This depends on a number of factors, and unfortunately most of them are not entirely within our control. A standard transaction, with no unforeseen complications or delays arising, will normally take some 6 to 8 weeks. However it can be done faster with the co-operation of all parties involved throughout.
Completion is the point where the buyer’s solicitor transfers the purchase money from their bank account to the seller’s solicitor’s bank account, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer, and the seller’s solicitor arranges for the keys to be handed over to the buyer.
This all happens on the same day. The legal completion date is agreed on exchange of contracts. Any completion date discussed before exchange of contracts is purely tentative and should not be relied on. We recommend that you don’t book removals or give notice to quit rented property until exchange of contracts has taken place.
Exchange of contracts takes place between the buyer’s solicitor and the seller’s solicitor, usually over the telephone. They check that their clients have signed identical contracts, agree the completion date and agree to send each other the contracts signed by their respective clients straight away.
The buyer is normally expected to pay up to 10% of the purchase price at this stage as a contract deposit – this is normally held by the seller’s solicitor pending completion.