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How long does it take to move into a new build home?

Jan 26, 2021
How long does it take to move into a new build home?

Looking for your dream home is exciting and once you’ve found it, you’ll want to move in straight away. We’ll take you through how long it could take from making an offer to moving in and calling it your home.

We’ll also explain the key differences between buying an existing property as opposed to a new home, and why moving into a new build is often a faster process. Find your next home with us >  

How long does it take to move in after making an offer?

The first stage in the process when buying a new build is to reserve your home by paying a reservation fee. How long you can reserve a new-build home for will depend on that property’s terms and conditions.

If you’re buying an existing property, you will make an offer to the vendor’s estate agent. The first big wait is to see if the vendor will accept your offer or hold out for a higher one. This will typically take no more than a few days, as the vendor considers their options.

  • Your offer is rejected or negotiated
    The estate agent may report back that they are hoping for a higher price or want to charge more for ‘fixtures and fittings’ – and there could be a negotiation that takes a few days. If you end up in a bidding war then this process can feel quite intense, but it would be unusual for it to take longer than a couple of weeks.
  • Your offer is accepted
    When this happens, it’s the start of a journey that should end up with you gaining the keys to your new home. However, the wait between putting in an offer and moving in can feel long, and there can be a number of ups and downs during that time.

What happens next?

With David Wilson, reserving your new-build home means no one else will be able to. It is taken off the market immediately, giving you peace of mind.


However, if you’ve had an offer accepted on an existing property, the vendor needs to agree that the estate agent can take the property off the market. This is a key way to protect your purchase from ‘gazumpers’ or people who are willing to better your offer.

There are often more negotiations to happen such as how long you’ll need to wait between exchange and completion (typically this is around a week after the exchange of contracts but it can be as long as four weeks). It can easily take several working days to negotiate this draft contract.

The new build completion process is often much faster, however, as you won’t need to negotiate whether fixtures and fittings are being included, if there’s an additional price to be paid, and whether you can arrange a discount if the survey shows that there’s work needed.

In the meantime, you’ll need to process your mortgage application (the main legwork should have been done if you already had a mortgage in principle but the formal application can still take some time), instruct a solicitor, and carry out any surveys and checks required.

All this does take time, and while it has sometimes been achieved within less than 3 weeks, it is much more normal for it to take around 6-8 weeks. That’s assuming there are no delays or issues – buying and selling a property can be a difficult business and sometimes there are delays which are simply beyond your control.

What can slow things down?

There is no one answer to how long it takes from reserving your home or making an offer to moving in. The time it takes to buy a property will be affected by how smooth the process is. So, if your mortgage application hits a snag or you aren’t efficient with the paperwork, then it will draw out the process.

A key thing that affects the speed of your move is whether you’re involved in a chain. When you buy a property from a homeowner who is currently living in the property, then you can only complete your purchase and move in once they have moved out.

These are some of the key differences that can affect the speed of the process when buying a new build compared with an existing home.

  New-build home Existing property
Chain No upward chain so if you’re a first-time buyer, you can be ready to move into a new home as quickly as your admin allows.

If you already own a property, our Part Exchange scheme could release you from a chain. We could buy your current home so you can move into your new one faster.
There are often chains involved with properties that currently have people living in them.

Each person in the chain is then reliant on the next person getting out of the house they’re looking to move into, and so on and so on. This can cause frustrating delays.
Vendor change of mind No risk with a new-build. Once you reserve your home and pay your reservation fee, it’s yours. The vendor can have a change of heart or accept a higher offer at any point up until the exchange of contracts.
Survey surprises No risk of a sudden issue with the house derailing your purchase as everything is brand new and guaranteed. Surveys can often reveal problems with the property such as long-ignored damp in the roof or issues with wiring that can slow down or, sometimes, stop the purchase entirely.
Interior design You can choose interior touches like kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles before you move in, so they’re brand new from the day you arrive.   While you can start thinking about how to design your home, any changes can’t start until you’ve moved in.

What can speed up the new build completion process

One benefit of buying a new-build home is having access to a team of specialists to help you every step of the way.

At David Wilson, we use recommended New Home Mortgage Advisers and conveyancing solicitors who are experts in the process of purchasing newly built homes. They can manage most of the paperwork for you, and are used to working closely with new build developers.

Ultimately, whether you are buying a new build or an existing property, it’s important to be realistic and accept that these sales do take time. However, making use of effective, efficient professionals – from the solicitor to the Sales Adviser or estate agent – will help speed up the process.

Moving into an existing property can be achieved in 6-8 weeks as long as the process runs smoothly. However, if you are looking to move even quicker, buying a new-build home is a great option.

Take a look at some of our available homes and start your next move today. We’d be happy to discuss our range of schemes that can help you own your dream home sooner. Whether you’re a first-time or existing buyer, we have a range of offers to help you make your next move.

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