How long does conveyancing usually take?

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Your estate agent told you the conveyancing process should take six weeks, your bank says it usually takes four weeks and your friend who recently moved house said it only took three weeks. You may have been given a number of different answers with regards to how long the conveyancing process takes and it’s hard to know who is giving the most accurate answer.

Even if you’re very organised and it seems like the process is off to a great start, there are several things that can influence how long the conveyancing process takes. Conveyancers never delay things just for the fun of it. If completion is taking longer than your friend said or your estate agent said then there’s usually a very good reason.

A good conveyancer wants to do the job properly. This involves thorough searches, title investigations and ensuring all details are 100% correct. The conveyancing process for a typical freehold property takes around 12 weeks – although this is an estimation that doesn’t take personal circumstances into account (after all, each conveyancing process is unique!).

Our specialist conveyancer Hayley Carter-Steele wrote an article for the estate agents Farrell Heyworth. Hayley is on the official panel of solicitors for Farrell Heyworth and works directly with them to ensure the conveyancing process goes as smoothly as possible.

What can delay the conveyancing process?

Unfortunately, as with many other official processes, delays can happen. It doesn’t matter how organised you are, the process could be affected by matters out of your and our control.

This includes:

  • Not instructing a solicitor as soon as possible
  • Issues with searches and title investigations
  • The building survey reveals a problem with the property
  • If you’re part of a chain, the number of people in the chain can greatly affect the time it takes to complete the conveyancing process – especially when it comes to transaction issues
  • If someone in the chain doesn’t want to complete as quickly as you, for whatever reason
  • Not having the correct planning permissions in place if the seller has made changes to the property
  • People in the chain living in areas with different Local Authorities with different timescales  
  • Incorrect or inaccurate information on mortgage application forms (e.g. National Insurance number, income, references details, etc)
  • Delays due to someone in the chain being on holiday
  • Delays due to the solicitor’s office being closed for the Easter holidays, Christmas holidays and bank holidays
  • Someone in the chain pulls out

How long does completion take if there’s no chain involved?

If there’s no chain involved then some of then the risk of a delay is minimised but not completely erased. The other party could still pull out or they may not be in a hurry to complete. On top of that, the searches could reveal something that needs further investigation. Completion can take 4-8 weeks to complete but this is an estimate and doesn’t factor in any delays.

It’s always a good idea to agree on a target completion date with all parties involved. This is so everyone knows where they stand and how long they have to gather together the correct information.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a property, it’s vital to instruct a good solicitor as soon as your offer is accepted. Speak to our conveyancing team please call 0800 614 722 today.

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