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How Long Does It Take to Move House in the UK?

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Moving house is an exciting and significant event in most people’s lives, but it can come with its fair share of stress. For many people, the process of moving house can be daunting and overwhelming. A common question often asked is “how long does it take to move house in the UK?”

Whilst there is no exact answer to this, it is helpful to understand the multitude of factors that can affect the conveyancing timeline, which can help you to prepare for your move. In this blog, we will discuss the various timeframes and logistics of moving house, better informing you when the time comes.

Before you actually begin moving, there are many things you will need to prepare in advance. This phase often takes roughly 1-3 months; however, this can vary depending on your circumstances. The key steps involved in this stage are as follows:

Property search and sale

If you already own a property and need to sell it before moving, this process can often be lengthy as you will need to find a buyer, negotiate an offer, and complete all of the required paperwork. It is highly recommended to have the assistance of a conveyancing solicitor during this process, who will be able to ensure that the process runs smoothly whilst avoiding any potential pitfalls that may occur.

Legal processes

Conveyancing refers to the legal process of transferring property ownership. This typically takes around 8-12 weeks, but this timeline can change due to various factors such as if there is a chain involved.

Exchanging contracts

The exchanging of contracts is a crucial point in the moving process, when the sale of your current property and the purchase of the new property officially become legally binding. This step normally happens within 6-8 weeks after you have agreed on the property transaction, however, this can depend on extraneous factors such as the speed and efficiency of the conveyancing process and if there is a property chain involved.


Completion day refers to the final day of the property transaction process. This is the day when ownership is officially transferred from seller to buyer. On this day the seller must move out and the buyer will receive the keys.

What slows down a house sale?

There are many factors that can impact how long it takes to sell a house, which can then impact how long it takes for you to move into your new home.

If your current home is involved in a chain there are likely to be delays. For example, if the buying party is experiencing a delay in obtaining their offer of mortgage, or there is poor communication between the conveyancing solicitors this can hold things up.

Other potential issues that may arise are being outbid or caught up in a “bidding war”, the seller cancelling the transaction before contracts are exchanged, the seller not being able to find a new home for a long period of time (referred to as a “broken chain”) or any potential mortgage issues.

Our team of expert conveyancing solicitors will be able to provide complete support during any property transaction, guiding you through the entire process and helping you to avoid any potential pitfalls.

What is the average time to move house?

On average, it takes 4-6 months to complete a house sale and move, from the day the house was first marketed to completion day. However, there is no way of calculating an exact amount of time as each individual case will be affected by a multitude of factors.

How long does it take to hear back after making an offer?

When an offer has been made, the agent or seller typically is expected to respond within 25-72 hours informing the buyer if the offer has been accepted or rejected. It is possible to work with your agent to put a time limit in place. This will mean that if the time limit is surpassed the offer will be declared void and a new offer will need to be made again to proceed.

How can we help?

Our conveyancing solicitors have extensive knowledge of this field and have helped many clients through the conveyancing process. We can handle all of the complicated paperwork whilst working diligently to make sure your moving process runs smoothly and efficiently, whilst mitigating any potential issues that may occur.

Contact our conveyancing solicitors

To speak to one of our experienced conveyancing solicitors you can call us on 020 7553 9000 or use our contact form to request a call-back.