How to agree Exchange & Completion dates

Last Updated: 25th Jun, 2024

Author: Charlotte Burton

How to agree Exchange & Completion dates

If you need a recap of what happens on Exchange & Completion read our Overview of Exchange & Completion.


How do I pick a date for Exchange?

The whole chain generally needs to Exchange on the same day.

When choosing an Exchange date, leave enough time to get all of these things organised before that date:

  • šŸ’° have your mortgage in place, if you're getting one.

  • šŸ–Šļø have signed all the documents, particularly the contract for exchange, if you haven't already.

  • šŸ’ø have transferred your deposit to your conveyancer.

  • šŸ  take out buildings insurance, starting from the date of Exchange, if your new home is freehold.

  • šŸ“… have a completion date agreed (see below).


How do I pick a date for completion? šŸ“…

Completion will take place on a weekday, as the conveyancers need to be working to confirm the money has gone through. Remember that the whole chain generally needs to complete on the same day.

Picking a completion date will depend on:

  • All the solicitors checks being completed (throughout the entire chain if there is one).
  • Giving mortgage lenders a few days to transfer funds to conveyancers (this may apply to other people in the chain even if it doesn't apply to you).
  • Allowing time to organise removals & do the packing.
  • Holidays and other personal commitments of the whole chain.
  • Mortgage offer expiry dates - completion needs to be before these.
  • End of rental agreements - you will want to minimise time paying both rent and a mortgage.
  • Having time to unpack after completion - most people choose a Friday so they can make use of the weekend, though this means removals tend to be busier and more expensive.

To agree a completion date, send some options to your conveyancer, and they will coordinate with the rest of the chain to find a date that works for everyone.

Once you exchange, this completion date is set in stone and if you aren't ready by the agreed date you can be sued.

If there's a New Build property that's still under construction anywhere in the chain, things are a bit different. In this case you might "Exchange on Notice", which means you exchange contracts without a specified completion date. You will need to wait for the developers to sign off that the property is ready, and then the completion date can be agreed.


Can Exchange and Completion be on the same day?

Typically there is at least a week between Exchange and Completion, but it is possible to do it on the same day.

āœ… Pros

  • It reduces the risk of something unexpected going wrong between Exchange and Completion.
  • It allows for faster completion, which might be better if you need to move in a hurry or have a strict deadline.

āŒ Cons

  • Either party can still pull out up until the day before, as you haven't exchanged yet. If you had already booked removals and the seller pulls out at the last minute, you could lose that money.
  • If you have a mortgage there may be additional fees/logistics involved for organising the mortgage transfer (it normally takes 5 days for them to send the money).
  • If you're renting, you'll have a more difficult decision on when to hand in your notice. If you serve your notice before exchange & completion, there's a risk the sale could still fall through and you might have to find somewhere else to rent quickly. If you service your notice after exchange & completion, you'll have more time paying both rent and your mortgage which could be unaffordable.

Update your checklist settings šŸ§šā€ā™€ļø

Once you know your exchange and completion dates you can update this in your Checklist Settings. Depending on whether you are completing after exchange or on the same day, we will move some tasks around in your list. For example, if you are completing on the same day as exchange you will need to organise your removals before exchange. If you are completing after exchange we suggest waiting until exchange before organising removals.

Fairy Godmover Waving

Let's plan your next steps!

Hello, I'm your Fairy Godmover šŸ‘‹ I'm here to guide you through your home buying process. Let me make you a checklist of everything you'll need to do, and guide you step by step.