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Hot Topic Highlight – How to Advise a Client Post-Completion

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

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What is this week's blog about?

In this week’s blog, we look at how to advise a client post-completion of a property acquisition or disposal.

Essential reading for all RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates with Purchase & Sale as a technical competency.

What is the role of a surveyor during sales progression?

Prior to completion, the seller’s surveyor needs to have taken responsibility for sales progression and liaising with key stakeholders, such as the client, client’s solicitor, purchaser, purchaser’s surveyor and client’s building surveyor.

The scope of responsibility should be defined in the initial Terms of Engagement, agreed and signed by the client.

Sales progression is important because it ensures that:

  • The completed transaction terms mirror what was agreed in the memorandum of sale

  • The transaction completes on time and does not fall through or stall

  • The client is satisfied and the eventual transaction meets their objectives (leading to repeat business and referrals!)

  • Expectations are managed

What is the role of a surveyor during the post-completion process?

The role of a surveyor does not simply stop when the transaction completes.

The client’s solicitor will have a number of additional tasks to complete and this may require involvement or advice from the surveyor.

Surveyors also need to have an understanding of what happens post-completion as this will be part of explaining overall the purchase and sale process to clients. This is particularly important for lay clients who may not have experience or understanding of the process (and what is required of them and their surveyor).

Post-completion, these are some of the processes that need to be undertaken:

  • The selling agent’s fees are typically settled upon completion by the seller’s solicitor (on behalf of the seller)

  • The completion statement will set out ground rents and service charges, if applicable. A surveyor may be asked for input on the completion statement to ensure that any charges are accurately recorded

  • Any indemnity policies (if applicable) will come into force, or alternatively an allowance can be provided to the purchaser’s solicitor to obtain the policy post-completion

  • Although certified copies of the transfer deed and any lease documents may be transferred electronically, any paper-based documents will need to be sent for registration at the Land Registry

  • Furthermore, if a property is not registered then first registration will have to be undertaken and this requires proof of title for at least 15 years prior to sale. Documents should be copied and retained by the client on file, or sent to the surveyor if they will continue to be instructed in relation to other matters for the property

  • A Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return needs to be submitted within 14 days of completion. Whilst this will be undertaken by the purchasing client’s solicitor, surveyors should highlight the fact that SDLT will be payable and advise the client to seek specialist advice at the outset

Post-completion, all surveyors should seek feedback from their clients and implement improvements, if required. Surveyors can also use this process to keep in contact with their client and drive repeat business.

How can we help?

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you.

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.


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