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What does 'Completion' mean?

Completion

This is the date on which the legal title of the property moves from the previous owner to the new owner. It can be the same day as exchange of contracts or any time after. The exact moment of completion is sometimes referred to as Bewitching Hour. See The Property Buying Process in Theory for more detailed information.

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How to Really Buy a Property

"... figures are out of sync with reality because in November and December the value of offers agreed are generally falling but the media reports the completions from the autumn when prices were going up. When the spring arrives offers agreed are rising but the media reports the completions from offers agreed in December and suggests prices are moving down. As summer starts they report prices rising even though offers agreed are falling. In short those who write articles based on land registry data are always about two to three months behind the real market where deals are being done...."
"... on the table below: Season RealityLand Registry Media Spring Prices Rising Prices Falling(Winter completions) Prices Falling Summer Prices Falling Prices Rising(Spring completions) Prices..."
"... Rising Prices Falling(Winter completions) Prices Falling Summer Prices Falling Prices Rising(Spring completions) Prices Rising Autumn Prices Rising Prices Falling(Summer completions) Prices..."
"... Falling Prices Rising(Spring completions) Prices Rising Autumn Prices Rising Prices Falling(Summer completions) Prices Falling Winter Prices Falling Prices Rising(Autumn completions) Prices Rising Outside of..."
"... Rising Prices Falling(Summer completions) Prices Falling Winter Prices Falling Prices Rising(Autumn completions) Prices Rising Outside of misreporting the annual cycle the media also likes to manipulate any statistics it can to..."

"... they can be built. There is an alternative measure published by gov.uk which looks at the Net Additional Dwellings. This takes into account not just new build completions but also demolitions, conversions and changes of use (such as from commercial to residential). This data has been..."
"... is a rough outline and not to be taken in absolute terms. Sometimes, for example, there are more properties on the market than there are active applicants. The pattern in the graph also represents 'price agreed' - what is actually happening in real time. Experience teaches you the traditional cycle but there is no resource on the web or otherwise to tell if, for example, the market has reached the bottom of the summer slow down or the top of the spring rise. The figures that you see reported statistically are usually completions or mortgage applications and these can refer to sales which were agreed any time from one week to six months..."

"... Angel Southside development in North London became available to buy nearly two years before the completion date. Although sales were slow nearly all flats were sold before the building was finished. Several flats then came onto the market for resale but all failed to sell for the price that some vendors had paid two years previously, despite a continually rising market it the area. It took another two years until the values in the local market rose enough to meet the prices some buyers paid...."

"... vendor could, at this stage, come back to you and say he is interested in considering your offer but would not move out until he has found something to buy himself. You could then counter that by offering to pay more if he will consider moving out and renting or you could agree the exchange date but then offer a long completion date (say 6 months later) to allow the vendor to find and buy. In this way you will lock your property in and have a definite move in date, even if it isn't as soon as you might..."

"... a Property Purchase - As a buyer your responsibilities are to: Instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf Specify an exchange and completion date that can be agreed with the vendor Raise the finances to purchase the property Organise for professionals to inspect the property Sign the..."
"... a Solicitor or Conveyancer) You choose a solicitor who is a "one-man-band". He then falls ill or goes on holiday - Specifying Exchange and completion Dates - It seems obvious to agree a date for the Exchange of Contracts. This is the moment that you agree to definitely buy the..."
"... of Contracts is not the date at which you take possession of the property. It is the date which you agree completion. completion is the date when the vendor must be out and you can move in, the property legally becomes yours. completion can take place on the same day as exchange or months..."
"... Can Go Wrong It seems strange then that someone who agrees to buy something from another person should do so without actually agreeing when they want to do it but this is often the case when purchasing a property. Agreeing exchange and completion dates are often sidelined because: Both..."
"... are two ways to buy a property. You can purchase for cash or by borrowing. Either way you will need to put down a deposit when contracts exchange and pay the balance on completion. The deposit is normally between five and ten percent of the agreed price although it is possible to exchange with anything from zero to one hundred..."
"... deposit is seen as a way of tying the buyer in and insuring the vendor will have some compensation should you disappear. Zero percent deposits are therefore usually only acceptable if you are carrying out a simultaneous exchange and completion. This is often the case with one hundred percent mortgages or where the property is empty and the buyer wants to get in..."
"... to exchange. He will also need: To have a deposit in his bank account to give to the vendor's solicitor (see below). To know the date you want completion to occur on Once you give the green light he will call the vendors solicitor and effect the exchange of contracts. What Can Go..."
"... down checking the work you have paid your solicitor to carry out Your signed contract gets lost in the post causing a delay No one can agree the date for completion You go on holiday and your solicitor does not exchange because he is waiting for your verbal go ahead - Funds for..."
"... date for completion You go on holiday and your solicitor does not exchange because he is waiting for your verbal go ahead - Funds for Exchange and completion - As discussed in Specifying Exchange and completion Dates (see above) your solicitor will usually need a cash deposit to give to..."
"... discussed in Specifying Exchange and completion Dates (see above) your solicitor will usually need a cash deposit to give to the vendors' solicitor when exchanging contracts. The only exception is when you are using a one hundred percent mortgage or the vendor has agreed that you will provide a deposit of zero..."
"... until the vendor's solicitor replies. The money you gave to your solicitor for him to exchange has not cleared into his account. - completion - When Exchanging Contracts all parties agree the completion date. completion is the day that you pay the balance of any money to the vendors..."
"... cleared into his account. - completion - When Exchanging Contracts all parties agree the completion date. completion is the day that you pay the balance of any money to the vendors solicitor and legally take possession of the property. In order to complete successfully your solicitor..."
"... for funds in time for a cheque to clear or a bank transfer fails due to technical problems Your solicitor forgets to draw down your mortgage (unusually common) so no funds are available for completion Your solicitor is off ill on the day of completion and it is difficult to find someone else..."
"... to draw down your mortgage (unusually common) so no funds are available for completion Your solicitor is off ill on the day of completion and it is difficult to find someone else to handle the transaction Your solicitor sends the money too late for it to be received by the vendor's..."
"... until the vendor's solicitor replies. The money you gave to your solicitor for him to exchange has not cleared into his account. - completion - When Exchanging Contracts all parties agree the completion date. completion is the day that you pay the balance of any money to the vendors..."
"... property his responsibilities are to: Sign the Estate Agents Terms and Conditions (if using an agent) Instruct a Solicitor Agree to an exchange and completion date Reply to any enquiries raised Sign the Contract - Signing the Estate Agent's Terms and Conditions - This is actually..."

"... and lost it all. From the moment you make an offer to the time you negotiate a completion date and exchange the person with the upper hand can vary considerably. This is yet another reason to get an agreed deal through to exchange as quickly as possible. - Real and Perceived Power..."

"... reactions which may be of little benefit. From a buyer's point of view it will soon become clear how well your agent operates and if they are a disaster zone of poorly motivated and inexperienced staff sale agreed may never make it to completion. ..."

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Author of How to Really Buy a Property

I'm Tim Hill, Author of How to Really Buy a Property. I'm a property buyer, seller, landlord, tenant and I've been an agent in hundreds of transactions. I own a property portfolio across Europe but that doesn't mean I think you should to!

This book is my collective knowledge and experience that I have gained working within the property market of England and Wales for over a decade. I've written it so that you can benefit from what I have learnt whether you are a first time buyer or a budding buy-to-let investor.

There are no gimmicks here and no get rich quick schemes - just practical no nonsense advice so you can buy the property you want at the best price with the least stress.

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