How long does conveyancing take?

In most cases the conveyancing for the purchase of a home will take between eight and twelve weeks. But it can be much less, or a lot longer, depending on many circumstances.

Conveyancers cannot normally give a precise reply to the question ‘How long will my conveyancing take?’ at the start of any transaction. This is not because we do not want to, but because there are usually so many unknowns in the equation that it is not possible to give a meaningful reply.  We do everything we can to achieve a swift completion for our clients.

There are many outside factors which can delay completion and Conveyancers often can’t do anything about them.  Here are a few examples of some of the factors to take into consideration when purchasing a property which could delay matters:

  • Underestimating the time it can take to get a mortgage offer. A full mortgage application can only be made once buyers have found a property to buy. Only when the lender has obtained its own valuation of the property and carried out risk-analysis checks will a formal offer be issued. Until then buyers cannot be certain of obtaining their finance.
  • If a survey reveals defects a further specialist survey may have to be obtained (e.g. for damp) or an estimate obtained for the cost of repairs. Further negotiations with the seller are then likely, and delays are likely if a price reduction cannot be agreed or the seller is not willing to pay for work to be carried out before completion.
  • Conveyancers are normally expected to carry out a number of searches, the most important of these is the search with the local council. An official search form has to be sent to the council and although most of these can be done electronically, some can return results within a few days, others still take weeks.
  • If a seller is buying another property and requires the money from the sale to complete the purchase there will be a chain of transactions. In such cases every transaction will have to complete on the same day. In such cases a delay anywhere in the chain is likely to cause a delay to all the other linked sales and purchases, and the longer the chain the more likely it is.
  • Sometimes the buyer’s Conveyancer will discover that there is a problem which needs to be sorted out before the purchase can be completed – for instance, there could be lack of rights of way or a breach of restrictive covenant or lack of building regulation approval for a loft conversion.
  • It is usual for the Conveyancers acting for a buyer to send pre-contract enquiries to the seller’s Conveyancers. Sellers do sometimes take time to reply to such enquiries or have to obtain additional information or copy documents.
  • During Conveyancing transactions the buyer’s Conveyancer will often need documents from other organisations, for example for leasehold properties, and they can be very slow to reply, and little can be done to speed them up.

We aim to bring you a first class conveyancing service at a competitive price. If you have found your next home and need a solicitor to help with the purchase, please contact us for a quote and initial conversation.