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Quickest you’ve ever heard of someone getting to exchange?

38 replies

Omgwtafisthat · 27/02/2024 09:26

We’ve been told that we have been outbid by a buyer who can exchange in four weeks! Is that even possible? I guess it is if the searches are quick, but have you ever known this to happen in reality?

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krazipan · 27/02/2024 09:27

I did. It was 12 years ago, I was a first time buyer and the house had been empty for a year so pretty niche!

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FiveShelties · 27/02/2024 09:29

We did a three week exchange and completion many years ago. It was so quick because we bought a show home on a new estate and the builder wanted it off their books by 31st October. It just shows it can be done.

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Merrow · 27/02/2024 09:32

We were ready to go exchange in 4 weeks, although it turned out that the seller needed more time. I'm not sure if the sellers were just very organised, or a sale had fallen through, but they sent through all the information we could want (certificates for new windows, etc. etc.) at the start and were very prompt at answering our questions. We had a very speedy solicitor as well. The survey was the slow thing, and if it had showed any problems then that would have added delays.

And we were moving from rented, so no hold up on our side with selling!

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ion08 · 27/02/2024 09:36

so this buyer has offered more money and can move in 4 weeks?

hell yes i’d accept their offer!

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ion08 · 27/02/2024 09:36

and yes it’s possible

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SaffyWall · 27/02/2024 09:37

We sold our house in September and it has been far from straightforward! The buyer at the bottom on the chain pulled out on 25th January. That house was put back on the market and sold the next day and we will be exchanging contracts tomorrow (fingers crossed). So the new buyer has got through the process in just over 4 weeks, including searches, mortgage approval etc. I didn't believe it was possible but have been proven wrong.

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AwkwardSquad · 27/02/2024 09:41

I did, 4 weeks including the Christmas break - about 18 years ago. Turned out to be a huge mistake though. Fast, but bad decision 😂

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Feelingstrange2 · 27/02/2024 09:41

Our local estate agent has just posted that they've run a sale through to completion in 21 days. It can be done although I suspect its a cash buyer and limited enquiries made. Slightly odd as it's a very old terraced house but I guess they probably thought if it's still standing after 300 years why assume it's going to be a huge problem now!

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Feelingstrange2 · 27/02/2024 09:45

On the other hand my DD has just exchanged and completion will be 3 months on the dot. They were what I'd call a sensible pace - mortgage, survey, all normal enquiries and decent speed of solicitors but no hold ups, a short chain and Christmas in the middle. I'd see this timing as a pretty normal at the moment.

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housethatbuiltme · 27/02/2024 09:45

I feel I could do it quick. I'm a cash buyer, no chain buying an empty house and I'm currently in rented accommodation (month to month contract).

Unfortunately our seller is waiting on grant of probate so its going to take months.

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PleaseletitbeSpring · 27/02/2024 09:46

It's definitely possible. Last house was ten days from deciding to buy to exchange and thirteen days for completion. I moved next door to a friend and used her searches etc from when she had bought a few months earlier.

This house it was five weeks to exchange and six for completion. It was because our buyer decided to get a new, cheaper mortgage offer, so we had to wait for him.

We were cash buyers both times.

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TomatoSoup69 · 27/02/2024 09:50

I lost out to a cash buyer who apparently was able to complete in 4 weeks because they could pay for searches 'privately'(?) which along with not having to apply for a mortgage meant they could move quicker than me... Although the searches thing I don't really get - not sure how they can get the results any quicker than any other solicitor 🤷

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GasPanic · 27/02/2024 10:09

If you are a cash buyer you can exchange and complete in days.

Whether that gives you enough time to correctly appraise and check the property is another issue. It is a risk - but if you are paying cash the risk is entirely on you.

In this market AFAICT there is little reason to get into a game of silly buyer top trumps like this IMO.

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Omgwtafisthat · 27/02/2024 10:23

They have a mortgage so that might hold things up a bit. Ah well I will just have to accept it wasn’t meant to be!

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MrsSkylerWhite · 27/02/2024 10:25

We did it in about 10 days but the vendors had been messed about by other “buyers” for months so much of the legwork was probably done. They put a two week exchange condition on our offer.

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Dandelion24 · 27/02/2024 10:29

Some solicitors offer a fast track service so it is very possible even if you are buying with mortgage.
If you are keen on the house and can offer even it’s £1 more than the new bid I will do this and switch to a solicitor that offers a fast track service

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Crazymadchickenlady · 27/02/2024 10:36

We did it in 32 days (to completion, 31 days to exchange) just before Xmas 2023. It was a modern auction which has to complete in 56 days and a lot of the searches had already been done by the seller. We did have more searches done but no survey and we were a cash buyer. Our solicitor was great and really on the ball and the sellers used the auction house solicitors which were slower than ours but ours kept nagging them and got it through quickly. The seller had moved out about a year ago and it was a house and an area we knew well though so we were happy to push it through.

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Mazuslongtoenail · 27/02/2024 10:42

There are some situations where you have to e.g. some auctions. So yes, we did, completed on the final day of the 30 day deadline 😅

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Tryingtokeepgoing · 27/02/2024 10:55

TomatoSoup69 · 27/02/2024 09:50

I lost out to a cash buyer who apparently was able to complete in 4 weeks because they could pay for searches 'privately'(?) which along with not having to apply for a mortgage meant they could move quicker than me... Although the searches thing I don't really get - not sure how they can get the results any quicker than any other solicitor 🤷

Personal / private searches are less thorough and less reliable than a local authority search, but if you're not dependent on a mortgage and a lender who requires a local authority search then they are quicker. For the last couple of properties I bought I was happy that their location meant there was little point doing searches for highways information, public rights of way, nearby road schemes, radon, contamination or conservation area issues so I just had the planning, building regs and charges register checked. That took less than a week and so I was able to exchange and complete in under 4 weeks

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TomatoSoup69 · 27/02/2024 10:56

That's really interesting @Tryingtokeepgoing - thanks for the extra info!

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GreyDuck · 27/02/2024 11:02

I had a colleague who completed in under 2 weeks. They'd been trying to buy the next door but one house, and it fell through, so they were able to use a lot of the same searches. I still don't really understand how though.
We were cash buyers of an empty house, and it took us nearly 4 months. I think if I'd REALLY pestered we could have cut a month off.

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alteredimage · 27/02/2024 11:14

I did....in three weeks from first viewing.

Sheltered housing for my mum who had had a fall and was not going to be able to return home. The convalescent care home recommended a couple of sheltered housing courts, and one then recommended a solicitor who knew the block well so had seen previous surveys and searches and knew the lease. We emptied my mums savings accounts and the family chipped in. It was a probate sale so the vendors solicitor was also the one handling the probate. Day one was viewings and my mum having lunch and spending time meeting other residents, then day two was making lowish offers to flats that were on the market. (They were all pretty similar and mostly empty.) A couple of days later and we went for the one which accepted the offer and who could move fast. The solicitors were in the same town so moved the paperwork round quickly, whilst we got the money together. The vendor even allowed us to repaint between exchange and completion.

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Alphabet1spaghetti2 · 27/02/2024 11:34

I knew of a case where it was all done and dusted in two days. This was 35 years ago. Cash, no surveys, no questions. Don’t think that would even be possible now, and it was apparently a ‘drop everything else to get it done’ job for the solicitor and his secretary.

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Garlickit · 27/02/2024 11:40

I've bought two places at auction, where exchange happened at the end of the sale - so a couple of hours.

It can be done quickly in a normal sale, as PPs have said. Try gazumping them?

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Losingitdaily · 27/02/2024 16:07

The sale of our house in October went from offer to completion in 13 days! They were a cash buyer and didn't bother with surveys or searches.

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