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How Long Does Purchase Take

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I am renting at the moment while looking for a suitable flat to buy (failing that i will have to rent).


My question is: Once I have found the flat to buy how long will the whole process take to complete the transaction (from start to finish).


This will help me to plan and consider when to hand in my notice.



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Hi anon_private 

How longs a piece of string?

There are so many unknowns its impossible to put a time frame on this.

With regard to handing your notice in keep talking to your solicitor, if all goes well you'll want to be giving your notice around the time you have completed searches and your solicitor has recieved your mortgage offer. Your solicitor will be able to fix completion for a mutually convenient date.

In my experience the following timeframe is typical:

Agent to notify solicitors - week 1

Solicitors to correspond with draft contracts - week 2-3

Solicitor recieves searches - week 4-5.

Recieve mortgage offer - 1-4 weeks from application.

Solicitors argue over minor details - weeks 4-6.

Solicitors to agree exchange contracts and completion dates - weeks 5-7

Exchange and complete - dependant on seller and buyers circumstances. 

All of the above can be expedited or slowed down depending on individual circumstances. 



Edited by Paul
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I have never purchased property before.


My estimate was about three months after finding the property.


This estimate is around the time-frame you have quoted.


I like your idea of letting the solicitor decide on my date of notice.


I suppose the best time to involve a solicitor is after finding the property of interest. Nothing to discuss prior to location.


Best wishes



Ps. 'giving your notice around the time you have completed searches and your solicitor has recieved your mortgage offer'


I assume you mean after the solicitor has completed searches.


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Buying a property in this country is a nightmare and that’s mainly, in my experience, down to one thing.


The solicitor.


As a profession I couldn’t be more unimpressed. Who else can take three weeks to answer a two line email and eventually do so, by post….!!! If there was ever a profession that needed an Uber style competition shake up its this bunch.


My only advice to you is to badger them, constantly. Be the squeaky wheel. Also before instructing one ask what holiday’s they have booked, they will merrily take your instruction and then disappear the day after for 3 weeks glamping.


The last house I completed on was going so slow due to the vendors solicitor that it caused me to actually tell the vendor that I was going to reduce my offer by £500 a week, every week. We exchanged and completed 6 days later as a result.

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Unfortunately after trying to accommodate solicitors and be patient throughout several purchases I am now a firm believer in the squeaky wheel approach!

It's a bit of an indictment of the whole industry that if a buyer/seller agree a price with the solicitors then the square root of nothing is likely to happen if neither side are pushed. 



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