Completion day simply means the day you pick up the keys to your new property. Moving home can be a lot of stress, with so much to think about but you can reduce your stress quite a bit by knowing exactly what happens on completion day.
What happens on completion day?
Although there’s plenty for you to think about on completion day, the payments should be taken care of on your behalf by your conveyancer solicitor. They will pay any outstanding money that’s owed to the seller, after which you’ll receive the keys to the property.
Once you have the kids, it’s a case of communicating with your removal company and letting them know you’re ready for them to come.
Completion day checklist
Below are the main steps that occur in the completion day timeline.
- Money is released from mortgage provider
The first step is for your mortgage provider to release the money so the sale of the property can be completed. This usually involves a solicitor since there’s so much money being exchanged. This step happens a few days before completion day, so it’s important to keep in touch with your mortgage provider and solicitor to make sure things go smoothly.
- Seller hands over the keys
After the money has been transferred to the seller, the sale is then complete and they’ll hand over the keys. How exactly this happens will vary but it’s not uncommon to receive the keys from the seller directly, particularly if you’ve been in contact with them prior to the sale.
- The moving process starts
Once you have the keys to your new property, you can then start the actual moving process. If you’ve arranged for a removal company to help you, then you should get in touch to let them know you’re ready for them.
- Land registry is updated
This is something you need to worry about necessarily but the final stage of a property being sold is for the land registry to be updated so it reflects your new ownership.
Finding the right removal company
One of the most important things to do in order to prepare for completion day is booking a removal company. Finding a good removal company can save you a lot of stress and everything run much more smoothly.
Some questions you may wish to ask potential removal companies may include:
- How long have you been in business? – This is an important thing to find out since it lets you know how experienced they are. It’s not the best idea to trust somebody with handling your valued possessions who’s brand new to the job.
- How many employees do you have? – If you have a bigger property and a lot of things to be moved, you’re likely going to need at least 2-3 people. This is especially true if you also have large pieces of furniture, such as a cabinet or big bookcase that need to be moved.
- Is packing available as an extra service? – An increasingly popular additional service that removal companies offer is packing. It’s not for everyone since it can add a lot to what you’ll pay overall but if you don’t feel like packing your own items, it can relieve quite a bit of the stress of moving.
- What is your availability? – An obvious question to ask early on in the process is what their availability is like at the time you’re planning to move. You’ll need to wait until you have a confirmed completion day before contacting removal companies, so not all of them will necessarily be available when you need them.
- How does payment work? – You shouldn’t pay a removal company until the contracts have been exchanged and you have a confirmed competition day. Some companies will require a deposit upfront but it can vary so you should discuss this with the person you speak to directly.
- When will you be able to send someone to survey the house and provide a quote? – When you have a completion day set, you’ll then need to contact a removal company to come and survey your property and provide a quote. You should find out when they’ll be able to send someone to do this. This part is usually part of the service and doesn’t come at an additional cost.
- Is insurance included in the quoted price? – This is a very important question to have answered, especially if you have any rare or extremely expensive items that need to be moved. Any good removal company will have the correct insurance in place to cover your items while in transit.
Completion day FAQs
What time do you usually get keys on completion day?
You’ll usually receive the keys to your new property early in the day, normally between 9am and 11am. This allows enough time for all the correct money exchanges to take place as well as the moving process itself.
Is it possible for moving day to occur on the weekend?
No. Because money needs to be exchanged in order to complete the sale of the property, completion day cannot be scheduled for a Saturday, Sunday or a bank holiday.
Is it possible for the contract exchange and completion to occur on the same day?
Usually, the contract exchange occurs several days or even several weeks before completion day. That being said, it is possible for the contract exchange and completion to occur on the same day.
If you want to do exchange and complete on the same day, below are some things to bear in mind so it goes smoothly:
- It’s better if you deal with the seller directly since fewer parties being involved means there’s less chance something can go wrong
- If you go through a mortgage lender, then be sure to ask them upfront if it’s possible to do exchange and completion on the same day. Some mortgage lenders will provide this option but not all do so it’s important to check first
- If you’re able to do a cash purchase, this removes the chance of something going wrong with the payment
- You should arrange with your mortgage lender for the payment to be sent to your solicitor the day before to avoid any problems with the transfer
It should be said that trying to do contract exchange and completion on the same day can be quite risky, especially if you’re paying in cash. It leaves you open to unscrupulous sellers who might decide to make demands on moving day, knowing that you’re unable to refuse since you’re packed and ready to leave the property.
How do I get the keys to my new property?
You’ll usually receive the keys to your new property either from the seller’s solicitor or the seller themselves directly. Getting the keys for your new property is obviously a vitally important thing, so you should make sure you’re easily reachable on completion day.
Do I have to hire a removal company?
With all the expense that comes with moving home, you might be wondering if hiring a removal company is really necessary. The truth is that in most cases it is. You likely have way more possessions and things to move in your home than you think and there’s no way the average person with a car would be able to move them all.
How does it work when you’re buying a new-build property?
Buying a new-build property makes it impossible for you to be given an exact completion day in advance. Delays or problems with the building can easily occur at any point, so you’ll need to be prepared to wait longer than if you were buying a house that’s already built.
What are the best ways to prepare for completion day?
It’s always important to be prepared for completion day to minimise the chances of something going wrong. Below are the best ways to do this.
- Plan ahead – There are several things you can do to plan ahead for completion day. The most obvious is decluttering your house and making sure that everything is boxed up. You should also contact a removal company in advance so you can be sure they’re available when you need them.
- Keep in regular contact with your conveyancing solicitor – Your conveyancing solicitor is vital in the process of moving home, so you should stay in regular contact with them throughout. You should also make sure you’re easily reachable for them in case any problems arise that they need to inform you of.
- Make sure the funds are available – Most people use a mortgage provider to buy a new property. If this is the case, then you should make sure that the necessary funds will be available when they’re needed.
Completion day can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully having read through this guide, you’re now better prepared and know exactly what to expect when the day arrives. Providing you plan ahead, there’s no reason the day shouldn’t go off without a hitch.
I’m Paul Smith, Founder and Director of HouseMoveHelper. I have a great love of business, marketing, the wilderness and love to travel. You can learn more about me here.