Completion day explained. A simple guide.

April 25, 2022
Completion day explained. A simple guide.

You have exchanged contracts and now you are just about to complete on your property. This is the final step in buying your home. We take a look at what happens on the day of completion and answer some of the questions that people ask about this process.

What is completion day?

This is the day when you officially take ownership of the property. Today the money is transferred; you receive the keys and can start moving into your new home.

What happens on completion day?

On completion day, your conveyancing solicitor confirms the transaction, deals with paperwork and the deeds. The seller’s solicitor also signs off the mortgage completion statements.

  • Prior to completion your conveyancing solicitor will check all mortgage conditions have been met, and request the money from the lender if you have one.
  • The seller’s solicitor will request a Redemption Certificate, if there’s a mortgage on the seller’s property. This Redemption Certificate is calculated to the day of completion.
  • Both sets of conveyancing solicitors create completion statements of all payments made and received and set out any invoices which are to be paid on completion.
  • The conveyancing solicitors on both sides undertake final checks to ensure everything is in order. At this stage, your solicitor will transfer the purchase money via the banking system to the seller’s solicitor.
  • When the seller’s solicitor has received the funds they’ll confirm completion with the buyer and release the keys from the estate agent.
  • The seller’s solicitor will ensure any outstanding charges are paid, including the seller’s estate agent fees.
  • The buyer will be notified of the completion, and they can then move into the property.

Can problems happen?

Occasionally, there problems with the transfer of funds. This might happen when money is being sent from your mortgage provider (if you’re using one) to your solicitors, and then on to the seller’s solicitor. If the money transfer doesn’t go through by 3pm, completion can’t happen until the following day.

Chain problems

Being involved in a chain of buyers and sellers can cause complications. If any part of the chain falls through, or is delayed, the whole process can come to a stop.

Removals problems

We advise to plan ahead for when you move. When you know your date of completion, your should organise a time with your removals company for the move. 

Prior to this, we advise taking the time to research and compare different removals companies, to be sure you’re trusting your possessions to the right people.

Sellers trying it on

Occasionally, some sellers might pack up and move, taking with them some of the fixtures and fittings which the buyer thought would be included in the price of the house. In most cases this is just a simple misunderstanding. However, you should protect yourself from this eventuality.

It is prudent to be crystal clear from the very beginning about what is and is not included in the price of a house. Assume nothing, especially the goodwill of the sellers.

A man holding a toy house in one hand and reaching out with a set of keys in the other
on completion day you take possession of your new home

How can I make completion day run smoothly?

Your conveyancing solicitor will be focused on your transaction. They will be working to complete on the property as swiftly as possible. But it is a good idea to be contactable, so that if issues arise, you can be on hand to resolve them.

You should have all your paperwork to hand. This is in case you need to check anything. You should keep all the funds for the purchase in one account and ready to go.

What happens If I fail to transfer the funds?

If you don’t transfer the money on completion day, you will be fined. But if couldn’t pay because your buyers in the chain also failed to come up with the money, they will pay a penalty to you. This way you should not lose out.

Who decides on the date of completion?

Both parties should get the chance to agree the date of completion in advance. Completion day traditionally has to be on a working weekday. This is to facilitate the transfer of funds through the bank. You can plan your move once this date is set.

When do I get the keys?

Once the seller’s solicitor has received the funds they’ll confirm completion. At this point you can collect the keys from the estate agent or the buyer direct.

What documents should I keep?

See our list of important documents that you should keep. In general these documents could include:

  • Copy of the lease
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Fittings and contents form
  • Indemnity insurance
  • Management pack
  • Property information form
  • Report on title
  • Stamp duty receipt
  • Title Deeds
  • Warranty

Esper Wealth’s progression team is here to help you through the property acquisition process. Speak with your investment consultant to find out how we can help in the build up to completion and after the event has happened.