It’s a common enough question, but unfortunately, it’s one that doesn’t always have easy answers.

 To get a truly accurate picture of how long the process will take, you would need average figures for every single variable. Clearly, that wouldn’t be practical. However, thanks to Rightmove, there is a guide to average times across the UK.


 • January – 62 days (national) 74 (London)

 • Mar – 55 days (national) 65 (London)

 • July – 55 days (national) 61 (London)


With the base rate and mortgage costs rising, affordability is getting stretched. As a result, the housing market is seeing a shift in dynamics, with buyers behaving more cautiously and a significant number waiting for the base rate to come down before making a move.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, notes:

“Our analysis shows that homes that are priced right the first time, rather than priced too high only to be reduced later, are not only more likely to find a buyer but more likely to find a buyer quickly. This supports local agent reports of a two-speed market, with some properties for sale being overpriced and at risk of going stale, and many competitively priced homes which are attracting multiple prospective buyers.”

There are plenty of regional variations. In London, sales are taking 11% longer than average at 61 days. In Scotland, sales are running far faster at just 31 days, and in the North East, they are taking 49 days.

These figures do not take into account the time taken between exchange and completion, which typically adds another 2 weeks. It is also worth bearing in mind that with property sales, you can encounter the odd complication, such as a disappointing survey or a particularly long chain. The amount of time they add to the sales process is normally directly related to their complexity.

To put this into context, it’s worth having a quick look at it from a buyer’s perspective. The average buying cycle takes almost twice as long as the sales one.


 • Beginning of the search to offer accepted: 12 weeks

 • Obtaining a mortgage offer: + 6 weeks

 • Conveyancing: 8 to 10 weeks

 • Exchange of contracts: 2 to 3 weeks

 • Completion: + 2 weeks

 • Total: 31 weeks (217 days)