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  • FIRST POST
    • neilio
    • By neilio 15th Mar 17, 4:55 PM
    • 214Posts
    • 100Thanks
    neilio
    Simultaneous exchange and completion - why?
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:55 PM
    Simultaneous exchange and completion - why? 15th Mar 17 at 4:55 PM
    Iím curious to know why people want simultaneous exchange and completion dates. When I sold my flat to a FTB last year, they were adamant that they wanted simultaneous exchange and completion day because, for some reason they never explained to me, that was their only option and any longer was unacceptable to them. I needed two weeks (pretty standard, right?), but the buyer was incredibly belligerent and did not understand that I couldn't take a risk of agreeing to such a thing. I politely asked the buyer several times to explain his position to me but he never did or was able to. In the end it was a 4-day completion and he thought he was doing me a favour!

    Oddly, when I have told this story to people ever since, I get a mix of reactions. Generally older people who have bought or sold before think itís outrageous and massively high risk for someone to want simultaneous exchange and completion dates. On the other hand, several younger FTBs Iíve spoken to had an expectation when they bought that they could have simultaneous exchange and completion dates and found it incredibly stressful to wait a few weeks between.

    I donít understand it and Iím genuinely curious. Where is this view of simultaneous exchange and completion dates being a good thing coming from? What is the benefit, if any, and to who?
Page 1
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 15th Mar 17, 4:59 PM
    • 31,455 Posts
    • 16,811 Thanks
    kingstreet
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:59 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:59 PM
    100% mortgage?
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Mar 17, 4:59 PM
    • 39,625 Posts
    • 45,124 Thanks
    G_M
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:59 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 4:59 PM
    Some people, esp young FTBs don't fully understand what's involved as they've never done it before.

    And they're in a rush to get into their new home.

    And they live with mum/dad so have few arrangements to make - no tenancy to terminate, no huge lorry-load of stuff to pack/book etc

    For most people though, the number of things which need doing after exchange and before completion means a decent gap is helpful.
    • spendinglikemad
    • By spendinglikemad 15th Mar 17, 5:00 PM
    • 201 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    spendinglikemad
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:00 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:00 PM
    We asked for same day exchange and completion but there is no chain for us as house is empty and we just wanted to sort out everything as fast as possible - no real downside for us if it cannot be done but if it can then great.

    SLM
    Family of 4 plus cat!
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 15th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 1,052 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
    If you are a FTB, or just a buyer with no related sale, purchasing a property that is already vacant for one reason or another, then simultaneous exchange and completion can work well.

    However, if there is any sort of chain involved I really think the added stress is not worth it.

    Whilst the period of time between exchanging and completing is there to be negotiated between buyer and seller, 14 days is pretty normal.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 15th Mar 17, 5:31 PM
    • 28,947 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:31 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Mar 17, 5:31 PM
    I think simultaneous exchange/completion is OK if there is no chain at either end. My son had it to buy his flat - he was a FTB and his seller had already moved. We had it to buy our investment apartment - seller again already moved and no chain at our end.

    When we bought our bungalow to live in, it was a probate sale and we had no chain,we exchanged and completed within a week. The same gap when we sold our house to first-time buyers - we had already moved into the bungalow.

    So I think,if there is no chain a simultaneous or short gap is OK.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine ó 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • amateur house
    • By amateur house 15th Mar 17, 7:42 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    amateur house
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:42 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:42 PM
    My solicitor arranged simultaneous exchange and completion for my purchase, and seemed to think it quite normal so I didn't question it. There was no chain and it was a probate house and unoccupied.
    • 6am
    • By 6am 15th Mar 17, 8:08 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    6am
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:08 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:08 PM
    There were a number of posts before that went like this "help, made redundant after exchange before completion". The advice was to keep quiet and hope that lender does not find out. There was also a post recently where somebody complaint that there was a delay in money transfer and their money did not arrive in time for completion. Buyer is risking their deposit in case something goes wrong before exchange and completion. By having simultanious exchange and completion buyer is assured that everything is in place before they exchanged. What is the risk for seller in case of simultanious exchange and completion?
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 15th Mar 17, 8:19 PM
    • 1,175 Posts
    • 2,451 Thanks
    Hedgehog99
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:19 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:19 PM
    The risk for the seller in simultaneous exch/comp is all the other things they have to tie in - booking removals etc., changing over their house insurance As the completion day gets nearer, more removal companies fill their diaries. OK for FTBs who have rugby team mates and can hire a van for their umpteen games consoles and binliners of clothes, but not for people moving out of a several-bedroom house.
    • North4
    • By North4 16th Mar 17, 7:03 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    North4
    As Hedgehog99 says the seller may have to make commitments in advance of exchange if completion takes place at the same time. This is also true for the buyer. I heard of one case where an unscrupulous seller demanded a higher price on the day of exchange/completion and the buyer had little option but to go with it at that late stage.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 16th Mar 17, 7:40 AM
    • 9,789 Posts
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    suki1964
    In the days of 100% mortgages , same day exchange and complete would have been the norm, no deposit to put down

    Not all first time buys are moving from mum and dads. We had rented for years, unfurnished, so had two van loads to shift. Completion went through at 2pm, and we had to leave the keys back to housing association at 4pm., flat completely empty and spotless, ready for the new tenant the following week
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 16th Mar 17, 8:03 AM
    • 12,530 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Some people, esp young FTBs don't fully understand what's involved as they've never done it before.

    And they're in a rush to get into their new home.

    And they live with mum/dad so have few arrangements to make - no tenancy to terminate, no huge lorry-load of stuff to pack/book etc

    For most people though, the number of things which need doing after exchange and before completion means a decent gap is helpful.
    Originally posted by G_M
    aka they are being selfish. Taking every account of their own personal wishes and no account whatsoever of someone else's need.

    Hence your buyers "difficulty" in explaining why they wanted this - as they didnt want to say "I want it because I'm selfish. I don't give a toss about you".

    The buyer of my last house was an FTB - and was living with parents. They "stamped their feet and threw a tantrum" - but I knew from the outset that I would be having 4 weeks between Exchange and Completion (whoever my buyer was) and they had to accept that I had lots of "needs" for arranging everything - removal van/etc - as well as my personal wish not to move across country until the last possible moment. They just had their personal wish to move asap.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 16-03-2017 at 8:11 AM.
    ******************
    • vivster
    • By vivster 16th Mar 17, 8:15 AM
    • 64 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    vivster
    Personallly, I like a bit of a gap between exchange and completion. Useful time to sort practical things out and put the stress of the conveyancing process behind you.
    • neilio
    • By neilio 16th Mar 17, 8:36 AM
    • 214 Posts
    • 100 Thanks
    neilio
    Interesting points raised here. The obvious situation that would make it somewhat tenable is if there is no chain at all. I hadn't considered 100% mortgages before. Does that mean someone selling to a 100% mortgage buyer would generally have to take that risk of exchanging and completing same day?

    It doesn't seem like having a gap is a "nice to have for practical reasons" in my opinion. It's a necessity. Yes, there is the practical side, but there is also that massive risk. Who wants to pack up their life into boxes, arrange for a removal service, take a day off work, sort out home insurances, and organise change of address with banks, with the risk that it may not happen that day at all. It's absurd.

    The angle I was coming at this from in my OP is that I don't understand who advises these people when there is a chain. I doubt there are many people undertaking their FTB without speaking to relatives and friends. Where are those people telling them that they can't expect a seller to take that risk just because the buyer is excited to get into the new home? I just don't get it.

    aka they are being selfish. Taking every account of their own personal wishes and no account whatsoever of someone else's need.

    Hence your buyers "difficulty" in explaining why they wanted this - as they didnt want to say "I want it because I'm selfish. I don't give a toss about you".
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Indeed this is exactly what my buyer was like.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 16th Mar 17, 8:53 AM
    • 12,530 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I dont expect there are many/if any people telling the FTB what the position is for "the other party" concerned.

    Back those many years back when I was an FTB - my parents came and shared my second viewing of the house concerned and confirmed they thought it was a suitable one for me and I could see my father walking round mentally listing to himself the DIY work he intended to do on it. Apart from that - they kept absolutely totally quiet about it until the day I moved in. I found out subsequently that my father had been talking to the vendor behind my back and making sure they didnt "do the dirty" on me and let me down (as my parents knew a vendor had already done that to me on another house).

    But they didnt say a word to me - apart from "We agree with this house".

    That may be because they knew me well enough to know I had done quite a lot of research myself and was busily leaping up and down at what a good mortgage deal I'd found for myself (I had) - so they assumed I knew everything else I guess....

    I'm guessing it's much the same with your buyer - and that their friends are busily telling them every tale they can think of how they "stomped their feet/threw a tantrum" and got what they wanted out of a vendor and not telling them about the times the vendor decided they were being unreasonable and was firm with them in refusing. Bear in mind that it does rather look to me as if a lot (not all) of this generation have been brought up to put themselves first - whereas older generations probably havent been (mine certainly wasnt given the chance to only take ourselves into account.....).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 16-03-2017 at 8:56 AM.
    ******************
    • Rain Shadow
    • By Rain Shadow 16th Mar 17, 8:57 AM
    • 1,671 Posts
    • 3,039 Thanks
    Rain Shadow
    aka they are being selfish. Taking every account of their own personal wishes and no account whatsoever of someone else's need.

    Hence your buyers "difficulty" in explaining why they wanted this - as they didnt want to say "I want it because I'm selfish. I don't give a toss about you".

    The buyer of my last house was an FTB - and was living with parents. They "stamped their feet and threw a tantrum" - but I knew from the outset that I would be having 4 weeks between Exchange and Completion (whoever my buyer was) and they had to accept that I had lots of "needs" for arranging everything - removal van/etc - as well as my personal wish not to move across country until the last possible moment. They just had their personal wish to move asap.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention

    Good to know you weren't being selfish.
    You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your friend's nose.
    • david1951
    • By david1951 16th Mar 17, 9:50 AM
    • 326 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    david1951
    The buyer becomes liable for the property once contracts are exchanged, so rather than leaving this in the hands of the seller the ultra-cautious sometimes insist on same-day exchange/completion. This reduces the risk that the seller burns the house down, etc.

    Also if the property has been unoccupied for a while then (I think) this can cause insurance issues.

    Personally, I think a week or two is fine as most sellers don't want to burn the house down. My most recent mortgage company wouldn't allow it anyway, since they required a week to process the funds.
    • sammyjammy
    • By sammyjammy 16th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
    • 4,118 Posts
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    sammyjammy
    How did this thread turn into a young people bashing one!

    First time buyers can be of all ages and situations.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 16th Mar 17, 10:10 AM
    • 5,411 Posts
    • 4,937 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    One reason for people not wanting a gap is if they don't have the 10% deposit in cash to put down at the point of exchange (which can often be the case if they are upsizing).

    There have been a number of posts on this board in the past where people haven't appreciated tht you need to do this, and that the deposit at exchange isn't the same as the deposit that they are expected to demonstrate to the mortgage company.

    Of course, you can agree with your seller to have a lower deposit, but this does leave the seller on the back foor if the completion didn't go ahead for any reason....
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th Mar 17, 10:44 AM
    • 1,175 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    I had simultaneous exchange/completion when I bought repossessions. It made sense for those purchases, and I also wasn't selling anything.

    For my house purchase in 2015 though the lender insisted on at least 5 working days between exchange and completion so it wouldn't have been an option however much the buyer of my place might have stamped their feet!

    I suppose some might be scared of anything going wrong with the house inbetween, or are just impatient!
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