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  • FIRST POST
    • Scootsy
    • By Scootsy 10th Mar 18, 3:20 PM
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    Scootsy
    How long from start to finish?
    • #1
    • 10th Mar 18, 3:20 PM
    How long from start to finish? 10th Mar 18 at 3:20 PM
    Greetings all!
    I'm guessing this question gets asked at regular intervals so apologies for that....I'm starting to thinking about looking for a house to buy but am a bit out of touch with how things work. I haven't bought a house for the last 13 years or so - have been renting for the last 10 years.
    How long does it take nowadays from offer to completion on average? (I know there's a piece of string element to the answer but any rough guidance appreciated.)
    There's obviously no chain at my end but I am in a fixed term tenancy until November so don't want to end up doubling up on rent and mortgage for any longer than necessary.
    Thanks for the indulgence of anyone who's answered this question a million times already.
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Mar 18, 3:29 PM
    • 25,017 Posts
    • 68,500 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 18, 3:29 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 18, 3:29 PM
    I was told an average of 6-8 weeks for freehold and 8-12 weeks for leasehold, from contracts to completion, but it can be significantly quicker than that if everything is smooth sailing or significantly longer if there's complications to resolve/a chain to keep happy.
    Originally posted by Penitent
    I don't know where you heard that!

    The average is 3 months. 6 weeks might be for a very simple no-chain freehold transaction with mortgage and two motivated parties, rising to months on end with chains and people's level of patience.

    We've been involved in transactions from 28 days (auction) to something like 9 months (apathy).

    If tenancy is fixed term to November then I'd probably start looking three months beforehand and be relaxed about how long the piece of string was from that point.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • JoJo1978
    • By JoJo1978 10th Mar 18, 3:31 PM
    • 345 Posts
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    JoJo1978
    • #3
    • 10th Mar 18, 3:31 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Mar 18, 3:31 PM
    I think the average is about 12 weeks but if you go to the Waiting To Exchange thread and look at people's timelines you'll see that there's a fair few in the 16-26 week range too. Where it's longer it's usually due to a long upward chain taking a long time to form, or someone in the chain needing to find a new buyer or new property etc.

    You won't really get enough clarity until the chain is fully formed and advice will be not to do anything about rental tenancy until you have exchanged. You can control it a bit at exchange by requesting a completion date that minimises your overlap. Good luck!
    Hamster in the wheel (London) 1999-2017
    Mortgage free since 2015; Pension pot sorted 2017
    Part-time gigger and charity volunteer 2018
    • SpanishBlue
    • By SpanishBlue 10th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
    • 195 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    SpanishBlue
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
    According to MSE's "50+ House Buying Tips" on this very site That quick, really? (Scroll down to number 7), the typical timeline in England and Wales from offer to exchange is 2 to 6 weeks.
    • Amanda_Cm
    • By Amanda_Cm 10th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    • 166 Posts
    • 200 Thanks
    Amanda_Cm
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    I know one couple who bought new build and took them 7 weeks.
    For everyone else I know is 3-4 months.
    Our closest friends just completed on the purchase of their first home with no chain - 7 months.
    We are waiting to exchange for over a month now. Exactly 3 months after offer accepted today.
    You never know...
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    • 25,017 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    According to MSE's "50+ House Buying Tips" on this very site That quick, really? (Scroll down to number 7), the typical timeline in England and Wales from offer to exchange is 2 to 6 weeks.
    Originally posted by SpanishBlue
    It just isn't!
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 10th Mar 18, 5:20 PM
    • 1,165 Posts
    • 816 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #7
    • 10th Mar 18, 5:20 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Mar 18, 5:20 PM
    An uncomplicated sale with motivated participants can go from offer to completion in 2 weeks.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 10th Mar 18, 5:42 PM
    • 25,017 Posts
    • 68,500 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 18, 5:42 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 18, 5:42 PM
    An uncomplicated sale with motivated participants can go from offer to completion in 2 weeks.
    Originally posted by dunroving
    It is not typical by any stretch of the imagination and wouldn't involve people with jobs and lives who have to move house any time soon. The question is what is typical.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • franklee
    • By franklee 10th Mar 18, 6:04 PM
    • 3,644 Posts
    • 3,897 Thanks
    franklee
    • #9
    • 10th Mar 18, 6:04 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Mar 18, 6:04 PM
    Presumably you have checked there isn't a break clause in the tenancy agreement?

    Our purchase took 2 months with a chain of three and everyone well motivated. The long pole was the searches, that time varies considerably depending on where the property is, your solicitor if local will know how long to expect for yours. However we had it easy as the rest of the chain was already in place before we turned up. Sometimes it can take a vendor ages to find somewhere to buy.

    Our exchange of contracts just missed the start of a rental period and so we ended up paying an "extra" two months rent but thought for the right house it was worth it. OTOH we had time to do the move ourselves so saved removal costs.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 10th Mar 18, 6:19 PM
    • 16,839 Posts
    • 8,784 Thanks
    ACG
    I would say around 10 weeks give or take.
    The quickest I have is 26 days and the longest was 5 months (which was actually my own! - because my buyers solicitors were ridiculous).
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 11th Mar 18, 10:01 AM
    • 1,165 Posts
    • 816 Thanks
    dunroving
    It just isn't!
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    An uncomplicated sale with motivated participants can go from offer to completion in 2 weeks.
    Originally posted by dunroving
    It is not typical by any stretch of the imagination and wouldn't involve people with jobs and lives who have to move house any time soon. The question is what is typical.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I clearly was just stating what is *possible*, not what is typical.
    Last edited by dunroving; 11-03-2018 at 10:51 AM.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • StaffieTerrier
    • By StaffieTerrier 11th Mar 18, 11:07 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    StaffieTerrier
    A friend has recently bought a property to renovate before moving in and selling the other house they were living in during the renovation. The purchase of the new house took 10 months, due to an unmotivated seller. The sale of the old property took 5 weeks. Both transactions were chain free but were dependent on how quickly the buyers and sellers acted.

    The same friend had an offer on a flat accepted the same time I had an offer accepted on a house, 3-4 years ago. I completed within 10 weeks. Her purchase took 25 weeks. I was buying from a couple who were expecting their first child and wanted to move before the birth. She was buying the flat off the landlord she'd been renting from for the last 3 years. The urgency made a difference to the time scales
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 11th Mar 18, 12:34 PM
    • 1,121 Posts
    • 1,377 Thanks
    ThePants999
    An uncomplicated sale with motivated participants can go from offer to completion in 2 weeks.
    Originally posted by dunroving
    "Uncomplicated" meaning no mortgage, no chain, a buyer who's happy to skip the searches, a seller who's got all paperwork in order, the TA6 ready to go and pre-prepared answers to all possible pre-contract enquiries, both parties live next door to the solicitor, everyone's happy to exchange and complete on the same day and the solicitor has literally zero other cases...!
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 11th Mar 18, 1:21 PM
    • 1,165 Posts
    • 816 Thanks
    dunroving
    "Uncomplicated" meaning no mortgage, no chain, a buyer who's happy to skip the searches, a seller who's got all paperwork in order, the TA6 ready to go and pre-prepared answers to all possible pre-contract enquiries, both parties live next door to the solicitor, everyone's happy to exchange and complete on the same day and the solicitor has literally zero other cases...!
    Originally posted by ThePants999
    Exactly, or almost.

    Recent purchase took 12 days from offer accepted to exchange of contracts.

    The three rather silly conditions I have bolded did not apply. Still managed to complete in 12 days.

    Not sure how else I can convey the expression "possible, not typical".
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • agatham
    • By agatham 11th Mar 18, 2:02 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    agatham
    It would take about 17 weeks for the whole process to complete. I don't think you have any advantage of being a no chain buyer.
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