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How long does it take to move house?

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Property transactions of any form are a huge milestone, but moving house is often especially exciting. One of the most asked questions that clients are keen to know is exactly how long does it take to move house?

There is no way to calculate the exact period of time, however, it is possible to give a rough estimate for each part of the moving process.

Moving house can be thrilling, but it requires a huge amount of preparation. People often choose to move home for several reasons including wanting a bigger space, family, relationships or their career. Some might even move because they want a change of environment.

If you’re debating whether to move house, our residential property team are ready and willing to advise and support you through the entire moving process. You can get in touch with one of our conveyancers for moving house or send an enquiry.

How long does it take to move house once the offer has been accepted?

In the UK, the average time to move house once an offer has been accepted is 11 weeks. This period may change depending on various factors, but to give a general estimate the process should take between 11 and 21 weeks.  However, as a firm we try and keep the transaction to between 8- 12 weeks but this really does depend on lots of factors.

How long does it take to move a house with a chain?

Property chains are infamous for making property transactions longer and more complicated. Unfortunately, they are often unavoidable. If a sale goes to plan, it can take roughly 2-3 months to move house with a chain. However, it’s not uncommon for long property chains to cause chaos when moving, and sometimes this period can be extended up to six months.

The issues that property chains can cause include: a buyer in the chain being unable to get their mortgage approved, a seller changing their mind and deciding not to proceed, or a property survey reporting structural issues within the home.

How long does it take from instructing us to completion?

It is typically expected that the process to completion from receiving your initial instructions  takes approximately 2-5 months, depending on the type of transaction. One of our conveyancing solicitors will be able to provide you with a more detailed idea of how long your transaction is expected to take once they review the specifics of your case.

How long does it take to move house with no chain?

If a property is not part of a chain, this means that the seller doesn’t need to purchase a new home. Reasons for this may include: the person who previously owned the home has passed away, is moving abroad or the property is a new build that had no previous resident.

Not having a chain involved in the property transaction can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to move home, because the buyer doesn’t have to wait for the chain.  When the buyer is ready to exchange.  It can all be  straight away.

Moving into a house with no chain involved is regarded as often desirable due to how much quicker and less complicated in can be. You could be moved in within 6 -8 weeks In some cases, the sale can be completed within a month.

What is the average time to complete a house sale?

The average time to complete a house sale from the day the house was initially marketed to the point of legal completion is estimated to be 4-6 months.

How long does it take to hear back after making an offer?

Once an offer has been made on a property, typically the agent or seller is expected to respond within 25-72 hours saying whether the offer has been accepted or not. Buyers can potentially work with their agent to agree on a time limit for their offer, where if the time limit is surpassed, the offer becomes void and a new offer will need to be made to continue. This can be an effective way of speeding up the process.

How long does it take for a house survey report to come back?

There are several property surveys involved in a property transaction.

Level 1 Survey/Valuation – This is the type of survey your lender will require as a minimum.  In reality it is more of a valuation and will not give you any substantial report on the state of the property or any works that needs addressing.  These surveys usually take no more than 30-45 minutes.

Level 2 Homebuyer Report (formerly named the Homebuyers Survey). This short survey takes approximately 2-4 hours.  This give the buyer a more in-depth report on the state and repair of the property and reports on any obvious signs of damp or cracks or signs of infestation and also things such as building works or extensions or private accesses which may require further investigation.

Level 3 Building Survey, which is a more detailed evaluation that takes around 8 hours to complete. This is a complete investigation in the structural health of the property.

Whichever survey you may require as a buyer, it is always important to speak to your surveyor first, to see which survey he recommends based on the age and location of the property.

Most survey reports are returned to the customer/buyer within 24 hours – 7 days depending on which survey you chose and how busy your surveyor is.

What slows down a house sale?

To gain an understanding of the timeline for moving house, it's essential to consider the various circumstances that could potentially delay a house sale.

Multiple factors can significantly impact the average duration of a house sale, such as:-

  • The chain not being complete;
  • A party experiencing delays in obtaining their offer of mortgage, (this is the actual offer not the mortgage promise).
  • Ineffective communication or lack of instruction from a party in the chain to their conveyancing solicitor, which could lead to a slow response at each stage.
  • Multiple enquiries and investigations are required on a property due to an adverse survey.
  • Parties in the chain going on vacation or living abroad.

Other factors include being outbid and caught up in a "bidding war," the seller withdrawing before exchanging contracts, unforeseen complications concerning the mortgage agreement, a "Broken Chain" where the seller can't find a new home for an extended period, and mortgage issues from the seller or the buyer.

If you're planning to buy or sell a property, our team of experienced residential property experts will be able to guide you throughout the entire property transaction process.

Whether you need assistance from our moving house solicitors or want to get a competitive quote, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Get in touch

Whether you need assistance from our moving house solicitors or want to get a competitive quote, don't hesitate to reach out to us by calling 01233 624545 or using the enquiry form on the right of this page.