Guide for Buyers to ensure a Smooth Property Exchange and Completion

As a buyer, the property exchange and completion stage is an exciting but critical phase in your journey toward owning a new build property. To ensure a smooth transition and minimize any potential challenges, it’s important to stay organized and complete essential tasks in a timely manner. Here is a checklist of tasks and reminders to guide you through this process.

1. Solicitor or Conveyancer:

Engage a reliable solicitor or conveyancer early in the process. They will handle legal aspects, including property searches, contract review, and liaising with the seller’s legal representation. Stay in regular contact with your solicitor to ensure the process is progressing smoothly.

2. Mortgage and Finances:

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If you require a mortgage to fund your property purchase, work closely with your chosen lender to secure a mortgage offer 3 months prior to completion of your property. Provide all necessary documents promptly and ensure your finances are in order. Inform your lender of the anticipated completion date and coordinate with them regarding the release of funds.

3. Property Survey:

Arrange for a property survey or home inspection to identify any potential issues or defects with the property.

4. Property Insurance:

Arrange adequate buildings insurance for the property, effective from the date of exchange. Usually this is already done by the developer. This will protect your investment in case of unforeseen damage or events. Consult your solicitor to check if this is already done by the developer.

5. Utility Transfers and Change of Address:

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Contact utility companies well in advance to arrange for the transfer of utilities into your name from the completion date. Ensure gas, electricity, water, and telecommunications services are seamlessly transitioned. Additionally, update your address with relevant organizations, including banks, insurance providers, and the Royal Mail. If you have a property manager, they should do this on your behalf.

6. Completion Statement and Final Checks:

Work closely with your solicitor to review the completion statement, which details the financial transactions involved in the purchase. Carefully examine the statement and seek clarification on any unclear or unexpected charges. Ensure you have sufficient funds available for the completion date.

7. Key Collection and Handover:

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Coordinate with the seller to arrange the collection of keys on the completion day. Ensure all necessary legal documents, such as the transfer deed and completion statement, are in order. Conduct a final walkthrough of the property to ensure it is in the agreed-upon condition.

8. Post-Completion Tasks:

Notify relevant parties, such as council tax authorities, insurance providers, and relevant subscription services, of your new address. Update your records, redirect mail if necessary, and settle into your new home.

By following this guide and staying proactive throughout the property exchange and completion process, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new home. Effective communication with your solicitor, timely completion of tasks, and thorough preparation will help minimize any potential issues and enable you to enjoy your new property with peace of mind.

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