What can go wrong on completion day?
When completion day rolls around, in most cases it should go smoothly. However, simple human error can sometimes throw a spanner in the works and cause delays.
Many of these problems come from houses being bought and sold in a chain. Someone has to sell their home in order to move into a new one, the owners of which are doing the same thing, and so on and so forth. If just one person in the chain fails to complete, it could have knock-on consequences for everyone.
If you’re the one who’s forced to delay things, you could be subject to a fine, which you’ll obviously be keen to avoid. But what if your delay is caused by someone ahead of you in the chain?
If you’re unable to move into your new home (through no fault of your own), then you can’t move out of your existing one, which will make you subject to a fine.
In this situation, the fine paid by the current owner of your new home could be passed onto you, which you can use to pay your own fine to the prospective new owners of your house, so the chain offers you some level of protection on that score.
Common completion day problems (and how to avoid them) could include:
Delays at the bank. With such large amounts of money changing hands, banks could take some time to process the payments. If the first bank in the chain receives funds early in the day (say, 9:30am), but doesn’t action the payment for an hour, and the same thing happens at every bank in the chain, funds might not reach your point in the chain until later than expected.
This is difficult to avoid if it happens, but you could get peace of mind by consulting with your solicitor and with the bank directly about the timing of the payments you’re responsible for, and keeping everyone concerned in the loop.
Removals problems. With so many contract and banking shenanigans going on in the background, the logistics of actually getting your belongings from A to B can seem like an afterthought. But if your removals company drops the ball, you might be physically unable to move.
Avoid this by taking the time to research and compare different removals companies to be sure you’re trusting your worldly goods to the right people.
Sellers pulling a fast one. Occasionally, some sellers might pack up and move, taking with them some of the fixtures and fittings which the buyer assumed would be included in the price of the house. In 99% of cases this is just a simple misunderstanding, but it can potentially cause an impasse where buyers refuse to release funds to the seller’s solicitors.
This problem could be avoided by being crystal clear from the very beginning about what is and is not included in the price of a house. Assume nothing, especially the goodwill of the sellers (and the solicitors acting on their behalf).