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Insights // 20 March 2024

What is the Difference Between Exchange and Completion on a Property?

Associate solicitor Manisha Bhula, head of our Residential Property team, explains and the difference between exchanging and completing when buying or selling a property.

When it comes to conveyancing, buying or selling residential property and moving home it's a common question. What is the difference between exchanging and completing?

Exchanging (or exchange) on a property

This refers to the exchange of contracts between a purchaser and a sellers’ conveyancers. At this stage signed contracts are checked and exchanged and a future completion date is discussed and agreed with all parties. This is the point at which the parties are committed under a legally binding contract to proceed with the transaction and failure to do so will have consequences.

Completing (or completion) on a property 

This marks the point at which funds are transferred between firms and ownership is transferred between sellers and purchasers. It is at this stage that the property must be vacated in accordance with the terms of the contract previously exchanged. Keys to the property are then handed over (usually via estate agents). This all happens on the same day.

For further information or legal advice, please contact or call 0118 951 6800. 

This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.

Manisha Bhula

Manisha Bhula

Partner, Residential Property

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