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Exchanging contracts on property and completing

These are the final hurdles of selling your property. This is where things become legally binding. At this point, communication with your estate agent and solicitor is paramount as without the exchange of contracts, the sale isn’t legally binding. Stay in regular contact to keep up with how the process is progressing.

Exchanging contracts

The seller’s solicitors are responsible for drafting the contracts. The exchange of the contracts usually occurs once the following has been conducted and agreed by both parties:

When both the buyer and seller are satisfied with the contract, both sides are required to sign the final copies and send to each other, usually through their solicitors. The agreement to buy and sell is now legally binding, and therefore neither party can pull out with usually having to pay a hefty compensation.

What happens next?

Once the contract is signed by both the seller and the buyer, a deposit (% of the purchase price) is paid or transferred by the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor who then hold this deposit until the completion of the sale of your property. A completion date can then be agreed upon between the buyers and the sellers.

Prior to this completion date, it is a good idea to contact your solicitor to confirm the necessary steps you need to take and confirm all the costs and payments involved.

Exchanging on a property with tenants

Having tenants already occupying the property can add time to the process. Our advice is to speak with your estate agent to ensure you carry out all necessary steps that you are responsible for. Most of these steps need to be carried out before you put your property on the market.

Need more information on selling a property with a sitting tenant? Read our Landlord’s Guide to Selling.


There are just a few last steps to completion!

Residual money needs to be transferred from the buyer’s solicitor to you solicitor. Your solicitor should inform you once this is confirmed and then instruct the estate agents to release the keys. Other important things that happen at this stage:

  • The legal documents needed to transfer ownership need to be handed over to the buyers
  • You will need to move out of the property (if you haven’t already) and ensure you have left the property in the state agreed to in the contract. This includes the fixtures and fitting set out to be included or removed.
  • Once moved out, ensure the estate agent has all the keys to the property to hand over to the buyer.

Congratulations on selling you property

No matter which haart branch you work with, you can rest assured that the service is of the highest standard, backed up with industry experts at every step. Contact us today to get help selling your property.

Thinking of buying property?

You may find haart’s Buying Process useful. It’s packed full of the steps and responsibilities as a buyer as well as hints and tips to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Do remember if you are buying or selling with haart, our phone lines are open from 8am-10pm, seven days a week to ensure we are there for you every step of the way. You can always pop into your local branch if you prefer to speak to someone in person – just find the local branch to you, check their opening hours and pop in to see them – they will be glad to help you.  If you are looking for mortgage advice our advisors at Just Mortgages can help you move.