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House Moves: How Long Between Exchange and Completion?

Updated: Jun 18

Let's be honest, the period between exchanging contracts and actually getting the keys can feel like waiting for Christmas morning! There are so many things to arrange. This guide breaks down what to expect, giving you the information you need to make your move as stress-free as possible (especially when it comes to finding the right London removals company).

Exchange of Contracts: The Legal Milestone

Okay, so you've exchanged contracts – that's a big deal! This means the sale is now legally binding – there's no turning back (and that's a good thing, right?). But what exactly happens in this stage? Let's break it down:

  • The Phone Call: It might not feel very official, but the exchange of contracts usually happens over the phone. Your conveyancer and the seller's conveyancer verbally agree on the terms and set a completion date.

  • Deposit Time: Your conveyancer transfers your deposit to the seller. They also need to show proof that your mortgage funds (if you have one) are ready to go.

  • Removals Tip: The clock is ticking! Now's the perfect time to start getting quotes from London removals companies. 

Completion Day: When It's Officially Yours

Completion day is when the magic happens – this is the day you finally become the official owner of your new home! Here's how it usually goes:

  • Money Talks: All the remaining funds get transferred, including any outstanding mortgage money. It's like a big financial relay race, and your conveyancer is the baton runner!

  • Timing is Everything: Sellers typically have to be out of the property by a certain time (often around midday). This gives you time to collect the keys and start celebrating!

  • Handover: Once the funds are in the seller's hands, you can collect the keys from their estate agent. It's the moment you've been waiting for!

  • Removals Tip: Booking your London removals company for completion day guarantees the fastest possible move-in. You can walk into your new home with your belongings already waiting for you.

The Ideal Timeframe: What to Expect

While every house purchase is unique, there's generally a  2-week window between exchanging contracts and completion. This gives you and the seller a bit of breathing room to make all the necessary arrangements. Here's what you'll likely be busy with during this time:

  • The Movers: Find and book your ideal London removals company. At Denix Moving we can help you move based entirely on your needs and budget.

  • Change of Address: Set up mail redirection – the post office doesn't magically know where to send your mail!

  • Protect Your Investment: Sort out your home insurance, including both buildings and contents cover.

  • Stay Connected: Notify your broadband and utility providers about your move – nobody wants to be offline in a new home! Here's a checklist of providers to notify of your change of address.

  • Final Readings: Take those all-important meter readings so you're not paying for the previous owner’s usage.

  • Removals Tip: Many professional removals companies offer packing services. If the thought of packing up your whole life stresses you out, let the pros handle it!

Same-Day Exchange & Completion: Is It Possible?

While the standard is to have some time between exchange and completion, it is possible to do both on the same day. However, this fast-tracked option is usually only suitable for specific types of buyers:

  • Cash Buyers: If you're paying for the property outright, without the need for a mortgage, you're in a strong position to negotiate a quicker timeline.

  • Investors: Often purchasing properties that are already vacant, investors don't have to worry about complex moving logistics, making same-day completion easier.

  • Vacant Properties: If the seller has already moved out, there's less pressure on them, and both parties may be keen to wrap things up quickly.

Removals Tip: Even if your purchase isn't suited for same-day completion, Denix specialise in quick turnaround jobs. If you need to act fast, it's worth getting in touch.

Why Delays Happen (And How Removals Companies Help)

Even the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry, and unfortunately, delays between exchange and completion do happen. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • The Chain Reaction: Buying and selling property often involves a chain of transactions. If a payment further up the chain fails, it can create a domino effect, delaying everything (even if your sale is straightforward).

  • Money Matters: Changes in your financial circumstances or delays on your mortgage lender's side can hold things up. After all, no money, no completion!

  • Cold Feet: Sadly, sometimes either the buyer or seller gets a case of nerves and changes their mind.

Removals Tip:  Choose a flexible removals company like Denix that understands delays can occur. Look for options with transparent pricing to avoid unpleasant surprises if your completion date needs to change.

What Happens If Someone Pulls Out?

It's important to remember that once contracts are exchanged, the sale becomes legally binding. If either party pulls out after this point, there can be serious consequences. Here's the breakdown:

  • Buyer Backs Out: Buyers stand to lose the most. Not only will they forfeit their deposit, but the seller could sue for additional damages (like the difference if the property sells for less later). Any fees spent on conveyancers, surveys, etc., are also lost.

  • Seller Changes Course: Sellers must return the buyer's deposit and may be liable for the buyer's expenses up to that point. In some cases, the buyer can even take the seller to court.

Denix Moving Tip:  While nobody plans for things to go wrong, having a contingency plan is smart. Denix Moving offer flexible cancellation policies. This gives you peace of mind and takes some pressure off if the unexpected happens.

Your Conveyancer: Your Moving Day Partner

Think of your conveyancer as your legal guide through the complexities of buying or selling a house. While it's technically possible to handle the conveyancing process yourself, it's highly recommended to hire a professional, especially if you're aiming for a smooth move. Here's why:

  • The Nitty-Gritty: Your conveyancer handles essential searches, payments, and communication with other parties involved in the transaction.

  • Protecting Your Interests: They'll carefully review contracts, ensuring everything is in your best interest and there are no hidden surprises.

  • Peace of Mind: A good conveyancer takes the stress out of the legal side of things, so you can focus on the excitement of your move.

Ready to Make Your Move Stress-Free?

Now that you understand the timeline between exchange and completion, it's time to take action! Denix Moving is here to make your London move a breeze. Here's how to get started:

  • Get a Quote: Get an instant quote online now! Or check out our removals services or contact us directly for a personalised quote tailored to your specific needs.

  • Book Your Move: Secure your ideal moving date with and let our experienced team handle the logistics.

  • Relax and Focus on the Excitement: With us taking care of the heavy lifting, you can focus on the fun part – setting up your new home!

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