This is the million dollar question!
Ultimately, settlement takes place once the purchase price has been received by the seller’s solicitor.
However, it is not easy for your solicitor to predict an accurate time as to the time you will be able to collect your keys.
There’s difficulty in estimating timing for a number of reasons.
1. Once your solicitor has instructed the bank transfer, it is outwith anyone’s control as to how quickly the money is received into the seller’s solicitor’s bank account.
It can take minutes or it can take hours – just the same as it would be with any money transfers that you might send to friends or family.
2. If you also have a property to sell, your solicitor will not be able to send the money for the house you are buying until they have received the money from your sale.
It means that, if the money from your own sale is not received until, say, 12 noon, it may take a few hours for the money to then be received by the seller’s solicitor after it is sent back out.
As a result, collection of the keys will take place later in the afternoon.
Generally speaking, if you are a first time buyer or you have no property to sell on the day of settlement, you can expect settlement to take place “around midday” all being well, but settlement can take place at any point up to 5pm.
Your solicitor will understand that your removal company may be looking for a specific time window.
Whilst your solicitor will guide you as best they can (although this can be trickier to advise on if there is a ‘chain’ behind you), they can’t give you a specific answer to something they don’t and can’t know themselves.
Your solicitor will call you at the very earliest opportunity to let you know when settlement has taken place.
Sellers should also be mindful of timing issues on the day of settlement.
It is best to vacate the property as early as you can on the day of settlement because, if you have an onward purchase, you can’t reasonably use the money from your sale until you have left that property – giving your purchaser “vacant possession“.
The fundamental principle of the law of conveyancing on the date of entry is that the purchase price is received by the seller in exchange for a key.
That means that the purchaser should be able to collect that key immediately and make their way to their new home.
How we can help
Though a definitive answer is not possible, we hope this article addressing what time will settlement take place on the date of entry (of your house purchase in Moray) has been helpful.
If any further questions have come up for you in the course of reading this post, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Initial enquiries are free of charge and you’re under no obligation to formally engage us as your solicitors. Contact us whether you’re looking for clarification of anything that’s not fully explained in this article or have a question about any of our conveyancing services.