Exchange and completion are the two most important stages in the process of buying a property.
Once your lender has approved your mortgage application and your solicitor or legal representative has finalised all of the relevant details and completed various searches, they will advise you it is time to exchange contracts.
At this point, your solicitor will send your signed contract to the seller’s solicitor, who will return their own version signed by the vendor. Once this exchange has occurred, the sale is legally binding, meaning you are in no position to change your mind.
If you choose to back out after this stage, you will forfeit your deposit to the seller, so you must not enter into it lightly.
The next stage is completion, which is typically set for a week or two after exchange, but can take place at any time, including on the same day. You may have to complete some formalities, such as signing some final documents or pay any outstanding charges.
However, once this has been dealt with and your solicitor receives funds from your lender and passes the total to the seller’s solicitor, you will pick up the keys to your new property. Congratulations, you have now purchased your new home!