How long do buying and selling homes take?

Selling and buying homes involve a huge sum of money. Owing to that, the government has imposed stringent legal procedures to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. However, for home owners or buyers who are keen on a fast home sale, the waiting can be a very exasperating experience – especially since everyone asked will just answer, “It depends.” We sympathise with your sense of frustration, so we’ve compiled below a complete breakdown of each stage in the selling and buying process along with the estimated time frame.

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Time frame for property transaction


1. Finding a seller


If you are buying a house, the time frame is entirely up to your discretion. You can start house hunting, conduct a viewing, and make an offer in just a single day. However, people usually spend between one and two months before settling on a house.


2. Finding a buyer


If you are listing your house for sale, the average time before finding a buyer is around 10 to 12 weeks. Obviously, there is a fair amount of luck involved, and you can very well find a buyer within a day of putting your home on sale and you may need the help of a we buy any house agent.


3. Getting mortgage approval


Most banks provide preliminary approval within 24 hours, subject to terms and conditions.


4. Property searches


The search will take between four and six weeks from the moment an offer is accepted.


5. Signing and exchange of contracts


The process, which will mainly be handled by the solicitors of both parties, averages at around two months from the moment title searches have been completed.


6. Processing of mortgage and disbursement of funds


Depending on the date of form submission (and supporting documentation), accuracy of application and bank of choice, processing and disbursement can take anywhere from two to six weeks.


7. Completion of title transfer


Title transfers will take between two and four weeks from the moment the contracts are exchanged and signed.


Based on the time frames itemised above, the minimum time frame for a successful house sale or purchase is four months and three days. The maximum time frame, meanwhile, is 11 months (something that takes this long is likely to be a very problematic transaction).


Tips to shorten the process


It’s all common sense really.


• Before buying a house, make sure your credit score is healthy and there are no issues with your ability to make repayments.


• Collate all the documents (title, grants, personal identification, source of income, etc.) in a file for easy retrieval.


• Search for a reliable estate agent and appoint him early.


• Search for a reliable solicitor or licensed conveyancer and appoint him early.


• Be prompt with all your communications


If you do all this, chances are, everything will be sorted out by the fourth month. Good luck!