Do you want to complete by Christmas? Yes, you read that right

While the process of selling a home has accelerated rapidly, the time to complete a transaction has only slowed down — with transactions now taking around 20 weeks. That means if you have an offer accepted or you accept an offer on your home today, you may be looking at completing around the first or second week of December! Crazy isn’t it?

The stamp duty holiday was introduced on properties up to £500,000 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last July, intended to kickstart the market which was frozen during the first lockdown.  However, what the policy actually did was pour fuel on to the already heated property market, which had huge pent-up demand for larger properties following lockdown.

As we know, the original deadline of 31 March was then extended to give breathing space to those who risked missing the deadline. But what the move actually did was open the floodgates to a wave of new buyers.

So, there you have it – the perfect storm, which has put all those who work in the process of helping a property transaction complete under enormous pressure. We have heard stories of some lenders having telephone hold times of two hours, and some valuers not responding to post-valuation queries.  Conveyancing solicitors are struggling with the backlog which has built up as a result of high demand and there is a similar backlog in the workload of local authorities who can’t cope with the amount of property searches being requested.

According to online mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages, the influx of property transactions over the last year led to a postcode lottery over who would meet the stamp duty deadline.

The online broker found that Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire had the quickest turnaround time for searches at five working days.  However, homebuyers in Hackney will be waiting 180 working days to get a search returned.

Of course, now the first stamp duty deadline has passed, some of that has eased, but ultimately once people make the mental commitment to move, they don’t want to have to wait nearly half a year for that to happen! Also, the longer the progress takes, the more chance there is for sales to collapse as buyers see something else they prefer or change their mind.

There are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a fast house sale:

  • Get together valid proof of earnings (such as your last three or four pay slips, or if self-employed, you will need end of year accounts for the last three years). You will need to provide these to your lender at point of application.
  • Ensure your chosen solicitor and agents are clear that you have a desire to move as quickly as possible and ensure they are reliable and well known for their communication and customer service.
  • Try to learn as much as possible about the people you are selling to. There are many people who enter the sales process who end up withdrawing due to various reasons – leaving the other party at a financial disadvantage. Try to find out their position and so you can establish how committed you think they are.
  • Remember, things don’t always go exactly to plan and circumstances can change, but you will get there in the end.

If you are in a position where you have just lost your buyer or where you need to move quickly and don’t have 20 weeks to wait, WeBuyProperty can provide you with a no-obligation valuation to buy your property for cash. We can transact in a matter of weeks leaving you with the freedom to move as soon as you like.


Enquire today by emailing or by calling 0207 449 9797