Making moving and relocating a stress-free time

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 22 July 2016


In the UK we spend a lot of time thinking about property, and often it’s bagging that perfect country cottage in a leafy village, complete with pub, cricket club, excellent local schools, beautiful walks, and of course commutable into London.

As many of us already know, one need look no further than Surrey, Sussex or Hampshire and the South East generally, to fulfil all these dreams – with London usually within 45 minutes and villages aplenty, finding the perfect place is often the least of the problems.

But with the perfect house comes administrative and logistical challenges. There is no doubt that with a family (and animals) in tow, navigating school selection (and term times), plus endless legal requirements and nail-biting chains of buyers, moving and relocating can be a very stressful time, as we know only too well.

Recently we acted for a young family buying a large country house nearby – they had a really short turnaround time for various reasons, including Christmas around the corner. Their house had all manner of complex issues around its architectural structure (it had previously been split into different parts, and then re-joined at a later date), the boundaries were unusual, and some of the land was let to a local farmer. So we mobilised our resources - our property team did a boundary recce and carried out urgent due diligence on the various title plans, and our rural business team worked on the agricultural tenancy and other farm land at the same time. Contracts were swiftly exchanged and the clients were able to focus on the holidays knowing that they could plan their move to their “forever” house.

Get your finances sorted

Most of us need to sell a property before we buy so it’s really important to get organised for this. Get your mortgage sorted as early as possible if you need one and get a good lawyer who will prepare a legal pack in readiness for sale. The more paperwork you do in advance, the faster you can move and the less stressful it will be getting to exchange and completion. Plus, your agent knows the local market, the types of buyers that would be interested in your property, and the local sales record. So do listen to their advice as to how best to prepare your property for the market.

Be realistic on time

Getting a buying agent can make all the difference for a smooth transaction. They can do a lot more than simply finding a suitable property for you, including evaluating all properties, both on and off-market, and can introduce you to planning consultants, architects or builders as needed. After you’ve bought they can sort out transfer of utilities and other aspects to make your move as relaxed as possible.

Get a top team

Once you have got the right support in place, in relation to both your sale and purchase, including professional advisers, selling agents, buying agents, then hand it all over to them. Parties in transactional matters often have much less control than they envisage, but if you have the right team of support around you, they will act in your best interests, and you don’t have to be overly involved in the process, leaving you valuable time to concentrate on more important (and exciting) matters like planning for move in day and thinking about the interior design!

Charles Russell Speechlys top tips

1. Be realistic on selling and purchase prices, your ability to secure the funding you need and how flexible you are (are you really prepared to move into a short term rental?)

2. Research your advisors (agents, solicitors, surveyors and architects) and instruct and retain them as soon as possible. The more you do at an early stage, the smoother the process will be.

3. Plan your timings in advance. Consider school holidays, when you or your advisers are going to be away and be realistic on how long the process will take, especially if there is a chain and banks are involved. The more contingency time you plan for, the better.

At Charles Russell Speechlys we work closely with professional advisers, selling agents and buying agents in the whole of the South East market place, and can help you get the right people on board to make your dream move to the country as smooth, stress-free and as quick as you want it to be.

William MarriottWilliam Marriott

William Marriott Property Partner,, tel: 01483 252519

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