Buying property in Brighton entails a series of crucial steps, with the exchange of contracts and completion standing out as two vital milestones. Our comprehensive guide not only delves into the process of exchanging contracts, but also explores the subsequent steps leading to the completion of your purchase, and equips you with a thorough understanding of the entire process, ensuring that you are well-informed and prepared at every step.

Understanding the Exchange of Contracts

The exchange of contracts signifies a significant moment in the property buying process. At this stage, both the buyer and the seller commit to the transaction in a legally binding manner. The preceding steps, including property surveys, due diligence, and negotiations, aim to ensure that both parties possess a comprehensive knowledge of the terms and conditions of the purchase. Let's take a closer look at the exchange of contracts:

Contract Signing: After thorough checks and negotiations, both you and the seller sign identical contracts. These contracts outline crucial details such as the purchase price, completion date, any special conditions, and other essential terms.

Exchange of Contracts: The signed contracts are exchanged between the solicitors representing the buyer and the seller. Traditionally, this exchange takes place over the phone. Once the exchange is complete, the deal becomes legally binding, and both parties are fully committed to the transaction.

Deposit Payment: In conjunction with the exchange of contracts, a deposit is required from you. This deposit is held by the seller's solicitor in a secure account until completion.

The Path to Completion

The completion stage marks the official transfer of property ownership and your legal status as the rightful owner. Familiarise yourself with these key aspects that encompass completing your home purchase:

Setting the Completion Date

During the exchange of contracts, both parties agree upon the completion date. Typically occurring a few weeks after the exchange, this timeframe allows all parties involved to prepare for the final transfer of ownership.

Finalising Mortgage and Funds

If you are utilising a mortgage to finance your purchase, your mortgage provider will work diligently to finalise the mortgage details and seamlessly transfer the funds to your solicitor. It is imperative to ensure that you have secured the necessary funds to cover the remaining purchase price, legal fees, and other associated costs.

Building Insurance

Once the contracts are exchanged, the legal obligation to procure buildings insurance is activated. This safeguard guarantees coverage against any unforeseen events from the point of exchange until completion.

Searches and Checks

To safeguard your interests, your solicitor will diligently conduct final searches and checks. This step ensures there are no outstanding issues or changes impacting the property between the exchange and completion.

Final Statement

Your solicitor will furnish you with a comprehensive and detailed final statement outlining all financial transactions tied to the purchase. This includes the amount due for completion, funds received from your mortgage lender, and any additional costs incurred.

Completion Day

On the agreed-upon completion date, your solicitor will seamlessly transfer the remaining funds to the seller's solicitor. As soon as the funds are successfully received, the seller's solicitor will confirm the completion, solidifying your official ownership of the property.

Important Considerations and Tips for Completion

Coordinating Movements

If you're planning to move into the property on completion day, it's crucial to ensure that all your arrangements are in place. This includes organising the removal of your belongings and setting up utilities.

Notification to Authorities

Inform the relevant authorities about your change of address, including the local council, utility providers, and any other necessary parties.

Key Transfer

The estate agent is usually responsible for the transfer of keys. Coordinate with them to collect the keys for your new property.

Post-Completion Procedures

Following completion, your solicitor will handle the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), if applicable, and register the property in your name with the Land Registry.


Navigating the journey from contract exchange to completion of your home purchase requires diligence, patience, and meticulous attention to detail. Understanding the importance of each stage, being well-prepared with the necessary documents and funds, and closely collaborating with your solicitor and estate agent are all crucial factors for a successful transaction.

With contracts exchanged and completion behind you, you can finally step into your new property as a proud homeowner, knowing that you've effectively navigated the intricate process of buying property in Brighton.