Exchange Of Contracts And House Completion Explained

Exchange of Contracts and House Completion Explained

Selling your house is a stressful process. When you finally get to the point where you exchange contracts and complete the sale, you can typically breathe a big sigh of relief. What can go wrong between exchange and completion and understanding exactly what happens between exchange and completion, though, are key to the home selling process and ensure it’s smooth.

What Happens at the Exchange of Contracts?

Wondering exactly how an exchange of contracts works? At the actual exchange of contracts, both solicitors have a signed contract. The seller’s solicitor has a signed transfer of title deed while the buyer’s solicitor has a deposit of funds that have been cleared as well as a mortgage offer. The two parties have also likely agreed on a completion date. From there, the solicitors confirm that everyone is in possession of the right legal documents, and an electronic “exchange” of materials happens. “Contracts exchanged” just means the solicitors have electronically sent copies of the contracts to each other.

What Happens After the Exchange of Contracts?

Between the exchange of contracts and completion, a number of different things happen. Once the completion date has been set, you have a number of things to do. Exchange of contracts vs. completion means a few different things. After you’ve exchanged contracts, you’ve already agreed on the terms, so if you’re the buyer, you’ll need to make your plans to move and contact all utilities and services to inform them of the impending service transfer. Your conveyancing solicitor will work to ensure your mortgage lender is on track to transfer the money. If you’re the seller, you need to start packing and confirm your removals services. Your conveyancing solicitor will draw up the completion statement and confirm the redemption amount with the mortgage company.

The last step in the process is completion day, and on that day, the money is transferred between solicitors and the seller must leave the property.

A Few FAQs

Still, have questions about exchanging contracts and completing the sale? Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions.

Can You Exchange and Complete the Same Day?

It is legally possible to exchange and complete on the same day, but it’s not legally advisable. There are a number of things that have to happen between the exchange and completion, and should just one of them go wrong, you could be looking at a lengthy delay.

What Time of Day Does the Exchange of Contracts Happen?

There is no specific set time of day, but often the exchange happens around midday.

Who Is Responsible for House Insurance Between Exchange and Completion?

Exchange 2 Completion Insurance is solely the responsibility of the buyer. Exchange to completion insurance isn’t difficult to get, but it is an absolute must. In most cases, your mortgage lender will absolutely insist on that proof of insurance, too, so work in advance to find the right policy to meet your needs.

Can You Exchange Contracts Without a Completion Date?

The completion date is listed in the contracts themselves, so you cannot exchange contracts until the two of you have agreed on a completion date.

Who Decides Completion Date?

Your house completion date is decided by both the buyer and the seller. Typically, this happens four weeks after the exchange of contracts, but it could happen as soon as two weeks after the exchange. Just work together to find the right date to meet your needs.

Is the Completion Date the Same as Moving Date?

The completion date and moving dates are one and the same for the seller. The seller literally hands over the keys to the property on the completion date, so they must have already been out by that time. Once that is complete, the buyer can begin moving in at any point.

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