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Am I being optimistic with timescales offer to completion?

(14 Posts)
ITryToBeZenBut Fri 05-Aug-11 17:06:56

I'd value some advice.

My OH and I will put in an offer on a house on Saturday am (tomorrow) - full asking - and will ask that the house be taken off the market. We are first time buyers, solid deposit we've put blood,sweat and tears into pulling together and chain-free in shared rental so able to move quickly. We're told our offer is very likely to be accepted.

The vendor is a developer and the also house is chain-free but does have a tennant currently - although it's his mate basically who appears to only use 2 rooms and not a stick of furniture etc in sight and we're assured that he's happy to move out at 4 weeks notice.

My question is around timescales to completion. I've never bought before and everyone tells us stories of offers accepted in one month and moving in months and months later. I'm expecting my first DC in February and desperate to move in by Christmas. Is this realistic?

We don't have a mortgage-in-principle but are ready to move things forward with our mortgage broker - looked at offers, checked credit, got our paperwork in order.

The house looks REALLY solid and has a new roof, electrics, boiler and plumbing - no nasty extensions, likely boundary issues or large trees that may cause mischief around.

I'm just starting to panic as everyone keeps raising their eyebrows when I say we hope to be in by christmas and telling me it won't happen. I know various unexpected things could happen eg gazumping, vendor pulling out etc but is it not possible to do this in 4.5 months? I've not heard one good story and several friends have told me to give it up now and start looking for rental so I don't get stuck struggling to find a rental place for my baby without 3 other people in it as my current place does. grin Currently very competitive to find a rental property in london right now and I don't want to start eating into our deposit as a 1 bed place would be much more expensive than our bargain houseshare.

Thank you if you've read this far. Just interested in any thoughts/experiences. I know I may be panicking a bit - hormones kicking in - but had another tale of doom at lunchtime.

Gonzo33 Fri 05-Aug-11 17:11:03

IME (as a mortgage adviser) I have had situations like yours sail through in 4 WEEKS. I have also had a purchase like yours take 7 months. On average I would say 6-8 weeks, not 4 months. Far too excessive if you ask me, unless there are issues.

mrsravelstein Fri 05-Aug-11 17:13:51

we were in a very complicated chain that had taken months to set up.... but once we found our house, which was the end of the the chain, it took 6 weeks from offer to moving in (and that was with all kinds of last minute crises)... we've been here 3 weeks now and all the stress was worth it. but yes you can definitely do it much quicker than xmas IF you get decent local solicitors who you can go in an harrass in person rather than using distance conveyancers....

ITryToBeZenBut Fri 05-Aug-11 17:19:11

That's really helpful - thanks, Gonzo. I did think 4 months might be somewhere in the middle between best case and worst case but clearly my friends have all had bad experiences or are naturally glass half full wink. No absolutes I understand but probably can see I've got a coupel of months before it's crunch time.

mrsravelstein - it hadn't occured to me that choice of solictor is key in finding someone who understands we're keen to move quickly and will support us on this as far as possible. Thank you for the thought. I'll def use make sure I consider that.

Zimm Sat 06-Aug-11 09:49:30

Hi Op - I have bought a chain free flat and then sold a chain free and both times it took 10 weeks. That was with crap distance solicitors and also it was leasehold so we had to factor in crap from the management company and the freeholder also. If the house is freehold and you use a decent local solicitor (this time round I am using the ones in my building at work - I stalk them in the ladies loos if needs be!) then 6 weeks is perfectly possible and 3 months would be an outside estimate in my view - Christmas is certainly totally do-able - I cannot imagine why it would take that long!

FannyPriceless Sat 06-Aug-11 12:44:24

If you want it to progress quickly keep in contact with both the selling agent and your solicitor. Keep asking them for progress updates and then phone the other one to keep them informed. Early on, start suggesting possible dates for exchange and completion and politely push this with each until the other parties have agreed a timeframe. In the past I have found things slow down when you don't do this.

One thing to look out for - we are currently buying a house which is tenanted. Despite the fact that the tenants are superb and totally on board with the moving dates, our solicitor has told us that she will not let us exchange contracts until the tenants are physically out of the house (for our own legal protection, and apparently this is standard). Then following that there is a minimum of 1 week between exchange and completion.

Ask your solicitor at the start what his / her view on the tenancy situation is. Oh, and get a solicitor lined up NOW. Ideally you should tell the agent at the time the offer is accepted, then the process starts immediately. Some agents will not take the house off the market until details have been lodged with your solicitor.

Best of luck - has your offer been accepted?

tyler80 Sat 06-Aug-11 13:18:43

I thought from the thread title that you were going to say you wanted to be in by September :-)

In by Christmas is more than likely I would have thought. We've just bought and 4 months for a chain free purchase was my absolute worst case scenario. In all liklihood we may have walked away sooner if things had dragged on anywhere near that long.

Like someone else mentioned, the only sticking point is the tenant, do you know if they're on a fixed term tenancy or a periodic tenancy?

Gonzo33 Sat 06-Aug-11 15:05:11

Yes, your solicitor will insist on vacant posession, but that is something that they should deal with with the vendors solicitor ime.

hildathebuilder Sat 06-Aug-11 17:56:10

in the three times we've bought it took 6 week, 3 and a half, and it would have been 4 weeks but we agreed a longer completion and it was 8.

4 weeks is fine usually.

Becaroooo Sat 06-Aug-11 18:11:37

Unless there is an issue you should be ok for completion in 8 weeks IME.

feedthegoat Sat 06-Aug-11 18:23:52

We had the offer accepted on our current house in august. Our purchasers were first time buyers and the vendor was alledgedly chain free and up for a speedy completion as she was going to her daughters

When we hit December with only the vendor dragging her heels I threatened to pull out if she didn't complete before christmas with the full support of our solicitor who agreed there was no reason on earth for a straight forward case to take so long.

She offered me 21st December. Ds had just turned 2 so I still think she expected me to turn it down so she could say at least she was willing. But at that point I was feeling utterly pig headed so agreed to it!

Anyway, my long winded point is that I think 4 months should be very achievable. All my other moves have been 6 to 8 weeks.

ITryToBeZenBut Sat 13-Aug-11 16:28:13

Thank you so much for all the replies. Sorry for slow response but been a complicated week.

It's back to the drawing board, I'm afraid. The vendor tried to get us to up our price - over his asking despite having had no other offers! - which we refused to do. He won't take it off the market so we've pulled out before we started to spend any money. He came back last week and said he'd now take asking but we don't feel he's trustworthy. And some of the dealings we've had in the last week just gave me the impression he's really not that decent a human being. It's not that I'm naive enough to think I'll only be dealing with nice people but my intuition tells me there'll be nasty surprises ahead with this man.

I could weep. Although to be fair that's largely hormonal... Starting to understand why house-buying/selling seems to leave so many people rolling their eyes.

FannyPriceless Sat 13-Aug-11 22:13:51

Oh I'm so sorry.

Yes - 'tis a horrid business this.sad

nikos Sat 13-Aug-11 23:11:46

Is this your first baby? If so this is such a special time when you nestle down with your dh n baba. You will never have another time like it as with second baby life gets busy. I would urge you to find somewhere for you all to settle which isn't a house share. You will never get this time back again. Sorry if this is a bit blunt.

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