace is a fabulous way to move items or furniture along to a new home – either by selling or gifting. Take photos and post your items up earlier rather than later, to allow for any of the previously mentioned time wasters! But also to allow for people to collect at a convenient time for them. You’ll have far less chance of getting a good price for the items if you need it moved on that same day!
Ebay is also useful, but be conscious of posting and packing costs and efforts!
If it’s the right time of year, why not hop along to boot sale one Sunday and see what you can sell there. One man’s junk is another’s treasure!
Harp will take your old furniture and give it to a newly housed previously homeless person. What a fantastic way for your furniture to continue it’s life a bit longer before the landfill!
The British Heart Foundation will collect your old furniture for sale in their stores.
Any charity shop would gladly receive toys, books, clothes and nik-naks
Do you know any friends or family who could benefit from the items?
Try leaving toys and items that won’t get ruined by the weather outside with a Free sign
Finally, you can post items on Facebook for free collection
Disposing of your belongs when you move
Again, starting earlier will be a huge benefit here! You can fill up your general waste bin each week and fit in several trips to the tip.
If you have to do it all in one go, you could hire a skip, or hire a van to take it all to the tip. The average cost for a 6 yard skip is £250 – £300. And we often use more than one for a property clearance.
If you are hiring a van to do a tip run, check first that the local tip will accept them as they can presume it’s commercial waste and turn you away.
Consider the belongings you’re moving when looking at van hire – do you have any big wardrobes or beds that don’t come apart? If so, you need to make sure you have the room in the van for them! We usually hire a Long wheelbase Transit or a Luton van, and aim for the weekend as it’s often cheaper than mid-week.
How it works when you use a moving company:
- Call them as early as possible – they book up quite far in advance
- They will visit and review what you have in the property
- Decide the service you want, as the level of help you can have varies. For example, do you want to pack or do you want them to pack for you?
- Ensure you receive a written quote
- Once you exchange let them know your moving date
- They can provide boxes etc for packing up, and will be there on your move date ready to make the whole process a lot easier!
The upside to using a moving company, aside from the considerable support and stress relief they provide, is that they are fully insured. If anything happens to your belongings during the move you are covered. Read the small print though! As this may not cover fragile items if you pack them yourself.
If you chose to move your belongings without the help of a moving company, ensure that your contents insurance covers you during the time your belongings are in transit – they may not!
Yes, moving home can be stressful, but hopefully there are some tips there to help. If you take just one thing away from this blog, starting early and giving yourself plenty of time should be it!
I’m Joanne. I’ve lived and breathed property for longer than I care to remember! This blog is to provide advice and support with problems surrounding property, and life in general.
Previously on the blog…
A young family had saved and saved in order to buy their own home. The case at a glance: A young couple had maxed themselves out on their mortgage When the husband lost his job, they used loans and credit cards to fill the gaps each month They got letters...read more
Upon marriage, a couple had moved into the house that one of them owned, and rented out the one that the partner had owned. The case at a glance: A couple were happily renting out their second property to a family They both lost their jobs in quick succession...read more
After a Marital split, the husband in the couple had moved out and stopped paying the mortgage. Wendy's case at a glance: Husband had left and stopped paying mortgage £30,000 mortgage arrears Three autistic children meant she needed to stay where she was for...read more
A lovely lady had inherited her Sister’s house in Westcliff after she sadly passed away - a bungalow with serious damp problems. Lucy’s case at a glance: Inherited a property from her sister Couldn't afford to keep the property running Didn’t understand the...read more