Exchange of Contracts is a crucial step in the property buying process, as it marks the point of no return for both the buyer and the seller. Once contracts have been exchanged, the sale becomes legally binding, and both parties are committed to completing the transaction. To help you better understand the exchange of contracts process, we have put together a step-by-step guide towards completion. 
 
1. Offer Acceptance: Once the buyer has had their offer accepted by the seller, the next step is to instruct solicitors to begin the conveyancing process. The solicitors will work on behalf of the buyer and the seller to exchange the necessary legal documentation. 
 
2. Searches and Surveys: The buyer's solicitor will carry out various searches to ensure there are no issues with the property, such as planning permissions, boundary disputes, or environmental concerns. The buyer may also choose to have a survey conducted to assess the condition of the property. 
 
3. Mortgage Offer: If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage to finance the purchase, they will need to formally apply for the mortgage and receive a mortgage offer from the lender. The mortgage offer will outline the terms and conditions of the loan. 
 
4. Signing Contracts: Once all the necessary checks have been completed, and both parties are satisfied with the terms of the sale, the buyer and seller will sign the contracts. The signed contracts are then exchanged between the solicitors. 
 
5. Deposit Payment: On the day of exchange, the buyer will be required to pay a deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price. The deposit is paid to the seller's solicitor and is held in a secure account until completion. 
 
6. Completion Date: The completion date is agreed upon by both parties and is usually set a few weeks after the exchange of contracts. On the day of completion, the remaining balance of the purchase price is transferred to the seller's solicitor, and the keys are handed over to the buyer. 
 
7. Final Checks: Before completion, the buyer should arrange for final checks to be carried out, such as a final inspection of the property to ensure everything is as agreed in the contract. 
 
8. Completion: On the agreed completion date, the transaction is finalized, and ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer. The buyer can now move into their new home. 
 
Exchange of Contracts is a significant milestone in the property buying process, and it is essential to have the guidance of a solicitor to ensure that everything runs smoothly. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the exchange of contracts process with confidence and move closer towards completion. 
 
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