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Residential Property

Completion Day Guide

What Happens on Completion Day?

To help you prepare, here’s a basic breakdown of what will happen on completion day:

  1. The buyer’s conveyancer will pay the final funds due to the seller’s conveyancer by same day bank transfer. The funds are usually transferred in the morning. Your conveyancer should contact you once payment has been made.
  2. Once the seller’s conveyancer receives the payment, usually between 12pm-2pm, then completion has legally taken place.
  3. The seller’s conveyancer will then contact the buyer’s conveyancer to confirm receipt of the funds and they will also then contact the estate agent to authorise the release of the keys to the buyer.
  4. The estate agent will then make contact with the buyer to confirm that they keys can be collected.
  5. Conveyancers for both parties should then call their respective clients to confirm that completion has taken place.
  6. The seller should vacate the property and allow the buyer to move in.

Transferring Money on Completion Day

Transferring the final funds to the seller’s conveyancer will be the main event on completion day. Before this can be done, you will need to ensure that you have paid all required funds due from you to your conveyancer.

If buying with a mortgage, your conveyancer will ensure the mortgage funds have been paid to them on or before the completion date.

Once all payments have been received, the buyer’s conveyancer will transfer the final funds to the seller’s conveyancer. This will be done via the CHAPS banking system.

What Happens on Completion Day in a Chain?

A property chain refers to the number of house purchases that are linked together in a chain. Each one is dependent on the other transactions. A chain is usually made up of around 4 or 5 transactions but can be longer or shorter. The completion day timeline will depend on how many people are in the property chain and if any unexpected problems arise.

The completion process will usually start with someone who is only buying. If you’re a first time buyer or don’t have a house to sell, then the chain will start with you. The chain will then end with a seller who is only selling a property.

The chain will usually start around 11am. Depending on the chain’s size, it could end at 4pm when the last buyer picks up their keys. Below, we’ve provided a quick example of a common completion day timeline for someone in a property chain.

Completion Day Timeline

  • 11am – The first buyer in the chain, usually a first time buyer living with their family, completes their purchase transaction
  • 1pm – Next, the second buyer (who sold their property to the first buyer) will then complete their purchase transaction
  • 3pm – The third buyer (who sold their property to the second buyer) will then complete their purchase transaction
  • 4pm – The final person in the chain (who only has a property to sell) receives payment from the third buyer and completes the sale transaction, thus ending the property chain

Please note that this is an example only. Exact timescales depend on many variables. You should ensure you are contactable throughout the day on completion.

Confirming Completion

When you are in a chain, your conveyancer will confirm completion upon receipt of the funds. They will then notify you and the estate agent of completion.

On your related purchase, monies will be sent to the seller’s conveyancer who should also follow the same process. On your purchase, you may be notified of completion from the estate agent, before your solicitor. If you do, you should email or telephone your conveyancer to confirm completion has taken place.


If you are living in the property, once the property is clear, you should deliver the keys to the estate agent to hold until we authorise them to give the keys to the buyer. If the buyer arrives at the property before you leave, keys should not be handed over until we confirm receipt of completion monies.

Vacant Possession and Property Condition

Nearly all transactions are sold with vacant possession. This means free of any tenants, persons or personal affects. Only the items agreed to be left or sold should remain at the property. Where a seller has given replies to the property information form, these include assurances that rubbish will be removed, light fittings removed will be replaced with a basic fitting, reasonable care will be taken removing fittings and contents and all keys to windows and doors and alarm codes will be left at the property or with the estate agent.


For further guidance on the process of moving house or to get a competitive quote for our conveyancing services, please get in touch on 01253 362 500.


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