It’s official – it takes six months and 24 days to buy a home, according to research.
Experts looking into the average time it takes to purchase a property have considered all aspects of a move, from viewing houses online to getting the keys and moving in.
They discovered the lengthiest part of the process is exchanging contracts which takes an average of five months and 10 days after putting in an offer on a new home.
Although in some cases, it can take up to 25 months.
When starting the home-buying process, potential buyers will spend around 20 hours looking at 16 homes online.
Around four days is then spent waiting for a viewing on a potential purchase, with buyers taking a further four-and-a-half days to put in an offer.
It also emerged the average homebuyer will view their future home three times before making an offer, taking three friends or family members with them to help make the decision.
Once the purchase has been agreed, a further 24 days are needed to secure a mortgage offer, and three days to get a solicitor on board.
After contracts are exchanged, keys are finally delivered after nine days.
James Morris-Manuel, vice president for EMEA Matterport, an immersive 3D technology used to create virtual tours of homes on the market, which commissioned the study, said: “Buying a home can be one of the most exciting – and most frustrating experiences of all.
“While the idea of moving somewhere new is thrilling, the reality can be very different, especially when solicitors appear to be dragging their feet, chains break down and viewings take longer than expected to arrange.
“Even viewing a home can be irritating – having to fit in with the owner’s timing and requirements, not being close enough to view a property as often as you’d wish, and then wanting to revisit when a decision has been made.”
Of the 2,000 homeowners polled, one quarter have made offers on a home which were then rejected, making the process even longer – especially for the 12 per cent who put in unsuccessful bids on three or more properties.
It also emerged London is the area in which it takes the longest to buy a house - an average of eight months, compared to just over five months in Scotland and the North East.
But while 28 per cent of respondents had no expectations of how long every step would take, almost one third said when they did buy a house, it took longer than they thought it would.
Typically, the expectation was that the whole process would take just under four months, with more than two in 10 believing it would be done and dusted in less than two months.
The study also found three in 10 said finding a property with everything they wanted was the most difficult aspect of buying a home, while a fifth think it was the longest part of the process.
Four in 10 of those polled via OnePoll even took more than seven months to decide on a new house.
Liaising with solicitors and selling the current property also made the list of things that were difficult about buying a new home.
But due to timings, 14 per cent of buyers admitted they had to compromise on their ideal home when choosing a property.
Location was the most common sacrifice, while room size and price followed closely behind.
Luckily, when they finally moved in, almost half found their new home exactly as they expected it to be.
For the more unfortunate, some said the décor wasn’t as good as they remembered or it wasn't as clean as they would like while 30 per cent found that they were left with more DIY or renovations than they had anticipated.
James Morris-Manuel, from EMEA Matterport added: “House hunting can be tough and time-consuming, especially for those who are juggling working full time, families, and may not necessarily be living in the area in which they want to buy.
“By saving time and energy on viewings buyers can find the perfect property much more quickly.
"3D Virtual tours are an easier, quicker and much more engaging way for people to view homes on the market, while saving time for all sides in the process.
“Now compatible with all three major UK property portals, we expect to see 3D virtual tours become an increasingly common way of marketing homes in the UK this year.”
How long it takes to buy a home, on average.
Time spent browsing homes to visit online, before choosing one to buy – 19.46 hours – 0.81 days
Time between finding a home online, and getting a viewing – 3.74 days
Time between the first viewing and putting in an offer on a new home – 4.47 days
Time taken, once decided to buy, to get a mortgage offer – 23.94 days
Time taken, once decided to buy, to find a solicitor – 2.98 days
Time taken to exchange contracts – 5.34 months – 165.54 days
Time taken once contracts are exchanged, to get keys – 9.47 days
Total days: 210.95 / 6.8 months