We shortlist homes when we know they are almost ready for a new contract holder to move in. Bidding on a property may have closed a few weeks before we start shortlisting it. This stops applicants being matched to properties for a long time and unable to bid on other homes.
The top applicants are not always successful or may decide not to accept the property. This means that it takes time to assess each application. You can sometimes be offered a property that you bid on a few weeks before.