A. Exchange of Contracts is the process which takes place when the Seller and Buyer legally bind themselves to the transaction. Once the exchange of contracts takes place it is very expensive if you decide not to proceed, you must be absolutely certain that you wish to purchase the property before you let your Conveyancer exchange contracts.
You do not have to be present at the Exchange of Contracts, all the documentation will be signed by you prior to this taking place.
On the other hand, Completion is the actual moving day and when the property transfers ownership from the Seller to the Buyer. Completion takes place when the Seller’s Solicitors receives the funds from the buyer’s solicitors, and this is dependent on the banking systems. Keys will not be released until funds are received. The Contract usually states that Completion must take place by 2:00pm, but this is variable.
As for the timescale, there is no definitive time scale required between exchange of contracts and completion. They can take place simultaneously or you can have months between exchange of contracts and completion. It is ideal to have at least one week as that provides enough time for the necessary funds to be in place and removals to be arranged.