How Long Does it Take to Move House: Timeline and Tips

The process of moving house is one that does not have a fixed timeline but the average time to move house is between 8 and 22 weeks depending on the circumstances. There are also many different factors that can determine how long it takes and this can differ from one sale to the next. These factors can cause delays such as the result of a survey or problems with the chain. However, moving house can prove challenging and frustrating. From the moment you begin searching for your new home to the moment you get the keys, it all takes time and the process cannot be rushed. So, how long does it take to move house and how soon can you get the keys and begin that new chapter in your life?

Moving Into a New Property Timeline

1. Mortgage Approval – 5 days to 8 weeks

The process of getting a mortgage can be relatively quick as this can be done in a few days. However, you do need to find a lender when it comes to financing your new home and you will need to make sure that you can obtain the funding. Therefore, part of the process will involve getting a mortgage in principle. To get this, you will need payslips, your P60 as well proof of your savings and all other documentation. The lender will then offer an agreement in principle. After this, if you are happy with the offer and want to go ahead, you can then begin the process of approval this can take a few weeks although it can be quick if there are no issues.

2. Selling Your Home – 4 to 10 weeks

Ideally, you should sell your house before you put an offer in on another property. You have several options when it comes to selling your home and this can include using an estate agent, selling it privately or using a house buying scheme. The process of selling your home usually takes place through an estate agent where you will need to agree on a selling fee. They will also take care of viewings and negotiations. Selling privately can help to keep down fees although there are some online estate agents that sit between selling privately and using a high street estate agent. So, you can sell your home quickly through a buying scheme which can take days but selling through the traditional routes can take around 4 to 10 weeks

3. Finding a House – 1 to 10 weeks

Finding your next property is the exciting part of the process and can take up to ten weeks. The time it takes does depend on what you are looking for from your new house as well as the properties that are on the market. How soon you find that house is mainly down to you but there are some other factors at play. From the location to the neighbourhood and the type of property. You have to make sure you get it right because it is vital that you find a new property that offers everything you are looking for.

4. Making an Offer – 1 to 2 weeks

Once you have found a new property, you have to make an offer. Once you make an offer, it doesn’t take long to get a response as the estate agent and seller is likely to want to make sure that you don’t find another property in the meantime. However, when you do find a property and make an offer, you should make sure that the seller takes it off the market and that the offer is subject to a survey.

5. Securing Your Mortgage – 2 – 4 weeks

With your offer accepted, you are now preparing yourself for the process of moving house. Therefore, you will now need to secure your mortgage. You would have had an offer in principal or even accepted but you still need to inform the lender of how much you are purchasing the property for and how much you need to borrow. This might have changed based on the original mortgage request. Furthermore, before you move house, the mortgage provider will also need a mortgage valuation survey which can take around two weeks.

6. Conveyancing – 8 to 12 weeks

Conveyancing is the longest part of the process when it comes to purchasing a house. They will take care of handling the finer details of the process which will include the contract and working with the other party. There will be a lot of conversations and queries but they will all lead to the eventual sale and purchase. It is something that will take place in the background and you won’t be involved in everything but you can expect the process to take anything from 8 to 12 weeks.

7. House survey and Inspection – 1 to 3 weeks

This is a crucial part of the process but it doesn’t take as long as other parts. This will involve carrying out an inspection on the property you are purchasing as it will enable you to determine whether there are any issues that need addressing and what the costs will be. Good surveyors will be booked out so it helps to compare surveyors and choose one that has a good reputation.

8. Moving In – 1 day to 2 weeks

The time it takes is dependent on the number of belongings you have to move and how much assistance you have. As a result, you could be moved in one day or it could take two weeks. The packing and unpacking take a lot of time while you should also think about the time it takes to take furniture apart and put it back together.

Factors that Could Delay the Process

1. Preparation

It is vital that you understand your budget before you make an offer on a house. This will ensure that you can afford the deposit, the fees and all other associated costs. Moving is an expensive process but you have to make sure you can afford it.

2. The Legal Team

You should make sure that you have a conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor that you can rely on to help handle the process. If they have experience, they should be able to move the process along efficiently and correctly.

3. Survey Report

The report from your survey could return some surprise results and that could put a halt to the process. If you have to renegotiate the offer, this could take the time or you might need to get additional advice.

4. Property Chain

In most cases, the time it takes to move house is dependent on the chain. This means that the purchase and sale of properties are linked, so if one of the sales falls through, it could have an impact on your sale. If there is a delay at some point in the chain then you can expect things to slow down slightly.

5. Gazumping

Even though you might have had an offer accepted, your seller could accept a higher offer from someone else which is known as gazumping. This could delay the process as you might need to make a new offer or the sale could fall through.

6. Mortgage Offer Delay

The conveyancing process can be held up if you are waiting for a mortgage offer to come through. This is likely if your existing offer has expired as they usually only last for three to six months.

7. Delay in Conveyancing Search Results

As part of the conveyancing process, your conveyancer will need to order property searches from certain authorities. The time this takes will be dependent on the authorities and how busy they are.

Tips to Speed Up The Process

When you put your house up for sale you should put a legal team in place then instead of waiting for an offer to be made. You can then provide them with everything they need beforehand, helping to speed up the process. You can also carry out your own research to identify the cost of properties as this will ensure you don’t make an offer that is too high as this could cause problems if your mortgage lender values your property at a lower amount than you have offered. To avoid gazumping, you could ask the seller to take the property off the market and in some instances, you could put an agreement in place with your conveyancer and theirs.

Need Help Moving House?

If you are looking to move home then it pays to use a company that you can trust. At Excalibur Removals, we can help with all aspects of the move including packing, transporting, and helping you to settle into your new home. Our team is experienced in all moves which means that we know exactly what is required of us when it comes to helping you move house.


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