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Understanding Your Completion Statement from Your Solicitor

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Completion is the final stage of purchasing a property. You will have negotiated various aspects of the sale and exchanged contracts. You will have agreed a completion day to receive the keys. Around this time, you will receive a completion statement from your solicitor – but what exactly is this?

What is a completion statement for sale of property?

A completion statement for the sale of a property is essentially the bill you need to pay for various aspects of the sale. It will detail everything that you need to pay in order to complete the purchase of the property. Everything will be broken down into different components, so you can see clearly what you are paying for. It will also often include what has already been paid so far.

What’s included on a completion statement?

The buyer and the seller will both receive different completion statements, as different amounts will need to be paid for each.

The buyer’s completion statement will usually include:

  • The overall price to be paid for the property
  • The deposit paid
  • Mortgage advance
  • The amount to be paid for any fixtures and fittings that will remain
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Administration fees
  • Other disbursements

The seller’s completion statement will usually include:

  • The overall agreed sale price for the property
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Administration fees
  • Mortgage discharge (the money remaining on the mortgage which will be paid off)
  • Any fees due to delays, for example, with a complex chain

The completion statement will vary for each individual house sale, depending on what has needed to be done to reach completion. A leasehold completion statement will include extra items relating to their lease, such as ground rent and service charges that will be due.

When will I receive my completion statement from the solicitor?

The completion statement will usually be sent from your solicitor between the exchange of contracts and completion day. The exchange of contracts will allow various aspects to be agreed so they can be set out in your completion statement. It can take anywhere between 7 to 28 days from the exchange of contracts to the buyer receiving the keys. During this period, you will receive your completion statement. A good solicitor will send it as soon as possible in this period, giving you enough time to evaluate the statement before completion day.

What should I do after I receive the completion statement?

When you receive your completion statement from the solicitor, you should examine it closely to make sure everything is as you expected. You should check that your fees for conveyancing match the quote you initially received (unless there were unforeseen issues that caused the price to increase during the process).

If there’s anything on your completion statement that doesn’t make sense to you or that doesn’t look correct, you should query it with your solicitor as soon as possible. You should also flag if anything looks to be missing from the statement. Even though it might seem like a good thing that you won’t have to pay for something, it could cause problems down the line and you will likely end up paying for it anyway.

Could anything on the completion statement change?

Items on the completion statement could still change, even though you will have probably already exchanged contracts. The exchange of contracts means that you are legally obliged to go through with the transaction at the agreed sale price, but the additional costs could always fluctuate.

For example, a delay in the property chain could result in extra fees needing to be paid. Or changes to stamp duty rates could mean your final bill gets bigger or smaller, depending on which way they go.

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