What happens on completion day?

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Clare WatersParalegal & Executive of Completions Team

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What happens on completion day?

Whilst you are packing your home into a van on completion day, your conveyancer is busy organising the smooth running of the day and making everyone involved aware of timings so that there are no significant delays or too much waiting around.

In the run up to completion your conveyancer will provide you with a statement for your sale and purchase which will set out all the sums coming in and to be paid out on completion together with any balance due from you to enable your purchase to complete.

Alongside this, all bank details will be verified. This is an extremely important part of completion, namely, to eliminate banking fraud.  Banking and regulatory requirements state that a conveyancer will need to telephone you to verify any bank details that you have given and also carry out checks on the solicitors’ bank details where funds are being transferred for your purchase. Large sums of money are involved and conveyancers do their utmost to ensure compliance with regulations in order that funds do not go astray.

Your conveyancer will also ensure that your mortgage funds are received in time for completion.

It is prudent to ensure that any transfer of funds that you need to make is made a couple of days before the completion date so that any potential banking delays are avoided.

On completion day, once funds are received into your conveyancers’ bank account on your sale, we will check with you to see how you are progressing with packing and what time you think that you will vacate the property and take the keys to the estate agent so that all parties in the chain can plan their own timings and travel.

The legal point here is that you will need to vacate the property (see our blog “How clean should my house be on a sale?”) by the time stated in the contract.  The standard time in a house sale contract is 2pm but this can be varied, with the agreement of all parties, before exchange of contracts.

As a matter of course, conveyancers start the process of moving funds as early as possible in the day especially if there is a long chain to enable the last person to move before the 2pm contractual time.  Generally, around lunchtime is the time that completions take place and, of course, if you are at the beginning of the chain then your completion will be the earliest.

Once funds have been received by the conveyancer on your sale, legal completion takes place by the conveyancer acknowledging the funds and agreeing to date the Transfer Deed with the day of completion.

Once you have packed and vacated your property, you will drop the keys off to the estate agents and your conveyancer will authorise the agents to release the keys to the buyers once legal completion has taken place.

Whilst you make your way to your new property and are on the move, funds for your purchase will be transferred for your new property and when confirmation that funds are received and legal completion takes place then your conveyancer will ring you with the very good news of completion and you can make your way to the agents to collect your keys.