How long is a piece of string!

Rather than try to give you a definitive timeframe for buying a house, it is probably best if we give you an idea of the potential pitfalls you may encounter. This way, you are best prepared to avoid them and speed the process.

Nowadays, to buy a home in and around Maidenhead, most people will need a mortgage. To obtain a mortgage they will need to prove various things including their income, details about their job or, if they are self employed, details of their business and income. You’ll need to transfer any savings you will be using for a deposit to your conveyancer. If they haven’t acted on your behalf before, you’ll need to prove you are who you say you are.

Once you have agreed terms, your mortgage provider will want to check that your purchase is of sufficient value to cover their Loan to Value ratios. This means you will need to pay for a mortgage valuation. You may decide you also need a structural survey or condition report too. This can take anything from a couple of days to a week or two.

The legal process is simple enough in most cases but your conveyancer will need to check that what you are buying is being lawfully sold by the proper owner, that it is clear of all incumbrances and is not likely to be affected by mining works, a new road or further adjacent development. Of course, it might be, in which case you will need more information before you can decide whether to proceed. These searches are sent to the Local Authority and the Coal Mining Authorities, etc. It can take two or three weeks to get these back.

Once your solicitor / conveyancer has all this information and has received an inventory of the sale and responses to her enquiries before contract (questions asked of the seller) she will ask the lender to confirm the mortgage offer. At this point you will be asked if you are ready to exchange contracts and commit to the sale.

And this is where many transactions slow down. You see, if your seller is still waiting on their seller to agree to exchange contracts, or your purchase is conditional upon the sale of your own home, a ‘chain’ of transactions is formed. Usually, the chain will be delayed whilst someone you haven’t even met waits on the exchange of a property they may never have seen! It can be frustrating, but despite it all, most transactions usually take between 6 and 12 weeks to conclude.

It is worth investigating the extent of the chain and whether everyone in the chain has a mortgage offer and is not reliant on something else happening, over which you have no control.

For more information contact us or speak to a mortgage adviser on 01628 507477.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There will be no fee for Mortgage Advice. There may be a fee for arranging a mortgage. The precise amount will depend upon your circumstances, but we estimate it to be between £399 and £599.

Mortgage Required Ltd, Finance House, 5 Bath Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4AQ is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 573718 at

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an agency for arbitrating on unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients. More detail can be found on their website: