North Devon conveyancing solicitor, Andrew Burke, looks at what is involved when completing on a property transaction
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When you are moving home the focus throughout is on the day the transaction will be completed. Completion day is the day when the sale and purchase of a property reaches its conclusion, with the new owner receiving the keys to their new home.
‘Completion’ involves a number of important legal principles which buyers and sellers need to be aware of.
Fixing the date of completion
The completion date is fixed when contracts are exchanged. This generally involves everyone in the chain completing on the same day. Once contracts have been exchanged there is no turning back.
Handing over the keys
When completion has taken place between the solicitors, the keys can be handed over to the purchaser. This is often done through the estate agent.
If you are selling, then all the items you agreed to include in the sale must be left in the property on completion day. All other items, including rubbish, must be cleared from the property, garage and garden.
Paying your mortgage
Sellers must continue making payments on their current mortgage and any other loans secured on the property until completion day.
All mortgages and loans secured on the property you are selling must be paid off on completion day. This is generally done by your solicitor.
Making arrangements with a removal company
We recommend that you do not confirm the completion date with your removal company until contracts have been exchanged. Remember that the date set for completion can change at any point up until exchange of contracts.
The gap between exchange and completion
The shorter the time between exchange and completion, the greater the risk of you suffering inconvenience and wasted costs if your preferred date is not achieved. A gap of 14 days between exchange and completion is the most common.
Leaving the property in good condition
When selling, you must leave the property for the new owners in the same condition as when you agreed the sale, making good any damage caused by moving out.
The proceeds of sale
On completion your solicitor will pay to you any net sale proceeds that are due.
How we can help
If you would like to speak to North Devon conveyancing solicitor, Andrew Burke, about buying or selling your home then you can give him a call on 01271 372128 or send an email to him at [email protected]