You’ve had your offer accepted, exchanged contracts, packed and now you’re waiting for completion day!
Completion is the last stage in the process of buying a house and can take between 7 and 28 days after exchanging contracts.
Completion day is the day your mortgage funds are transferred to the solicitor representing the person you’re buying from. Until that money is received, you will not be given the keys to the property.
When is completion day?
The day you complete is always agreed upon by the seller and buyer in advance. It won’t be sprung on you because you both need time to prepare!
According to a report from a property data firm, Fridays are traditionally the most popular day for completion. But you don’t have to choose a Friday, any weekday is suitable.
Weekdays are most popular because the transfer of funds and confirmation of legal processes must be completed by a conveyancer or solicitor. As most solicitors’ offices are closed at the weekend, a weekday completion date is preferred.
Once the transfer has been confirmed and documents are in place, you will be given notice, usually by phone. As soon as that happens, you can then pick up the keys from the estate agent selling the property.
What time do I get the keys?
It’s difficult to give an exact time when you’ll receive your keys because it depends on many factors. This includes the speed at which the transfer takes place and how quickly everything is confirmed.
Most people get their keys early afternoon, but if you choose a Friday it could be later as there maybe many other completions taking place. Choosing another weekday, when things are quieter, could mean you receive them sooner!
As well as the transfer of funds, all the ownership details and agreements between the sellers’ agent and the buyers’ have to take place first.
What happens on completion day?
While it may appear that you’re waiting for something to happen, there’s actually a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes before completion.
Your solicitor is completing the contact exchange and conveyancing process. They will also be ensuring the money is transferred and all the deeds and paperwork is in place. The seller’s solicitor has to make sure mortgage conditions and the completion statement is signed off.
Only once all this has taken place can the estate agent release the keys.
The time of completion also depends on how many people are in the chain. As all these processes need to take place for every property that’s in the chain, it varies depending on the length of the chain.
For a buyer or seller, it can feel a bit worrying or frustrating waiting, but nothing can happen until everything is in place.
Can you complete on the same day as exchanging contracts?
In theory it is possible to exchange contracts and complete on the same day. It can speed up the process and helps you avoid paying a deposit on exchanging contracts.
This is usually advisable only if:
- The house your buying or selling is vacant;
- Your buyer does not require a mortgage;
- The buyer doesn’t need to move in the same day as completion;
- There’s no property chain.
But it can be extremely stressful to exchange and complete on the same day because you cannot arrange the move until you have completed. Logistically, this can be a nightmare and removals firms need to know what time you plan to move in well in advance. So, it is often best to exchange and complete on different days.
Can you move completion day?
Once contracts have been exchanged, all parties are bound by law to complete on an agreed date.
Extensions to the completion date can be allowed if requested early enough, although there is no guarantee. It will only happen if both parties agree.
Remember, if a buyer tries to back out from a sale once this happens, they are in breach of contract and maybe subject to financial penalties.
The Mortgage Dog clients can always contact us at any stage of the process for advice.