What Happens On Completion Day Of House Sale?

The final hurdle of a housing transaction, completion day brings with it a mixture of emotions. You’re likely to be relieved the process is coming to an end and excited to start life in your new home. On the other hand you’ll be worried about last minute hiccups and the move itself. But knowing what to expect will help calm your nerves.

If you sell your house to us we’ll make the whole process as stress free as possible. We can buy your home in just seven days and will always stick to the completion date we agree on. What’s more there’s no rush to leave since we’ll allow you to continue living in the property rent free for a short period of time.


Before completion

In most cases contracts will have been exchanged between seven and 28 days before completion. This commits both sides to the transaction. At this point, the seller pays a 10% deposit. In a chain a deposit can be passed from buyer to buyer so you do not have to physically pay it. Either way if a buyer pulls out once contracts have been exchanged they may lose that deposit.

Exchange and completion can take place on the same day if you need to move quickly. However since neither side is committed until after exchange, there is a greater possibility the transaction will fall through on the day you expect to move. Most people prefer to have some time in between to prepare for moving in the knowledge everything is in order.

A completion date will be agreed by the buyers and sellers. In a long chain your options will be limited by the wishes of everybody else in it. If you have some flexibility, bear in mind that most people prefer moving on a Friday so they have the weekend to settle in. This means you’re more likely to get a better deal if you book movers for a Monday or Tuesday. You’ll also have a cushion of several working days to sort out any problems.


Potential pitfalls on the day

At this point it is very unlikely a sale will fall through, but it can happen. Even if everything goes smoothly, moving home is a tiring and emotional test of endurance.

In a worst case scenario a mortgage provider may withdraw their offer, as they can at any moment if they find out your circumstances have changed. Or a seller leaving a home they have lived in for a long time may get cold feet at the last minute. If a transaction falls through at any point in a chain, it’s likely to bring it all down.

Fortunately this is rare, the most common problem on the day is a delay caused by money being passed up a long chain. You may be packed up and ready to go, but you cannot set foot into your new home until the seller’s solicitors have your money. On the other hand you can’t stay in your home once your buyer’s money has arrived.

Although this all happens electronically, if you’re towards the end of a chain a small glitch will impact you the most. If your money doesn’t arrive by 3pm you may have to wait until the next day to complete, potentially leaving you homeless for a night. So it’s a good idea to have somewhere else to stay if needed.


Helping the day go smoothly

Although you know it’s going to be a stressful day there are things you can do to make it a little easier, such as:

  • Pack as far in advance as possible and plan it so you know where each box is going in your new home. Remember once the buyer’s money has arrived it’s their home and you need to be out of it.
  • If possible, consider moving most of your belongings into storage a few days beforehand so that moving day is less of a rush. Keep it in storage to give yourself a few days to clean and decorate your new home.
  • Call your solicitors at the beginning of the day to get an update on the progress of completion and an idea of when it will happen.
  • Call the seller’s estate agents to make sure they’re on hand to give you the keys. Or if you’re collecting from the sellers, double check the arrangements.
  • Keep a survival kit on hand of the essentials you’ll need for the day and first night in your new home.
  • Once you’ve arrived and unloaded, make your bed so it’s ready to fall into when you need it. But don’t try and do too much, once you’re in you can unpack at your leisure.


Working with us

Our aim is to make the moving process as easy as we can for you, especially if your circumstances are particularly unsettling. We’ll take on the hassles of dealing with solicitors and arranging valuations and we’ll cover all these costs too, so you can focus on preparing for your move.

We’ll also be totally transparent. You may be able to get a higher price on the open market, but once we’ve agreed on a final valuation with you and set a completion date you can be sure they won’t change. And because we are never part of a chain the sale won’t collapse or be delayed. That means you know exactly when mortgage payments will stop and you’ll have funds in your account.

If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch for a chat.

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