How to Buy a House in 6 Weeks

House Sold Sign

We’ve finally moved house, to just outside sunny(?) Warrington, and the piles of packed boxes in every room are slowly diminishing.

Moving house is always a stressful affair, but it was made somewhat easier by only taking 6 weeks from accepted offer, to walking in the front door with keys in hand, our fastest move to date. I thought it would interesting then to detail the timeline of what happened when, then at the end I’ll share my tips for moving house quickly, starting on the 3rd April:

  • 03/04 – Offer submitted to estate agents
  • 04/04 – Offer accepted via estate agents
  • 05/04 – Appointed solicitors
  • 09/04 – Mortgage approved in principal after receiving proof of income
  • 09/04 – Paid for Valuation
  • 09/04 – Arranged survey
  • 09/04 – Instructed solicitors to start searches – they’re waiting for the contract
  • 09/04 – Received vendor’s solicitor’s details
  • 10/04 – Returned our ID to the solicitor
  • 11/04 – Vendor returned ID and property details form
  • 12/04 – Received memorandum of sale
  • 12/04 - Valuation carried out
  • 12/04 - Survey carried out
  • 15/04 – Mortgage company approved mortgage based on valuation
  • 15/04 – Contract received by email from vendor’s solicitors
  • 16/04 – Searches started
  • 17/04 – Standard Valuation received by post
  • 17/04 – Formal mortgage offer received by post
  • 18/04 – Written survey received by post
  • 20/04 – Posted mortgage offer back
  • Various queries raised with vendor’s solicitors and answers flowing back
  • 30/04 – Mortgage company confirmed receipt of signed offer and waiting for completion date – needs 3 days notice to supply funds
  • 30/04 - Called to arrange quotes for removal
  • 03/05 – 1 of 3 removal quotes in
  • 07/05 – Still queries with solicitor outstanding, e.g. room details, road adoption certificates, retrospective approval for the new chimney etc
  • 08/05 – All removal quotes in.  All within 15% of each other.
  • 08/05 – Started moving deposit money to the solicitors (the bank needs original posted letter authorising a CHAPS payment so was 3 x BACS over 3 days)
  • 09/05 – Visit solicitors to sign the contracts
  • 09/05 – Called insurance company to arrange cover before exchange
  • 10/05 – Exchanged contracts for a completion date of 16/05
  • 10/05 - Called removal company to arrange removal, had to go to our 3rd choice company to get the date we wanted
  • 10/05 - Called telecoms provider to arrange phone line and broadband
  • 11/05 – Called bank to let them know to expect the solicitor to request funds and check funds delivery time
  • 13/05 – Called solicitor to ensure he was requesting funds today
  • 14/05 – Called bank to check they’d received the solicitor’s funds request and check the amount requested was right
  • 15/05 – Called solicitor to check funds had been received from the bank, they hadn’t!
  • 16/05 – Removal packers arrived to pack the house
  • 16/05 – @ 9:30am Called solicitor again, funds had arrived 5pm on the 15th and they were sending it on that morning
  • 16/05 – @ 11am – Completed!  Went to house to pick up the keys
  • 17/05 – Moved in, hurrah.

There you have it, 6 weeks from accepted offer to completion.  We’ve moved house a modest 6 times now and the first move took 3.5 months, so getting it down to 6 weeks I think I’ve learned a few things along the way.  Here are my 2 key tips for moving house quickly:

  1. Exchange mobile phone number (and land line preferably) with the seller and use it often.  All solicitors and estate agents involved are working for you two, but ultimately it’s a deal that’s being done between you and the seller, so communicate.  Often solicitors blame each other for issues or create delays in their formal communications, issues which can easily be resolved just by picking up the phone and calling the other party.  I called the seller probably 15 times over those 6 weeks, and he called me about 10, i.e. we spoke directly about 4 times a week.  Note also that I didn’t speak to the estate agent once we’d had the offer accepted, there’s usually little point.
  2. Don’t assume your solicitor and bank are infallible and will do what they say, when they say it will be done.  Keep on top of what’s happening and when; check everything and chase when you need to.  Great questions to ask you solicitor are:
    1. “What happen’s next?”
    2. “When will that get done?”
    3. “What are we waiting for right now?”

I hope your next move goes as quickly.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Darren Cooper 25 May 2013, 9:37 am

    We are looking to move next year so I’ll remember this. Glad your move went well mate.

  • Colin McNulty 25 May 2013, 7:45 pm

    Where are you looking to move to Daz?

  • Darren Cooper 25 May 2013, 10:45 pm

    Open minded about the area but we’re only going to move if we can improve on what we have.

  • Colin McNulty 26 May 2013, 7:19 am

    Why are you waiting till next year? Our Bredbury house is going to be up for sale in the next week or 2 (only to allow time for a bit of decorating): £255 per week, low deposit, and no bank mortgage necessary!

  • Darren Cooper 26 May 2013, 8:40 am

    haha…thanks for the offer mate but I had something else in mind,

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