Completion Day – A Survival Guide!

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Completion day is the day of your big move to your new home!

Completion day is SO much more than a day about the law of conveyancing, or legal processes, or solicitors.  It’s about you!  It’s about you moving to your new home! It’s life changing.  It’s exciting.  And it’s hopefully a day you can enjoy, and look back on fondly.

So, what happens on completion day?  What is your solicitor doing?  What is the estate agent doing?  Is your mortgage advisor anything to do with it?  And critically, what about your removals company?!  Here, we take you through the day from the moment you wake up, and give you some top tips to get you through completion day knowing what to expect.

What is the first thing to happen on Completion day?

Come on, we all know the answer to this – a cuppa right?!  Tea, coffee, water – whatever your normal routine is, keep your feet on the ground, and start the day on a positive foot!  Then let panic set in (tee hee).

What time will completion happen?

Put another way, when will you get the keys to your new home?!  Unfortunately, that’s a bit of a how long is a piece of string question.  In short, you will officially complete on your purchase when the solicitor for the seller has the full amount of the completion money.  That can be anything from 9am on the day of completion to 5pm – depending on the chain you are in (if you are), and how long it takes for the completion money to get through the banking CHAPS system and to the seller’s solicitor.  Remember, if there is a ‘chain’ there may be several transactions to complete before your own.

Who is looking after the kids?

If you have children or elderly relatives living with you that may need looking after during the moving day, perhaps arrange for them to be wherever it is they’re going the night before?  One less thing to worry about on the big day.

What will my Solicitor be doing on Completion day?

All that needs to happen for completion to be ‘done’ is the solicitors send each other the balancing money to each other through the CHAPS banking system.  Once they each have the money needed to ‘complete’ they telephone each other and confirm ‘completion’.  That’s it!  Your solicitor will have already sorted out the money with you and your lender having issued you with a completion statement between exchange of contracts and completion.

Do I need to pay anything to my Solicitor on Completion day?

No!  This will all have been sorted out in between exchange of contracts and completion.  Your solicitor will have given you a ‘completion statement’ and all financial stuff will have been sorted ahead of time.

What will the Estate Agent do on the day of Completion?

There is nothing for the estate to do other than:-

  • Collect the keys from the selling party; and then
  • Hand over to the keys to the buyer once completion has happened

What will my Mortgage Broker do on the day of Completion?

Your mortgage broker plays no part in completion.  Their job was done some time ago once your mortgage was confirmed with a formal mortgage offer.

When will the Removal Company arrive?

Well, this one is down to you.  You will hopefully have got all of the arrangements sorted with the removals company between exchange and completion.  Typically, the removals company will be with you (at the house you are selling) first thing in the morning.

Will I have to pack everything?

You MUST agree this with your removals company ahead of time.  Most removals companies offer you the option of either packing yourself before completion day, or, packing themselves on the day of completion.  The latter is (obviously) more expensive, but arguably much more convenient too.  It’s quite something watching a good removals company pack up a house – it is ‘time and motion’ at its very best!

Make a plan for completion day and minimise your stress!

What happens when everything is packed up?

Once everything is packed up, lock up, and take the keys to your house to the estate agent that dealt with your sale.  Now you have to wait for your solicitor to call you to tell you that your purchase has completed.

What will the Removal’s company do once my house is packed up?

Your removals company will drive to the new address and wait for you to arrive with the keys to your new home.

Who pays the Removals company?

You do.  It forms no part of the legal process and is NOT a bill your solicitor pays.

Who pays the Estate Agent?

Your solicitor does out of the completion money.  They will have detailed this in your completion statement.

How do I know I have completed on my Purchase?

When your purchase completed your solicitor will telephone you to confirm and you can then go the estate agent dealing with that sale and collect your keys.

What do I do after I have the keys to my new home?

Once you have the keys, get over to the new place, let your removals company in and let them get on with unloading your belongings into your new home!

What about eating and drinking through the day?

No – this is NOT a silly thought!  It’s a busy day and you should stay hydrated and fed.  So, perhaps have water and snacks on hand, and plan what meals you will have through the day.  One classic top tip is to make sure you take the kettle, tea, coffee and milk with you in the car so that as soon as you get to your new home you can start plying the removals men/women with cuppas!

Top Tips for surviving Completion day!

So, there you have it, completion day in a nutshell.  And, in no particular order, here are the top tips for surviving that fantastic day with as little worry as possible!

  • Care – arrange for care of kids or elderly relatives the day before?
  • Stay cool – get up as normal and start to enjoy the day
  • Removals – you will have arranged timings with your removals company and also agreed if you are packing ahead of time or if they are packing on the day
  • Meals and drinks – make sure you stay hydrated and fed through the day
  • Kettle – have it at the ready for when you get to your new home!
  • Solicitors – they will call you when completion has happened
  • Estate Agent – you will drop off the keys and collect your new ones with whichever agent was looking after your sale/purchase
  • Enjoy – remember, it’s a big day but it wont ever stop the world spinning. So try to enjoy it – it’s the start of another important chapter of your life…….

Questions about Completion day?

Got any questions about completion day that this survival guide does not cover?  Check out other great content on our website, or reach out to us – our expert conveyancing solicitors are here to help!

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