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How Long Does It Take To Buy A House

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
28th November 2018 (Last updated on Wednesday 10th April 2019)

Buying a house can take anywhere between 8 and 21 weeks or between 56 and 147 days. 

The time it takes for you to move house will vary depending on your personal situation, time it takes to compare conveyancers, and whether or not any problems arise during the process.

In this time, you should have applied and been approved for a mortgage, found a new house and sold your home, arranged a property survey, hired a conveyancer, and finally, booked a removal company.

We’ve created this guide to help you through the moving house process and how long each step takes, from how long it takes your mortgage application to be accepted to when to expect your property survey back.

This article will cover the following points

How Long Does it Take to Apply for a Mortgage? How Long Does It Take To Sell Your House? How Long Does It Take To Find a Property? How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Moving House? How Long Does a Property Survey Take? How Long Does It Take to Move House? Save Time on Your House Move

How Long Does it Take to Apply for a Mortgage?

Time it takes to apply and get accepted for a mortgage - 18-40 days

You should start applying for a mortgage well before you’ve found a house to help speed up the process. Applying for a mortgage should only take a few hours if you have the necessary documents and details at hand.

To speed up the process of applying for a mortgage, you will need certain documents and details at the ready for your mortgage lender. 

You will need:

  • Proof of Identity 
  • Evidence of Address 
  • 6 Months Bank Statements

However, the time it takes for your mortgage application to be accepted will slow things down. Your mortgage application should be accepted from anywhere between 18-40 days. Once you've applied, your mortgage in principle should only be valid for up to 90 days.

Your mortgage application being accepted will also depend on your credit record. Mortgage lenders will check your credit score and make a decision based on your credit history. The higher your credit score, the better the chance is of your mortgage application being accepted.

How Long Does It Take To Sell Your House?

Time it takes to sell your house – 4-10 weeks

Selling your house will vary depending on the location and the type of property you have. It can take anywhere between 4 and 10 weeks to sell a house. This is roughly how long it should take from the moment the house goes on the market to when you’ve accepted an offer.

If your house is listed with an overpriced figure, it will be harder to sell and will remain on the market for a while. If you want a quick sale, it's worth putting a slightly lower than the valued price on your house.

Once you’ve accepted an offer from a buyer, you will need to instruct a conveyancer to begin your sale and the conveyancing process. They will sort out the legal aspect of selling a house, liaising with the buyer’s conveyancer to agree on a day for completion.

Selling a house in a property chain will take longer than if you were to sell your house without a chain. 

After you’ve received the money from the sale and handed over the keys to the buyer, your house will be officially sold.

How Long Does It Take To Find a Property?

Time it takes to find a house - 1-10 weeks 

It takes time to find the right place to call home as there are many factors that could influence your decision on choosing a house. You’ll need to think of the type of property you desire, how many bedrooms, the location and what facilities are a requirement in the area. 

You'll need to have a detailed plan of what you’re looking for in a property, making sure you use a house viewing checklist to ensure the house you’re going to purchase has everything you require. 

Once you’ve found a property and made an offer that’s been accepted, you will need to hire a conveyancer to help you with the legal side of the sale. They will carry out conveyancing searches on and around the property and exchange contracts on your behalf. 

It's worth noting that if you're buying a house in a chain, the process will take longer than if there was no chain.

How Long Does Conveyancing Take When Moving House?

Time it takes to complete the conveyancing process - 8-12 weeks 

Whether you’re a seller, a buyer or both, you will need to start the conveyancing process once an offer has been accepted. The time it takes to complete the conveyancing process will vary depending on the conveyancer’s workload, the time the property searches take and whether you’re in a property chain or not.

Your conveyancer will organise searches, exchange contracts on your behalf and arrange a day for completion. The day of completion can happen anywhere from 7 to 28 days after exchanging contracts. It is possible to complete on the same day as completion if you’re a cash buyer and not part of a property chain.

The conveyancing process will take longer if you're in a chain than if you're not in a chain. The conveyancing process starts once an offer has been agreed on and will end on completion day when you have received the keys to the new house.

How Long Does a Property Survey Take?

Time it takes to complete a property survey – 2-3 weeks

Once the conveyancing process has begun, you can then book a property survey. A homebuyer report or building survey will be able to give you vital information on the property you plan to buy, potentially saving you from making a huge mistake.

A surveyor will usually take a few hours to inspect your property, depending on which survey you opt for. A building survey is more comprehensive than a homebuyers report so will take slightly longer.

The report will then take a further couple of weeks to be finalised and sent to you. After receiving the results of your survey, it’s advised to send it over to your conveyancer for double checking.

How Long Does It Take to Move House?

Time it takes to move house – 1 day 

You will usually move house on the day of completion, unless your circumstances change. Completion day will be agreed on beforehand, so you can book your removal company in advance. The seller must move out on this day to allow the buyer to move in, otherwise it will cause a delay in the chain which will result in you paying fees.  

You’ll have to factor in packing your belongings as this can be time consuming. This should be done a few days before, making sure you leave out the essential items you’ll need on the day. Unpacking and setting everything up in the new house will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Save Time on Your House Move

To save time and money when selling or buying a house, get connected with Compare My Move today. We can compare up to 4 fully regulated licensed conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors to make the process easier for you.