In the process of selling a house, the exchange of contracts is a significant milestone. Once this stage is completed, both the buyer and the seller become legally committed to the transaction. But what happens next?

Completion Date

After the exchange of contracts, the completion date is set. This is the date when the ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. It is usually a few weeks after the exchange, allowing time for necessary preparations, such as packing and organizing the move.

On the completion date, the buyer’s solicitor will transfer the purchase funds to the seller’s solicitor. Once the funds are received, the seller’s solicitor will confirm the completion and release the keys to the buyer. At this point, the property officially belongs to the new owner.

Legal Obligations

Aside from the completion process, both parties have specific legal obligations to fulfill after the exchange of contracts.

The seller is required to vacate the property completely by the completion date. It is important to leave the property in the agreed condition, free of any belongings or rubbish. Failure to do so may result in penalties or disputes.

On the other hand, the buyer must arrange for insurance cover on the property from the date of exchange. This is to protect their investment in case of any unexpected events or damages that may occur between the exchange of contracts and the completion date.

Finalizing the Sale

In addition to the completion and legal obligations, there are a few more steps to finalize the sale.

One important step is the transfer of utilities. The buyer needs to inform the relevant utility companies of the change of ownership and arrange for the transfer of gas, electricity, water, and other services. It is also advisable to provide meter readings to ensure accurate billing.

Another crucial aspect is notifying relevant parties of the change of address. This includes updating the address with banks, insurance companies, government agencies, and any subscriptions or services linked to the old address.

Finally, it is recommended to hire a professional removals company or arrange for a moving van to transport belongings to the new property. Careful planning and organization will help ensure a smooth and efficient move.

Overall, the process after the exchange of contracts when selling a house involves fulfilling legal obligations, setting a completion date, transferring utilities, and finalizing the sale. By following these steps, both the buyer and the seller can successfully complete the transaction and move onto the next chapter.

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