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Completion: How to Be Prepared

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

Completion is the final stage of the property buying process. At the point of completion, the property legally changes hands to new owners and your money is transferred across.

Below is everything you need to know to be prepared for completion day.

What can go wrong at completion?

Sadly, things can still go wrong at this late stage. There are many factors that can cause a delayed completion date.

Be aware that the following problems may arise:

  1. Late payments are a common problem that delays completion. If the transfer hasn’t started by 3pm, it’s unlikely to have gone through by the end of the working day, and you will have to wait until the next day for completion.
  2. If you’re in a housing chain and one of the sales either above you or below falls through, this can bring proceedings to a shuddering halt.  
  3. Don’t forget about the hidden costs! Miscalculated budgets will delay completion day. Be prepared for all the associated costs when buying a property.
  4. Buyer/seller disputes are another problem to watch out for. Be clear on what is included in the price!

Who decides completion day?

Completion day is usually decided between the buyer and the seller via their solicitors. Ensure this happens on a working day so that the funds are cleared by the bank!

Can you exchange and complete on the same day?

In theory, you can exchange and complete on the same day - but this isn’t advisable. It will add to an already stressful experience!

You may end up being forced to agree to a price raise, or the completion day may be postponed - leaving you high and dry with all your belongings packed.

Leaving at least a week between exchanging and completing will ensure that the move is definite. You can book your removal men with confidence!

How to get the keys on completion

Make sure you find out in advance who will have your keys and when you can collect them. There are multiple options.

You can either pick the keys up from your solicitor’s office, from the seller themselves, or from the estate agent who sold you the house.

If you need a solicitor you can get one here.

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