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Purpose and effect of a property sale completion

Purpose and effect of a property sale completionThis article explains how the process of completion affects different people involved in the transaction. The parties to the transaction, i.e. the buyer and the seller would be undoubtedly excited. But for a conveyancing solicitor, it is a part of a routine procedure that usually takes place over phone or post.

Ideally, completion day is a day of high drama for the parties involved in the transaction; i.e. the buyer and the seller. It is the day when the buyer moves in to his new property or factory to take possession. For a seller, it is an end of a process that began several weeks ago. He is paid the balance of purchase price on this day.

But for a conveyancing solicitor nothing of this is high drama. It is a part of a routine process that takes place on a regular basis. Also, completion does not signal the end of his work; he still has to look into several other issues even after the client physically moves into the property. This transaction takes place either over phone, postal service or from the conveyancer’s office.

The only instance when the conveyancing solicitor becomes agitated is when things go wrong. For instance, the seller may not have received the balance of purchase price and would hence refuse possession to the buyer, or the buyer may be in a fix due to seller’s tenant refusing to vacate the property. Understanding the particular situation of the case and taking appropriate action can help to save a lot of potential problems.

Effect of completion

This depends on whether the land is registered or unregistered. In an unregistered land, the legal title passes on to the buyer upon completion. In the case of registered land, the title does not pass to the buyer name until his name is registered in the land registry as proprietor of the land.

Ideally, after completion, the contract and the transfer deed merge as one. Hence it would not be possible to make a claim on any of the terms mentioned in the contract. To avoid this, it is common practice to enter a non-merger clause in the contract, so as to make a claim on the terms of the contract even after completion has taken place. This is applicable to claims that are based on the contract and not valid for those outside the contract.

Photo courtesy: R4vi

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