Can you get keys before completion?

If you are a new homebuyer, you are likely eager to move into your new property as soon as possible. Whether that is because you have a young child and are keen to begin renovation work, or because you want to get ahead of cleaning the property before you move in, there could be a number of reasons for why you want to be given your keys early. At this point, you are probably wondering whether you can get the keys before completion. In this article, we will address all the questions you may have concerning obtaining keys for your new property ahead of completion. We will also explain the process that takes place on completion day,

What is the formal process for obtaining keys to a property?

The day that a new homeowner obtains the keys to their property is called completion day. This is the day that the money is transferred, you get your keys, and can start moving into your new home. This usually takes place between 7 to 28 days after the exchange of contracts. It is also normally done on a weekday as the money transfer and confirmation needs to be completed by a conveyancing solicitor.

In terms of obtaining the keys, this means that regardless of wanting to be given them before completion, the homeowner is limited by needing to pick them up from the estate agent.

What factors determine when you get the keys?

There are a host of factors which will influence when you get given the keys to your new property. The most common reason is related to how long the exchange of contracts takes. How far down the chain of people you are will influence how long it takes for you to be given the keys. Essentially, once the checks of mortgage funds and searches against the property have been completed, and the selling solicitor has received the purchase price from your solicitor, both solicitors will agree to settle your transaction.

When will you get the keys?

After the transaction has been settled, your solicitor will give you a call to let you know that your keys are available for collection. Your solicitor will not be able to confirm when exactly you will be able to collect your keys in advance of the day. Nevertheless, there are high chances that your solicitor and the solicitor representing the seller will be working towards the same aim to try and complete the transaction as soon as possible on the morning of completion.

There is no way to give a guaranteed answer for all cases, but for the vast majority of transactions, the keys will be available for collection from around midday onwards. The usual course of action is that the seller will move out of the property in the morning and the purchaser will collect keys and move into the new home during the afternoon.