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How long does it normally take from accepted offer to exchange of contracts?

(25 Posts)
faraday Fri 10-Jul-09 19:32:58

Or perhaps from appointing solicitors to exchange?

OK, I know that's 'how long is a piece of string', but you know what I mean! This is straight forward. a 10 year old estate house, most of the searches already on the HIPS, cash offer.

Your thoughts or experiences welcome.

Mintyy Fri 10-Jul-09 19:35:27

Why two threads faraday?

Can you spell out exactly what your situation is (and then perhaps people will be able to help you)?

From your other thread I surmised that you had exchanged contracts and were waiting for completion.

But now it seems not ...

faraday Fri 10-Jul-09 20:23:56

No, thing is if you put 'can you tell me x? oh, and y? and possibly z?' in the same post, x gets answered but y and z not!

We have just had an offer accepted. We then appointed solicitors.

On paper this should all be simple: no chains, cash buyer, unlikely issues with house (10 yr old estate house). But we come out of the certainties of the Australian system where a buyer and vendor agree a price, conditions AND a completion date all on the one contract (process takes a couple of days? EA dashing between you as each offer has to be on paper!), you then have a 10 day cooling off period in which you get your building inspections and searches done (imagine!); the contract becomes binding, a deposit is paid then lo and behold, on the pre-agreed day, you take possession of the home, him the cash. End of. Oh, and the vendor cannot entertain any other offers within that initial 10 days.

So you can maybe see why I'm worried about the endless loopholes in THIS system! We rent thus need to give notice, thus could end up homeless if our vendors play silly buggers.

faraday Sat 11-Jul-09 14:38:50

bump? ie

How long does it normally take from accepted offer to exchange of contracts?

VoodoNotdoit Sat 11-Jul-09 14:46:38

erm.. up to 8weeks?

10 days?

apparently you can move house in 3 weeks start to finish, if your solicitors are switched on...

VoodoNotdoit Sat 11-Jul-09 14:47:43

we've just had an offer accepted and have taken on solicitors, and are in a chain

we are all working towards mid sept, 1e. 9 (ish) weeks.

but we are all mortgage-y not cash buyers

faraday Sat 11-Jul-09 15:06:33

So do you mean, voodoo that you expect it to take til mid Sept to exchange contracts? or completion then?

Would you imagine the sort of 8 weeks is where there are complications?

We are wondering how long our vendors solicitors will take in that it's in their interests (the vendors) to string it out as long as poss as we've agreed to an Oct 1st completion.

acebaby Sat 11-Jul-09 19:03:51

We just bought a house. We were renting and the vendors were moving into rented, so no chain. However we needed a mortgage so weren't 'cash buyers'. It took 6 weeks from offer being accepted to exchange (yesterday!). We complete on Wednesday.

To do this, I think I made at least two calls a day to organize surveys, searches, chivvying the mortgage company, agent, solicitor, local authority for building regs certificates... Everyone moaned that we were in too much of a hurry. It was very wearing, but not impossible! The norm is probably 2-3 months, although if the buyers don't need a mortgage and don't want a survey it may be quicker.

FWIW my advice is:
1. Get all paperwork in order - all building regulation certificates, planning permission and completion certificates. Do this now, because it will come up in enquiries (the vendors not having the paperwork to hand slowed us down by 2 weeks)

2. Call the estate agents at least a couple of times a week on any pretext you can, just to keep the thing moving. The estate agent will want to complete quickly because many are having cash flow issues (according to the our vendors' estate agent!)

3. You don't need a long interval between exchange and completion, although I know from experience this can be a risky strategy. We gave notice at our rental house, booked our move, organised all utilities etc long before exchange!

Good luck! My heart goes out to you. We plan to stay in our new house for at least 20 years!

LIZS Sat 11-Jul-09 19:07:48

Allow at least 8 weeks plus another couple between exchange and completion espeicially if there is a chain. Most solicitors will still redo the searches as they are only as good as the time the HIP is done.

CramItUpYourCramHole Sun 12-Jul-09 20:32:39

yeah, HIPs seem essentially expensive tosh.

Tillyscoutsmum Sun 12-Jul-09 20:35:24

No chain, no mortgage etc - I reckon 6 weeks is realistic but you will need to keep pushing your solicitor

cat64 Sun 12-Jul-09 20:39:42

Message withdrawn

Chrissybaby Sun 26-Jul-09 19:34:55


We have had an offer on a house we are buying accepted etc Everything is signed but the seller keeps making excuses not to complete. I think it because he will have to moveout of his nice house and share money with his ex. Any ideas on how to get him to go? Our low mortgage deal ends at the end of August and if he will not go we will be paying extra for the next 20 years

faraday Sat 01-Aug-09 21:16:49

The only way I can think of is to deadline him. If it ain't sorted by 'x', deal's off mate! Thing is, if it's separation payout there might be legal implications for him 'deliberately' letting a sale slip through his fingers, esp bearing in mind that it's likely that the property concerned will only fall in value!

FWIW, we were about to deadline our vendors on Monday as we had our offer accepted on July 7th and have heard nothing official since!

By total coincidence, I called another EA today about another property as we were feeling we needed to get back out there as OBVIOUSLY our 'vendors' had lost interest- and lo! He called me back 2 hours later having found out we'd offered on another property AND our vendors have today offered on a property themselves via THIS EA. Transpires they were waiting to find 'the right property' before committing to selling to us. I'm bloody temped to drag MY feet this time, now I know they NEED our money to buy on themselves! (AND I now know via a bit of research they're downsizing!)..

good luck.

nouveaupauvre Sat 01-Aug-09 22:26:45

safe assumption is three months start to finish (offer going in to moving out) with chivvying and mortgage finance to deal with. of which two weeks at the end is post-exchange and maybe two weeks at beginning general faffing with mortage. so i would say 8 weeks. you might be lucky and do it in six.
as for the reluctant seller, did you not set a deadline for completion on exchange? if not get one in place now sharpish.

faraday Sun 02-Aug-09 09:26:03

Question: IF you deadline your completion and 'something' comes up that requires it to move by a week or so- does the contract become null and void as it's been breached?

We have more flexibility that we're letting on but we daren't let our vendors know (3 1/2 weeks since offer acceptance and still no paperwork, let alone Exchange!) that BUT on the other hand, we don't want the purchase to collapse for the sake of a week of 2- BUT what then stops the completion date dragging on into next year?

LIZS Sun 02-Aug-09 14:53:32

Not sure what you mean by "something" It is highly unlikely you would have anything related to the sale/purchase that had to affect the completion date come up after exchange, it tends not to happen until all the paperwork, surveys, finances etc are in place and accepted. Until then you can negotiate the date, price, fixtures and so on anyway. Theoretically you can exchange and complete on the same day but that takes some faith and organisation for both solicitors and buyer/seller. If you try to move the date after exchange you or vendor can be sued for costs as the contract is legally binding for that date - you may get round this if all parties agreed to a variation though but noone is obliged to.

LIZS Sun 02-Aug-09 15:04:20

oh and I can understand why you may be frustrated but last time we moved , we accepted a cash offer end of October but didn't find anywhere to buy until early December (with no onward chain). Eventually moved end of Feb. 3 1/2 weeks isn't really any time at all in the scheme of things especially with the market tending to slow over summer.

toja555 Mon 03-Aug-09 14:28:51

I guess we are in a bad position then. We had our offer accepted in the beginning of June, my mortgage offer received in the middle of July, some searches have been done and some questions asked by my solicitor to vendor’s solicitor. However: after nearly 2 month since the offer, my solicitor is refusing to give me any indication of when the contracts can be exchanged!!! I absolutely hate him but have no choice – he’s done some work already. I was hoping to complete beg of September, but now doubt it and already feel very tired to push. We are FTB and the vendor is buying a vacant property (small chain). I hate all the buying process, it has been slow, complicated and nowhere close to the end.

LIZS Mon 03-Aug-09 14:36:40

not necessarily , as I mentioned below you can exchange contracts and complete on same day althgouh it is more usual to have a week or so's gap to organise transfer of utilities and removals. Searches can take a while to process and are out of the solictor's direct control as to what comes back when whcih may be why he/she cannot commit yet. In the end it can all happen very quickly once everythign(paperwork, finances etc) comes together.

toja555 Mon 03-Aug-09 14:50:34

LIZS, I sort of agree, but if I was a solicitor I would give an estimate how long it can take search, how long it can take to exchange after all searches are done (the earliest-the latest date). I understand that it depends on external things but hey! you are an experienced solicitor you should know something about this! I have to give 2 months notice on my rented flat and he my solicitor waits until the last day to say “we are ready to exchange now” I will want to kick his … Because it will mean my mortgage payments and rent will overlap, and of course, he knows that but he doesn’t care. Also my mum wants to buy tickets to fly over as soon as we move; but I guess she will pay the highest price as solicitor cannot give any (the roughest) idea.

faraday Mon 03-Aug-09 18:18:42

As for us, we gaily assumed our solicitor would hear from our vendor's solicitor today on the basis our vendors, having had THEIR offer accepted on Saturday would be keen to 'nail us' asap now as we're providing the cash for their next purchase- but no. Nada.

I now wonder if they're waiting to exchange on THAT property? Maybe, but they'll find that their offer from us will disappear if this takes any longer!

I would really like to deadline them for exchange BUT we haven't even had a fixtures and fittings list yet (27 days post acceptance of our offer to them..)!

Anyway, we called our solicitor today and told him we knew THEY'D made an offer on a house (accepted) over the weekend so we hope OUR solicitor can apply some pressure theirs now as frankly, we've just about had enough. This isn't a special, must have, fall instantly in love with house. In the week we were away (last week) 2 more properties came up that would have done us just as well- OK, they came and went in 2-3 days so no doubt our vendors feel it's all OK as they'll find another buyer in no time for their house should we pull out- but have they recognised, seeing as they're buying locally again, that THEIR vendors might feel the same way? That they can afford to let these people go if their 'chain' ie OUR offer to them also disappears as THEY too will find another buyer in no time???

God I hate the stupidity of the English housing trade!!

LIZS Mon 03-Aug-09 18:31:56

I guess you just have to hope that is the extent of the chain now. Should give your vendors some incentive to get going at least.

HerHonesty Mon 03-Aug-09 19:45:02

i think you have asked these questions before - once you have exchanged it is incredibly rare for either party to back out or to change the date of completion.

I know of two occaisions: i have heard of was when one party found out they had terminal cancer and both parties mutually agreed to terminate the sale with no reprecussions on either side. My parents buyers failed to complete and had to move completion date by 3 days and this cost them over £20k.

from acceptance well, min a few days, but typically 6-8 weeks..

it sounds a bit like this is proving a mega stress, so perhaps pull out and try again??

faraday Tue 04-Aug-09 10:37:09

I guess it's because we're new to the English way of doing things- we would have had the purchase signed, sealed and 3/4 of the way to completion now where we're from! Instead of which we don't actually know that we'll get this house yet, 4 weeks after they accepted our offer! We haven't had ANY paperwork from them yet! But I'm forming a beautiful relationship with their EA...

Thing is, I'm getting the impression that all this is completely normal here thus if we pull out we're back to square one.

Truth is we should be dream buyers BUT we are in this microcosm of Good Catchment where suitable houses get sold on the day of advertising! You literally HAVE to view on Day One.

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