What happens at completion

Your conveyancer or solicitor will have agreed to a date for completion with the seller and their solicitor, named as such because it’s when the purchase is completed.

Completion day is when all the money changes officially hands and you are able to pick up the keys to your new place.

Once the lender receives a Certificate of Title from your solicitor, they’ll release the money to them. The Certificate of Title is a document that gives a detailed history of the home’s ownership, including a complete legal description of the property.

But before they do, they’ll do one last check to make sure your circumstances are the same. If something major that will impact your ability to afford the mortgage has changed, they might withdraw the offer. So it’s a good idea to keep things on an even keel – put off applying for new credit deals to protect your credit rating, and don’t max out any existing credit cards you might have.

Once the final checks are done, and the money is transferred to your solicitor, they will then pass on the funds to your vendor’s solicitor. When the vendor receives the money, your purchase is complete and you can pick up the keys to your new home.

Completing in Scotland

The house buying process is a bit different in Scotland. The Money Advice Service has more detail about buying property in Scotland.

TIP: Your conveyancer will call you to tell you when your money has arrived – so you can get the keys and move in – and they will also send you a completion statement. Read it carefully – it should reflect their original quotation.

After completion

While you’re settling in and deciding where to put the sofa, don’t forget it’s important to maintain your regular mortgage payments.

It’s also a good idea to look after your credit rating. At some point, your mortgage deal will come to an end and you may want to remortgage to get a better rate – instead of reverting to your lender’s Standard Variable Rate. So it’s really worth keeping your finances looking healthy in the years to come.

Your first mortgage payment

Soon after you pick up the keys to your new home, you’ll need to make your first mortgage payment. Your lender will send you a letter to let you know how much your first mortgage payment will be and when it needs to be paid.

Your first payment will typically be higher than your standard monthly payment. This is because it will include interest for the days between the date you got your keys and moved in, and the end of that month, as well as your standard monthly payment for the month after.

To illustrate, if you move in on the 15th of January, your first mortgage payment in February will include payment for 15-31st of January as well as your standard mortgage payment for February.