By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


UK home sale times are ‘embarrassing’ - claim

The UK timeframe for selling a property has been branded as “embarrassing.”

New research shows the UK ranks as the slowest country for selling a home.

Upfront information provider Home Sale Pack analysed the average time it takes to sell a home in 10 of the world’s busiest housing markets.


The data shows that the nation with the fastest selling process is the USA where it takes an average of just 69 days to complete a transaction from the time of listing through to closing. 

In Canada, the average property takes just 90 days to make it through to the closing stage, while in France the journey takes 105 days. 

Germany (106 days) and the UAE (107 days) sit middle of the table, where it takes 3.5 months to complete a transaction, followed by Portugal (122 days), Italy (137 days) and Australia (137 days).

The UK struggles to match the home selling efficiency of other nations, with an average timeline of 183 days or 6 months. 

This means that selling a home in the UK takes almost three-times longer than it does in the USA, and an entire month longer than the second-worst performer, Spain. 

Ruth Beeton, co-founder of Home Sale Pack, said: “The UK boasts one of the strongest and most desirable property markets on the global stage, but despite our obsession with bricks and mortar, our protracted property transaction timeline is quite frankly embarrassing. 

“Of course, markets differ and each nation will have its own unique nuances with regard to selling a property, as well as varying definitions of when in the timeline a property is actually sold. But despite this, it’s clear that the UK is miles behind the rest when it comes to speed and efficiency. 

“The problem is clear - the UK’s process is simply archaic and has failed to evolve for decades, perhaps centuries. One of the key failings is the proper provision of upfront information which not only helps increase speed, but also certainty.  

“We’re working hard to normalise the process of sellers providing all prospective buyers with the vital information they need to make a decision right at the beginning of the process, because this alone will slash weeks and even months off our embarrassing transaction timeline.”

  • Richard Rawlings

    I couldn't agree more - it is embarrassing. But it's the time taken to exchange rather than completion that causes the most stress and lack of certainty. Good agents will urge their sellers to complete their TA6/7 and TA10 at time of listing (as well as appointing their solicitor up front). The seller should even pay for and order searches in advance and, in an ideal world, even commission a survey. The more information provided up front the better, as it is the delay in securing these things after a buyer is found (during the buyer remorse period) that allows sales to fall through. Shrink that window of opportunity and you'll shrink your fall-through rate too. And don't even get me started on binding offers!!!

  • Rob Hailstone

    Makes perfect sense to me Richard.

  • David Fulcher

    For a vendors survey to be any actual use you'd need the mortgage company underwriters to sign up to accept them, rather than commission their own. The UK is unlikely to come high in international rankings because we have a high occupancy proportion. Even so there are a lot of vacant sales, vacant around 12 months if probate is needed. Some expediency could put a dent in the "housing shortage".

  • Iain Harrison

    There are lots of problems with the UK market - from selling the property in the first place (bad case of over-valuing to win instructions are SOP for many estate agents), poor or no sales progression from agents meaning buyers/sellers left in the hands of solicitors , which brings me nicely to my thrid point that conveyancing is at best, average in the UK, and the best solicitors are hindered by the majority who are average to poor. And that's before I agree with Richard that agents and sellers can do a lot of legwork early days to negate some of this.

  • Grant Alexson

    Whilst I agree that the system is slow and vendors need to understand what they are selling in advance of marketing, I have usuall found that there are huge differences between what a buyer and their mortgage provider find acceptable and what vendors provide. Information about boundaries and response to survey can be very different. Until what is acceptable is standardised we will struggle to improve conveyancing times.

  • Shaun Adams

    Richard has hit the nail on the head.

    If sellers instructed their sol to get the draft papers ready (without purchase price and buyer name) before launching this would help. The contract pack needs to be full so there are minimal if any enquiries (like they do in Australia) Buyers need a MAIP before vgs.

    Mortgage applications also need to be done the same day as the Reservation Agreement is signed - there is no reason all straight forward mortgage offers shouldn't be back in two weeks.

  • icon

    It’s a shame that Upfront Information (the brain child of the tech companies) is being conflated with Material Information (being a legal requirement placed upon estate agents since 2008).

    Material Information is a legal requirement.
    Upfront Information is a pipe dream.

    I would urge estate agents to read the National Trading Standards guidance on MI and recognise that by the Seller instructing a Solicitor and a surveyor before marketing the property to create the MI pack for potential buyers makes perfect sense.

    Likewise not referring sellers and buyers to a factory just for the fee (and to hell with how long they take) would help.

    Like many firms we complete within 8-10 weeks of contracts being issued. If we can reduce the messing about before then and get to exchange of contracts quickly (such that lenders, professional indemnity insurers are protected) then MI and the early engagement of the Solicitor and surveyor might just deliver what estate agents apparently desire-speed and certainty.

    Shaun Adams

    "estate agents apparently desire-speed and certainty."

    The paying client/consumer desires this

  • icon

    Our experience of the biggest delays occur when Team A pass the deal to Team B. Team C then take over - what a mess - you all know this scenario. Why does the industry recommend such mediocrity? The cause is kick back commissions paid to estate agents and mortgage brokers who refer these not fit for purpose conveyor belt firms. Stop taking referral fees, form a relationship with your local firms and do the industry a favour.

    Shaun Adams

    local firms also take months as well - if a contract pack was comprehensive enough the amount of enquiries would fall dramatically


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up