The date for completion will have been fixed upon exchange of Contracts. It is for this reason that exchange of Contracts can sometimes be delayed because of the need to “synchronise” all of the movers on a chain. It is a frustrating fact that transactions tend to proceed at the rate of the slowest participant.
Upon completion the Seller will require to receive “cleared funds” for the whole of any outstanding balance. This prevents payment for example by cheque and these days means transactions are completed by electronic payment between Solicitors’ client accounts.
The Buyer will require that as soon as the Seller's Solicitor is in funds he will release the keys to the property and the Seller provide vacant possession. The release of keys is generally actioned by a telephone call from the Seller’s Solicitor to the Estate Agents.
Responsibility for insuring the property totally moves from Seller to Buyer on completion. The Buyer should ensure that new insurance is organised to “go on risk” from completion day.
Just occasionally there is a delay in completion if one party at the head of the chain for example fails to provide vacant possession the problems can reverberate down the line. Failure to complete or provide vacant possession is breach of Contract entitling the wronged party to compensation and in the Seller’s case, to interest on the unpaid monies. These problems are thankfully extremely rare, where they occur; they are more often than not resolved by a process called the issue of a Notice to Complete.