28 March, 2017
Following replies to Commercial Property Standard Enquiries being received, the buyer being satisfied with the search results, and contracts having been agreed and exchanged the next step would be for completion to take place. Often completion will take place after exchange, however it is not uncommon for both completion and exchange to take place on the same day which speeds up the process.
In summary, completion is the process whereby the buyer transfers the funds for the purchase to the seller, after which both the buyer's and seller's solicitors will complete the transaction by making any final amendments and dating documents.
When completion is due to take place a completion statement will be provided to the buyer by the buyer's solicitor detailing the amount due in relation to the transaction. The completion statement will state the purchase price, Stamp Duty Land Tax (if payable), search fees and professional fees that are due on completion. Before completion can take place the buyer is required to transfer the required funds to their solicitor, who will hold the funds until completion has taken place, after which they will transfer these to the other side.
Once the funds have been transferred to the seller's solicitor and completion has taken place the buyer's solicitor will register the title at the Land Registry.
As well as completing the registration, if the commercial property is over £40,000 then a Stamp Duty Land Tax return will need to be completed (even if no stamp duty is payable). The amount payable is dependent upon the purchase price. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the amount due. This must be sent to HMRC within 30 days of completion, to avoid incurring a penalty fee, and again this will be the purchaser's responsibility to do so.
It is important that once completion has taken place that the post-completion requirements are complied with to ensure that the appropriate interests are registered on the title at the Land Registry and to avoid incurring penalties. Your solicitor should deal with these requirements for you, however it is important to follow up with your solicitor and ensure that these have been correctly dealt with.
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