When buying or selling a property, there are two key stages in the transfer of the property. At the end of the first stage of the transaction, there is the exchange of contracts (“exchange”), and at the end of the second stage, there is the completion of the transfer (“completion”). Exchange takes place when the buyer and the seller enter into a formal legally-binding contract that the buyer will buy and the seller will sell the property. At exchange, the property is not actually transferred but instead a deposit (usually 10% of the sale price) is paid to the seller’s conveyancers. At this time, a completion date is set so that the parties can make all practical arrangements to ensure that the property is vacant and that the new owner can move in. On the agreed completion date, the transfer deed is completed. This is where formal legal ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer. At the same time, the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller’s conveyancers, who will arrange to pay off any monies due to any mortgage holder who has a mortgage over the property. Following completion, the buyer’s conveyancer will arrange for the transfer (and any new mortgage) to be registered at the Land Registry.