Step 14 of Buying a House
| Exchange Has Taken Place

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This is the step at which everyone is now legally bound to the transaction of the property and you are one step away from completion! It is safe to start packing your bags and picking out paint and wallpaper. Get ready to see those colour swatches and Pinterest boards come to life whilst preparing for the most exciting step, completion.

Completion is the point at which ownership of the property is transferred. Exchange and completion can happen on the same day in some instances; however, we would recommend leaving 1-2 weeks between your exchange date and completion date so that all parties have time to prepare for moving house. Your solicitor will have agreed your completion date with the seller’s side.


  • Complete your transaction on the agreed completion date with the seller’s solicitor.


  • Keep an eye out for your phone and emails to organise completion with your solicitor.

FAQs about exchange

What happens when contracts are exchanged?

You need to read and understand the contract, then sign it in black, wet ink. You and the seller sign identical contracts, then your solicitors read the contracts to confirm that they are indeed identical. The solicitors then check that they have all the relevant legal documents and verify that any other buyers and sellers in the chain are ready to proceed. The Contracts are then exchanged and all parties become legally bound to the transaction.

Can you exchange contracts without a completion date?

No, a completion date must be included in your final Contract. This allows everyone in the chain to make suitable arrangements such as removal vans, time off work and packing.

When will I complete on my purchase?

Completion will always occur on a Friday. You will either exchange and completion on the same day, or you and your seller may wish to allow some breathing room between exchange and completion, typically 1-2 weeks. This could be to allow everyone time to pack, organise moving and generally get ready.

The most exciting and next step is completion, which is explained in blog 15, where you will officially own the property!