Can You Exchange and Complete On the Same Day?

Everything You Need to Know About Exchanging & Completing on the Same Day

exchange and complete on the same day

Simultaneous Exchange and Completion


Both exchange and completion are huge milestones in the process of buying or selling a property – but can you exchange and complete on the same day? 

It’s common knowledge that buying or selling a house can be a long, drawn-out process and it can be very tempting to speed it up in any way you can. To that end, you might be wondering if you can exchange and complete on the same day instead of waiting the usual 1-2 weeks between them. But, can it be done? 

In this guide, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of simultaneous exchange and completion. We’ll discuss whether it is a good idea to exchange and complete on the same day or whether you should be patient and wait. 

So, seeing as we’re trying to save time, let’s get started…

This article covers

What’s the Difference Between Exchange and Completion?

property covenants

Before we discuss whether you should exchange and complete on the same day, let’s make sure we know the difference between the two. 

Exchange is when both parties involved in the transaction are in possession of a signed contract. From this stage, both the seller and the buyer are legally bound to complete the transaction on an agreed day. 

Completion is the day the buyers get the keys to their new home, and the transaction is completed. Find out more about what happens on completion day

How Long Between Exchange and Completion?

exchange and completion

Normally, exchange and completion don’t take place on the same day. So, how long is usually between exchange and completion? 

Completion tends to take place around 1-2 weeks after the exchange of contracts, but it can sometimes take up to a few months. 

What can delay completion? The time between exchange and completion can be longer if:

  • Someone in the chain is renting and needs to give notice to terminate their tenancy
  • A property in the chain is a new build and they might not be finished on time 
  • The sellers of the house being purchased are yet to secure a new home for themselves 

The time between exchange and completion allows both buyers and sellers to complete a number of important moving-home tasks, such as: 

It’s also important to remember that if you’re in a housing chain, then the time between exchange and completion might not be entirely your choice. This is because everyone involved in the transaction must agree on the date of completion. 

Should You Exchange and Complete on the Same Day?

what is a covenant on a house

So, now to the big question – should you exchange and complete on the same day? 

It is possible to exchange and complete on the same day, and for some movers, such as cash buyers who aren’t in a chain, it might be the best option. 

However, there are a range of downfalls when it comes to simultaneous exchange and completion. What are the risks of exchanging and completing on the same day?

  • More stressful – exchanging and completing on the same day will give you a lot to organise in a short space of time. There is a lot that can go wrong, such as paperwork being lost, searches being delayed, and last-minute mortgage issues, and not much time to rectify them. 
  • Mortgage lenders – some lenders state a minimum time between exchange and completion, so trying to complete and exchange on the same day will likely limit your mortgage options
  • Property chain – if you’re in a housing chain, you’ll need the informal agreement of all other parties in the chain to exchange and complete simultaneously. Otherwise, you could run the risk of selling your home first then failing to complete on the purchase in time, effectively leaving you homeless. 
  • Moving your belongings – if you exchange and complete on the same day, you’ll have to arrange removals without being in a legally binding contract, meaning you could end up not actually moving that day. 
  • Giving notice – if you’re in rented accommodation, you’ll likely need to give notice to the landlord of your intention to leave. If you can’t align the dates, you could end up paying for rent and a mortgage at the same time. 
  • Parking restrictions – you should also consider whether there are any parking restrictions on the street. Some councils will need to provide permits for you to park up and unload. Therefore, you will need to notify them in advance. 
  • House insurance – the buyer is responsible for insuring the property from exchange of contracts. You will need to have your insurance organised on the day of completion, so exchanging and completing on the same day could cause complications. 

What are the Benefits of Exchanging and Completing on the Same Day?

conveyancing timeline

While there are a number of risks when it comes to exchanging and completing on the same day, there can be some benefits for certain circumstances. 

The most common reason for exchanging and completing on the same day is lack of time. This can sometimes occur when one or both parties are on a tight deadline, such as for financial reasons. 

Or, it can occur when the property being bought is already empty, such as if it’s a new build or was previously rented. In this circumstance, the seller doesn’t need time to complete all the other house-moving tasks, like removals. 

Simultaneous exchange and completion is actually becoming increasingly popular with the emergence of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Rising uncertainties and potential lockdowns have worked to restrict many house moves and encourage people to want to move as quickly as possible. 

Whatever your reason for wanting to exchange and complete on the same day, it must be agreed by all parties involved. That’s why simultaneous exchange and completion is quite unlikely if you’re in a chain. 

However, if conditions suit, and everyone is in agreement that completing and exchanging on the same day would be best, there is no reason why you can’t do so. 

How Can I Speed Up Exchange and Completion?

conveyancing timeline

If you’re adamant that exchange and completion must take place on the same day, there are a few things you can do to minimise the chances of something going wrong.

Buyers can: 

  • Be ready to provide the estate agent with your conveyancer’s details when making an offer 
  • Use your solicitor’s expertise to make sure you fully understand the process 
  • Make sure you’re easy to contact by your conveyancer, estate agent or anyone else involved 
  • Choose an experience mortgage broker and conveyancing solicitor
  • Have a survey carried out on the property as soon as possible 
  • Organise your funds and make sure your deposit is transferred to your solicitor in good time 
  • Organise your buildings insurance by the time you exchange, so you can give the details to your legal firm 

Seller can: 

  • Have any necessary paperwork on the property easily to hand 
  • Hire a solicitor before you get an offer so you can immediately move to the next step 
  • Choose an experienced conveyancer and be sure you understand the conveyancing process 
  • Respond to queries from the buyer as soon as possible 
  • Make sure the contract and deed of transfer are signed and returned in plenty of time 

Exchanging and Completing on the Same Day


So, we wouldn’t advise exchanging and completing on the same day given all the risks involved. House-moving can be stressful at the best of times, nevermind when you only have single day to organise so many things. 

Once you’ve reached this stage of the buying a house process, it’s not worth risking everything going wrong to save a few weeks. 

However, if you’re really short on time or your circumstance permits it, then exchanging and completing on the same day might be a good option for you. 

Speak to your conveyancing solicitor to determine if simultaneous exchange and completion is for you. 


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