The most common question that clients ask their conveyancer once contracts have been exchanged on their sale or purchase is “What do I need to do now?” Whilst your conveyancer will be taking care of the legal side of this final stage, below Kausiha Baskaran explains a few matters that clients should arrange between exchange and completion:
When you are purchasing a freehold property you will need to arrange your own buildings and contents insurance. You must ensure that the buildings insurance is in place on the day of exchange.
If you are buying a leasehold property you will only need to arrange your own contents insurance, as the landlord or management company will take care of the buildings cover. You should put your contents insurance in place for the day of completion.
Once contracts have been exchanged and the completion date is set, you will need to ensure that you have made firm arrangements with a removals and/or storage company for the day of completion. It can be tempting to want to finalise moving arrangements earlier in the transaction, but remember, the completion date is not set in stone until contracts are exchanged.
A property is usually sold with ‘vacant possession’, save, for example, where a property is tenanted. Vacant possession requires a seller to remove all items that are not included in the sale from the property. They must also clear all rubbish inside and outside the property, and leave waste and recycle bins empty. The Fittings and Contents Form (TA10), completed at the outset of the transaction, details the items that will be left at the property. It is essential that a seller adheres to this form, as once contracts are exchanged the TA10 becomes part of the contract and is therefore legally binding. In short, if you indicate on the TA10 that your washing machine is included in the sale, you can’t change your mind on the day of completion and take it with you!
As a buyer, on the day of completion, you should let your conveyancer know immediately if there are items left at the property that were not agreed prior to exchange of contracts, or if an agreed item has not been left. Your conveyancer will contact the seller’s solicitors and attempt to make suitable arrangements to resolve any such matters.
When selling a property you need to ensure all energy, water, internet and other service providers are notified of the completion date as soon as possible after exchange. You should also inform the Council that you will be moving so that they can ensure the correct person receives the Council Tax bill. Consider the utilities you use on a day-to-day basis and make sure the provider knows that you are moving.
You should also ensure you take meter readings on the day of completion. Regardless of whether you are selling or buying, you should not rely on the other party to do this.
Whether you are buying or selling, you will want your post delivered to your new residence. Don’t forget, if there is anyone you have forgotten to notify, you can ask the Royal Mail (in the Post Office or online) to redirect your post to your new address.
Between exchange of contracts and completion, your conveyancer will provide you with a completion statement detailing either how much money you need to send us prior to completion for your purchase, or, the amount of sale proceeds you will be receiving on the day of completion.
If you are both selling and buying, your conveyancer will apply your sale proceeds to the purchase property, then seek any additional funds from you, or account to you for the remaining sale proceeds as necessary.
You must ensure that any requested funds are transferred to us at least one working day before completion.
When you are selling, you can drop the keys off to the estate agents once the property is vacated, or you can drop them off on the morning of completion. As the buyer, your conveyancer will inform you when the keys are ready for collection from the estate agents.
The Day of Completion
On a sale, your conveyancer will be waiting for the buyer’s solicitors to send the completion funds. Once these have been received, you will get a call confirming that completion has taken place, and your conveyancer will also let the estate agent know they can release the keys to the buyers.
On a purchase, your conveyancer will transfer the completion funds to the seller’s solicitors and then wait for them to confirm safe receipt and that the keys have been released. Your conveyancer will then call you to confirm that completion has taken place and that you can move in!
What time will it all happen?
By the completion date it is likely that a long time has passed since you began to market your property or look for a new one, and we understand you are keen to complete. Unfortunately, it is impossible to say in advance what time completion will actually take place.
Mostly, completion takes place by 2pm. Your conveyancer will confirm as soon as possible if completion is likely to take place later than 2pm.
Completion has occurred when the solicitors acting for the sellers have received the completion funds from the solicitors acting for the purchasers. Your conveyancer will call you as soon as possible once this has been confirmed.
These are just a few points to remind you on what is required between exchange and completion. This will also depend on the type of transaction that will be completing. Your conveyancer will confirm if anything further will be required and how to overcome any last-minute hurdles.
If you want to know more about the Conveyancing Process between Exchange and Completion or want an informal no-obligation discussion with our Residential Property team call 01323 407555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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SO Legal Solicitors Eastbourne – 01323 407555
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