What Happens on Completion Day?

News at Williams & Donovan | 18/05/2021


Completion day is, without a doubt, the best part of the entire home buying process. It's when you'll pick up the keys and take ownership of your new home.

There are a few final checks to be done before completion day can happen.

What Happens Before Completion?

  • Before completion, your solicitor will ensure that all of the mortgage conditions have been met and request the money from the lender.
     
  • The lender will also carry out some last-minute checks to ensure there have been no significant changes to your credit rating. So, if you take out a loan to buy a new car, for example, this could have very negative implications on your mortgage offer.
     
  • On the other side, the seller’s solicitor will request a redemption certificate that’s calculated to the day of completion if the seller still has a mortgage on the property.
     
  • Essentially, this document details what will happen to the outstanding balance on the mortgage when you take possession. In most cases, the seller will pay off the outstanding balance from the proceeds of the sale, while you will have a brand new mortgage agreement in place.

What Happens on Completion Day?

  • The solicitors on both sides will carry out their final checks and paperwork, including a completion statement that sets out all of the payments made and received.
     
  • Any outstanding invoices will be raised, including the estate agent fees for the seller and any conveyancing costs you haven’t paid yet. These will be due on completion.
     
  • Once the final checks have been completed and signed off, your solicitor will transfer the money to the seller’s solicitor.
     
  • When they’ve confirmed receipt of the funds, they will let the estate agent know that the keys are ready to be collected and you will be notified by their solicitor that they’re now able to go and collect them.

How to Ensure a Smooth Completion Day

While completion day is an exciting day for both parties and the final point in a lengthy process, it can also be quite stressful too.

To ensure it runs as smoothly as possible, there are a few things that you and the seller can do.

For sellers, it’s vital to have everything boxed up and ready to move out before the day.

  • The target time to move out is usually between 12 pm and 2 pm, although it can vary depending on the number of buyers and sellers in the chain.
     
  • Put simply though, things will run a lot smoother if the sellers have everything ready to go first thing in the morning, rather than scrambling to pack everything by lunchtime.

As for you, the buyer, all that’s really required is to have your phone to hand and be ready to pick up the keys from the estate agent!

  • If you’re having to vacate your old property on the same day, then they’ll also need to be packed up and ready to move.
     
  • There’s no requirement for you to actually move into your new property on completion day, however, it’s usual to do so unless you are a first-time buyer who still lives at home with parents, as you can simply collect the keys on completion day and then move in when you want to, perhaps after you’ve decorated for example.

How Much Time is There Between Exchange and Completion?

The completion day is agreed upon between you and the seller in advance, and it usually takes place between 7 and 28 days after the exchange of contracts. (check out this article to find out how long it takes to exchange contracts on a house)

It can take less than 7 days in some rare cases, and it’s even possible to exchange and complete on the same day, but this is incredibly unlikely and not all lenders will allow it.

What's the Best Day to Complete?

Most people choose to complete on a Friday, as it then gives them the weekend to unpack and get things in place.

However, due to the demand for this day, it can mean that removal costs are higher, and solicitors are busier, as they may have several completions to work through on the same day.

Another potential issue is that if the completion fails to go through for any reason, the party responsible for the delay will be liable for the other party’s costs over the weekend.

Therefore, it’s usually better to complete earlier in the week if possible, as it can save you money and your solicitor or conveyancer should be slightly less busy.

The best day of the process is completion day and we'd love to help you sell your home and be by your side throughout every step of the journey through to completion. 

We pride ourselves on going above and beyond when it comes to selling your home and invest time in our customers. Our team of property experts are knowledgeable in the local market and provide impeccable service
for our sellers. 

Would you like a free valuation on your property? We're happy to help - you can chat with a member of our friendly, helpful and experienced team. Check out our Google reviews 

Call James at the Hockley office: 01702 200666 
Call Lloyd at the Benfleet office: 01268 755252

Williams and Donovan, established in 1999. Local property experts in South East Essex, Sales, Land and Homes, Lettings, Property Management. Operating from three branches in Hockley and Benfleet.