How to complete the purchase of a property

It’s likely your solicitor or conveyancer will be doing most of the work when it’s time to complete the purchase of a property, but there are steps you can take that may help the process run more smoothly:

  • Raise any changes in your financial circumstances ahead of the day.
  • Ask whether the money for the purchase can be transferred from the mortgage lender earlier.
  • Ensure you’ve done any paperwork and paid any fees your solicitor has asked for.

You’ve exchanged contracts, you’ve packed up your possessions, and are close to completing the purchase of your new property. Before the house is officially yours, you’ll need to wait for a few processes to be completed by your solicitor or conveyancer.

What does completion date mean?

The completion date is the day the money is transferred from your solicitor to the seller’s solicitor.

Your solicitor will have agreed this date on your behalf, well in advance. It also means you can collect the keys to your new home!

However, there are a few obstacles that could potentially cause delays:

  • The most common is the transferring of the money. Before your solicitor transfers the money over to the seller’s solicitor, they will need to do one last check to ensure your financial situation hasn’t changed. If it has and it’s affecting the mortgage you can afford, they could have a right to withdraw the transfer.
  • If, for whatever reason, the transfer is delayed and the money hasn’t gone through by the deadline, you’ll be left with no choice but to wait until the next day.
  • If you’re caught up in a chain and one of the sales falls through, completion may come to a sudden standstill because of the knock-on effect on each party in the chain.
  • Make sure you’ve paid all the relevant costs, such as fees and stamp duty, and done everything your solicitor has asked. Forgetting to complete paperwork, or make a payment upfront could postpone the moving date.

Can you exchange and complete on the same date?

It is possible to exchange contracts and complete on the same date, but this is not usual. While opting for this route can remove the need for a deposit on the exchange of contracts and can speed the process up, it can be risky. If things go wrong you’ll have very little time to put them right.

Any issues or hold-ups may mean the expense of pre-paid services, such as removal vans, are lost.

However, this avenue may be more attractive to people who aren’t part of a chain of buyers and sellers, as there’s no one else involved to cause delays.

Likewise, if you’re a cash purchaser, you won’t have to worry about transferring the money from a mortgage lender, so there may be less likelihood of delays.

If you’re using a mortgage provider, try and make sure funds are arranged early to reduce the risk of problems cropping up at the last minute.

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Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances and not rely on First4Lawyers’ online information alone.

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