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How long after draft contracts to exchange

One of the most common questions to a conveyancer when buying or selling a house is how long after draft contracts to exchange to tie all parties in to the transaction so that clients can book removal companies, furniture deliveries or to hand in their notices on rental properties.

Exchange of contracts is the stage where the parties become contractually obliged to complete and cannot withdraw without financial penalty.  Normally when exchange of contracts occurs, clients can breathe a sigh of relief and crack open the champagne and stop worrying about whether the matter will proceed and probably then start worrying about all the tasks they need to do to enable the big move!

A completion date (moving in day) is normally the most important date for clients and they wish to achieve as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately every case is different, some have chains (that is other parties who are buying and selling which are all linked) and some don’t. There are also a number of different factors which can influence the timing it takes to get to exchange and completion, for example, if the buyers having a mortgage, how quickly the parties take to return documents to their solicitor, how long does it take a parties solicitor to respond to enquiries or correspondence.

Generally it takes 6-8 weeks to get to the point of exchange assuming all parties are working together, however, I have personally known some solicitors to take over two weeks just to send out the initial documents to their client and it is very likely that in this situation that it’s going to be a longer journey than normal.


Jayde Simpson
Conveyancing Executive
Residential Property Department
01246 231288


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