How Long Does It Take To Move House In The UK?

Wednesday 1st June 2022

If you’re thinking about moving house then you’re bound to have lots to think about, and you may be feeling impatient to get into a new property. With this in mind, one of the most crucial questions that you’re likely to have is “how long does it take to move house?”. This is a really important question that’s asked by lots of people who are considering moving, however unfortunately it’s one that doesn’t have a straightforward answer.

The honest answer to the question of “how long does it take to move house” is “it depends”. The average time to move house in the UK is approximately 8-22 weeks. This is the average time that it takes to get you moved in from an offer being made through to completion. This is a rough time scale that most buyers will find themselves falling into. That being said, ultimately, the time it takes to move will depend on the length of the chain, market conditions, and any unexpected delays that may arise along the way, such as gazumping

Let’s break the timeline down by looking at the key stages of moving and how long each of these stages usually takes. 

Mortgage approval – 5 days to 8 weeks

Selling your home – 4 to 10 weeks

Finding a new home – 1 to 10 weeks

Making an offer – 1 to 2 weeks

Conveyancing – 8 to 10 weeks

Property survey – 1 to 3 weeks

Moving in – 1 day to 2 weeks

Of course, these timescales may adjust depending on individual circumstances, however as a general guide, this is a solid indicator of how long you can expect the process to take.

What Causes Delays When Moving House?

When discussing “how long does it take to move house”, it’s also important to be aware of the most common causes of delays. These include:

A Long Chain: Any delays have a knock-on effect for all parties involved in the chain. The longer the chain, the more complex and time consuming the process can be. If you’re involved in a complex chain it’s important to be flexible with your current living situation in order to accommodate delays. You may want to look into short term storage options if you need to move into rented accommodation temporarily.

Buyers/Sellers Changing Their Mind: A change in circumstances, such as unexpected money problems could cause someone in the chain to pull out or pull the brakes on. In some cases, a buyer or seller may simply change their mind. Whilst this can’t be avoided, it’s important to be as flexible as you can, and establish a good relationship with your buyer/seller if possible.

Conveyancing: Conveyancing is a complicated process and so can cause delays when thinking about “how long does it take to move house”. Searches may take longer than expected, and simple mistakes such as errors on paperwork can be time consuming. Ensuring you fill out and return all paperwork accurately will help the process run smoother, and you should also choose a solicitor that you trust and with whom you can maintain regular contact. 

Mortgage Offers: The chain is only ready to proceed once the last mortgage offer is received. This means that if there are delays with a buyer processing their mortgage, this can have a knock-on effect. Going through a trusted mortgage adviser should help prevent any delays and make this part of the process as quick as possible.

How Can I Speed Up The Process?

As we mentioned a little earlier on when discussing “how long does it take to move house”, often delays are outside of anyone’s control. Whilst you can’t predict the exact timescale of a house move, there are steps you can take to put yourself in the best position for making the process as speedy as possible. This includes:

Getting Your Mortgage Sorted: Arranging a mortgage can be one of the most time-consuming elements of moving, and so it’s important to start planning ahead early. You can obtain a ‘mortgage in principle’ to give you a realistic idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow and to show estate agents that you’re a serious buyer.

Appointing A Solicitor Early: Instructing a conveyancing solicitor early on in the process, maybe even before you make an offer on the house, will allow them to complete essential checks so that they’re ready to start work on your purchase straight away.

Having Documentation & Finance Sorted: One of the most time-consuming tasks when moving house is sorting through the documentation that’s required. Getting crucial documents ready such as energy performance certificates, deeds and titles will help the process run a lot more smoothly at a later stage.

Choosing A Reliable Removals Service: By the time you get to the removals stage, the last thing you need is more delays in getting your belongings into your new home. That’s why it’s essential to line up a removals service that is reliable and that can be flexible to your requirements. 

How Can Hackworthy & Sons Help With Your Move?

We understand how stressful moving house can be which is why we use our experience and knowledge to ensure the move is as hassle free as possible for you. Our removals service includes a home visit(UK removals only) so that we can be clear on the services you require to avoid any confusion on moving day. We provide a full packing service and include insurance within our quote, rather than charging it as an additional extra like other removals companies. We know that delays can occur during the buying/selling process which is why we offer a cancellation waiver that allows you to cancel as late as the day before if you need to (with no extra charge!). 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today in order to request a quote, and to get your move booked in and ready to go.