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How long does it take to buy a house?

One of the most common questions we get asked about the conveyancing process is “how long does it take to buy a house?”.

While obviously there are a few variables involved in every new home purchase, it’s useful to know an approximate timeline for how long it takes to complete on a house. There are lots of stages, steps and documents involved in the house-buying process, from finding the right home for you to applying for a mortgage, working with solicitors and actually exchanging contracts.

With a new Redrow home, the timeline from reservation to exchange of contracts is usually completed within six weeks, which is significantly faster than the average time it takes to buy a house in the UK. Our Sales team will be on hand to keep you updated and informed of progress, and help with all the paperwork and steps you need to complete.

Our guide to the typical property purchase timeline will help demystify the process a little, and help you understand how long it will be until you can move into your dream home!

Guides & FAQs    |    Guides    |    Buying    |    How long does it take to buy a house?


What to know when buying with Redrow

  • We aim to have contracts exchanged within six weeks of you reserving your property.
  • Hard Hat Visits and Home Previews mean you’ll be able to see your home as it’s being built so you can follow along every step of the way.
  • The Sales team at your preferred development will be on hand whenever you need us, and will keep you up-to-date on the entire process from offer to completion on your home.

How long does it take to buy a house?

Every property is different and each purchase will have unique circumstances, and there will (unfortunately) always be certain things that are beyond the control of both the buyer and seller.

It might be a hold-up with the mortgage lender, amending contracts, delays with agreeing a completion date, or something else entirely. If your house purchase is part of a chain, this can also complicate things a little.

If the purchase of a property depends on the sale of another home, this can extend the completion process. Depending on the process and steps involved, this could add months to the process. Of course, some buyers are willing to wait to secure their perfect home, however this can sometimes cause problems for a potential move.

So, there are a few things that can cause a delay in the home-buying process. However, it usually takes around 15 weeks on average in the UK to get an offer on a home accepted. When buying a new Redrow home, buyers will reach exchange of contracts within six weeks of reservation, though this can vary. Your Sales consultant will keep you updated on progress and give you an estimated date of completion.

Typical UK timeline for buying a house

Getting a mortgage in principle (usually a few days)

The first step for anyone looking for a new house should be to secure a mortgage offer in principle (also known as an Agreement in Principle or Mortgage Promise). This will help you determine how much you can borrow from a lender and the price bracket you should be looking at for your new home.

Getting a mortgage agreement in principle can be immediate, or it can take a few days. Make sure you've got all the documents and information you'll need to hand before you apply, to speed up the process as much as possible. This will include things like proof of income, bank information and identification.

You can work with a mortgage broker or advisor to find the best deal available to you. Redrow’s team of independent mortgage specialists have experience with new homes, and can qualify applicants in person at your development’s Customer Experience Suite and over the phone.

First-time buyers may be taking advantage of deposit schemes or ISAs, so it's worth talking with a specialist to understand the best options for you. Lots of mortgage brokers and lenders have online calculators you can use to work out your affordability and how much you can likely borrow.

Finding the perfect property and making an offer (a few weeks or months)

Once you know how much you can borrow and have your mortgage in principle, you can start looking at properties, either on your own or through an estate agent. At Redrow, our team of Sales consultants will be happy to walk you through the different options on offer at your local development.

Of course, it's really important to make sure that the property you choose to make an offer on is right for you. Arrange a few viewings, consider your options, and take your time making the decision. Things like what's happening in the local property market and the type of home you're looking for will all have an impact on what's available and property prices.

When you find the right property, you'll need to speak to your solicitor or conveyancer about reserving a home. At Redrow, we have a preferred panel of mortgage specialists who work with our customers and specialise in new build home sales, so you'll get a helping hand right from the beginning.

Setting up your mortgage (2-8 weeks)

Once your offer has been accepted, (which could happen in as little as a week) things really start happening! There are a few different steps and stages that need to happen once you get to this point:

Carrying out surveys

To make sure they're not lending more than the property is worth, your mortgage lender will conduct a valuation on the property.

This is one of the benefits of purchasing a new home from a reputable name like Redrow - because we are registered with the National House Building Council (NHBC), we adhere to strict regulations and quality assurances on construction and more, going above and beyond with our pre-completion quality checks.

Securing your mortgage offer

Once you've decided on the property you'll be buying, you can trade your Agreement in Principle into a formal mortgage offer. To get this done, you'll need to pass your details and information about the home on to your lender. They will then carry out their own inspections and valuations, and will usually get back to you within a few weeks.

The mortgage process can often be confusing and complicated, which is why we generally recommend working with a qualified broker to facilitate everything and alleviate some of your stress. They'll be able to advise you on monthly mortgage payments and other details.

Conveyancing (4-12 weeks)

Conveyancing is essentially all the legal work that goes into property purchases. You'll need to appoint a licensed conveyancer or specialist solicitor to carry out the work on your behalf. Redrow works with a panel of trusted experts for a smooth process.

The typical conveyancing process usually includes property searches, researching property ownership history and other surveys. Searches provide information on things like property boundaries, rights of way, environmental factors and legal limitations.

This is a particularly important step, ensuring you're unlikely to encounter future issues with the property. The average time this takes will differ depending on the type of property, how busy your conveyancer is and how long it takes for them to get the right information. Of course, if any of the searches return unexpected results, this can also add time to the process. Your solicitor will also work on drafting contracts, which requires information from the Land Registry, the seller and the seller's conveyancer. The contract usually takes up to a month to finalise.

Exchange of contracts (6 weeks)

At Redrow, our Sales consultants will be in touch with you to arrange meetings at two and four weeks, to help achieve the exchange of contracts within the six week period. Our Sales team is here every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further assistance or have any questions.

You'll need to send over the deposit money to your solicitor. Depending on your bank's limits, you may not be able to move it all over in one transaction, so make sure to check this ahead of time so you don't delay the buying timeline.

Another important step at this stage is to get buildings insurance set up, to start from the date of completion. Because you'll be legally liable for the property, you'll need to make sure everything's covered and protected.

Redrow Hard Hat Visit

A Redrow Hard Hat Visit is your opportunity to have a first look at the inner workings of your home. It’s a great chance to ask your site manager any questions.

You’ll be able to see inside your new home for the very first time while it is still under construction. This way you can start to get a feel for the layout and the size of individual rooms as the internal wall framework is all constructed.

The Hard Hat Visit will take place at what’s called the ‘first fix stage’, once the roof is on, the property is water-tight and all of the internal framework of a fully functioning house has been installed - including the stairs, internal stud walls, electric cables and back boxes, and all plumbing pipework.

It’s an honour to be able to show our customers their home while it’s still being built, knowing the quality of our craftsmanship is on full display. The availability of this event will depend on the build stage of your home at the point of reservation.

Redrow Home Preview

As well as the Hard Hat Visit, Redrow customers will also have an exclusive preview of your new home around two weeks before you move in.

This is a perfect opportunity for us to show you some of the key benefits of your new home and demonstrate how all of the fittings and appliances work. It’s a great opportunity to understand where things are and how they work, with our team on hand to answer any questions. The Home Preview also allows us to ensure that all the final touches are complete and ready for you to move in.


You'll need to agree a completion date, to suit both the vendor and the buyer. Our Sales team will keep you informed at every step of the journey to your new Redrow home, so you’ll have an estimated completion date. If there are any delays or changes, you’ll be informed straight away and kept in the loop.

Assuming everything goes smoothly and there aren't any unexpected hiccups in the process, this is the day you'll complete on the purchase and collect the keys to your new home.

Your solicitor will draw up a completion statement with details of any payments you owe - these might include conveyancing fees, stamp duty and other fees. After completion, your conveyance will register the new homeowners with the Land Registry and get copies of the title deeds.

Congratulations! Once you've exchanged contracts, completed and picked up the keys, the fun really begins!

At Redrow, we're here to make every step of the home-buying process as smooth as possible, but our assistance doesn't stop at completion. Our team are on hand for anything you need, and all our developments are designed for modern living.

Register for My Redrow to get the best out of your new home.

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To the best of Redrow’s knowledge, everything in this guide is true at the time of writing. All descriptions, images and plans are illustrations, examples and/or approximations only and some processes listed may differ when buying a Redrow home, please speak with the sales team at your chosen development for more details. Redrow does not accept any liability or responsibility contractual or otherwise for any reliance on the information contained within the guide.