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Home » What is a Completion Date?

What is a Completion Date?

Ciarán Power
October 7, 2022
Dog in a packing box

Table Of Contents

Your Completion date. The day where you finally get the keys handed over to you and you can officially call a property yours. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about this exciting date and simplify the journey for you.

What exactly is your completion date?

Your completion date is the final stage in the house purchasing process. It means that both you – the buyer – and the seller have come to an agreement and ownership of the house is now being passed on to you. The completion date is normally arranged to be between 7 and 28 days after the initial contract has been exchanged and agreed to give both parties plenty of time to put moving arrangements in place.

What needs to be done before your completion date?

Before you can finally get your hands on the new house keys that you’ve been waiting all this time for, there are a few things you need to make sure you’ve sorted out in the run up to your completion date. Are you giving yourself enough time to arrange things? Do you need to take any time off work? Be careful not to rush this process too much and take into account all factors that could potentially impact your move-in day.

Agreeing your completion date

First of all, you’ll need to agree on a suitable date for your completion date. As mentioned before, this is typically around 1 to 4 weeks after your contract has been exchanged but specific timings on the day can be put in place if agreed by both the seller and the buyer.

In most cases, the agreed time to move out is usually 12pm, but this can all change depending on how big the property chain is. Whatever time you agree on, the seller must be fully moved out of the property by the completion date.

Once this date and time has been agreed upon, you can start looking into more specific moving arrangements for your circumstances. Some of these can include:

  • Booking time off work
  • Booking a removals company
  • Letting friends, family, your work and others aware of your change in address

It’s always a good idea to get your days off work booked in early so be sure to speak to your workplace as soon as you have your completion date sorted. This will also give you more time to arrange booking a removals company and put down a deposit with them. Removal companies are often busiest on Fridays, which coincides with the most popular day for completion dates so make sure you get your booking in nice and early to secure your place.

Another key consideration when organising your completion date is to understand how many parties are involved within the housing chain. If there is a long chain involved with your house, it’s more likely that things will move along slower and it may be harder to agree on a completion date that suits everyone involved. Be aware that you may have to compromise on a date which isn’t quite your ideal move-in day.

When is payment required?  

With the full transaction not legally binded until the house exchange has taken place, there is typically around one to four weeks between the exchange and completion, giving both sides plenty of time to make their moving arrangements.

The buyer’s conveyancer is in charge of transferring the funds to the seller’s solicitor and once this payment has been received by the seller, completion has legally taken place and the buyer can call themselves the homeowner. You’ll then finally receive the keys to your new home!

Do you have to move on your completion date?

If you’re selling the home, you must fully move out of the property by the agreed completion date. By the completion date, the seller will have received their payment for the property and legally must move out to allow the buyer to start moving in.

For the buyer, you have a bit more freedom as you now own the house. If you don’t have another property that you are selling, then you can move into the house either straight away on the completion date, or after this day if you need to for any reason.

How does a chain affect my completion date? 

When locked into a housing chain, every party involved is relying on someone else. With multiple transactions happening one after the other, there’s a chance that you might not receive your new keys until the end of the working day.

In an ideal world, your completion date should run smoothly with everything falling into place after each transfer. Your solicitor should have plenty of experience navigating completion dates so should (hopefully) have everything in place to ensure there’s enough time in the day to complete all necessary purchases before the close of play.

What can I do to prepare for completion day?

In order to avoid any issues on completion day it is a good idea to have everything that you can already prepared and in place. Make sure to have all of your belongings packed up and ready to be collected by the removal company you’ve hired.

You’ll also want to ensure that you’re easy to contact – just in case there are any unexpected issues for whatever reason. Your solicitor or estate agent may also try to reach you throughout the day so it’s best to have your phone close by.

Having all of your paperwork together is another important thing to tick off your completion date checklist. This is useful to have to hand in case you need to check anything before you move into your new home.

Finally, you’ll want to ensure that funds are available and ready to be transferred to your solicitor. Making sure that you’ve ticked all of these boxes should make your completion date a day to remember and allow for a relatively stress-free moving experience!

For advice or support on anything related to your completion date, please get in touch with our friendly team of green mortgage experts today.

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