One of the biggest annoyances I have come across in my 20 years working within the Moving Industry is exchange and completion of property contracts on the same day.
I don't know how other industries deal with this, but as someone who coordinates and organises the packing and removal of furniture and effects from one house to the next, this practice causes nothing but stress for all parties concerned, as far as I can see.
For the person (people) moving home, the uncertainty must drive them absolutely mad! For those organising a move, we have practicalities to think about. Should we load up the removal truck if we don't know whether we're going to be able to unload it again in the new property? It is hard to plan in advance for moves like this, when we don't know if they are actually going to take place or not. Plus we have to deal with a client who is an absolute wreck on moving day. While it can be stressful enough moving without problems, to not know if your new home is actually going to belong to you or not that day, can go well towards making people down right cranky!
I've even had customers crying down the phone and refusing to leave the office of their solicitor until they know the contracts have been exchanged and everything is completed. No wonder people find moving home stressful!!
I know that some conveyancing solicitors like this practice as it makes the paperwork side of a property transaction easier, but practically and logistically it can be a nightmare to coordinate.
What do members suggest as a solution for this? Do you think this can cause problems, or do you find advantages to it?
Personally, I'd like to see a period of no less than 14 days between exchange and completion of contracts. This would help with planning and notification to all parties that a move will take place on a certain day. Anything less than this does not give enough time for all parties to plan properly, very often causing problems and shortcuts that have further knock on effects.
What do you think?
It is a problem but I would say more so in a lively market than a quiet one. Most cases arise when someone
makes an unreasonable demand on the rest of the chain, for example putting an unrealistic time frame on completion.
If this arrises we always advise our customers that it should be avoided if at all possible mainly because of the stress they will be putting themselves under. If however there is no alternative we always explain the financial implecations if it were to go wrong, we also advise not to move on a Friday, this is because if there is a hitch the weekend will get in the way. In a recent blog `what is the best day for moving house?`I outlined the best day to move and the reasons behind it.
There are a few things that can be done to help reduce the stress of exchange and completion on the same day,
firstly choose a remover that is accredited and member of a trade association, this will reduce the chances of being dropped at the last minute, (trade association members have to abide by a code of practice). Make sure you pay in advance and get a confirmation of removal day letter and reciept of payment.
Other safeguards that we put in place are offering a waiting time charges waiver, this will cover you from additional charges on removal day if there is a delay (Very likely on exchange and completion moves) and we also ensure we have storage space available if the worst were to happen. Imagine the additional stress if you find out at 4.30pm that the move is off and your remover has no arrangements for storing your goods and they need the van for another job the next day.
You can go into this situation with your eyes open or closed, a few simple checks and a bit of research can dramatically reduce the chances of a removal day nightmare!