Should you move house on a Friday?

More people Move House on Friday than any other day of the week.  In fact, Friday is so well-known as the favourite day for new homeowners to move, that’s what we named our company!

Why do people prefer a Friday Move?

People generally choose to Move Home on a Friday as it precedes the weekend, giving them 2 clear days for unpacking and settling in (not that this is ever enough of course!).

If you are in a chain there is often there is little you (as a buyer or seller) can do to dictate a moving day on the rest of the chain.  That said, if enough of people nominate a different day to move, the majority will likely sway the rest.

It all happens on the day you Move

For convenience, and to move as cost-effectively as possible, most people plan to coincide the purchase and sale of houses, so they can move out the old property, and into their new home, in one easy(ish) process. This often means that, in addition to removal vans scrambling around the country, a network of Conveyancing Solicitors, legal accounts personnel, lenders and estate agents are all working away behind the scenes trying to get the planets to align.  This is why buyers often end up sitting outside their new homes in removal vans eagerly awaiting a call from their Solicitor early on a Friday afternoon.

So, the motives for completing and moving on a Friday are clear, but would it be smarter to choose another day of the week?

The Pros and Cons of Moving House on a Friday:

Pros of moving on a FridayCons of moving on a Friday
Move on a Friday and you have the weekend to unpack.  Nobody wants to be living out of boxes for half a week.As everyone wants to move on a Friday, demand can drive moving costs up. Removal companies therefore offer discounts for a midweek move.
If you can arrange to move house on the Friday before a Bank Holiday, that’s three whole days to unpack!Your solicitor, estate agent, and bank will be quieter midweek, if any last-minute issues crop up.
Less disruption to the rest of the chain - trying to negotiate a change to a different day can be tricky, and may result in confusion and complication.Sometimes mix ups happen with utility providers and other services, and new owners often end up spending their first weekend without lighting or heating.
Moving home on the last Friday of the month may leave you with a little spare cash to cover any additional or unexpected last-minute expenses.The banks money transfer systems can get overloaded, especially at the end of the month when many other transfers are in the system.

Solicitors can organise pre-completion work earlier during the week, to significantly lessen the chance of problems on moving day. This work includes:

  • signing of transfer and mortgage deeds
  • any final searches
  • drawing down mortgage funds
  • preparation of final accounts
  • requesting any balance from clients
You cannot legally gain entry to a property until all the funds have been cleared.  As the vast amount of completions occur on a Friday, delays can arise. This can leave you without access to your new property until late afternoon and a removal crew on overtime.   Worse still you miss the 3. 30pm bank transfer cut off time and end up living in a van for 2 days!
You will usually only receive the keys to your new home, and legally gain access to the property  until after funds have cleared. The high volume of completions on Friday can result in delays and hefty overtime paid to your removal firm.When one Solicitor in a chain does not receive money from buyers' Solicitors until too late, other transactions further up the chain cannot be completed until following Monday.
 The standard Contract conditions require purchase money to be received by sellers' Solicitors by 2. 00 pm (often this is amended to 1. 00 pm) or otherwise it will be regarded as being received the next working day – if this happens 3 days interest may be charged on the purchase price (less any deposit held by the seller's Solicitors) as well as additional legal fees.

Are there any Fridays in particular you should avoid?

Every Friday 13th, Conveyancing Solicitors report a huge drop the number of completions and home moves. Considering that buying a home can be the biggest purchase of one’s life, it is hardly surprising that many of us get a little more careful and superstitious when it comes to moving home.

'Paraskevidekatriaphobia' aside, should you Move home on a Friday, or not?

If you are in a position to have a choice, you will see from the above table that there are pros and cons whatever you decide.  All things considered, perhaps Thursday is the optimum day as it only necessitates one extra day at work and it drastically reduces the risk of anything else going wrong.

What can you do to minimise the risk of something going wrong when you Move on a Friday?

There are a few things you can do to ensure your Friday Move goes smoothly. You could consider completing your purchase a few days before you make your sale. You could use this time to: 

  • clean and prepare your new house in advance. This could prove particularly useful if the property has been neglected or not lived in for some time.
  • arrange for items to be delivered. You may wish to get new carpets laid or do a bit of painting before all of your belongings arrive.
  • get switched on. A few extra days could be handy to ensure that the phone, electricity and gas are all connected.
  • employ tradesmen e.g. an electrician to put in new wiring or power points.

One last thing to consider when Moving on a Friday. . .

Sellers are supposed to vacate the property on the completion date, and hand over all the keys.  

When completion is agreed for a Friday, Solicitors are often informed that the parties have agreed between themselves to arrange the removals and handover for the following Saturday, to avoid the need to take time off work.  

From a buyer's point of view, this is extremely dangerous; if for some reason the seller decided to stay put it could be difficult to remove them legally.  Buyers are entitled to vacant possession once the purchase money has been cleared so if sellers cannot arrange their removal on the agreed date they should notify their Solicitor straight away.

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