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Guide To Completion Stages

August 2022
If you are buying a property and are thinking towards the completion stages, it can feel complicated and daunting, so we have broken down the main stages when purchasing property. Hopefully, this guide will give you a better idea of what to expect, and how to prepare for each stage.
1) Preparation

Although not a vital stage, it is always recommended that you have an idea of what solicitor you want to use, ideally someone local - you can look at reviews, and ask for your estate agent’s recommendations.

If you have a mortgage, check that everything is in place and ready to move forward. This may include getting a mortgage in principle, as well as collating all the relevant documents and ID for your mortgage, solicitors, and estate agent’s use.

2) Offer Accepted

Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted. This is the stage where you will instruct your solicitor, and the Memorandum (MEMO) of Sale is sent.

3) Solicitor Instruction

You, as a buyer, would need to fill out an instruction form to your solicitor and send proof of ID to them.

The seller’s solicitor will send instruction forms and documents to the seller. These documents include:

• Client care letter

• Fixtures and Fittings Form

• Leasehold Information Form

• Property Information Form

4) Contract Pack

Once you and the seller have instructed solicitors, the seller’s solicitor will send over the above documents to your solicitor, this is called a contract pack.

Once they have received the contract pack, your solicitor can apply for searches so make sure you have sent your monies to them to enable them to action this. Searches can take between 3-4 weeks on average.

If there is a mortgage involved, you would need to put in a mortgage application and make sure that the mortgage valuation is arranged.
5) Next Steps

This is the main stage of the completion process, where your solicitor will begin the conveyancing stages. Below are the main processes throughout this time:

• The title deeds/title of the property will be checked by solicitors.

• Searches will be conducted (local authority, drainage, mining [if applicable], and any surveys that are instructed by you as the buyer, for example structural).

• Raising Enquiries - This is essentially the buyer’s solicitor gathering more information on the property.

• The Mortgage Offer.

• Agreeing the Completion Date for your property, and tying this in with any other parties that may be in a chain.

• Sign the contract in readiness for exchange.

6) Exchange of Contracts

When contracts have been exchanged for your purchasing property and any others in the chain, this is when the sale is legally binding. Final searches are conducted, and documents are prepared for completion.

Solicitors report to the mortgage lender on the title of the property, and will request the release of the mortgage funds in readiness for completion. They will then obtain further monies required to enable completion.

The buyer at the bottom of the chain must put down a 10% deposit upon exchange of contracts.

7) Once Completed

Solicitors arrange for the balance purchase to be made, and estate agents then release the keys to the buyers.
8) Completion Day

You must pay stamp duty for the property, however your solicitor can deal with this. Your solicitor will also register your ownership with the Land Registry, which they will provide confirmation of.