Charles Church

Solicitors, contracts and completions

The legal process involved in buying a home can be complicated; however, the good news is, this will all be handled for you by a solicitor. All you need to do is instruct a solicitor to act for you when you reserve your new Charles Church home.

Your solicitor will check the contracts, title deeds (and other transaction documents), and make searches and enquiries on your behalf. The next important step is when you receive your mortgage offer. You’ll then normally be ready to proceed to the main three steps in the home buying process:

Signing contracts

When you’ve received your mortgage offer, you’ll need to contact your solicitor to make arrangements to sign the contract. However, if you need to sell your existing property to buy your new home, you’ll normally be only ready to sign the contract once your buyer is in a position to proceed. Once you’ve signed the contract and paid to your solicitor the contract deposit (see below), your solicitor can then proceed to exchange of contracts.

Exchanging contracts

In advance of exchange of contracts, your solicitor will ask you to put their firm in funds to pay the contract deposit. On every house sale, two identical contracts are prepared; the seller signs one and the buyer signs the other. When the contract is exchanged, these two parts of the contract are dated with the same date and then ‘swapped’. The contract deposit is paid by your solicitor to us (or to our solicitor). Exchange of contracts means that both parties are legally committed to proceed with the sale and purchase of a home. Your deposit protection cover is also live from this point. 

When exchanging contracts your solicitor will agree a completion date for you. If your new home is ready, we’ll be able to agree a date with you to complete. If your new home is still under construction, we’ll give you an estimated date for completion of the build. Then, when the home is built, we will issue a completion notice to your solicitor. This will trigger the completion date (the date that you can move in) two weeks later.

You should try and do everything you can to exchange contracts within the reservation period. However, if you haven’t been able to through matters beyond your reasonable control, you don’t necessarily need to worry, as we may be willing to extend the reservation period for you. This may affect the agreed sale price of your chosen home or any special arrangements that we’ve made.


As said above, it may be that if the home is built when you exchange contracts, we’ll give you a fixed completion date. In other cases, we’ll give you an estimated date for completion of the build. Then, when the home is built, we’ll issue a completion notice to your solicitor. This will trigger the completion date (the date you’re entitled to move in) two weeks later.

Your solicitor will send you a financial statement letting you know the balance of any money that you will need to pay to him/her before completing your purchase. They will also provide you with details of your warranty and insurance provider, the warranty and insurance certificate, schedule and details of the cover. 

On the completion day, your solicitor will transfer the balance of the purchase price to us or our solicitor by a same day bank transfer. When the money is received and the transaction document (the transfer deed or lease) formally dated, we’ll give you the keys to your new home.

If you’d like help with buying a Charles Church home or would like us to recommend an independent solicitor, please get in touch.

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