When you’re in the thick of selling your house, actual moving day can often seem like a long way down the line. If you have a great Estate Agent though, this day should hopefully come quicker than you think!

So what actually happens on the day of completion? Once you’ve exchanged contracts, your completion day is often only a couple of weeks away, sometimes only a matter of days, which can understandably send you into slight panic mode.

Many buyers and sellers can feel anxious about moving day, but if you’re prepared there’s no need to be! Here, we give you a rough overview of a typical moving day, plus some tips to make it run as smoothly as possible if you’re planning on moving house in 2023…

What is completion day?

Essentially, it’s the day the money is transferred, you get the keys and you can start moving into your new home.

I’m worried that something might go wrong?

Right, so let’s get the potential negatives out of the way first! There are a few possible stumbling blocks, such as when the money is being passed from your mortgage provider (if you’re using one) to your solicitors, then to the buyer’s solicitors. And if the money hasn’t gone through by about 4pm, it can often mean waiting until the next working day.

You might also be involved in a chain of buyers and sellers. If any of these falls through, the whole process can come grinding to a halt. For example, some buyers fail to take all costs into account (although thankfully this is rare). You have to pay charges such as stamp duty and VAT on agents’ fees to your solicitor, otherwise you won’t be able to complete.

Who decides when completion day happens?

The vendor and buyer should get the chance to agree this in advance. It traditionally has to be on a working weekday, to enable the money transfers through the bank and so your solicitor is available.

What about Removals?

Once you are about to exchange, and an agreed completion date is suggested, you should call your preferred removal company and get pencilled in. Most are pretty flexible to hold your date until it’s been confirmed, and will only expect payment then. 

It’s up to you if you get the removals company to pack anything for you (we would highly recommend getting someone to pack up your kitchen for you, takes a lot of stress away!). If you do decide on this option, then they usually come the day before to pack, and if they can will also load up as much as possible then too, which saves so much time on actual moving day.

Most removals companies will turn up about 8.30am on moving day (unless agreed otherwise), and will be an organised whirlwind though your house- you’ll be surprised how quickly they can load up a lorry! Then, they will usually take a break before driving to your new home and waiting outside until you’ve got the keys.


How can I prepare well?

Make sure your boxes are labelled so that the movers can keep room contents together and help the packing of items move smoothly. You will need to make split-second decisions to keep things moving along and having labels on boxes will make this much easier. When the house has been emptied, do a final run-through of your home to ensure that:

  • All your taps are off,
  • All your appliances are unplugged, and
  • You haven’t left the stove or oven on.
  • The property is clean! You will be a buyer’s best friend if you ensure the place is in great condition when they move in (including cleaning inside kitchen cupboards!)

When do I get the keys?

You can arrange to pick them up directly from the sellers, but the majority pick up from their estate agents when the call has come through to say that completion has happened.

What essentials for moving day should I have to hand?

  • Phone charger (you’ll be surprised how many people accidentally pack this!)
  • Basic tools – screwdrivers, an Allan key
  • Tape measure
  • Torch
  • Scissors
  • Lightbulbs
  • Toilet paper
  • Mugs
  • Teabags/coffee
  • Duvets & duvet covers
  • Paperwork
  • Spare moving boxes and tape

By following the above advice you should hopefully have a more enjoyable move day!

If you have any questions about completion though, or are concerned about anything, then give one of Bromley Property Company’s team a call, and we can put your mind at ease.