Timescales

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 to 12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 6 weeks to exchange contracts (i.e. enter into a legally binding commitment to buy). However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 4 to 8 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Stages of the Process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. They may include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice

  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender's solicitors if needed

  • Receive and advise on contract documents

  • Carry out searches

  • Obtain further planning documentation if required

  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor

  • Give you advice on all documents and information received

  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you

  • Send final contract to you for signature

  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)

  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened

  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you

  • Complete purchase

  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax

  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry