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Moving House Checklist

(Last Updated: 13/12/2023)
7 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Make sure you pack the essentials separately so you can lay your hands on them first when you move in
  • Use our checklist to make sure your address is updated where it matters
  • Safety First: You'll need to child proof/pet proof and change the locks

    Instruct Your Solicitors
Instructing your conveyancing solicitors should be the very first thing you organise when you're buying a home ahd the first item on your moving house checklist.

You should do this before or on the day you make or receive an offer. Remember, faster transactions happen when you instruct your solicitors early.

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    Organise your Mortgage
Once you have your mortgage in principle, you need to order your property valuation. Only then will your mortgage lender give you a mortgage offer.

You should do this as soon as your offer is accepted or price agreed. You should only ever hold off if you are concerned that the sellers haven't had an offer accepted for their onward purchase.

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    Book Your Building Survey
You need to order your Building Survey to check your property for any structural defects - this is quite distinct from your mortgage lender's valuation. Many will try and economise over this but risk having to fork out £1000s to correct defects once they purchase the property. You should not leave this off your moving house checklist.

You need to do this in the first week after instructing your solicitor as if there are any defects, the sooner you know about them, the better.

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Moving Home Checklist / Conveyancing Checklist from SAM Conveyancing

    Order Your Property Searches
You should ensure that you order your property searches once you instruct your solicitor because local authorities can take up to 3 weeks to return inquiries.

It is best to order these in the first week after you instruct your solicitor if you want to minimise the chance of slow councils delaying your exchange.

You simply pay your solicitor and they will order the property searches for you. Or, you can browse and order them yourself.

    Do you need a flood risk, HS2 or mining report?
Depending on where your property is located, it may be advisable to book additional searches which consider, for example, flood risk and whether this affects the insurability of your property or if the HS2 is being built so close to your home that it will lower its resale value. You may find that if your property gets flooded, its value will decrease and it will be difficult to sell.

You should order any additional searches as soon as you can if they are flagged up as necessary within your main property searches or if you are buying in a high risk area. You normally get your results returned within the same day.

Commons Registration

Commons Registration Search

Drainage and Water

Drainage and Water Search

Highway Search

Conveyancing Searches Example: HighwaySearch

Planning Report

Planning Report

Local Authority

Regulated Local Authority Search

Energy & Infrastructure

Energy and Infrastructure Search

Climate Risk Report

Conveyancing Searches Example: Climate Report

Environmental Appraisal

Conveyancing Searches Example: Environmental Appraisal

Environmental Report

Environmental Search

Flood Appraisal

Conveyancing Searches Example: Flood Appraisal

Flood Risk

Flood Risk Report

Coal Mining

Coal Mining Search


Subsidence Report


Chancel Search


Radon Search

Chancel Search

Chancel Search


Drainage and Water Search

Climate Risk Report

Conveyancing Searches Example: Climate Report

Environmental Report

Environmental Search

Regulated Local Authority

Regulated Local Authority Search

£295 INC VAT

    Are you buying with someone but not married?
If you are sharing buying a home as tenants in common rather than joint tenants and you must have a legal agreement between you setting down who owns what and how much each person should receive from a sale. Getting this wrong could end up costing you £1000s and you stand to lose what is rightfully yours.

You can start to draft your agreement after instructing your solicitor and start agreeing your shares from the outset.

    Get Mortgage/Income Protection Insurance
Should you have the misfortune to have an accident or lose your job or be unable to work, insurance of this kind can cover your mortgage repayments and some of your living costs.

You should get quotes now and, once you've bought your home, take out the insurance.

SAM Conveyancing can give you a choice of competitive insurance providers. To find out more, just call us on 0207 112 5388.

    Get Buildings and Contents Insurance
You will need to have Building & Contents Insurance in place when you complete your purchase. We can help you get this cover.

You should look at quotes now and take out the insurance a few days before exchange of contracts.

    Book your removal company
This is an essential task often left to the last minute, at which point you find yourself unable to get the date you want to remove your belongings or a good price.

We advise you to book your removals 2 weeks before you exchange and get an agreement with the removers that, if necessary, you can change the date in case of the unforeseen. Bear in mind that most removal companies insist on visiting you at home to assess how much you need removed.

    Broadband and Sky
Openreach will take 14 days to connect your broadband so if you want to have your internet or Sky in place for as close to when you move in as possible, you should speak to your provider now.

You should check that your provider can supply services to your new home 2 weeks before you are set to exchange.

You should ask for as early a date as possible that your provider can give you service if you rely on your broadband at home.

    Post redirection
Make sure you speak to Royal Mail to get them to redirect your post and give yourself time to inform everyone to change your address. Remember to include the bank, the DVLC, your car insurance providers and your employers.

You should organise this on exchange of contracts.

Visit Costs begin at £36 and you can opt for 3,6 or 12 months.

    Contact utilities and meter readings
When you leave your property, you should call your gas and electricity suppliers to give them your latest meter readings and you should equally take meter readings the moment you walk into your new home. To organise your switchover, read our guide: Home Move Utilities

You should do these tasks on completion.

You should locate where your gas, electricity and water meters so you can take readings; if you are unsure where they are in your new property, just ask the sellers.

    Tell everyone you've moved!
You should register with your new local GP surgery, register to vote and contact your new council about paying its council tax. If you have children, you should register them at the local school.

You should do these tasks soon after completion.

Enjoy your new home!

You know that you've definitely earned the privilege; it's taken you weeks of planning, years of saving and lots of help!

You should definitely do this after completion and hopefully for quite a long time afterwards!

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Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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