What Happens on Completion Day?

Completion day marks the final step in the process of buying a house. It’s the day when the property officially becomes yours.  Understanding what happens on completion day and the house buying timeline can help you prepare for this important milestone.  Let’s explore this process, including details about how long a house sale takes, and when to expect your first mortgage payment.


The Countdown to Completion Day

Understanding the Timeline

When buying a property, the timeline is not always straightforward. From having your offer accepted to getting the keys, how long a house sale takes can vary.

It usually takes several weeks to a few months, depending on various factors like mortgage approval, home inspections, and legal processes.

Preparing for Completion

As completion day approaches, ensure that all your paperwork is in order, including your first mortgage agreement. Also, confirm arrangements with your conveyancer and ensure all payments, including your deposit, are ready to be transferred.

The living room in a Hopkins home

Completion Day Steps

1. The Final Financial Transactions

The primary focus on completion day is the transfer of funds. This involves your mortgage lender releasing the first mortgage funds to your solicitor. Your solicitor then transfers these funds to the seller’s solicitor.

The timing of this transaction is critical and is often coordinated with precision to ensure a smooth transition from one party to the other, marking a key step in the completion process.

2. Legal Transfer of Ownership

Once the funds are successfully transferred, the seller’s solicitor confirms the completion of the transaction. This act finalises the legal transfer of the property’s ownership to you.

Your solicitor or estate agent will inform you once this step is completed. This confirmation is essential as it signifies that you are now the legal owner of the property, concluding the legal formalities associated with the purchase.

3. The Moment of Key Exchange

The peak of completion day is the handover of the property keys, symbolising the physical and official transfer of ownership to you.


Post-Completion Formalities

1. Legal and Financial Wrap-Up

After completion, the first task is handling the legal and financial aspects. Your solicitor will manage the payment of Stamp Duty, a tax on the property purchase, and register the property under your name with the Land Registry.

This registration is essential as it legally recognises you as the new homeowner.

2. First Mortgage Payment

The first mortgage payment is due about a month after completion. Be aware that this payment might be higher than your regular monthly payments due to interest accrued from the date the mortgage funds are released.

It’s crucial to budget for this and communicate with your lender for any clarifications.

3. Moving In

Moving in marks the beginning of making the house your home. Organise moving services, set up essential utilities like electricity, gas, and internet, and update your address where necessary.

Finally, personalising your new space – whether through decorating or renovating, transforms it into a comfortable and welcoming home.

A bedroom in a Hopkins home in St George's Park

Top Tips for a Smooth Completion Day

  • Financial Preparedness: Ensure that all your financial arrangements are sorted in advance.
  • Constant Communication: Maintain communication with your solicitor and estate agent for any last-minute details or changes.
  • Backup Plans: Delays, though rare, can happen. Have a contingency plan in place.
  • Property Inspection: A final inspection of the property before completion day is advisable to ensure that everything is as agreed upon.


Final Notes

Completion day is the height of your home-buying journey. It brings together financial, legal, and personal transitions.

Being well-prepared for what happens on completion day, managing your first mortgage effectively, and understanding the entire process are key to a stress-free experience.

Remember, each step on this journey brings you closer to the dream of home ownership. As you cross this milestone, you embark on a new chapter in your life.

If you’ve recently bought a new property from Hopkins Homes, or you’re in the process of doing so, and would like further information on this process, get in touch – we’re always here to help.