12-month checklist to moving home

Ben @ Nested
Property enthusiast

So...moving home is on the horizon. Property sales are complex, and we don’t sugarcoat the bricks. Use this checklist to simplify this confusing process and ensure your next move is smooth, orderly and stress-free. 

And once you’re done with this, make sure you’ve had a look at our 6-month and 3-month checklist.

Your 12-month checklist

A year away from launching your home on the market, these are the key things to make sure you get done. Keep reading for more detail on how to do each of them and key things to watch out for. 

  • Consider: move or improve? 
  • Set an ideal date and start working backward
  • Understand the best time to sell
  • Add some extra value to your home
  • Make the most of where you live

Move or improve?

In the right circumstances, you can always renovate your home as an alternative to moving. The obvious upshot is that you can create more living space, or make your long-suppressed Grand Designs dream a reality. Plus, staying put means you can save money on the costs of moving. Stamp duty can run into the tens of thousands, so it is worth considering if that money is better spent expanding your existing home. 

But renovations aren’t a simple short-cut to making a profit. A £45,000 loft conversion might make your property a better place to live, but there’s no guarantee you’ll see an uplift in your home’s value relative to the money you’ve spent. It’s sensible to do extensions if the motivation is to stay in your home for longer, not just for profit. And once you’ve worked out your needs, you may discover the best idea is to move. 

Set an ideal move date and work backwards

Most of us underestimate the time it takes to move home. From putting a home on the market to finally getting the keys, it should realistically take between 20 and 35 weeks if you’re living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (the process can be quicker in Scotland). 

It’s a good idea to pick the time of the year you would like to be in your new home, and work backward assuming it will take 5-8 months to move. For example, if you want to be in your new home by Christmas, your current home should be on the market in May. Bear in mind that selling a flat will often take longer due to the complexity of leaseholds.

Factor in the best time to buy or sell

The busiest months for the property market are March, April, May, and September. Launching your home one of these months gives you the best shot at finding a buyer quickly. While conventional wisdom dictates that properties should go on the market when the weather is good, it doesn’t always work out like that. Estate agents do a lot of business in the run-up to Christmas, with minds focused on finalising deals before the big New Year freeze. You’re likely to receive less interest in the summer holidays, but family buyers are back on the market by September.

Ultimately, the right time to move means the right time for you and your loved ones. It’s easy to get distracted by external factors like politics and the economy, but you shouldn’t let the trials and tribulations of the wider world stop you from putting down roots in your new home.

Make the most of where you live

You’re a year or so away from potentially moving out of the area, so now is the time to make sure you enjoy it! Make a list of those things you haven’t quite gotten around to, restaurants you’ve been meaning to visit. You’ll have a year to tick them off your list - so enjoy! 

Read our next guide: The 6-month home-selling checklist 

Thinking of selling? Get in touch

Our friendly, local experts would love to talk to you about your home move