The average time taken from offer to exchange has now reached between 13 and 16 weeks, according to research from NAEA Propertymark.
Due to high levels of demand within the property market, conveyancers as well as mortgage brokers and moving companies have all been overwhelmed, adding to the backlog.
As a result, property professionals have warned that Christmas is only one move away now.
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “A lot of people who are new to the market may not realise how different things are right now.
“Historically we have all been very used to sales taking six-eight weeks to go through, sometimes maybe even four.
“The current market is a very different beast though and people really do need to be aware that they must plan ahead.”