How long should a sale take?

How long should a sale take?

Under 30s expect house sales to exchange contracts significantly quicker than the generation above – a recent survey conducted by Property Information Products, providers of the PIP Vault, found. 

When asked how long a sale should take if all relevant information was available, over 50% of those under 30 years old felt 1-3 weeks was appropriate.  One older property professional thought 10-20 weeks was the sensible timescale.

Over 60% of respondents felt that a property sale should exchange in less than five weeks.  With current average exchange times quoted as 21 weeks, clearly there are significant improvements needing to be made to the whole process.  Tim Main, a founder of PIP, believes these improvements will come about in steps rather than a radical change.  30 years ago, the time between agreeing a sale and exchange of contracts took on average four weeks, and that was before the mobile phone or emails.

Not everyone wants to rush to move though.  Just under 40% of all respondents felt 2-6 weeks to exchange was an appropriate target. Tim Main,

“We think this shows house buyers and sellers are keen to have certainty in the process sooner rather than later.”

Over 90% agreed that more use of a dataroom, like the PIP Vaults at,  where seller, estate agent and the seller’s conveyancer can post property documents, so the buyer can see the relevant information prior to offering, would assist the whole process.  The main focus of displaying “up front” information during the marketing period is to inform buyers better and reducing fall through rates and associated time and money.  All the information is then available to a buyer’s conveyancer so reducing exchange time.

A typical buyer’s view of a PIP Vault.


Timothy Main, Director and Founder of Property Information Products

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