There are various factors that can influence the time it takes to sell or buy a property.
Provided the seller has a clear title and is in a position to sell immediately, the timescale will be dictated by the buyer’s ability to proceed.
In most transactions, there are three elements that have to be dealt with before exchange of contracts.
Searches: It is usual practice to carry out a local search, environmental search and drainage search together with searches that might apply in certain geographical areas (for example, it would be usual to carry out a mining search in a mining area and brine searches in certain parts of Cheshire). Searches usually come back within a matter of three to four weeks although some. Local Authorities may take longer.
Approval of the contract and title by the buyers’ solicitor: If there are no defects on the title and no issues that have to be dealt with, this will be a formality; although it is often delayed because the seller has not provided guarantees for work carried out, planning permissions and building regulation consents for extensions or alterations, or any consent that might have been required by landlords to such matters.
Buyer’s finances: If the buyer is a cash purchaser, fewer problems arise but if the buyer requires a mortgage it may take several weeks before a mortgage offer is produced. The length of time will depend upon how quickly the buyer submits his or her application for a mortgage, together with supporting evidence of income etc., how long it takes for the lender’s valuer to inspect the property and, of course, there may be issues arising out of the valuation that has to be resolved.
Taking all this into consideration, it is possible to achieve an exchange of contracts with around four weeks, but on average it takes twelve to sixteen weeks to reach the exchange of contracts. The completion date is agreed on exchange and inserted into the contract. This the date upon which keys are handed over by the seller to the buyer and the buyer can take occupation.