What happens on completion day?

1st March 2023 posted in Buyers

Completion day is the final stage of buying a house. It’s the day when ownership of the property passes from the seller to you, and you can collect your keys and move into your new home.

Completion day can be really exciting because it’s what you’ve been working towards ever since you found the home you wanted to buy. But what happens on completion day itself? Read our guide below so you know exactly what to expect when your completion day comes.

What happens on the completion day of a house sale?

Your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor will be busy checking all the paperwork and getting completion statements ready.

· Before completion, your solicitor will check the mortgage conditions and request the funds from your lender.

· If there’s a mortgage on the property, the seller’s solicitor will request a Redemption Certificate.

· Completion statements will be prepared, and these will state all payments made and received.

· Any payments that haven’t been processed will need to be settled before completion can take place.

· Once both of the solicitors are happy, the funds will be transferred to the seller’s solicitor.

· If the funds haven’t been processed by 4pm, completion will need to be delayed until the following day.

· After the seller’s solicitor confirms the funds have come through, they’ll then also confirm completion. This is when the keys can be released to you, and most people collect the keys from the estate agent.

· The seller should have moved out in the morning of completion day (at the latest) and the house should be empty and ready for you.

· You can move yourself and your belongings into your new home.

What time of day does exchange of contracts happen?

The exchange of contracts normally happens between seven and 28 days before completion takes place. There isn’t a set time for this to happen, but it’s common for it to take place around the middle of the day. This is so that the solicitors can do all the final checks and paperwork in the morning. It almost always happens on a weekday.

When contracts are exchanged a date for completion is set and agreed to by both parties. Deposits are paid and the solicitors confirm that they both have signed contracts. This is the point at which the sale becomes legally binding; if either party pulls out after exchanging contracts there’ll be substantial penalties to pay.

What time do you get keys on completion day?

The transfer of money normally takes place between 12pm and 2pm on completion day. As soon as both solicitors have confirmed the transfer of funds has taken place, you’ll be able to collect your keys and move into the property. This normally happens early on in the afternoon, but do prepare yourself in case there’s any delay with the funds or if something else goes awry.

Property chains

If you’re in a property chain, the further down the chain you are, the later you’ll get the keys. This is because the properties need to reach completion in order, starting with the first property and moving through the chain until your property completes. The chain normally starts with a first time buyer, as this is the most straightforward sale to process. The chain ends with someone who is selling a property, but not buying one. If you’re selling and buying, you’ll be somewhere in the middle of the chain.

There’s a lot that has to happen for completion to take place, and sometimes there can be a hitch that delays things. This is especially true if you’re in a property chain. If just one link in the chain doesn’t transfer the funds on time, everyone further on in the chain is affected.

Every house sale is different and many things can crop up at the last minute. When you’re approaching your completion day, the best thing to do is to be fully prepared and organised. Make sure you have your phone with you at all times so that it’s easy for your solicitor and the estate agent to get hold of you. Also, double check that your funds are lined up and ready to go, and keep all your paperwork to hand in case you need to check or confirm anything at the last minute.

If you’re thinking about moving house, book your free property valuation with us now and we’ll let you know exactly what your home’s worth in today’s market.