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Moving home can be daunting – How can you simplify the legal process?

Whether you’re a first time buyer or have done it all before, the legal and administrative aspects of a house move can put anyone’s head in a spin.

A house move is one of the most disruptive and stressful events you can put yourself through. At the same time, it is exciting and can be immensely rewarding, signalling a new phase in your life. Maximising the positives and properly managing the legal process is key to making it a life event that you will look back on with fond memories.

When you think about the challenges of a house move, your first thoughts might be about packing all those boxes, deciding what to do with the junk in the loft and so on. However, these are at least things that are within your control. What often turns out to be the most stressful is the seemingly endless sequence of legal processes that need to be completed.

The right solicitor is essential

There are some things you can do yourself when it comes to a move, for example you might decide to rent a van and enlist the help of some friends instead of bringing in the professionals. But having reliable conveyancing solicitors to take care of the legal aspects is vitally important, as this is no work for amateurs.

You will be working closely with your solicitor and sharing all your personal information, so it is important to use a firm with whom you feel comfortable. Like most things in the modern age, there are online options that can seem like a great deal. But tread carefully. This is an area in which you really need the personal touch, and when the inevitable obstacles appear, they can be cleared with far less stress if you can pop into an office and speak to someone you know and trust, rather than asking questions to an online chatbot that always has a different name.

If you’ve used a conveyancing solicitor before, then the decision is as good as made, especially if they helped you buy the house you are now selling, as that will give them a head-start. If you haven’t, ask family and friends for recommendations. Try not to get too caught up on price, as any variation in rates is going to be negligible in relation to the overall transaction and going for the absolute cheapest just to save yourself £50-60 could turn out to be a false economy in the long run.

Get to know the basics

You will also feel far less stressed if you have at least a rudimentary grip on what your solicitor is doing and why. You don’t have to become an expert in conveyancing yourself, but read through some online resources so that you know the sequence of events and can be prepared for the questions you will have to answer and the documentation you need to produce.

Give yourself time

The number one cause of stress in the legal process is when you put yourself under a tight deadline. Of course this is sometimes inevitable, but try not to impose arbitrary deadlines, for example by having your heart set on being in your new home before Easter, or in time for a family event. Let the process happen in its own time and you stand a far better chance of keeping everyone’s blood pressure under control.