Buying

What happens on completion day?

Posted May 8, 2024
What happens on completion day?

This is a crucial moment in your journey – it’s when you finally receive the keys and officially become a homeowner.

Let’s explore what happens on completion day and why it matters so much.

Completion day marks the last step in purchasing your home. It occurs when all legal and financial dealings are concluded, transferring property ownership from the seller to you, the buyer. Every formality has been completed, making you the new owner of the house.

We will outline what happens before, during, and after completion day to ensure you’re ready for this significant step towards homeownership. Please note that each part of the process and timeframes may vary depending on your circumstances.

Preparing for Completion Day

To ensure a smooth completion day, here’s what you need to do in the week leading up to it.

Final Checks and Preparations

  • Have one last look at your new property to make sure everything is as agreed. If the house is empty, measure spaces for curtains or furniture.
  • Set up essential services like gas, electricity, water, and internet beforehand. It’s much better to arrive in a warm home with lights and Wi-Fi already working.
  • Update your new address with banks, employers, and any subscription services.

Confirming Arrangements with Your Solicitor/Conveyancer

  • Contact your solicitor or conveyancer by phone or email to confirm all legal documents are ready for completion day. They should be finalising the fund transfer to the seller’s solicitor.
  • Find out where and when you can collect the keys from the estate agent.

Ensuring Funds Are Ready for Final Payment

  • Ensure you have enough money in your account for the remaining balance of the house price plus any additional fees. This includes mortgage funds if applicable.
  • Remember other expenses such as solicitor fees, moving costs, and immediate home improvements.

Handling these tasks ahead of time will help make completion day go smoothly so you can start enjoying life in your new home right away.

The Role of Your Solicitor/Conveyancer

Your solicitor or conveyancer is key to ensuring everything goes smoothly on completion day. Here’s what they do.

Responsibilities on Completion Day

  • They review all legal documents to make sure everything is correct before the property transfer.
  • They oversee the transfer of money from your account to the seller’s solicitor, covering the purchase price and any other fees.

Managing Payment and Paperwork

  • Your solicitor ensures that your payment for the property, along with any related costs, is sent securely and on time. They check you have sufficient funds beforehand and then proceed with the transaction.
  • They manage all essential legal paperwork, including transferring the deed into your name and registering it with appropriate authorities.

In short, your solicitor or conveyancer handles all complex tasks involving payments and paperwork on completion day. This allows you to focus on receiving the keys and starting your new life in your new home.

Key Activities on Completion Day

Completion day is crucial, and understanding what happens can ease your nerves. Here’s a straightforward guide to the day’s activities.

Timeline of the Day’s Events

  • Your solicitor or conveyancer starts by making final checks and preparing to transfer funds.
  • Around noon, they will be busy transferring the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor.
  • Once the money is transferred, you’re close to finishing. The next major step is getting confirmation that everything is complete.

Transfer of Funds

This part is central to completion day. Your solicitor or conveyancer sends the payment to the seller’s side. It’s similar to a relay race – when they successfully pass over the money (the baton), you are almost at the end.

Confirmation of Transaction Completion

  • After settling funds, your solicitor or conveyancer gets confirmation that everything is finalised.
  • This moment marks receiving keys for your new home after transaction confirmation.

Completion day involves various critical steps managed by your solicitor or conveyancer from morning till key collection, ensuring you can begin your new chapter smoothly.

Getting Your New Home Keys

Receiving the keys to your new home is an exciting event. Here’s how and when this usually happens, and what you should expect.

How and When You’ll Get the Keys

  • You typically get the keys on completion day in the afternoon, after all payments have been processed.
  • Usually, you pick up the keys from the estate agent’s office. Sometimes, you might collect them directly from the seller or via your solicitor or conveyancer.

What to Expect

  • Your estate agent or solicitor will update you on when and where to collect your keys.
  • Ensure all necessary ID and paperwork are ready beforehand to prevent any delays.
  • Once you receive the keys, it’s time to celebrate! You can now start personalising your new home.

Receiving your house keys is straightforward, but marks a significant achievement after much anticipation. Being prepared helps make it a smooth experience.

Post-Completion Formalities

Once you have the keys to your new home, there are a few more steps to complete before you can settle in comfortably.

Registering with the Land Registry

Your solicitor or conveyancer will usually take care of registering your property with the Land Registry. This is important because it legally confirms you as the owner.

Expect this process to take from a few weeks up to two months, depending on how complex your case is.

Sorting Out Tax Matters

  • Your solicitor probably handled Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) this during the completion phase, but it’s good practice to make sure everything has been paid correctly.
  • Remember to inform your local council about your move so they can bill you accurately for council tax.

Setting Up Utilities and Insurance

  • Reach out to utility companies early to set up services like electricity, gas, and water. This helps avoid any interruptions.
  • Ensure that building insurance is in place from day one since most mortgage lenders require it. Also consider contents insurance for protecting your belongings.

Taking these steps ensures a smooth transition into your new home and helps prevent future issues. Now, you’re ready to enjoy your new space!

Common Issues and How to Handle Them

Moving into a new home is exciting, but you may encounter some challenges. Here’s how to address common issues.

Delays in Fund Transfer

Keep in touch with your solicitor and bank regularly. If there’s a delay, request updates and see if you can do anything to expedite the process.

Last-Minute Disputes or Discoveries

Address any disagreements about the property calmly. Your solicitor can provide guidance and help mediate.

If you find problems after moving in, contact your solicitor immediately. You might still be able to resolve these issues through negotiation.

Tips for Dealing with Unexpected Problems

  • Keep Calm: Avoid stress; focus on solutions instead.
  • Stay Organised: Maintain all documents and communications for easy access.
  • Communicate: Always keep open lines of communication with your solicitor, seller, and others involved.
  • Seek Advice: Ask for professional advice when unsure about any aspect of the buying process.

Remember, encountering obstacles is normal when buying a home. With patience and proper strategies, you can effectively manage these situations.

Moving In

You’ve got the keys, and now it’s time to make your new place feel like home.

Here’s how to plan your move and what steps to take as soon as you enter your new home.

Planning Your Move

  • Begin packing early. Sort through your items, deciding what to keep, donate, or discard.
  • Using a reliable moving company can reduce stress, especially for larger items.
  • Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in. This makes unpacking easier.

Essential Checks and Immediate Tasks Upon Moving In

  • Ensure all smoke alarms work and locate the main water shut-off valve and fuse box immediately.
  • Clean your new home before unpacking. It’s simpler now than after everything is arranged.
  • Confirm that utilities like water, electricity, gas, and internet are functioning. If not, arrange them quickly.
  • For security, change the locks so you know you’re the only one with access.

Moving is a big task but manageable with proper planning and these immediate steps. Enjoy settling into your new home!

Additional Resources

Here are some extra resources and a checklist to help you prepare for completion day.

These tools will guide you and make sure nothing important is overlooked.

Useful Websites and Contacts