Our top 5 tips to speed up offer to completion time

In the UK, around 35% of sales fall through after an offer is accepted. If you’ve got your heart set on your dream home and you want to avoid becoming part of this statistic, read on.

There are plenty of practical reasons for speeding up the offer to completion time. The longer the process takes, the more chance there is of something going wrong: you run the risk of being gazumped, someone in the chain may pull out, your seller’s circumstances might change.

Of course, some of this is beyond your control. But there are always a few things you can do to help your chances. This is, after all, a race you want to win!

Here are our five top tips to help speed up your offer to completion time:

1. Arrange a Mortgage in Principle: Make sure you do your research, either directly with a bank or with a mortgage advisor, and get a Mortgage in Principle offer in place. This can also be called an Agreement in Principle, Mortgage Promise or Decision in Principle. It’s best to have your agreement arranged before making an offer, this way the seller will take you seriously. It also means you’re ready for the next steps, like arranging a house survey.

2. Arrange your survey pronto: Once your offer is accepted, arrange your survey* straight away. This shows the seller you mean business. It will also highlight any issues with the house. You may change your mind at this point or it may give you some leverage to negotiate the price. Be careful negotiating though because you might open yourself up to being gazumped.

*There are a variety of different surveys. Your lender will want to do a property valuation, this quick survey simply confirms that the property is worth the market value. Typically you’ll need a Home Buyer Survey (RICS Level 2 Report) for any standard property built after 1900. For an older or more unusual property you may want a RICS Level 3 Report. Read more about the various surveys available.

3. Show the seller some love: Although estate agents don’t tend to encourage this, there’s nothing stopping you popping a card through the door telling the seller how much you love the house and how much you’re looking forward to living there. Most sellers want to pass their much-loved home onto someone else who will enjoy it just as much as they have. It also means they’ll probably be happy for you to pop over during the process to measure up, make to-do lists and generally prepare for making their house your home.

4. Ask the seller to take down the listing: Once you’ve had an offer accepted the property will usually stay on listing sites with a SSTC (sold subject to contract) label. This does open up the possibility of potential gazumping, hence tip 3 above. To minimise the risk you can ask the seller to remove the listing completely. It’s entirely up to the seller but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

5. Choose a conveyancer that commits to being speedy: This brings us neatly to our last, but by no means least, top tip – move fast. And the best way to do this is with a conveyancer (ahem, over here!) who is responsive, efficient and committed to helping you get the keys to your new home in the smoothest, quickest, most positive way.

Of course, sometimes things are going to be beyond your control but we work on a no move, no fee basis. If the sale doesn’t complete for any reason, there are no legal fees to pay.

Get in touch if you’d like a quote or want to know more about how we can help you move faster.

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