As soon as contracts are exchanged the transaction becomes legally binding and both parties must complete on their house sale or purchase. Until contracts are exchanged neither party is legally bound to any contract and are free to walk away from the property transaction at any time. The Property Solicitor carries out the exchange of contracts at the same time usually over the telephone using Law Society Formula A, B or C.
Property Solicitors can also exchange contracts by personal, postal or document exchange. An exchange of fax or email cannot constitute an exchange of contracts. The Property Solicitor will agree verbally a completion date; they confirm that they hold signed contracts and that the terms of the contracts are the same. There is no fixed amount of time between exchange of contracts and completion, the date agreed is that which is convenient to both parties, taking into consideration other buyers and sellers if there is a property chain. Once the exchange of contracts has been completed the completion dates are fixed and the signed contracts along with any deposit monies are swopped in the post.