What happens on completion day?

fa-homeowners ["Mortgages Explained"]
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Completion day is one of the final steps for both buyer and seller of a home. This is when the deposit is paid and the buyer gets the keys. 

What happens on completion day?

Firstly, the buyer’s conveyancer will make sure that nothing has changed and that they can still afford to buy the home.
Next, the buyer sends the deposit to the conveyancer, who then transfers it to the seller’s conveyancer.
The seller’s conveyancer will ask for a Redemption Certificate. This is the seller can pay off any charges or fees they owe.
After the deposit is paid, the keys will be released and the buyer can move into their new home.

Can you exchange contracts without a completion day?

The simple answer is no. The completion day needs to be written into the contracts. The date is agreed by both parties before the exchange takes place.

Who decides the completion date?

The date is decided by both the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancer. It’s often a weekday. 

Before a date can be agreed, the conveyancer will need to:
Make sure that all enquiries or questions from the buyer or seller have been answered 
The terms of the sale are reasonable and lawful
Everything the buyer needs to pay has been done (deposit, fees, etc)

What happens after completion day?

Pay any stamp duty

Once the sale is complete, the buyer has 14 days to pay any stamp duty. Your conveyancer will work out how much this is and help you pay it to the HMRC. If you are a first time buyer, you may not pay any stamp duty unless your home is worth more than £425,000.

Land Registry

After stamp duty is sorted, your conveyancer is able to register the property with Land Registry. 

This confirms the buyer as the new owner of the home. The application happens within 30 days (it can take months for the Land Registry to register the property).

Move in!

At this point, you can now move in! Unbox your stuff, decorate and turn your house into a home.
The content on this page is for reference and is not financial advice.
For impartial financial advice, try MoneyHelper.