Step 7 – Exchange of contracts

Exchange of contracts

Under our legal system a Buyer or Seller can walk away from their verbal or written agreement made “subject to contract” at any time up to this stage. Other legal systems bind both parties at an earlier stage but their chief disadvantage is that they only deal with one transaction i.e. a purchase or a sale but not both together. So far as we are aware we are the only legal system where you can complete both sale and purchase on the same day – using the money from your sale to complete your purchase.

If there is a long “chain” of sales and purchases this can become a logistical nightmare as the “chain” can only proceed at the pace of its slowest member. This is often the First Time Buyer on whom the rest of the “chain” are dependent.

Resolving the synchronisation of thousands of transactions over many years has enabled us to resolve most of the difficulties inherent in “chains”. But they are not always resolvable and chains do break down with massive disappointment and expense as an inevitable consequence. “Chains” are held together by people communicating accurate information to every party concerned. Our experience is that it is when communication is lacking or inaccurate that chains normally beak down. It is always easier to “stitch up” someone you do not know rather than someone with whom you are friendly – keep in touch with your Buyer and Seller. Despite their claim to have up to date information, Estate Agents are not best placed to obtain accurate information or to place the right value on the information received. Please ask us before acting on information from Estate Agents

We will not ask you to sign your contract until we are reasonable confident that we are about to exchange or you wish to e.g. to bring pressure on to other parties.

Before exchange of contracts we would like to see you personally to go through our enquiries and to explain and witness your signature to the mortgage and perhaps the final Transfer Deed. Our experience is that a “face to face” interview eliminates misunderstandings. This is a partnership between us and you and we need your participation as much as you need ours.

When everyone is ready contracts are exchanged using a special formula laid down by the Law Society for exchange between solicitors. In a lengthy chain this process can take days but usually it happens in minutes. We will then confirm to you that we have exchanged.

You must then put in force necessary Buildings or Life, Redundancy or Critical Illness cover as you are now committed to complete your purchase/sale.

Conveyancing guide