Selling a residential property – the Timeline

If you’re selling a residential property, these are the steps you’ll need to take. The timeline below assumes there is not a chain on the property.

  • Putting your property on the market – Week 0

The first step to selling your property is putting it on the market. Normally, this is done via an estate agent who will advertise your property, arrange viewings and put up a ‘For Sale’ sign outside your house. During this stage, people will come to your property for viewings, to see if it may be suitable for them.

  • Receiving and accepting an offer – Week 8-12

The next stage in selling your property is receiving and accepting an offer. Normally, this takes around 12 weeks from first putting your property on the market. You are under no obligation to accept any offers you receive and can negotiate with any interested parties until you reach a decision.

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

Contracts that have been drawn up and reviewed by your solicitor are exchanged with the buyer once they have arranged their mortgage and carried out necessary surveys, legal work and inspections on the property. The legal process can take anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks from accepting the offer, but may take longer if any issues arise during the survey or legal process. Once contracts have been exchanged, you are legally bound to sell the property.

  • Completion – Week 20-24

Following the exchange of contracts, and once payment has been made in full, the sale completes. This marks the legal change in ownership of the property. If the sale does not involve a chain (i.e. you are not waiting for a sale to complete to be able to move out of your property).