How long will my property purchase take?

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 generally takes anywhere between 4-12 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 which is already built and with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8-10 weeks. Leasehold property purchases generally take longer, on average between 8-16 weeks, because there are additional parties to consult (landlord, management company etc).

If you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease or a lease variation to correct a defect, this can take significantly longer, usually between 3 and 6 months. In such situations additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. The exact order in which they take place also varies widely. However, below we advise the key stages that apply to most properties throughout the course of the transaction:

• 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

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