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How long does it take to buy a new home?

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How long does it take to buy a new home?

Finding and buying a new home always take a little longer than people expect. The timingswill also vary wildly, depending on individual circumstances.It is also makes a huge difference if you have an experienced agent on your side, such as Sears, to keep things on track.For most of us, though, it takessomewhere between 3 and 6 months. Below are the key stages and some rough guide times.

Step 1:mortgage in principle – 24 hours

Before you fall in love with an area or a house you can’t afford, find out how much you can borrow – which you can do by getting a mortgage in principle (MIP). This will also put you in much a better position when dealing with both estate agents and sellers, as they will take you more seriously, especially ifyou make an offer.In order to get one, you will need to provide a lender with some basic details about your income, expenditure, and debts. They can sometimes even be done over the phone and will last between 60 and 90 days. If you have a property to sell, in the current climate, you will also need a proceedable offer on it before you can make one of your own.

Step 2: finding your dream home -  6 to 26 weeks

Armed with your MIP, you can then focus your search more precisely on areas and properties that suit both your needs and your budget. Putting  an exact timetable on this is difficult, as it depends on a wide range of factors. Clearly, it’ll be much quicker to find a terraced Victorian house in an area that is full of them, rather than something more unusual, such as a waterfront property in a remote area. It is also dependent on how much you are prepared to compromise (or adapt) your wishlist, especially if you are pushing at the limits of your budget.And don’t just concentrate your search on the portals. As your local agent, we at Sears can not only offer plenty of help and advice, we can also sometimeslet you know about properties before they even come onto the market.

To give you an idea of what’s involved - according to research, on average, we look at 38 properties – 28 online and 10 in person - before finding ‘the One’. And when we find it, we tend to fall in love pretty quickly –within 480 seconds, to be precise.

Step 3: making an offer (and having it accepted) -  1 hour to 1 week

You might be lucky and have your first offer accepted.Normally, however, it takes a bit of toing and froing and some rejigging of finances before a deal is struck and it’s celebration time. Mind you, you may want to keep your champagne on ice, as there are still quite a few hoops to jump through.

Step 4a: conveyancing -  4 to 12 weeks

If you don’t already have a solicitor, younow need to appoint one to do your conveyancing. This will involve him or her doing various different checks on your new property, from any planning and building control issues, to flooding, boundaries, ownership detailsand the status of any leases. Most of the basic searches only take a few days, but local authority ones can vary between 2 and 42 days and getting information from freeholders can be very slowat times. In addition, the process will often uncover issues that need dealing with and these can extend the timetable to varying degrees, depending on their complexity.

(Step 4b: mortgage offer -  2 to4 weeks)

At the same time as doing your conveyancing, you should also request a formal mortgage offer on your property. This will entail quite a bit more paperwork than an in principal mortgage and will also involve a mortgage valuation of the property.

(Step 4c: survey -  1 to 4 weeks)

The mortgage valuation is solely for the benefit of the lender and so buyers are recommended to carry out their own surveys. The timetable depends on the availability of both the seller and the surveyor, but a report can normally be done within a few days. The report, though, can sometimes highlight things that need fixing and negotiating with the seller over any resulting price reductions will extend the buying timeline.To avoid any unnecessary delays, it is recommended that  abuyer instructs a survey as soon as their offer is accepted.

Step 5: exchange to completion -  4 weeks

Some of the biggest delays are caused by chains – trying to keep multiple sales on track and ready to exchange and complete at the same time can prove very tricky.To give you an idea of what’s involved, it takes up to 60% less time to purchase a house that is not involved in a chain. Once you do exchange, completion can, in theory, be on the same day but mostly is normally within 4 weeks.

Step 6: moving in

Now you can finally uncork that champagne.

If you’re thinking of buying (or selling) a home, just give Sears a call and we can set you off on the right path

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