How long after signing contracts do you complete?

When it comes to selling a property, one of the main questions we receive from our customers is about how long the period is between exchange and completion. In general, the length of time between exchange and completion is whatever all the parties involved agree to, but it usually takes between one to two weeks. This period of time allows for everyone to organise the following for completion:

  •  Buyers and sellers may confirm removals and begin packing
  •  All parties may arrange for the transfer or services and utilities, as well as the redirection of mail
  •  It allows time to draw down mortgages which may be required

Although we offer two weeks as a rough guideline for the period between exchange and completion, it is important to consider that this may not necessarily always be the case. There are a number of reasons for why there may be delays between the exchange and completion and in some cases, there may be a gap or one or two months, or even longer.

Reasons for why it may take longer than 2 weeks

  • Longer gaps are common in cases where someone is staying in rented accommodation and needs to give two months’ notice, which would not be advised to do until exchange has occurred
  •  When buying a new build, there could a longer delay as the property may not be complete at the point that you exchange
  • If the sellers of a property you are buying have not yet secured an onward purchase, then a delayed completion date may be agreed
  • It is important to know that mortgage offers are usually valid for three to six months, so ensure that you do not allow it to expire
  • If your mortgage offer was arranged early on in the process and the exchange took several months, then your completion deadline may be in the hands of your mortgage lender. In another case, you may have to reapply, which will likely delay the process for everyone involved.

Completion day

On completion day, the purchase monies are transferred to the seller’s solicitor, which effectively completes the transaction. Thereafter, the seller is obliged to vacate the property by 1pm on the day and ownership is transferred to the buyer.

By this point, the main cause of delay is usually the transfer of monies. It is worth aiming for completion earlier in the week so that there is still time to complete prior to the weekend.

Overall, we hope that this information has given you an insight into how long on average after signing contracts that it may take to complete. Although the average time is 2 weeks, there are certainly reasons for why this may be delayed, and we hope that the information we have provided will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to signing contracts prior to completion. At FastCash4Houses, we are here to support you every step along the way to selling your property.