It is only natural to be eager to move into your new home and get the process over and done with as fast as possible. However, whether you are a first time buyer or moving between homes, the house buying process in the UK is not what can be described as short.

The time it takes to buy a house, from selling to moving in, can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.

This guide will take you through the ‘average’ home-buyers timeline as well as answering the question – How Long Does It Take To Move House?

How Long Does It Take For A House Sale To Go Through?

Before you set your heart on your new home, you will possibly have to go through the stages of selling the property you currently own. If this is the case, it is a good idea to prepare your current house so it is as clean and tidy as possible and in a good state of repair. Decide if you need to put any items into storage and have a clear out of things you no longer want or need.

Next, you will need to get your house valued to get an idea of how much money you will be getting. You can get an idea yourself by going online to check how much similar properties are being sold. Ideally you will contact a few local estate agents to carry out valuations. Choosing an estate agent to manage the sale of your property can be an intimidating prospect and important to get right for a smooth and quick sale. Pick the wrong agent and your property might not sell as quickly as it should or for the best price.

Waiting for the right offer is possible one of the shortest stages of the moving house timeline, taking an average of 30 days in the UK.

Mortgage Application Timescale

Taking out a mortgage for your new home can be one of the longest stages in the house buying process timeline. Acquiring a mortgage will usually require you to save up a deposit of at least 10% and borrow the remainder of the money from a lender, which will give you an offer that outlines how much you pay back on a monthly basis.

Your mortgage application comes in two parts:

  • an agreement in principle and
  • a full application for a mortgage offer.

The first part can take just a few hours to complete. You will need pay slips for the last three months, bank statements going back 6 months, your P60, savings account statements, utility bills, receipts of benefits, your passport or driving license, tax returns and statements if you’re self-employed.

If all goes as planned, you can expect your mortgage to be approved in just a few weeks, though it can take less or more time if there are issues that need to be addressed. If you have bad credit, are self-employed, don’t have a large deposit to put down or have a high loan to income ratio, the mortgage approval process can take longer.

It is essential to know how much you can spend before you get carried away. Arrange an appointment with a mortgage adviser who has access to the whole mortgage market. Initially this should not cost you anything and will provide you with how much you can afford as well as a useful insight into the process and requirements of obtaining and repaying a mortgage.

There are various types of mortgages available and your adviser will discuss the differences between them and, by taking various details from you, will be able to help find the right type of mortgage for you.

How long it takes to get a mortgage approved will likely depend on the strength of your application and financial position, but all being well, your application could be approved in around 6 weeks.

Once you have a suitable offer from your lender, the offer usually lasts around 3-6 months, giving you plenty of time to find the right house for you.

House Hunting Timescale

Of all of the steps to buying a house in the UK, choosing your perfect home might be the most enjoyable part. Before you can do this though, consider your financial situation, and establish how much you are realistically able to spend on a new property.

Once you have a price worked out, take your time to make sure you find the right place for you, and arrange plenty of house viewings to get a feel for what is available. You will likely already have an idea of the area you want to live in, so confine your search to this particular area, using the help of the internet and local estate agents to reach a decision.

You will know the moment the right property has caught your eye. After considering your finances, taking into account how much you will need for furniture and appliances, it is time to make an offer.

This is when it is time to contact your local conveyancing solicitor

Conveyancing Timescale

In many cases it’s the length of the conveyancing process that determines how quickly you will be able to take ownership of your new home. The time frame from instructing a conveyancer to moving in can take around 8-12 weeks.

However, it’s important to remember that this is just an average. If you’ve already got the ball rolling with your mortgage in principle and only straightforward property searches are required, you may be able to move in more quickly.

Once an offer is accepted, your conveyancing solicitor will ensure all relevant contracts are signed and money transfers are completed. It is possible to compare conveyance fees online and we always advise to use our conveyancing tool to find the best deal conveyancing quotes.

Conveyancing should be undertaken by specialist conveyancing solicitors or licensed conveyancers. They act on behalf of a buyer or seller.

Your local conveyancing solicitor will arrange searches, contracts and finalise the legal process of property transfer. Until contracts are signed and exchanged, there is always a chance for something to go wrong.

However, once the paperwork has been finalised, and your moving date confirmed, you can relax and think about the future of your new home. The house buying process in England may be a lengthy one, but by understanding the steps of buying a house, you are much more likely to enjoy the process with much less worry.

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