Buying a residential property – whether you’re a first-time buyer or not, here is the Timeline for your purchase

  • Finding a property – Week 0

When you’re purchasing property, you’ll likely want to view multiple properties to make sure you find the perfect house or flat. If you do, take a look at our property search guide. In the UK, this process generally takes 8-12 weeks, at the end of which you’ll make an offer on a property.

  • Making an offer – Week 8-12

Once you’ve made an offer on a property and it has been accepted, it’s time to sort out the legal and financial aspects of your purchase. You will need to make sure your mortgage has been approved, and appoint a solicitor to take care of contracts and other legal issues. During this time, you’ll also need to instruct a surveyor to carry out the necessary reports and surveys on the property.

  • Legal Due Diligence and exchanging contracts – Week 12-20

Your solicitor will review the contract received from the seller’s solicitor and carry out any necessary legal due diligence. They will also carry out searches which they will report to you on before exchange of contracts.  After the legal work is completed, the next stage in the purchase is exchanging contracts. At this point, you’ll be required to pay the property deposit. Once contracts are signed, you are legally bound to follow through with the purchase.

  • Completion – Week 20-24

Completion happens shortly after the exchange of contracts and is the stage at which legal ownership of the property transfers to you. You’ll need to pay the remainder of the sale price to the sellers, and you must make sure you have appropriate property insurance from the date of completion, even if you haven’t moved in yet.