Buying a house can be one of the most stressful events that people take part in. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed time to complete the process of buying a house; it will depend upon many factors. However, if you are lucky and things go smoothly then it may go through in 5 weeks time from putting in an offer to completion.
Time to Buy A House
Pre offer Stage – Looking around for properties and putting in offers. This period can take several weeks. It is best not to rush it, but also, it is best not to endlessly wait for the ‘perfect house’ This period is also a good time to arrange a mortgage, so it can be put into place when you buy.
Offer Accepted. If your offer is accepted, the next stage is to contact your solicitors and surveyors. They need to do 2 things:
- Do A Search of the local area
- Do A survey of the house.
The point of this is to make sure that you are not being ripped off and paying more than the house is worth. This is important for arranging home insurance. Insurance companies will not insure a house if more is paid for it than it is worth. If things go well, this period may take a couple of weeks. It depends how quick your solicitor is.
However, this time period also gives the opportunity for delays. For example, when my sister bought a house, the solicitor noted that the garage was not included in the deeds. Therefore it was necessary to contact the sellers solicitor to get the necessary paperwork completed. This took several weeks (13) However, it was worth the wait or otherwise there could be a dispute about ownership of the garage in the future.
If solicitors seem to be taking their time, don’t feel guilty about ringing up, enquiring about the process. Just make sure you have completed your end of the bargain, fill in all the necessary forms as quickly as possible. Bear in mind, it may not always be your solicitors fault for the delay.
During this period there is always the chance of the house being gazumped (someone offering a higher value) This is what can make this period stressful.
The last stage is exchanging contracts. This is when you officially sign for the house. You then arrange for a moving in date.
Delays in Housing Chains.
The next problem is if you are in a chain. This is when to move in you have to wait for everyone in the chain to complete their purchases. Unfortunately, in long chains this can delay the moving in date by many weeks, and in some circumstances, several months.
If you are a first time buyer, this problem will be a lot less.