The Taylor&Emmet Blog

I have just found my dream home and would love to move in for Christmas. Is this possible?

If you are looking to complete a property purchase quickly – at any time of the year – it is important that before you put in an offer, you have everything in place to complete the purchase.

The most important piece of the jigsaw is your funding. If you are buying with cash, ensure you can prove the money is available and can be accessed easily. Should you require a mortgage, you will need an agreement in principle and an offer, along with a good contact at the lender or a financial adviser who can expedite the application and requisite survey.

It may be necessary to chase up your employer, as they will need to provide references and other details to your lender, as well as the mortgage company itself, to push through your application and prioritise the survey. If possible, request your mortgage offer by email, rather than post, again to expedite the process.

Your solicitor will require proof of the funds you are putting into the transaction, so if you are looking to complete quickly, make sure this is to hand at the point of instruction. We also need to carry out identity checks, which means you need up-to-date ID ready and available for us to see.

Vendor agreement

The next step is to ensure the person you are purchasing from is happy to complete in a short timeframe. I would suggest raising this with them before putting an offer forward, as without their agreement, it will not be possible to push the transaction through. It is essential all parties in the chain are on board with a fixed timescale.

The solicitor acting for the vendor needs to forward contract papers and a plan to your solicitor, to enable searches to be submitted on your behalf. These will be reviewed and any enquiries raised, which will need to be dealt with quickly by the seller, so the information can be sent back and any issues reported to you and the mortgage lender.

Searches should to be factored into your timeframe. At the moment, there is a long delay as a result of the Covid pandemic, a shortage of staff and previous closures of certain councils and other providers. It may be necessary to put indemnity insurance in place to achieve your deadline, if this is acceptable with your lender. However, the best course of action is always to wait for a full set of searches to come back, so they can be reviewed and any issues resolved before you buy the property.

Set a completion date

When all searches, the mortgage offer, funding and enquiries have been dealt with, you can look to exchange contracts. At this point, a completion date will be fixed. Due to the current situation, we are recommending there is only a short period between exchange and completion, or they take place the same day.

The final hurdle to meet your deadline is to employ a removals firm. In the build up to Christmas, the number of available days is limited and companies do become booked up. Unfortunately, you cannot commit to removals until your completion date has been agreed by you, the mortgage lender and the vendor. This will potentially involve some negotiation and flexibility, so you may need to shop around.

If all these steps fall into place, you could be in your new home for Christmas. However, if completion cannot be achieved, it might be best to delay it until the new year, to avoid any unnecessary stress. It is far better to enjoy the festive period without worrying about whether or not your purchase will be completing.

Finally, before making any promises to your vendor, speak to both your legal and financial advisers, to ensure your suggested date is achievable in theory.

If you would like to know more about purchasing a house quickly, don’t hesitate to contact me or my conveyancing colleagues on (0114) 218 4000.

If you have a question about moving home, our residential property expert, Sarah Gaunt, would love to hear from you. Email:

Sarah Gaunt

Sarah is a partner in our residential conveyancing department and is accomplished in all areas of the discipline. For more information on this topic email or call her on 0114 218 4060.

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