How to exchange in six-weeks

How to exchange in six-weeks

Posted on Friday, March 11, 2022

According to Zoopla the average time it takes to get a property from under offer to exchange of contracts is 115 days or 16 weeks. As if buying a property in this market isn’t challenging enough, you are then faced with a near four-month wait before you can breathe a sigh of relief and actually plan to move home.

There is absolutely no need for the process to take that long, and by being organised there is no reason a freehold purchase cannot exchange contracts within six weeks, so I wanted to share a few tips on how.

Solicitors: The old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to choosing a solicitor. Take a recommendation from the estate agent you are selling/buying through as they will have relationships with firms which allow excellent lines of communication from day one. If you are selling, then instruct a solicitor as soon as you come to market and get ‘sale ready’ before you find a buyer - this can save you at least a couple of weeks. Online conveyancers may be cheap but they are likely to cost you time, money or both in the long run.

Paperwork: In order to produce a contract pack your solicitor will need you to complete property information forms and supply guarantees, planning permissions and building regulations certificates for any work done to the property. By having these prepared in advance, you can shave two weeks off your transaction.

Searches: Searches can take up to four weeks to be returned so these should be applied for as soon as you agree a purchase and it’s in solicitors hands.

Mortgage: Using a independent mortgage broker instead of going directly to a bank can save up to four weeks. Brokers know exactly what information is needed for an application and won’t insist on several meetings as some banks do. They are able to follow up with the mortgage lender to ensure the mortgage offer is produced quickly. I can also tell you from experience that brokers quite often can offer a better interest rate than going direct to a bank (even if they are your current lender). Crazy but true!

Survey: If you are having a survey you should instruct one within 48 hrs of having your offer accepted. This will allow time to investigate any significant concerns that are raised by the surveyor.

Managing agents: If you are selling a flat or a property on a new development it is likely you will need to purchase a ‘sale pack’ from your managing agents or freeholder. This is the seller’s responsibility and should be actioned as soon as you agree a sale.

With a buyer, seller, solicitors on both sides, surveyor, mortgage broker and managing agent all involved in the same transaction, someone needs to keep momentum and inform all parties of their responsibilities. That is the role of the estate agent. A good agent will anticipate delays ahead of time and find a solution, promote pragmatism where necessary and chase third parties for required information. Experience and a cool head are both essential qualities.

If you would like to discuss your upcoming move or would like any further information on anything discussed in this article, please drop me a line.

Ben Gee 07523 106 629 or

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