Can I Exchange And Complete On The Same Day?

Published: 18/04/2018

A question our property clients often ask us is: Can I exchange and complete on the same day?

This is a reasonable query, especially from first-time home buyers.

Buying a property is an extremely exciting time. You are probably in a rush to get into your new house or apartment (maybe your first home or property!) as soon as possible - and after months or even years of browsing, planning and purchasing, few would blame you for the impatience!

However, here at GWlegal we would advise you against exchanging and completing your property purchase in the same day. We understand you want to get into your new home quickly, but we believe it is always better to be safe than sorry!

So, What Is The Difference Between Exchange and Completion, When Purchasing A Property?

In simple terms, the ‘exchange’ is when you swap papers. We (as solicitors representing you for your conveyancing) will exchange contracts with the solicitors of the seller. Once this is done, the proceedings are legally binding, and there’s no turning back (e.g. you or the seller cannot pull out of the transaction. Well, you can - but with a very expensive sum to pay).

‘Completion’ is when the money is transferred to the seller’s solicitor. Once the receipt of money is confirmed, the keys are released to you, and the process is complete. You’re a homeowner!

What Are The Risks Of Exchange and Completion On The Same Day?

There are a number of reasons why we would advise against exchanging and completing on the same day.

Some of these include:

  • You won’t have a binding contract until the day you move in. The seller/buyer can pull out until the point of exchange. Being patient and going through the exchange process ensures you have a contract in place. If you exchange/complete on the same day and the person pulls out – you might have sorted moving vans and so forth – and lose out on money.
  • If you are buying with a mortgage (most people!), there will probably be a notice period of around five working days before they distribute the funds for the completion. If the completion doesn’t take place and the money is returned, there will be extra costs involved.
  • The property chain (all those involved in the transaction such as you, the seller, the lender) is a delicate one. All parties must complete simultaneously - otherwise, you run the risk of ending up homeless.
  • There are also many practical considerations e.g. you need to leave yourself enough time to book removals, whether you would have enough time to implement house insurance, etc.

Are There Circumstances Where It Could Be OK To Complete And Exchange On The Same Day?

An example of where this might be possible and relatively risk-free is if the sale or purchase is being carried out by buy-to-let landlords or companies, as these buyers can sometimes proceed with cash only, so there would be no problems associated with a mortgage lender. As they would not need to move in (or out) on the same day, there would be no risk of the removal company turning up on the wrong day or of them becoming homeless.

How Can I Ensure My Conveyancing Goes As Smoothly As Possible?

Choosing an experienced, reputable conveyancer is your best bet!

GWlegal is home to some of the best property lawyers in the country. Every day we help buyers and sellers, from first-time home buyers to seasoned landlords, complete all types of property transactions.

The great thing about choosing GWlegal though, is that you get a solicitors’ firm with a local approach. Many of our Liverpool lawyers and support staff have worked at the firm for as long as 30 years, so we must be doing something right!

GWlegal also offers:

  • Fixed costs (no hidden fees)
  • 24/7 access to your case and any milestones on our app
  • Milestone updates are now emailed/texted straight to you and your mortgage broker
  • Regular updates by phone and/or in writing from our friendly staff
  • The peace of mind that comes with choosing a solicitor with over 30 years experience

Do you have any Conveyancing questions?

Our property team has put together an explanation to many of the questions asked during the residential property conveyancing process. You can read our FAQs here.

How can I speed up my conveyancing?

Our property experts have put together tips in this informative artcile.

Who are GWlegal?

GWlegal are a property solicitors based in Liverpool, specialising in buying or selling, remortgage, declaration of trust, bridging and buy-to-let landlords.

If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0345 373 3737 email us with your question.

Who are GWlegal? We’re a national firm with local values.

Do you want a quote for our conveyancing services?

Click here get a quote

Content correct at time of publication.

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