exchange and completion

Is It Possible To Exchange And Complete On The Same Day?

In legal terms yes it absolutely is possible to exchange and complete on the same day but it’s rare and most likely your solicitor will strongly advise against it. Here we tell you why…

When you’re buying a house it’s natural to want to move quickly and get your new keys as soon as possible. Exchanging and completing on the same day may seem like a smart way to speed up the legal conveyancing process.

However, you should think very carefully about this as there are some serious implications. Your solicitor or conveyancer will likely advise you to stagger exchange of contracts and completing in order to protect you.

When contracts are exchanged it is a legally binding transaction. This means at any point after this the seller/buyer cannot change their mind, without penalty.

Imagine packing up, sitting in your removals van with your entire life in boxes waiting for the call to say your exchange and completion has gone through. Now imagine this situation and the call you receive from your solicitor is not ‘everything is done, congratulations you can now go to the estate agent and pick up your keys’ but instead…

I’m sorry to have to tell you this but yesterday the seller decided to pull out of the sale

Or

I’m sorry but unfortunately the seller has been in an accident and the property sale has fallen through

Or

I’m sorry but the seller passed away overnight and the sale cannot go ahead

Sounds ridiculous right? But this could be a reality

If you exchange and complete on the same day, well sorry, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about this. There has been no legal contract and you are simply left to pick up the pieces. You might be heartbroken to lose your new home but likely you’ll be out of pocket too. You will have to pay all your legal fees to this point in time, any searches that have been done, removal companies, storage etc.

Now consider that a few weeks earlier you had exchanged contracts. At that point in time the purchase becomes legally binding and there are penalties for pulling out. The other party’s conveyancing solicitor will have taken the deposit, usually 10% of the sale price. In a situation where completion falls through after exchange that 10% deposit is paid to you as compensation.

Imagine the sale price was £250,000 that’s £25,000 compensation you will receive. Yes, you will have had a huge inconvenience but at least you will be financially compensated for it.

Remember this is the biggest financial decision you are ever likely to make so, if you have done your research, compared conveyancing and picked a reputable solicitor or conveyancer they will protect your interests every step of the way.

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