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How did people know that completion had happened before mobile phones?

(29 Posts)
brokenshoes Sun 16-Mar-14 09:30:19

My DH and I have been talking about the logistics of moving day (we're moving next week).

He thinks that we wait in the old house until we get a call from the solicitor/estate agent to say that we have completed and then we can go to the new house.

I said that as we are moving 1.5 hours away, why would we wait at the old house? I said that we need to hand the keys for the old house to the estate agent as soon as the removal truck is loaded, then get to the new house where we sit and wait until we've had the call to collect the keys.

But then he made the point that what used to happen before most people had mobile phones? How did you know that the funds had gone through and you could collect the keys?

PigletJohn Sun 16-Mar-14 09:39:39

You phoned your solicitor from the red phone box nearest your new house.

brokenshoes Sun 16-Mar-14 09:51:17

Thanks PigletJohn! So you had to have a ready-supply of 5/10/20/50p pieces then on move day.

PigletJohn Sun 16-Mar-14 09:54:42

I think it might have been four pennies, or maybe a thruppny bit. Gran will know.

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 09:56:49

You do realise that 'most people' didn't have mobile phones until the early/mid nineties, don't you?!!!

HSMMaCM Sun 16-Mar-14 09:57:12

Dad went and sat in the estate agents office and waited for the keys.

whineaholic Sun 16-Mar-14 09:59:20

Or if you were moving locally you made sure the landline was still connected and waited in teh old house.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Sun 16-Mar-14 10:00:06

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

shesaidgleeba Sun 16-Mar-14 10:03:15

Minnie that made me grin in shock, how rude! I guess OP means because you disconnect your landline before moving to clear final bill?

brokenshoes Sun 16-Mar-14 10:04:12

Yes, of course SirChenjin!

It's amazing how quickly mobile phones have become ubiquitous and just how fast knowledge as to how things used to be done is disappearing.

(Also, I never moved house as a child and this is the first time I've sold a property, so I'm a bit hazy about the process!)

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 10:05:11

Dick for brains?

RelocatorRelocator Sun 16-Mar-14 10:05:48

You're right by the way - you need to get on the road so you're there at the other end when the removals guys want to unload. smile

brokenshoes Sun 16-Mar-14 10:06:01

Oh dear...

We do still have a landline even now! But I'm asking what did people do if they relocated a long way away and there wasn't the option of staying in the old house.

SirChenjin Sun 16-Mar-14 10:07:31

You either went to the phone box, or you used a neighbours phone, or you phoned from work...we moved in the mid nineties and didn't have a mobile phone then, but can't for the life of me remember what happened. It wasn't a big deal, so it must have been fairly straightforward confused

brokenshoes Sun 16-Mar-14 10:09:17

I've never said this before...

"Did you mean to be so rude, Minnieisthedevilmouse?"

Blu Sun 16-Mar-14 10:12:46

Anyway - adopt your plan!
The removal van will set off as soon as possible and will want access to the new house the minute you complete, so you don't want to be languishing pointlessly at your old house!

I would: have a once over in the old house once it is cleared, drive to outside the EA at new house, have lunch if time, or be equipped with sandwiches if not, get keys and let removal team in asap. Have the kettle, tea and mugs in your car: removal teams run on tea every 45 mins (they work fast and it's hard work).

Before mobiles? ONce I relied on the phone box method, once we waited outside the house and the EA came with the keys on the word 'go'.

BarbaraWoodlouse Sun 16-Mar-14 10:14:56

I think we can only conclude Minnie did mean to be so rude.

I seem to recall using a phone box for my first purchase (1998 so not exact,y the dark ages!). I think some people also relied on the solicitor informing the agents who held the keys so they knew that they were OK to let you collect them from their offices.

Blu Sun 16-Mar-14 10:15:12

Why would you want to stay in the old house?

Ei9ther you go to the new location and have lunch in a cafe, or if a very long way away, and the van is taking all day, you stay in a Travelodge - and the removal men stay in the van, sometimes, and unload the next morning.

You can't stay in the old house a second after completion, anyway.

BarbaraWoodlouse Sun 16-Mar-14 10:15:36

Sorry Minnie forgot to add a grin

fuckwittery Sun 16-Mar-14 10:22:15

Wait in estate agent or solicitors office or cafe nearby for keys, you'd do this in the new location if moving a way away, so definitely get on the road

tb Sun 16-Mar-14 12:58:31

Traditionally, completion was noon, and in the 80s they used TSB with a product called 'speedsend' as TSB was the only UK bank with an online real-time system. There was also telegraphic transfer.

All the others used batch transfer which took place overnight.

wonkylegs Sun 16-Mar-14 17:57:40

We packed up and got everything in the moving van, dropped old keys off with EA 1 and then drove over and sat in the EA2, drank coffee & got the solicitor to phone them at the point they could hand over the new keys.

MaryWestmacott Sun 16-Mar-14 18:02:28

I think Minnie did mean to be so rude... wink

GillTheGiraffe Sun 16-Mar-14 18:09:40

If the estate agent was really nice they would trust you enough to give you the keys the night before. Ours did.

LightastheBreeze Sun 16-Mar-14 19:45:00

I can't remember but because no-one knew what a mobile phone was, what you don't know you don't miss. We probably used the phone box but it wasn't a problem because everyone was the same. There was no internet either grin

i can remember hiring a pager smile when DS was due and you could buy some similar mobile thingy from the AA, to contact them if your car broke down.

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