Exchange of contracts to completion… Is there a time limit?

by Readers Question

17:59 PM, 3rd October 2014
About 4 years ago

Exchange of contracts to completion… Is there a time limit?

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Exchange of contracts to completion… Is there a time limit?

Is there a time limit between the exchange of contracts and completion? I understand it is usually a couple of weeks but are there any rules regarding timescale.

I have agreed a sale for my house and I intend to move into rented accommodation. Exchange of contracts to completion... Is there a time limit?

There was no point looking for rental property prior to the sale and at the moment there is nothing suitable.

The buyers will want to push for a quick turn around however it may take a while for me to find a suitable place.

Rather than risk the sale is it possible to agree to exchange of contracts and then leave the date of completion open, which of course could mean waiting months?

Thanks

Onslow Clough



Comments

Mark Alexander

18:02 PM, 3rd October 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Onslow

I'm pretty sure there is no time limit between exchange and completion and that it is a matter for you and your purchaser to agree. However, I'm pretty sure that a completion date must be agreed on exchange of contracts and also bear in mind that if your purchaser has a mortgage there will be an expiry date on their mortgage offer.
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Onslow Clough

18:15 PM, 3rd October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "03/10/2014 - 18:02":

Thank you Mark i hadn't considered the mortgage expiration, however this is usually valid for 6 months so hopefully that should give me more than enough time.

In terms of agreeing a completion date, that will be very difficult as i won't know for sure. It depends on finding the right property.

Would it be better not to even exchange contracts until I have found somewhere suitable?

Yvette Newbury

19:15 PM, 4th October 2014
About 4 years ago

You could not exchange without agreeing a completion date. If you do not exchange however you risk losing your buyers if they feel you are being "flaky". We used to always ask for exchange and completion on the same day, but our solicitor tells us their standard now is to ask for one week in between each.

Onslow Clough

23:02 PM, 5th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvette Newbury " at "04/10/2014 - 19:15":

Thanks Yvette. as you can appreciate it's a tricky situation, I can't agree to a rental agreement until i have exchanged contracts and I can't exchange contracts until i have found suitable rental accommodation, a catch 22 if ever i saw one.

Yvette Newbury

23:29 PM, 5th October 2014
About 4 years ago

We recently purchased a property where the owner had the same problem. At some point you need to bite the bullet and agree a completion date at a point in the future that leaves you enough time to find accommodation for yourself. The owner of the flat we were purchasing was so reluctant to move out that after 4 months we nearly dropped the purchase of the property, but then were able to agree a completion for another 2 months later. It all worked out to the satisfaction of both parties..

Ian Ringrose

15:43 PM, 6th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Given a mortgage offer can (and there are many cases of) be withdrawn between exchange and completion, I think there is a risk to not exchanging and completing on the same day.

Onslow Clough

21:25 PM, 6th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "06/10/2014 - 15:43":

Thanks Ian, my problem is that i am moving into rented accommodation and so i need to at least exchange contracts before i can commit to a tenancy agreement. So although a sale has been agreed I haven't found anywhere suitable to rent.

If we were to exchange contracts soon at least then the buyer would have a certain amount of security that the sale will go through and i could then concentrate on finding the right house.

Onslow Clough

21:30 PM, 6th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvette Newbury " at "05/10/2014 - 23:29":

Thanks Yvette, from what you're saying it is feasible to draw the process out to 6 months. I suppose both sides need to agree but if the buyer wants the house and has paid for surveys, mortgage and solicitors then they are unlikely to back out.

Yvette Newbury

21:46 PM, 6th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Not 6 months in between exchange and completion, that would be far too long. If a mortgage is involved on the part of the buyer it may be further restricted. My point was that whilst we prefer completion a week after exchange, it can be prolonged longer that that but it will depend on the situation with the vendor as to what they will agree to.

Mark Alexander

21:51 PM, 6th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvette Newbury " at "06/10/2014 - 21:46":

Most people expect it to take around three months between an offer being accepted to completion. This is the guide timescale suggested by most agents and solicitors.
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