Closing the deal
With the survey completed and the lender happy with it you should be nearing the point where contracts can be exchanged. Your solicitor will need to have draft contracts ready for you and the vendor to sign.
At this point:
* Your solicitor should have completed all of the local searches, the surveyors report should be complete and have been accepted by all parties,
* You should have a formal mortgage offer in writing which you have read and understood,
* You have the agreed deposit available,
* You have agreed a firm completion date for the sale and this is noted in the contract and there are no outstanding issues remaining to be settled between you and the seller.
When you have signed the contract, your solicitor will deliver it to the seller's solicitor in exchange for the contract the seller has signed. From this point both you and the seller are legally bound to the deal.
Completing and Moving in
All that remains after exchange of contracts is to pay the monies needed to buy the property, less any deposit already put down at exchange, on the agreed date. Your solicitor will receive the funds direct from your lender and the remainder from you, and then pass it onto the vendor's solicitor.
Once the payment has been confirmed the estate agent will release you the keys. Your removal men should have already been booked from when you found out the completion date and this time should have been used to get everything sorted before they arrive.
The best way to do this is to decide what will be going where in your new home and then label each package with a list of the contents and where you want it to go. Remember to pack the important items, such as champagne flutes, where you will be able to find them quickly and easily!
In the last couple of weeks before you move contact utility providers to let them know you will be moving out and arrange for readings to be taken. You may also want to contact the post office so they can re-direct any future mail. The council will also need to be notified so you are not liable for council tax at your previous address.
You're there! Now you can relax in your new home and start organising your house warming party!