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Once we’ve fulfilled all the necessary requirements for buying and selling a house, we will reach the final steps: exchange and completion. These activities involve paying the final amounts and completing the transfer of ownership.

These two steps, however, cover many other processes. Since the process involves buyers, sellers, and solicitors, it can become more complicated. In many cases, you need the help of residential conveyancers to streamline these steps and make sure everything is taken care of.

We’ll give you a quick guide to the processes of exchange and completion. We will also look into how to deal with the basic steps and what possible issues may happen.

The Process Of Exchange And Completion

Exchange refers to the exchange of contracts in selling a house, which makes the transaction official and final. The buyer deposits the initial amount or has the solicitor send in mortgage details from the loan company. The solicitor will also submit a completion report detailing all the fees in the final process. If anyone backs out at this point, they may suffer large penalties and fines.

Once all processes are final, the parties involved can set the date of completion. That will be the day the buyer will pay the remaining balance, and the seller will officially turn over the house to the new owner.

The buyer pays the rest of their balance through his solicitor. The occupier or seller then moves out if they are still using the house. The previous owner completes the transfer of the property at this point with all the necessary paperwork.

Buyer, Seller, and Solicitor’s Steps

The completion process involves steps required of the buyer, seller, and solicitors. Each of them (especially the house conveyancers or solicitors) plays a role in completing the steps to finish the exchange of contracts and the completion of all the necessary steps.

The buyer has to formalise their move-out and move-in by taking care of mailing address changes and utilities. They have to confirm their presence and be at the completion date set by all parties involved. The conveyancer, in turn, draws up the completion reports and coordinates the payment from a mortgage or loan company. It is usually an initial deposit or the full amount once the seller confirms.

The seller ensures the total clearance of the property by the completion date. They are also responsible for checking the house’s condition and if the terms of its sale are met. Any changes on the seller’s end have to be completed by the agreed turnover date. These include utility bills, mail redirection, and other house information changes. Both the seller and buyer have to settle conveyancing solicitor fees as well.

In a perfect setting, the buyer and seller can set both the exchange and completion on the same day if the previous owner doesn’t use the property or has enough time to move out early. If there are no other tedious issues to sort out, you can easily set a same-day set-up.

However, delays in the last steps can happen. Everyone involved needs enough time to move out, sort, and process their finances. The buyer can encounter money delays, or the seller might have requirement problems.

Duration and Delays

The usual process is within 1 to 2 weeks for the exchange and completion of the house transfer.

Delays sometimes happen, ranging from a few days to two months which can be a hassle. But these are from legal issues or problems with finance. Sometimes delays are no longer the responsibility of the seller, buyer, or the property purchase solicitor

It helps to add more time for processing and unavoidable situations. The processes for everyone involved must be confirmed completed before setting a completion date. If possible, add extra time. Wait until physical changes, like builds and renovations, are completed. Do not rely on projected final dates.

The property renovation or build might not be complete by the turnover week and date. In these cases, everyone needs to agree on a realistic completion date. Remember to coordinate and don’t rush moving out and renovations to avoid issues.

Regarding payments, finances should be ready before confirming the completion dates as well. It will help prevent delays and inconveniences for whatever reason.

Possible Issues With Completion

There are many laws in place to protect all parties from non-completion or non-payment. It is a breach of contract if the buyer or seller fails to comply with all requirements by the completion date. For example, A buyer is given ten working days to push through before contracts are retracted.

Penalty fees will be charged depending on the expenses and financial losses from the seller. In case it’s the seller‘s fault, they are obliged to pay all of the buyer’s incurred costs on top of the deposits.

Final Steps for Completion

When completion is finally done, we have to remind buyers and sellers to complete the final steps. Most of them are just last-minute changes or formalities, but they are important. All parties involved in the house purchase have to follow through with their respective obligations.

The new owner must process the changes in the house address, including setting up bills and transfers of utilities. They’ll also need to examine the condition of the house. Meanwhile, their residential conveyancer will take care of the title and house paperwork, along with the final payment.

The seller should already have all the final processes taken care of at this point. All they have to do is confirm the final meter readings and give the keys to their solicitors. Their solicitors will be waiting for the final balance deposit to confirm receipt and final sale.

Final Notes

There are many important steps in between the exchange of contracts and the completion of a house sale. Buyers, sellers, and their solicitors alike coordinate throughout these processes. With many parties involved, delays and complications may happen. It is important for everyone to detail their requirements and agree on realistic timeframes

This is why it is important to be armed with the right knowledge and professionals at your side. For example, an online conveyancing calculator can give you an idea of how much the entire process might cost you. This can help you prepare everything you need in advance to ensure a smooth process. The right solicitor can also help you move through this process quickly. This can speak volumes of their work ethic and dedication to their clients’ wishes

They should also be able to help you navigate any unexpected issues and delays in the process, including the other party’s failure to comply with the agreed-upon terms.

Conveyancing Calculator helps home buyers and sellers process the all major and in-between steps in a house sale. You can check with our online conveyancing fees calculator to gauge your budget. Let us help you decide your next move.


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