What is the typical completion time for a property purchase?
Completion is the final stage of a property sale, where ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. It’s a significant moment in the property buying process, and buyers and sellers alike are eager to know when completion will take place. But what time of day can you expect completion to happen, and what factors can affect the completion time?
Can completion be delayed if one party is not ready?
Yes, completion can be delayed if one party is not ready. This is one of the most common reasons for delays on completion day.
One of the most significant factors affecting completion time is the lender. The mortgage lender is responsible for releasing the funds needed to complete the purchase, and if there are any delays in this process, it can cause a delay in completion. This is why it’s important to have a reliable lender and to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in place well in advance of the completion date.
To speed up the process, you can consider using a mortgage broker who can help you find the best lender for your needs and guide you through the application process. Additionally, you can ask your lender for an estimated completion time and make sure they’re aware of the agreed-upon completion date.
The solicitor is responsible for ensuring that all the legal paperwork is in order and that the property transfer can take place smoothly. Delays caused by solicitors are not uncommon, and if your solicitor is slow in processing the paperwork, it can cause a delay in completion.
To avoid delays caused by solicitors, make sure you choose a reliable solicitor with experience in property transactions. You can also ask for regular updates on the progress of the paperwork and make sure you provide them with any necessary information or documentation as soon as possible.
The Accounts Team & Banking System
Another factor that can affect completion time is the accounts team and banking system. The funds needed for completion must be transferred between the buyer’s and seller’s solicitors, and delays in this process can cause a delay in completion.
To speed up the process, you can ask your solicitor to use the Faster Payments system, which can transfer funds within hours rather than days. Additionally, you can make sure you have all the necessary funds in place well in advance of the completion date and double-check with your solicitor that they have received them.
The Estate Agents
The estate agent is responsible for liaising between the buyer, seller, solicitors, and other parties involved in the sale. Delays caused by estate agents can include issues with the property chain, miscommunication, or delays in exchanging contracts.
To avoid delays caused by estate agents, make sure you choose a reliable agent with experience in property transactions. You can also keep in regular contact with them and ask for regular updates on the progress of the sale.
The seller also has a role to play in the completion process. They are responsible for vacating the property and ensuring that all their belongings are removed. Delays can occur if the seller fails to do so or leaves the property in a poor condition.
In some cases, the seller may be unable to vacate the property on the agreed completion date. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as an unexpected delay in their own purchase or a problem with the property they are moving to. In such cases, it is important to negotiate a new completion date with the seller as soon as possible.
Can the sale fall through on completion day?
espite everyone’s best efforts, there is always a risk that the sale could fall through at the last minute. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as:
- The buyer being unable to secure the necessary finance
- Issues with the property coming to light during the survey
- Disagreements over the terms of the sale
- A change of heart by the buyer or seller
In such cases, the transaction may be delayed or cancelled altogether. It is important to be aware of this risk and to have contingency plans in place.
If the sale falls through, it is important to understand the reasons why and to take steps to address any issues that may have contributed to the failure of the transaction. This may involve renegotiating the terms of the sale, addressing issues with the property, or finding a new buyer.
Good to know:
One important thing to note is that completion time can vary depending on the type of property being purchased. For example, if you’re buying a new build property, completion can take longer because the property may not be fully constructed yet. Similarly, if you’re buying a property that is currently occupied by tenants, it may take longer to complete the sale because you’ll need to give the tenants notice before taking possession of the property. It’s important to discuss these factors with your solicitor and estate agent to ensure you have a realistic expectation of completion time.
One other important thing to note is that completion times can also be affected by external factors such as adverse weather conditions, transport disruptions, or other unexpected events that could delay the transfer of funds or the exchange of keys. It’s important to stay in communication with your solicitor and estate agent during the completion process to ensure that any potential delays are identified and addressed as soon as possible.
There is no specific time deadline for completion on the day of a property purchase. However, completion typically takes place in the afternoon, with most transactions completing between 1 pm and 5 pm. The exact time of completion will depend on a variety of factors, including the speed of the conveyancing process, the efficiency of the solicitors and lenders involved, and any other issues that may arise during the course of the transaction. It is important to note that completion can sometimes take place outside of normal business hours, particularly if there are delays or complications that need to be resolved before the transaction can be completed.
5 top completion delay reasons in the UK:
- Delays caused by solicitors: Legal issues and paperwork often cause delays in the completion process. If solicitors don’t respond promptly or fail to communicate properly with each other, it can cause delays.
- Mortgage delays: Mortgage delays are another common cause of completion delays. If the lender takes longer than expected to process the mortgage, it can delay the completion process.
- Chain delays: If there is a chain involved in the property transaction, any issues or delays with other parties in the chain can affect the completion date. This is because each party’s completion is dependent on the others in the chain.
- Unforeseen issues with the property: Sometimes, unforeseen issues with the property can cause delays in completion. For example, if a survey reveals unexpected problems with the property, it may take longer to resolve them and complete the transaction.
- Delays caused by the seller: If the seller is not ready to move out on time or hasn’t completed any agreed-upon repairs or renovations, it can cause delays in completion.
What happens if completion day falls on a weekend or bank holiday in the UK?
If completion day falls on a weekend or bank holiday in the UK, the completion will usually be moved to the next working day. This is because solicitors, estate agents, and banks are closed on weekends and bank holidays.
Can completion happen earlier in the day than the agreed time?
It is possible for completion to happen earlier in the day than the agreed time, but it is unlikely. The time of completion is usually agreed by all parties in advance and is based on when the funds will be transferred.
Can completion happen later in the day than the agreed time?
Yes, completion can happen later in the day than the agreed time. This is more likely to happen if there are delays with the bank or solicitor.
What happens if completion does not happen on the agreed day?
If completion does not happen on the agreed day, it can result in significant consequences, including financial penalties and the risk of the sale falling through. It is essential to work closely with your solicitor and estate agent to ensure that all parties are prepared for completion day.
Can completion happen before the agreed date?
No, completion cannot happen before the agreed date. The completion date is agreed by all parties in advance and is usually included in the contract. It is essential to stick to the agreed completion date to avoid any complications or delays.
Can completion happen if the buyer or seller is abroad?
Yes, completion can happen if the buyer or seller is abroad, but it may require additional planning and preparation. It is important to discuss the situation with your solicitor and estate agent in advance to ensure that all necessary arrangements are in place.