COVID-19: Read the latest on how we can support your conveyancing journey. Find out more

Exchanging Contracts

The exchange of contracts means you are legally committed to buying or selling a property. A completion date is set and neither buyer nor seller can back out after this point.

Why is this important? 

This is the key moment in any property transaction. Once the contracts are exchanged between the solicitors acting for buyer and seller, the sale is definitely going ahead.

What happens? 

The two solicitors will liaise over the contents of the contract, reading them out in a recorded conversation to ensure each contract is the same. Once they have agreed that the contracts are in place and that each copy has been signed, the seller’s solicitor will ask the buyer’s solicitor to pay a deposit (usually 10 percent of the purchase price). The solicitors will confirm on the agreed completion date and they will arrange to swap the signed contracts and the deposit.

What we do 

For a purchase, your solicitor will:
• Swap the signed contracts
• Transfer the deposit to the seller’s solicitor
For a sale, your solicitor will:
• Swap the signed contracts

Things you will need to do:

As a buyer:
• Contact your insurance company to put your building policy “on risk” – this provides you with cover in the period between the exchange of contracts and the completion date
• Transfer your deposit to your solicitor