Simultaneous exchange and completion (or SIMs) is becoming more widely used following Government guidance, encouraging this practice in light of Coronavirus.
This can work extremely well on occasions where items and people are not actually moving, for example the sale and purchase of a field, or when a tenant is buying their rental property. However, where clients are moving from one home to another, particularly if there is a chain involved, SIMs are very stressful for the client (and the conveyancer), who don’t know until the morning of completion whether or not they are definitely moving. They have assurances that they may be moving, but it isn’t definite, so it can fail to go ahead without recourse.
The time period between exchange and completion is generally used, in conveyancing terms, to make sure that all the final searches are done, mortgage monies are ordered and funds are received. From a client’s point of view this is the period when removal companies are booked, properties packed up and funds put in place. Everyone has the security of knowing in advance, when they are going to move.
In an already very stressful environment, exchanging and completing on the same day adds more stress for the client and, inevitably on occasion, disappointment. We advise having a few days, or a week between exchange and completion, for peace of mind and we hope that SIMs do not become accepted normal practice in the longer term.