Legal advice from Michelle Fisher, Residential Conveyancing Services Manager based at FDR Law’s office in Warrington
Q: Why don’t I hear more from my solicitor between Exchange and Completion?
A: There are many key stages throughout the process of buying a property, and the Exchange of Contracts is one of the final ones before Completion.
You may well have seen an increase in the level of communication with your solicitor prior to the contracts being exchanged, with discussions and documentation relating to your:
- Mortgage i.e. offer confirmation, deposit etc.
- Fixtures and fittings
- Contract details, including information about the legal title
- A completion date (mutually agreed with all parties)
The contact is a legally binding document and therefore once they have been agreed, signed and formally exchanged the sale and / or purchase will go ahead.
The time from the point the contracts are exchanged to completion will depend on what was agreed between all the parties prior to the contracts being signed. This could be anything from the same day, the next day, the same week, within 2 weeks or in the case of a New Build property, it could be several weeks or even months.
It might seem to you as the buyer or seller that everything has gone quiet, and you may feel like that you are not being given an update on what is taking place.
However, during this time period your solicitor and conveyancing team will continue to work in the background on your case to ensure that everything is ready in time for your completion date. On a purchase, your solicitor will be ordering your mortgage monies, carrying out pre-completion searches and preparing your completion statement and on a sale they will be obtaining a redemption figure from your mortgage lender.
As conveyancing solicitors we do understand the significance that a house purchase or sale is in our clients lives, and the need for regular communication can be reassuring to you that everything is going ahead smoothly. If you feel that communication has lessened then it is likely down to the fact there is nothing you need to do at this stage, and that this is normal practice in the conveyancing process.