What Happens on Completion Day?

Completion day is red marked in the calendar for buyers and sellers alike.

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You’ve done the endless house viewings, discovered your dream property, had your offer accepted and signed the contracts. All that’s left to do is cross the i’s and dot the t’s before you get the keys to your new home. 

But what goes on during completion, and can anything go wrong before you cross the finish line? In this guide, we’re bringing you everything there is to know about what happens on completion day for property transactions. 

What is completion day? 

In short, completion day is the final step for you and the seller of your new house. On this day the money transfers between the vendor and the buyer (that’s you), who receives the keys to their new property. Many emotions can arise on this day, from feeling nervous to pure excitement – after all, you have been patiently waiting for this moment. 

When is completion day? 

Usually, the date of completion is agreed in advance by the seller and the buyer and often take place between seven and 28 days after exchanging the contracts. Key collection typically happens during the week, as the money transfer and confirmation comes from the solicitor (not everyone likes working weekends). A weekday key collection can be beneficial to your pockets, though. Removal companies are generally cheaper to hire during the week. 

What happens on completion day? 

For you, the buyer, the completion date is the day you will transfer the money for your property and collect the keys. A solicitor or conveyancer needs to confirm the transaction and deal with any paperwork. 

Here’s a play by play of the events of completion day: 

  • Both solicitors (buyer and seller) will make any final checks, and then the buyer’s solicitor will send the money for the property to the seller. 
  • Once these have been received, the seller’s solicitor will confirm completion and the buyer will receive the keys. 
  • Once it has been confirmed that all the charges have been paid, for example, estate agent fees, the buyer will be notified and they can move into their new home! 

Top tips for making completion day as easy as possible 

  • Plan ahead. While you can’t move out into your new home until completion day, you can still make sure that everything is in order for a smooth move when the time does arrive. Make sure you’re all packed up well in advance and coordinate with your removal company. 
  • Keep your phone on loud. Your conveyancer or estate agent might need to contact you to ensure that everything is going as planned. Make sure your phone is on, charged and on full volume. Also, ensure that you have your solicitor’s contact information on hand. 
  • Get your funds in order. It’s important to make sure that the money for purchase is all in one place and ready to be sent to the seller. 
  • Be prepared. A handy trick is to keep all the relevant paperwork you might need on a USB. This means it’s all in one place and easily accessible should you need it. 
  • Be organised. Make sure you confirm all the timings for the day with everyone else. There’s nothing worse than being ready in the morning, when the seller is only ready to move in the afternoon. 

Sometimes it might feel like completion day will never arrive, and buying a house can, on occasion, have more twists and turns than a “whodunit” movie. 

That’s why most buyers feel a mixture of relief and jubilation when the ink is fresh on the contracts and completion day rolls around. And now that you know what to expect from the process, you can familiarise yourself so you’re a completion pro and know what to expect on the day you receive the keys. 

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