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How long does conveyancing take?

The national average timescale for conveyancing is between 9-10 weeks. Conveyancing for simple purchase transactions can take just 4-6 weeks but a more complicated transaction can take much much longer to complete.

Here’s a rough estimate of conveyancing timescales to help you guesstimate your future transaction:

Type Average Timescale
Purchase 6-8 weeks
Sale 8-10 weeks
Purchase leasehold 10-12 weeks
Sale leasehold 10-12 weeks
Purchase in chain 8-52 weeks
No conveyancer can accurately give you a timescale for a conveyancing transaction. Each transaction is different and there are so many factors to consider that could delay the process.

What can delay the conveyancing process?

When a conveyancing transaction gets delayed or takes much longer than expected, the Solicitor / Conveyancer normally gets the blame. Here are a few factors which can slow down the conveyancing process and delay completion:

Delays in getting a mortgage offer

Anyone buying with a mortgage will need to get an official mortgage offer to continue with the purchase. A full mortgage application can only be made once buyers have found a property to buy. Lenders will need to check the property value and have a building survey before confirming the Mortgage Offer.

Survey Delays

As mentioned before, a full building survey will need to taken out on the property. This can delay the process for an number of different reasons, maybe the surveyor is busy or maybe the seller delays the surveyors visit. It can sometimes take weeks before a survey is completed.

Survey results reveal issues

If the survey reveals some potential issues that might effect the property value (e.g. structural problems, subsidence, woodworm) then further investigation will be required. This will obviously delay the transaction, major issues might even cause the whole sale to fall though.

Delay in obtaining search results

Property searches are like checks addressed to the Local Authority (Learn More). These searches check for any factors you should be aware of. Sometimes these search result come back quickly, within a day or two, and sometimes they get delayed for weeks. It all depends on how quickly your local authority responds.

Seller looking for another home

Sometimes the seller might need to find a new home before selling their current one. The buyer might be ready to exchange contracts and hand over the money, but everything gets put on hold until the seller finds a new home.

Waiting on a Chain to complete

A chain is when a buyer has found the property they want to purchase, but needs to sell their current property first to get the money required. This creates a chain of sales, with each sale requiring another sale to complete before proceeding.

General other-side delays

Even if you have a good conveyancer and you’ve promptly completed all the required forms, you’ll still have to wait for the other-side to do their bit. The other-side solicitor might be useless or the seller/purchaser might be slow at responding to queries, causing frustrating delays.

How can I speed up the conveyancing process and avoid delays?

If you’re selling, instruct a conveyancer before finding a buyer, this should help speed up the sale. If we’re honest, there’s not much else you can do to avoid delays.

Of course it helps if you have a decent conveyancer handling your case. A good conveyancer will do all they can to make sure that the transaction completes quickly without delays, compare conveyancing quotes from trusted and reliable conveyancers.

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Conveyancing Dr Harold
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