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It can take anywhere between 12 weeks and 6 months to buy a house.
Every buyer has a different experience and a different date they eventually move in. However, there are a variety of factors that could delay the process, such as survey results and the length of the property chain. Your personal experience may vary as there is no definitive answer due to these potential factors.
The process of buying a house can often seem like a long and difficult affair. From searching for the right home to receiving the keys, the time each step takes can vary greatly. Every bit of help you get can be vital to a quick buying process. It’s important to compare conveyancers who can professionally aid with any legal issues. This guide will take you through a brief timeline of buying a house and how long each step should take on average.
It can take 10-12 weeks to find the right property.
Set yourself a budget when researching properties. Do the necessary sums to determine what you can afford and by when. Don’t forget to take into account the deposit, stamp duty and other costs. Once this is sorted, you can start house-hunting! The amount of time dedicated to this step can vary depending on location, budget, your local property market, personal preferences and many other factors.
Take your time to find a house that suits your needs. You’ll have to be realistic as not everyone will find their ideal home in their prime location. Some people are more willing to compromise meaning they might find a property more quickly than others, but it all depends on personal preference. Once you’ve decided on a property, start negotiating to make a formal offer.
It takes between 18 and 40 days to apply and get accepted for a mortgage.
You should have chosen a mortgage provider by now to begin the process. It may be worth contacting a mortgage broker and getting an Agreement in Principle with a mortgage lender, giving yourself an idea of how much you can borrow to speed up the process.
On average, it generally takes up to a month from filling out the application form to a formal mortgage offer. Check your credit records and ensure it goes more smoothly by having all the important documents required like payslips, bank statements and any other information they may need.
The conveyancing process will take between 8 and 12 weeks.
You’ll need to compare and find a conveyancer for the legal aspects of the purchase to ensure the contracts are as per agreement. Again, do your research and compare conveyancers to ensure they are professional and dependable.
Take your time to find a licensed conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor and they will take care of the buying process for you. 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.
It takes between 2 and 3 weeks to complete a property survey.
Once the conveyancing process has begun, you can then. 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.
Exchanging contracts usually happens during week 8 of the
This can vary depending on how quick your conveyancer is and whether or not you’re in a property chain. The exchange of contracts will happen between 7 and 28 days before the day of completion, but it’s possible to complete the same day as exchanging contracts if you’re a cash buyer and not in a property chain.
If you’re in a property chain, you will have to wait for the first transaction in the chain to exchange contracts. They will inform the next person in the chain that they have confirmation to go ahead and exchange their contracts. If you’re last in the chain, you might not exchange contracts until as late as 5pm that day.
Completion day will happen between 7 and 28 days after exchanging contracts.
At last, we’re at the final stage! Now is the time to pay the deposit and any outstanding solicitor fees. You must set up a Direct Debit once your mortgage is finalised and wait for a date to receive the keys. You’ll want to start contacting removal companies and think about packing, ready for when you can move into your new home.
On average it can take up to 4 weeks between the time of the contracts being exchanged and the keys received. On the day of completion, your mortgage will begin and the fun of moving begins!
It usually takes 1-2 days to move house.
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.
Assuming there are no delays, it’ll take an average of 6 months to buy a house. With 12 weeks being spent on finding the right property, a month acquiring a mortgage, a month to exchange contracts and finalise the legal aspects, the final 4 weeks will then be spent completing the sale until you receive the keys.
No chain properties may have a quicker process but after each step is complete, the fun begins and you can move in, making your new house a home!
A ‘property chain’ is the number of property purchases linked together with each one being dependent on the other transactions. For example, a first time buyer will only be purchasing a property, not selling, and so the chain would begin with them.
When a property is referred to as having ‘no chain’ or is ‘chain-free’ the seller does not need to buy a house before selling this one. New build properties are ‘chain-free’ as they have never been occupied.
The steps to buying a ‘no chain’ house are the same as usual, but there is a lower chance of delays as your purchase is not dependant on the seller first buying or organising a separate property. The process can be sped up greatly with no chain. Every move is different, but a no chain property can considerably increase the speed of the buying process and allow it to proceed more efficiently.
From the lack of preparation to a large property chain, there are a variety of factors that can delay the process of buying a house. These are just a few to consider:
Time is precious when buying a house. Compare My Move can connect you with up to 4 fully regulated conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers to make the process easier and more efficient for you.