Buying a house can be exciting, especially if you are purchasing property for the first time. From creating your list of things that make up your dream home and the initial search through the listings, through to looking around properties and putting in an offer on the one you love, it’s a thrilling experience for those taking the leap.
The process to get to the stage when it becomes yours can be lengthy but moving in day makes it all worth it. But what actually happens on moving in day?
How do you know when it is time to start loading up the van with your belongings? Here is a look at the completion process and what it means for the buyer.
1] Why is it Called Completion?
Firstly, it is important to understand why the term ‘completion’ is used. By the time you are ready to move in, you will have heard a lot of strange terminology during the home buying process.
Gazumping and gazundering, conveyancing and disbursements are all words and phrases that you have probably come across on your buying journey, but it is completion, and the completion date, that you are aiming for.
The reason it is called completion is that it is the final step in the legal process and it is when the last legal transaction has gone through. The money and all of the associated documents have changed hands and the buying process is complete.
As a buyer, you will be given a completion date. This is the date that your conveyancer or solicitor has agreed for the transaction to go through with the seller. Once everything goes through, you are given the keys and you are officially the owner of the property.
2] What Happens Before Completion Day?
Your mortgage lender will receive a Certificate of Title from your solicitor. This is the document that details the property’s history, including the previous owners and a legal description of the property.
Once the lender has received the Certificate of Title a few days before the day of completion, the money is released to the buyer’s solicitor.
3] The Day of Completion
The transfer deed and documents must be signed by the seller before the buyer can become the new owner of the seller’s house. Your conveyancer will stay in contact with the seller’s conveyancer to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Any outstanding bills from the move are paid off by the buyer’s conveyancer and it is the buyer’s conveyancer that oversees the transference of funds to the seller. This is important to note, especially if you are buying for the first time.
The conveyancer for the person you are buying from will then complete the transfer form, which is the document needed for Land Registry to note you now own the property. After this point, the seller will finish up moving out and the estate agent will release the keys, meaning the house is yours.
4] Things to Note
There are several points to note before you arrive at completion day:
- Buying a property can be costly. Unforeseen bills can hold up the completion process, so it is important to budget for these where possible. Opening accounts with banks such as Think Money allows you to factor in any unexpected costs.
- If the monies do not transfer before 3pm, you will have to wait until the following day.
- The day you have booked in for completion could have an impact, too. Aim to move on a Monday or Tuesday to allow for everything to be smoothed out should monies not transfer in time. Completing on a Friday could mean that you have to wait until Monday, should something go wrong.
Are you buying a house for the first time? If so, what stage are you at and how far off completion are you?