Do House Sales Always Complete On A Friday?

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For most homebuyers and sellers in the UK, Fridays have become synonymous with completion day – the day when the property sale finally goes through and the keys are handed over. But why has this day of the week become so ingrained as the typical completion day? And do all house sales complete on a Friday?

The Tradition of Friday Completions

The tradition of completing house sales on a Friday has been prevalent in the UK property market for many decades. Historically, a Friday completion allowed solicitors and estate agents to tie up all the loose ends during the working week and have everything ready for the new owners to move in over the weekend. Fridays also tended to be a quieter day in legal offices compared to the start of the working week, so there were fewer distractions when finalising the completion.

This practice has continued partly due to convention and partly for practical reasons. Holding completions on a Friday allows the new owners to move in with minimal disruption by doing it over a weekend. It also gives them the weekend to start settling in before going back to work on Monday. For these reasons, Fridays have remained by far the most popular completion day, even though it is not compulsory to complete sales on this particular day of the week.

Other Completion Days

While Fridays are traditional, completions can technically happen on any working weekday in the UK. Some buyers and sellers opt for earlier or later completion days for various reasons:

  • Monday completions allow people to move straight after the weekend, though solicitors may charge extra for working outside regular hours to tie everything up. It allows less time for final preparations.
  • A midweek completion on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday may suit some chains better where people are moving to and from rental properties with different tenancies. It spreads out the workload for removal companies too.
  • Occasionally completions happen on another day of the week by mutual agreement, for example, if key workers need to move on a weekend. But this is less common.

So Friday completions are still the norm, but there is some flexibility on completion day if required. Sellers sometimes agree to earlier or later completions to fit in with buyers’ circumstances and schedules.

Why Friday Completions are Not Always Possible

While many buyers and sellers aim for a Friday completion when agreeing on a sale, it does not always pan out this way. Delays can happen for several reasons:

  • Backlogs at the Land Registry causing registration delays
  • Mortgage lending issues affecting funds being available in time
  • Solicitors waiting on responses to enquiries from other parties in the chain
  • Last-minute issues flagged up by surveys that need resolving
  • Buyers are unable to finalise removals or storage in time
  • Sellers struggling to vacate the property in time

With house purchases being such complex legal transactions involving multiple parties, timing delays of a day or two often throw out a planned Friday completion. The whole chain then has to delay until alternative completion dates can be agreed. This means coordinated Friday completions are not always achievable even with the best intentions.

How Sellers Can Prepare for Friday Completions

For house sellers, here are some tips to help your sale complete smoothly on a Friday:

  • Aim to get packed up and vacate the property by Thursday evening. This avoids a stressful move on Friday itself.
  • Make sure all meters have final readings taken and utility accounts are closed off in time.
  • Have the property professionally cleaned before handing over the keys.
  • Keep in very close contact with your solicitor and agent as completion day approaches to stay on top of progress.
  • Be as flexible and helpful as possible if buyers request moving the completion date. This keeps the sale safely progressing rather than risking it falling through.

While Friday completions are still the norm, the day a house sale is completed can vary for practical reasons. Sellers who want a quick sale often have to be adaptable to completing earlier or later than initially agreed if needed. Keeping your agent and solicitor informed and being flexible is key to completing sales smoothly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the tradition of completing house sales on a Friday remains strong, it’s essential to acknowledge that not every transaction follows this pattern. Although Fridays are the most popular and conventional completion days, unforeseen delays or practical considerations might lead to sales being finalised earlier or later in the week through mutual agreement. As a seller, staying prepared for potential last-minute adjustments and maintaining flexibility are key to successfully concluding the sale, even if it means deviating from the widely embraced Friday completion. Whether you opt for the conventional route or choose a different day, effective communication and a practical mindset are crucial. Moreover, for those seeking a swift and hassle-free sale, there are buyers ready to accommodate requests like “buy my house for cash,” offering an alternative avenue for a smooth and efficient transaction. By keeping communication channels open and embracing a pragmatic approach, property sales can be successfully concluded on any agreed-upon working day.

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