What To Expect On Completion Day

Hand holding key and keyring of house

Completion day refers to the date when the buyer finally gets the keys to the new house. It is at this point that ownership is transferred from the house seller to the buyer. After ownership is transferred to the buyer, the seller will have to move out.

For the completion day to run smoothly, always stay in touch with your conveyancing solicitor. You will have to liaise with your conveyancing solicitor who will be in a position to confirm to you the moment completion is done, your conveyancer will also liaise you with estate agents or seller for you to pick up the keys.

This article will help you get to know every necessary detail that occurs on completion day. You will understand what completion day means and how to ensure you have a successful completion day.


What is the meaning of completion day?

Completion Day is the final step of the conveyancing process for buyers and sellers. It occurs after a period of between 7-28 days from the moment the buyer and seller exchange contracts. When you are successful in exchanging contracts, your conveyancing solicitor will come up with a completion date that both parties will agree on.

When the conveyancing process for buying comes to an end, the seller’s conveyancer will receive the final funds from the buyer’s conveyancer. Once the seller’s conveyancer receives the payment, this is the time completion has taken place legally. The buyer will receive the keys to the new house and move in.

During the completion day of the house sale, the seller is supposed to have moved out of the house. Usually, the target time of move out is usually 12 pm. However, this can change depending on the size of the property chain. Arrangements and alternative times can be made as long as both the seller and buyer agree to them.


Completion and moving date

When talking about the completion date, it refers to the day that the seller will get the payment for the house as the buyer receives the keys and can start moving in. for a seller, they should have moved out by the completion day of the house sale. As a buyer, you may move into the property as soon as you are ready. It can be on or after the completion day.

In the case that the transaction is part of the property chain, then you might have to wait for the seller to have their completion day. Typically estate agents and conveyancers will work to accomplish a completion date on the same day for all parties in the chain. This allows for a smooth transaction process and allows everyone to move in and out of their properties in the same day.


Is it possible to complete on a Saturday?

It is impossible to schedule a completion date on a Saturday or Sunday since most banks and solicitors are closed. Friday is the most popular day to do a complete on the house and tends to be the day that most people move house.


What happens completion day?

Below are some basic things of what happens on completion day to help you prepare;

  1. The buyer’s conveyancer will have to pay the remaining funds to the seller’s conveyancer on the same day transfer via a bank. In most cases, the money is usually transferred in the morning. Once payment is made, your conveyancer will contact you.
  2. The moment the seller’s conveyancer gets the payment, mostly between 12 pm-2pm. This means that completion has taken place legally.
  3. Next, the seller’s conveyancer will make contact with the buyer’s conveyancer for confirmation of receipt of the money. They will then contact the estate agent who will authorise the keys to be released to the new owner.
  4. The estate agent has the duty to contact the buyer to confirm if they collected the keys.
  5. Conveyancers for the seller and buyer will contact the client for confirmation if completion is done.
  6. The seller will have to vacate the house allowing the new owner to move in. Also, the seller and buyer are supposed to have booked their removal companies by now.


Transferring funds on completion day

Sending the final money to the seller’s conveyancer is the main event of the completion day. However, you will need to ensure that you have made the necessary payments due to your conveyancer before doing this. If you are purchasing with a mortgage, your solicitor will request the mortgage funds from your bank. It is likely at this point you will also have to pay conveyancing disbursements.

When all the payments have been received, the seller’s conveyancer will receive the final funds from the buyer’s conveyancer. Ensure you compare the conveyancing quotes to ensure you find the best-verified conveyancers. This will help save you money and time.


Completion Day in a chain

Property chain refers to the total number of total purchases linked together in a chain. They are all independent of other transactions. Usually, a chain is made up of between 4 to 5 transactions. The timeline of the completion day will depend on the number of people involved in the property chain and in case any unexpected problems are arising.

Usually, the completion process starts with one person intending to buy a property. In case its your first time trying to purchase property or don’t have a property to sell, the chain will start with you. The seller will close the chain as they are the only one selling property.

In most cases, the chain starts at around 11 am. It can then end at 4 pm when the final buyer collects their keys but this will depend on the chain size. Below is an example of a complete day timeline of someone involved in a property chain.

Completion Day timeline

  •  11 am: This is usually the first buyer involved in the chain. They will complete their purchase transaction.
  •  1 pm: The second buyer (sold their house to the first buyer) finalises their purchase transaction
  •  3 pm: Involves the third buyer ( sold their house to the second buyer) finalises their purchase transaction
  •  4 pm: Involves the last person in this chain (one that has a property to sell) will receive funds from the third buyer. Later, they complete the sale transaction, ending the property chain.


If there is no chain, what happens on completion day?

If there is no chain involved in your current transaction, then the completion day will typically be more straightforward compared to those linked to property chains. You won’t have to rely on other transactions being completed first.

If you are not in a chain, this completion will happen at around 11 am, assuming the buyer’s conveyancer has received all necessary payments. This will allow them to send the final money to the seller’s conveyancer come morning of the completion day. Since the seller is not interested in purchasing another property, the buyer won’t have to wait long to move in.


Is it possible to exchange contracts and complete them all in on the same day?

Normally, the completion day takes between 7-28 days once the exchange of contracts is done. However, there is a possibility of exchanging and completing in one day. However, this is not suitable for many buyers.

It’s not advisable to exchange and complete in one day. You will be attempting to accomplish many tasks at once. Moreover, if something goes wrong, it could result in a knock-on effect. This will result to the process stalling for those involved and will cause unnecessary inconvenience and stress. The reason why exchange of contracts is done on a particular date and completion on another date is to provide the parties involved security. This will allow the buyer and seller to book and pay removals knowing that the completion date legally binds them.


When is it convenient to exchange and complete in one day

  • If the house you are purchasing or selling has been sold with vacant possession. Moreover, if the seller has moved out already.
  • In the case that buyer of the house does not need a mortgage. Also known as cash buyer.
  • If the buyer does not necessarily need to move in physically on the completion day.
  • If you are not linked to a chain, meaning you don’t rely on other transactions to complete first.


When is it not advisable to exchange and complete in one day?

  • You are linked to a property chain and you rely on the success of other transactions.
  • You want to move in on completion day
  • You have to book a removal company to help you with moving in
  •  some conveyancers will charge you extra for exchanging and completing in one day. Before you decide on your course of action, discuss this option with your conveyancer.


Completion day for new build houses

If you are planning to buy a new house, it will be hard to agree on an agreed date since conveyancing new houses is not same to older houses. Your conveyancer may not provide you with a completion date if the property is still under construction. Meaning the completion date is not certain.

The period between completion of the new property and exchanging contracts could be a few months, it will depend on the property developer and the circumstances you are in. once the house is fully constructed, then the conveyancer can set a completion date.


What can go wrong on the completion day?

Various challenges can result in delays on completion day. Some of the challenges are;

  • Delay in chain: If you are linked to a property chain, it will take one link to delay payment and this will cause a delay in the whole chain.
  • Delay of purchase funds: The majority of buyers will fund their own purchase by combining a mortgage and their own funds. It will be best to transfer all purchase funds to the buyer’s conveyancer a day before the completion day. This will make it possible for the buyer’s conveyancer to transfer the money to the seller’s conveyancer come the morning of the completion day. If the mortgage lender or buyer is late to make payments to the buyer’s conveyancer, this will delay the time of completion.
  •  CHAP’S deadline: If the seller’s conveyancer does not get the final funds by 4 pm, the completion of the transaction may have to delay until the following working day so that everything can work well. The reason behind this is that most bank CHAPs systems usually close by 4 pm.


Avoiding completion day challenges

For you to avoid completion day problems, it’s crucial for you to;

  • Keep in touch with your conveyancer: Keeping in touch with your conveyancer will play a huge role in making the completion day successful. Schedule a suitable time to call your conveyancer. Mostly in the morning of the completion day to talk about the progress.
  • Early payment: Make sure you make early payments to your conveyancer before completion day. Don’t wait until the completion day to make payments. It will result in some delays.
  • Be organised: Be aware of what is happening all year round. Stay in touch with your conveyancer and make sure you create time to be informed of any progress.
  • Vacate the property fast: If you move out of the house you are selling early enough, it will probably ease the process for everyone that is involved. Aim at vacating the property by 12 pm latest.
  • Be easily contactable: You need to be always contactable year-round. The estate agent and your conveyancer have to contact you to finalise the process.


Roles of a conveyancer

Conveyancers work within property law. They are needed to have specific qualifications. This makes them aware of the obligations and legal responsibilities that come with the transfer of property. The paperwork involved in transferring property is an extremely complex process. One that will need you to use the services of a conveyancer. The conveyancer will:

  1. Search for the certificate of title.
  2. Adjust taxes and rates
  3. Complete and lodge relevant documents with the land services department
  4. Search local authorities, governments departments for things that may affect the property. For instance, caveats and encumbrances
  5. Represent you by attending settlement
  6. Prepare a settlement statement
  7. Make inquiries regarding zoning titles and rates
  8. Liaise with financial institutions on funds needed to proceed to settlement
  9. Overseeing those special conditions included in the contract are fulfilled before finalising with settlement


Benefits of hiring an online conveyancer

Online conveyancing services offer a convenient and affordable alternative to the traditional conveyancing experience. Moving Sorted offer the expertise of experienced professionals. Their services  have several benefits when compared to traditional conveyancing services.

Occasionally, property titles can comes with provisions and conditions, this could pose a challenge to your ability to acquire permission to do planning in the future. There can also be restrictions on what you can and not do with the property. Your conveyancer will thoroughly explain everything to you for you to understand your investment.

2. They carry out extensive searches

One of the main advantages of hiring an conveyancer is that they will dedicate plenty of time to searches for your properties. So many things can go wrong with a property and conveyancers are tasked with finding out what these issues might be.

3. Organising finances

Conveyancers will ensure that the terms of the contract work in your favour. You will be in a position to find out the various types of funding or mortgages available to fasten the financial arrangement set up.

4. They handle estate agents

If you want to sell your home, your conveyancer will coordinate with your estate agent. This person will be in charge of making sure your property is sold. Our online conveyancers are in contact with many local estate agents in your area which allows for a smooth transaction of information.

5. They make sure you are satisfied with the contract

Once you decide to hire a conveyancer, they will be in charge of dealing with the legal process of conveyancing. If you choose not to hire a conveyancer, you might have a hard time understanding the legal facets involved. You might not know how best to negotiate your contract. By hiring a conveyancer, they will ensure that you are satisfied with the contract presented to you. You will have avoided many headaches.