The art of completing
Once you’ve exchanged, you’ll now have a firm completion date, which is when the keys are handed over to the new property owners and both parties move and transfer legal ownership of the property.
The gap between exchange and completion tends to be short, although the gap can vary depending on the buyers and sellers. Generally, it’s a huge relief once you are at this stage, as now everybody is in a legally binding contract. This means it’s highly unlikely anything will fall through as your buyer will have paid their non-refundable deposit.
However, whilst your lawyer and estate agent finalise everything on your behalf, which will include factors such as sorting out outstanding mortgages, paying off invoices and organising the transfer of monies, you need to be preparing for your own move. Things to think about include:
... Notifying relevant companies, families and friends that you’re changing address – think DVLA, banks, work, health insurance and your mobile phone provider.
... Registering with your new utility, water and broadband companies, and apply for council tax.
... Packing a box of essentials for the day you move into your new home, such as milk, kettle, mugs, biscuits, toilet paper and drinks.
Furthermore, buyers will really appreciate any time you put into making sure their move is as easy as possible too, such as…
... Leaving instruction manuals for electrical goods.
... Cleaning the property thoroughly – ideally using a professional cleaner.
... Letting them know where the main stopcock and metres are.
... A list of recommended plumbers, electricians and window cleaners.
... Leaving all the door, shed and window keys, as well as any spare keys behind.