How to complete a house purchase faster

A quick guide

According to research, the average time it takes to complete the house buying process is 22 weeks.

In fact, an estimated 28% of offers fail to reach completion – with many of those dragging on for months. But it is possible to bring the time down.

Let us explain.

1) Start the legal process swiftly

Do the groundwork to secure the property and to gain an awareness of the next steps.

Writing for the Telegraph, legal expert Eve Lake said:

"As anyone who has been through the house-buying process knows, it can take some time to formally and legally complete the transaction for the property of your dreams."

That is because to secure a property your solicitor will need to go through a series of processes:

  • Make preliminary enquiries with the vendor's solicitors
  • See evidence of a mortgage offer
  • Check the title of the property
  • Approve the contract for sale
  • Exchange contracts to make the transaction legally binding

To make sure the process is as fast as possible, you must begin as soon as possible.

2) Complete any requested information quickly

Mark Goring, of the Council of Licensed Conveyancers, explains that waiting for the requested information to be returned often slows things down.

He said: "Conveyancing is just like a jigsaw - you can't finish it until the bits are in place and it involves getting all those bits from different people."

It is important to:

  • Send any documents back straight away
  • Deal with any requests as quickly as possible
  • Write any cheques without delay

Putting things to the side adds days to the whole process. These days add up quickly.

3) Keep on good terms with all parties

Of course, when you buy a property there are many parties involved.

Obviously each party has its own interests to protect. If handled poorly this can lead to tension, and perhaps even a break down in the deal.

To prevent this, make sure communication between all parties is clear at all times. Everyone must understand their commitments, agreements and timelines.

Speaking to Rightmove, Saracens Solicitors said:

"Remember to keep in touch. By this I mean keep in touch with your agent and your buyer or seller to ensure small issues do not derail the process."

  • Be respectful
  • Answer phone calls
  • Make any appointments on time
  • Be honest

A smooth process means the transaction will complete as quickly as possible.

If you follow each of these tips, you will have a much higher chance of keeping the process as quick as possible. You may even beat the 22-week average.

Buying your first house?

Read our free guide to surviving the housing buying process.