How long does it take to sell a house from offer to completion?


How long does it take to sell a house from offer to completion large

Are you wondering how long it takes to sell your house from offer to completion. Well according to The Advisory, the average time to sell a house in 2019 in the UK from the first day of marketing to legal completion was 129 days or 4.2 months. The 4.2 months was across both types of market, either ‘hot’ or ‘cold’.

So how long does it take to sell a house from offer to completion? To sell a house from offer to completion takes on average 12 weeks in the UK. But this time scale is affected by a number of factors. These include how fast the buyer’s and seller’s solicitors work. How good your estate agent is at chasing the deal. How long the searches take and how quick the mortgage companies act.

The average time to sell a house in the UK

How long it will take to sell your house from accepting an offer to completion is estimated to take on average between 10-12 weeks.

But the time taken will be affected by a number of factors. These factors among others include how efficient your and your buyer’s solicitors are. How good your estate agent is at chasing the deal.

How long it takes for the searches to be returned to your buyer’s solicitor. Plus how ready your buyer is to begin the buying process and whether or not they require a mortgage.

The average time to sell a house in the UK in 2019 from the day marketing begins

According to The Advisory, in 2019 the average time to sell a house was up to 4.2 months from the moment the marketing began to the day of legal completion happened.

However, this 4.2 months (or 18 weeks), which is equivalent to 129 days, was the average between ‘hot‘ and ‘cold‘ market conditions. What is meant by ‘hot’ vs ‘cold‘ is the level of heat in the market. Which means if the market is ‘hot‘ and a sellers’ market, houses are selling faster, whereas if it’s ‘cold‘ and a buyers market, then houses are much slower to sell.

In 2019 the difference between a hot and cold market was 2.1 months. Which meant that when the market was cold, it took 5.8 months to sell a house. But what about how long it takes to sell a house from offer to completion. How long did this take in 2019?

This took on average around 79 days, which is just over two months. Which means that if the current market is similar, so long as you’re not in too much of a hurry to sell, two months isn’t too long to wait. However, if you’re looking to sell your house quickly, two months is a long time to wait for completion.

How quickly can a house sale go through?

There are many factors that will determine how quickly a house sale will go through. But on average, and based on the information from 2019, this can take up to 12 weeks. This 12 weeks runs from the date the offer was accepted through to the completion of contracts.

But if you base your calculations on anywhere between 10-12 weeks, then you won’t go far wrong.

However, there are a number of factors that will impact on how quickly your house sale will go through.

The speed your house sale goes through is affect by the following:

  • The quality of your solicitor and how proactive they are.
  • How good the buyer’s solicitors are, because no matter how good and fast your solicitors are, if your buyer’s solicitors are slow, this will hold the sale process up.
  • How proactive your estate agents are will impact on the speed of the sale. Good estate agents will chase the sale for you and speed things up.
  • The COVID-19 factor. I will add this factor in as it’s relevant at the time of writing this article. There’s no doubt that Coronavirus – Covid-19 is having an impact on how quickly things are being done.
  • How long the title and other searches take with the local authority.
  • The position of the buyer and whether or not they require a mortgage.
  • The length of the chain. The longer the chain in your house sale, the more problems there might be to cause a slowing down of the sales process.
  • The time of year will impact the speed of the sale. If you choose the wrong time of year people may be going away on holiday, which might cause delays.

The time it takes from offer to completion can be sped up. If you are proactive yourself, plus if you choose a good solicitor and a great estate agent, you should be able to shave off about two weeks ( or possibly more) from this time-frame. This could mean you’re able to complete your house sale in 6-8 weeks instead.

How long does it take to get money when you sell a house?

Of course the important follow on question is how long does it take to get your money when you sell a house. This depends and can be summarised as follows:

  1. If you sell a house and don’t buy another: If you are selling your house and don’t intend to buy another, the time it takes to get your money depends on your solicitor and the method of payment. Assuming your solicitor acts fast and you ask for a direct transfer to your bank, it will be with you in a day or so. But remember if your house had a mortgage secured on it, the lender will be paid first and you will receive the balance of the sale proceeds.
  2. If you sell a house but then buy another house: If you intend to use the proceeds from the sale of your current house to buy another house, you probably won’t get any of your money. This is unless you are downsizing of course. If your new house doesn’t require as much money as you get from your current house, the excess money will be paid to you in the same way as in point one above. If you ask for the funds by bank transfer, this excess money will be received by you in a day or so from your solicitor.

How long does it take to sell a house with no chain?

If you are lucky to not have a chain-sale, the likelihood is the sale will take less time and will take on average about 8 weeks from offer to completing the sale.

If you would prefer to sell your house and avoid a chain, you have two options:

  1. Be selective over who’s offer you accept: You might be lucky and find buyers that come with no chain. You could insist that you’ll not accept any offers from buyers who are in a chain. Although in practice this might not work. You may find your house takes even longer to sell whilst you wait for the right chain-free seller to come along.
  2. Sell your house to an investor: If you sell your home to an investor this will be a chain-free sale. Investors will agree an offer with you and proceed to buy and they won’t be reliant on another sale before completing your the purchase of your house.

How quickly should I expect viewings on my house?

If you have just put your house on the market, you might be asking “how quickly should I expect viewings on my house?”

You should expect to get viewings on your house within a few days of listing it with an estate agent. But of course this will depend on a few things. What will affect how quickly you get viewings on your house:

  1. Whether or not your estate agent is proactive.
  2. How quickly your estate agent lists your property on Rightmove.
  3. How buoyant the property market is in your area.
  4. The type of house you are selling.
  5. Whether or not the price is right, as home buyers will know if your house is over-priced.
  6. The property’s location.
  7. How busy the estate agent is and whether or not they have enough staff to perform the viewings.

I hope you’ve got something from reading this article on how long does it take to sell a house from offer to completion

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