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What Happens on Completion Day? 

Property Saviour » Buying » What Happens on Completion Day? 

Completion is the last step in purchasing your home. You are likely packing up the removal van, but if something goes awry, you still may not be in the clear.

To ensure the day runs as smoothly as possible, it’s important to know what to expect and plan for completion day. To help you out, here are some helpful tips.

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What is the Day of Completion?

Completion day marks the end of the conveyancing process. It signifies that the parties involved have concluded the property sale and that ownership is being transferred to the buyer. This usually takes place between 7-28 days after contracts are exchanged.

The buyer’s conveyancer will transfer the final funds to the seller’s solicitor. Once payment is received, completion is legally completed. The buyer will then be able to get the keys to their new home.

The seller is expected to move out of the property by the completion date. This is typically set for noon, however, this can vary depending on the size of the property chain. Alternative arrangements can be made if both the buyer and seller agree to them.

Can You Complete and Move on Different Days?

The seller must vacate the property by the given date to finalise the transaction and transfer ownership to the buyer. On the completion day, the buyer can move in, unless they are part of a property chain and have to wait until the seller’s completion day.

If the buyer does not own a property to sell, they can move into the house on or after the completion day.

What Happens On Completion Day?
The seller is expected to move out of the property by the completion date.

How Does Completion Day Work in a Property Chain?

The completion process usually begins with a first-time buyer. The chain of transactions ends with a seller who is only selling.

The buyer’s conveyancer will send the final payment via same-day bank transfer. Once the seller’s conveyancer has received the payment, completion is legally complete.

The seller’s solicitor will notify the buyer’s conveyancer of the receipt of the funds. They will also alert the estate agent to give the keys to the buyer. Both conveyancers should then call their clients to inform them that completion has taken place.

What Happens on Completion Day With No Chain?

If you’re purchasing a house without a chain, the completion day should be simpler. This is because you won’t be relying on other transactions. Completion usually takes place at around 11 am, provided that the buyer’s conveyancer has received all payments.

This enables them to transfer the final funds to the seller’s conveyancer on the morning of the completion day.

Since the seller isn’t buying another property, the buyer won’t have to wait as long before they can move in.

Average Completion Day Timeline

The average timeline for completion is as follows:

  • 11 am – The first person in the chain, typically a first-time buyer, will complete their purchase transaction.
  • 1 pm – The second buyer, who sold their property to the first buyer, will complete their transaction.
  • 3 pm – The third buyer, who sold their property to the second buyer, will complete their transaction.
  • 4 pm – The last person in the chain, who only has a property to sell, will receive payment from the third buyer and complete the sale. This concludes the property chain.

The completion deadline is usually before 5:30 pm, as this is the time the CHAPS banking system and most conveyancers’ offices close.

Transferring Money on Completion Day
Once all payments have been made, the buyer's conveyancer will transfer the remaining funds via the CHAPS banking system. This will be the main event on completion day.

Transferring Money on Completion Day

The buyer must make sure they have paid all the necessary funds to their conveyancer, including any conveyancing disbursements if they are taking out a mortgage.

Once all payments have been made, the buyer’s conveyancer will transfer the remaining funds via the CHAPS banking system. This will be the main event on completion day.

Can You Exchange and Complete on the Same Day?

Yes, It is possible to exchange contracts and complete the transaction on the same day, although it’s not ideal for most buyers.

Some conveyancers may charge extra for a same-day completion. Attempting too many tasks at once can delay the process for all involved, so having two separate dates provides extra security.

When to exchange and complete on the same day:

If you want to exchange and complete everything on the same day, it is possible. Just make sure that you take the necessary tips to make sure everything is in order:

  • The property being bought or sold is vacant.
  • The buyer has the funds available.
  • The buyer does not need to move in on the completion day.
  • There is no chain.

When not to exchange and complete on the same day:

It is important to consider various factors before deciding to go forward with such an arrangement. These include:

  1. There is a long chain of properties involved.
  2. The buyer needs to move in on the completion day.
  3. Removals need to be arranged.
What Can Go Wrong on Completion Day
It is best to ensure that all purchase funds are paid to the buyer's conveyancer the day before completion day.

What Can Go Wrong on Completion Day?

  • Delay of Purchase Funds

Most buyers finance their purchase with their own money and a mortgage. It is best to ensure that all purchase funds are paid to the buyer’s conveyancer the day before completion day.

If either the buyer or lender is late in making the payment, this could cause a delay in the timeline.

  • CHAP’s Deadline

If the final payment is not received by the seller’s conveyancer’s bank account by 4 pm, the completion of the transaction may have to be postponed until the next working day. This is because most CHAP systems close at this time.

  • Delay in the Property Chain

If you are part of a chain, a delay in payment in just one link could delay the whole chain.

How Can Hiring a Conveyancer Help?

It is not a good idea to undertake the conveyancing process by yourself, as the legalities involved are complex, confusing and essential to the transaction. Any problems that arise could hurt the transaction or your time living on the property.

Your solicitor will arrange payments and liaise with other parties. A qualified and reliable conveyancer will communicate with everyone involved and make sure the legal process is done properly.

If any issues need to be addressed or you have any questions, your conveyancer will be there to help. If they are qualified and experienced, they should be able to assist.

How to Avoid Completion Day Problems?

Completion day can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you avoid any problems:

  1. Be organised– Make sure all paperwork is signed and completed promptly.
  2. Make early payments– Ensure any payments due are made before the completion date.
  3. Speak to your conveyancer– Arrange to call your conveyancer on the day of completion to check on progress.
  4. Be contactable– Your conveyancer and estate agent will need to reach you to finish the process.
  1. Vacate the property promptly– Aim to be out of the property by noon at the latest.
Can You Complete on a Saturday
The completion date may take a few months, depending on your circumstances and the property developer. Once the building is finished, the completion date can be determined.

Can You Complete on a Saturday?

Completing a house sale is most commonly done on a Friday.

Friday is also the most popular day to move house. It is not possible to schedule a completion date for a Saturday or Sunday, as most banks and solicitors are not open on these days.

Completion Day for New Builds

If you’re buying a newly built home, it is not possible to agree on a fixed date for conveyancing, as the process is different from previously owned properties.

The completion date may take a few months, depending on your circumstances and the property developer. Once the building is finished, the completion date can be determined.

If I fail to come up with the money will I be fined?

If you don’t transfer the funds on the day of completion, you’ll be fined. But if your buyers don’t manage to pay, they will have to pay a penalty to you instead. That way, you won’t suffer any losses.

How do I get the house keys 
Plan and start organizing your move once the day of completion is set.

How do I get the keys? 

Once the seller’s solicitor has received the funds, they’ll confirm completion with the buyer and release the keys. The keys can then be collected from the estate agent or directly from the buyer.

Completion day checklist

Completion day is here and it’s time to check off the list of things that need to be done:

  • Plan and start organizing your move once the day of completion is set. Research home removal services, agree on dates and times, and start packing. 
  • Remember to contact your new utility suppliers, arrange your bills, and sort out your building’s insurance. Make sure you can be easily reached in case any of your conveyancers, estate agents, or anyone else involved have queries or need last-minute documents.
  • Have all your paperwork on hand, ensuring that you have all the necessary documents relating to your house sale and that all funds are ready to go.
  • As soon as the completion day money transfer is confirmed, you can collect the keys to your new home from either the estate agent or the seller.

The Verdict?

When it comes to completing your house sale, it’s best to be prepared and organised. Have your phone on you at all times so that your solicitor and the estate agent can easily get in touch.

Make sure the funds are ready to go and keep all your paperwork handy in case you need to confirm something.

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