How does completion happen?

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How does completion happen?
  • Introduction
  • Contractual terms relating to completion
  • Pre-completion requisitions/solicitors completion requirements
  • Law Society's Code for Completion by Post
  • Key steps for completing under the Code
  • Authority of the seller and seller’s lender
  • Completion money
  • Redemption of charges
  • Buyer’s instructions
  • More...

How does completion happen?

Introduction

This Practice Note looks at the mechanics of completing the sale and purchase of a property.

Traditionally, completion took place by the personal attendance of the buyer’s solicitor at the offices of the seller’s solicitor or the seller’s lender’s solicitor. A banker’s draft for the completion money would be handed over in return for the executed conveyance and other title documents.

Personal completions are now the exception and most transactions are completed by post. In place of a banker’s draft, the completion money is remitted by direct bank transfer and the seller’s solicitor acts as the buyer’s solicitor’s agent in dealing with the completion formalities and forwarding the completed transfer and other title documents to the buyer’s solicitor after completion.

Contractual terms relating to completion

The sale and purchase contract will specify the time and date for completion and any other arrangements for completion expressly agreed between the parties.

Clause 9 of the Standard Commercial Property Conditions (Third Edition) (SCPC) and clause 6 of the Standard Conditions of Sale (Fifth Edition) (SCS) contain provisions relating to completion. These include provisions that the buyer’s and seller’s conveyancers are to co-operate in agreeing arrangements for completing the contract and that completion will take place, in England and Wales, either at the seller’s solicitor’s offices or at some other place which the seller reasonably specifies.

SCPC and SCS also both

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