Conveyancing is one of the legal processes you must go through when buying or selling a house. It can be the stage of the transaction that makes or breaks a property sale.
With varying factors determining its length, conveyancing for UK properties can range from being completed in anything from 12 -16 weeks. However, in some cases, it can take significantly longer if certain issues are discovered, or circumstances change. In some cases, if everything runs smoothly with no delays, it can be completed in as little as a month as long as your conveyancing solicitor operates digitally. Working like this means you can get real-time information and complete any documents as they come through.
What is conveyancing?
If buying or selling property is something new to you, there is every chance you have heard of the term conveyancing but are still unclear about what it is. Putting it simply, conveyancing is the legal process relating to moving house. A conveyancing solicitor will work to facilitate the transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. With two major phases known as exchange and completion, it is the work before both of these stages that takes time.
The average conveyancing time
There are four main stages to conveyancing with each taking a varying amount of time. Some take longer than others and if any issues arise with one stage, it can hamper the next one from progressing. This can add weeks, and in some cases, months to the completion. Below is the current average timeframe for all the key steps in the conveyancing process.
If you have had an offer accepted on a property, the conveyancing process can begin. At this stage, they will review all legal documents so that you can be advised correctly on the purchase. Local searches will begin and could be completed in as little as 10 days, but this has been known to take as long as one month in extreme circumstances.
Whilst the searches are underway a survey will also be carried out. This will give you information relating to the condition of the property and like searches, can be completed quickly however, again, like searches have been known to take as long as a month in the worst cases.
On average though, the time for completing the pre-contract stage of conveyancing is around two weeks.
Before making an offer on any property, it would be wise to have a mortgage in principle in place. This way you know that you are likely to be approved to borrow the correct amount to help with the purchase. Having made the offer on the house, the lender will now start the process of generating a full mortgage offer. Some of the checks on your circumstances can be quite thorough and as a result, this stage can take about a month.
At the same time as the lender is finalising a mortgage, your conveyancer will be creating a contract. This will consist of all the information from the searches in the first stage as well as anything from both the seller and the seller’s conveyancer. As issues may be raised in both the searches and survey, there is every chance that this is the longest part of the process. If there are no known problems and communication between all parties is consistent and insightful, this can all be completed in a matter of weeks. However, if these issues require resolving before things can go any further, then you could have a wait of two months, perhaps more. In most cases though, anything from two to 10 weeks is to be expected.
Exchange of contracts and completion
Reaching the final stages of the process means it shouldn’t be long until you can get the keys to your new home. Once all searches have been completed with issues rectified, the mortgage offer is firmly in place and any queries of your own have been answered, an exchange of contracts can take place. A completion date will be set and is normally worked out to satisfy the needs of both buyer and seller as well as the rest of the chain where necessary.
At this stage, conveyancing solicitors will organise the transfer of funds and the move is complete. The process of exchanging contracts to completion is typically one to two weeks. It can take longer though if both parties have reason to change to more suitable dates.
What delays completing within the average conveyancing time?
In many cases, the delays are quite minimal, as we mentioned earlier though, problems raised during the searches can delay progressing to the next stage. Most commonly though, it is the delays caused by either party not responding to requests promptly!
You could also find your conveyancing taking longer than the average time because of one or more of the following reasons:
- A new build property that isn’t ready for the seller to move into
- Mortgage application issues for the buyer
- Missing documentation from the selling party
- A sale through probate
How can you make conveyancing quicker?
If the average time for conveyancing doesn’t work for you, there are a few options you could take. If you are selling, cash house buyers are a fast and easy way to sell without having the delay conveyancing can bring. With no mortgage involved, a huge part of the conveyancing process is avoided.
Perhaps the easiest way to make things fast is to keep in touch with your conveyancer and provide them with any information as soon as possible. In addition, informing a conveyancing solicitor of when your house move begins is always a sure fire way to get the process started at the earliest opportunity.
At SOLD.CO.UK we help those looking to sell property achieve their goals by facilitating a seamless and fully managed package that ensures a smooth, fast sale. With all legal fees, including conveyancing covered you can sell your house for free. Alternatively, if you are in the market for a new home our varied list of properties for sale allows you to find the perfect new home easily. Contact us today!