Tuesday 7 February 2017

Buying a House – Exchange and Completion

This is the 4th and final part in my house buying series and follows on from ‘Solicitors and Surveys’. Once all the paperwork is complete you are now ready to exchange contracts. Once you have exchanged you are legally bound to buying the house and the seller legally has to sell it to you. You cannot pull out of this without incurring major costs and potentially losing your deposit. We exchanged 14 weeks after putting in our offer but I have no idea what the average timescale is, it will vary greatly depending on your chain and circumstances.

The Exchange process involves handing over the money for your deposit, any remaining fees and stamp duty to your solicitors. It was scary transferring that much money at once, I was so worried it would somehow get lost on route. Once the solicitor receives the funds and everyone else in the chain has done the same then you are ready to exchange. As soon as this was done we then needed to set up buildings insurance straight away as we were then responsible for the building and committed to buying the house. This then had to be approved by the solicitors to ensure it met the requirements of the lender.

We had no idea when we were going to exchange, all of my friends seemed to have a date well in advance yet we paid all of this money and didn’t have a clue. The solicitors were very vague with us and wouldn’t give us anything concrete. They wanted us to set up buildings insurance from the date of exchange yet wouldn’t give me a date so we went around in circles for a bit. After telling us ‘exchange was just around the corner’ we then had is sprung on us that we were in fact in a chain. We then knew it was going to take forever, this really did get me down and I kept trying to think of the positives. The longer it dragged on the more money I had in the bank for furniture and other house related items.

When you exchange you should then get a completion date. Our date was 12 days later but this can happen within a week or even a matter of days. We were pleased we had a bit of extra time as we hadn’t really started packing. Those 12 days were the longest days EVER. I just wanted the keys in my hand. Completion day is the most exciting part.. the day you get your keys! I will write all about my experience with moving in my next post.

I really hope this series has helped you or at least given you a rough idea on what it’s like to buy a house for the first time! If you have any questions please feel free to use the ‘Contact’ page and drop me an email.


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